NEYLAND claimed the Pembroke County Cricket Division 1 title on Saturday (Aug 25) as their win over Haverfordwest, coupled with defeat for Cresselly, saw them jump to the top of the table.
Going into the final game of the season, Cresselly led Neyland by six points with Haverfordwest 16 points behind in third and still in with a chance of taking the title.
Cresselly knew all they would need to do was win and the title would be theirs but they came up against a Lawrenny side who have already beaten them once in the league this season, and pushed them all the way in the Harrison Allen Final.
Neyland went into their game with Haverfordwest hopeful of such a repeat but faced a tough game with the side that have also held the top spot during the season.
Overnight rain had made the grounds heavy and that played a factor at the toss as Haverfordwest won the toss and elected to field while Lawrenny batted first against Cresselly.
Lawrenny were keen to how that they had not just come to make up the numbers as Brad McDermott Jenkins top scored with 97 for the visitors.
James Phillips scored 24 and Joe Kidney added 21 before Steve Lewis finished not out on 51 to take Lawrenny to a total of 252-8 from their 45 overs.
Ryan Lewis took three wickets for the loss of 51 runs while Simon Cole (1-39) also chipped in with a wicket.
Nick Koomen and Gregg Miller made a steady start to their innings sharing 39 for the first wicket before Miller was trapped leg before by Adam James on a score of 10.
Andrew Miller was then also trapped leg before by Simon Holliday on a score of 2 while Koomen, who had hit eight fours in a score of 45, was caught and bowled by Kieran O’Connor.
Ashley Sutton and Nathan Banner took Neyland past 100 runs with a good partnership but O’Connor struck again as he trapped Sutton leg before on a score of 31 that included two fours and a six.
Neyland had limped to 143-4 in the 35th over and things did not look much better when Holliday had Banner caught and bowled on a score of 18.
However, Patrick Bellerby and Scott Jones then shared an excellent stand of 76 to swing the game in their favour.
Haverfordwest’s bowlers were not helping themselves either as James bowled a second no ball and had to be taken off, the second bowler to do so. They also gave away 36 extras.
Overthrows also proved costly as Neyland took two runs off an lbw shout. Bellerby made his way to score of 37 with three fours and Scott Jones finished not out on 41 with five boundaries as Neyland finished on 224-6 from their 45 overs.
Cresselly knew they would need to bat well if they were to reach their target and claim the Division 1 title. They made a steady start as Adam Chandler and Dan Sutton shared 49 for the first wicket.
Sutton scored 31 but he was then caught by McDermott-Jenkins off the bowling of Harry Thomas.
At the same time, Haverfordwest’s openers Simon Holliday and Ben Field shared a similarly steady start sharing 43 runs for the first wicket. Andrew Miller made the breakthrough as he had danger man Simon Holliday caught and bowled on a score of 15.
Miller then turned the screw once more as he trapped Field leg before on a score of 25 and had Lee Summons caught by Nick Koomen on a score of three to leave Town reeling on 49-3.
In Cresselly, the home side were doing their best to reach their target with Iwan Izzard scoring 42 before being bowled by McDermott-Jenkins and Dan Cherry was trapped leg before leaving them on 146-3.
Miller again returned to take his fourth wicket as he had Danny Potter caught by Gregg Miller on a score of 10.
Adam James was also bowled by Andrew Miller before Jake Merry was caught by Sean Hannon off the bowling of Gary Lloyd leaving Town on 81-6.
Dai Davies had scored 26 with a four and a six but he was then caught by Scott Jones off the bowling of Lloyd and Town were suddenly staring at a heavy defeat.
Cresselly’s Adam Chandler hit some excellent shots in his score of 64 but he was then caught by Joe Kidney off the bowling of Cole as Cresselly were reduced to 187-4.
McDermott-Jenkins then had Alex Bayley caught on a score of 17 and he also bowled Ryan Lewis as the title began to slip away.
Back in Neyland, the home side were making light work of Town as Archie Thomas was out for a score of 5, caught by Gregg Miller off the bowling of Nick Koomen.
O’Connor had scored 15 for Town but he was then trapped leg before by Lloyd and moments later they had victory as Lloyd bowled Johnny White for a duck.
That meant Lloyd finished with excellent figures 4-16 from his 6.5 overs and Town were all out for 110.
With news perhaps filtering through to Cresselly, they knew they would need to win if they were to pick up the Division 1 trophy.
Simon Cole scored 22 before he was caught by Matthew Kidney off the bowling of his namesake and Dan James scored 20 before he also fell to Cole.
Cresselly were running out of options as Sam Harts was bowled by Ryan Morton and needed to score 25 off the final over.
They were unable to knock off those runs as Cole bowled Nielson Cole to bring the game to a close and also giving the title to Neyland.
It brought to a close an excellent cricket season which has seen three different teams hold the lead at the top but with Neyland deserved winners.
Impressive win for Mikey
FISHGUARD boxer Mikey O’Sullivan secured an impressive victory over a top English opponent in the England v Wales international at Cannock at the weekend.
The Ysgol Bro Gwaun pupil, who boxes for Cardigan ABC, overcame Mike Smith (Pinewood Star ABC) on a split decision to help Wales to an 8-7 victory.
The result more than made up for the disappointment of O’Sullivan’s controversial points defeat against Luke Rodder in the previous Wales v England international.
Wales survive Fiji scare to book quarter final place
WALES booked their place in the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup on Wednesday as they survived a scare from Fiji.
The Fijians led 10-0 early on and 17-14 in the second half but a try hat trick from Josh Adams helped them eventually seal the victory.
Fiji made a bright start but a loose pass gave Wales possession. However, James Davies was then guilty of being offside and Fiji opted for a scrum near the try line.
They worked it to the right for Josua Tuisova who forced his way over despite the attentions of three Wales players. Ben Volavola missed the conversion from wide on the right but Fiji led 5-0 after the opening five minutes.
Wales thought they had scored a minute later when Josh Navidi went over but the ball had been knocked on earlier in the move.
Fiji then broke through again and Frank Lomani touched the ball down, but after checking with the TMO the pass to him was judged forwards.
The referee stayed with the TMO to check for foul play and it was Ken Owens who was yellow carded for a tip tackle.
Fiji didn’t let the disallowed try get to them and they again worked it to the right for Kini Murimurivalu who rolled over before touching down. Volavola’s conversion from out wide again was just wide.
Tevita Cavubati was then yellow carded for a shoulder charge to the back temporarily making it 14 vs 14.
After 18 minutes Dan Biggar kicked across field to the left for Josh Adams who took the ball well before touching down. Biggar then added the conversion from out wide to make it 10-7 to Fiji.
With 26 minutes gone the ball was played to Adams again who dived over but the TMO adjudged that Adams’ foot had just gone into touch.
Fiji were defending well and had forced Wales back but Semi Kunatani was guilty of being offside and was given a yellow card after a series of Fiji indiscretions.
With half an hour gone Wales, after looking to bulldoze their way over, passed out left to Adams again who this time went over for the try. Biggar was successful with the conversion again to give Wales a 14-10 lead.
Shortly before half time Fiji thought they had scored a third try but Volavola’s pass to Viliame Mata was forward.
Half time came with Wales winning 14-10 but the game was still very much in the balance.
Fiji started the second half well and came close to the line but James Davies turned the ball over after seven minutes to ease the pressure.
Davies was then penalised for stopping a drive and after an accumulation of penalties, he was shown a yellow card.
Fiji kicked to touch and set up a maul but after it was brought down near the line, referee Jerome Garces marched under the posts to award a penalty try.
That put the Fijians 17-14 ahead and Wales then lost Dan Biggar to a head injury. He and Liam Williams both went for a high ball with Biggar coming off worse. Biggar picked himself up but was replaced by Rhys Patchell.
Patchell was straight into the action as he scored a long-range penalty to bring the scores level.
Jonathan Davies then made a great break for the line and made a superb offload to Adams who dived over to touch the ball down. The try was checked by the TMO but Adams’ hat trick was soon confirmed. Patchell’s conversion came back off the post and the score stayed at 22-17.
Davies then limped off and he was replaced by Owen Watkin.
Fiji were keen to show that they were not out of the game and came forward again but gave away possession.
With ten minutes to go, Gareth Davies offloaded to Liam Williams who dived down near the posts to secure a bonus point for Wales. Patchell added the extras to put the men in red 29-17 ahead.
That try all but sealed the win for Wales and when the clock ticked past 80 minutes, they kicked into touch to bring the game to a close.
Wales take on Uruguay in their final pool game on Sunday (Oct 13), kick off at 9:15am.
West Wales Cup: First round preview
THIS Saturday the West Wales Cup gets underway once more with teams hopeful of a successful run to the Liberty Stadium for the final.
Merlins Bridge are the holders after they beat Carew in the final earlier this year and both have been given byes into the second round this season.
Last year marked the first time that two Pembrokeshire sides reached the final but will that happen again or will another team look to bring the county’s recent dominance to an end.
Goodwick United, Hakin United, Kidwelly Town and Tumble United are some of the other sides to receive byes to the second round.
Pembrokeshire League Champions Monkton Swifts begin their campaign away to Carmarthenshire Premier Division side Loughor Rovers.
The Swifts have made an unbeaten start to their league campaign while the Rovers have four wins from their opening seven games.
Carmarthenshire Premier League champions Trallwm host Swansea Division 1 side Penclawdd.
Both sides have had mixed starts to their season and will be keen to get their cup run going.
Neath League Division 1 side Cilfrew Rovers are the visitors to Fishguard on Saturday with both sides enjoying a good start to their respective seasons.
Clarbeston Road host Swansea League Division 2 side Cwmfelin Press and Neath Division 1 side Resolven are the visitors to Haverfordwest Cricket Club.
Pembrokeshire Division 2 side Herbrandston host Carmarthenshire Premier side Pengelli United.
Herbie have just one league win to their name so far this season while Pengelli have four wins from their opening seven games.
Swansea Division 1 outfit Morriston Town will visit Division 2 Hundleton in what will be a good test for the Pembrokeshire side.
Neyland host Neath Division 2 side Clydach Sports having sealed their first win of the season last weekend.
In two Pembrokeshire versus Carmarthenshire league ties, Letterston are at home to Evans and Williams while Pennar Robins host Dafen.
Dafen are second in Division 1 while the Robins are without a win so far this season.
Elsewhere, Kilgetty travel to Celtic Neath while Lawrenny travel to Bryn.
Division 2 Carmarthenshire side Abergwili host Division 1 FC Carmarthen while Carmarthen Town United host Wern.
Bancffosfelen were heavily beaten at the weekend and they will look to put that result behind them when they travel to Bonymaen Colts.
Premier Division Burry Port host Swansea League Division 3 side Cwm Albion Colts.
Bwlch have only had one win in the league this season and they host Neath Premier Division side FC Clydach who themselves only have two wins to their name so far.
Carmarthen Stars host Pontardawe while Pembrey host Cambrian.
Felinfoel earned a win in their last game in Division 1 and they go up against Carmarthen Premier side Pontarddulais.
Trostre are also at home as they take on Jersey Marine while Seaside travel to Sandfields.
St Ishmaels are away as they take on Gorseinon Athletic, Milford United travel to Murton Rovers and Narberth host Ynystawe.
Good luck to all sides involved.
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