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Neyland claim the title as Cresselly slip up

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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.

Sport

Veteran Vikings on top

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HAKIN United are top of the Welsh Veterans League following a 6-0 victory over Nelson Cavaliers at the Observatory last Sunday (Nov 11).

The result puts the Vikings one point ahead of current Champions Trefelin BGC, with the Port Talbot outfit having a game in hand.

However, last Sunday, despite the final score, It was Nelson that were missing the early chances with Hakin goalkeeper Jason Morgan saving a one on one and a penalty before Hakin took the lead midway through the first half.

Stuart MacDonald broke down the left and set up Matthew Price for a tap in to make it 1-0.

Minutes later, Hakin doubled their lead as Michael McCarthy headed home a MacDonald corner.

Just before half time, McCarthy put Price in the clear and the striker hammered a shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Early in the second half, Nelson missed another penalty before Price set up McCarthy to score from close range.

Ali Davies put Leigh Walters through to lift the ball over the keeper for number five and the same two players combined again for Walters to score his second, beating the keeper at his post.

Hakin next play in the Welsh Veterans Cup Preliminary Round away to Pencoed Athletic on Sunday (Nov 25).

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Gerard Gray, Nigel Delaney, Richard Bland, Adam Collins, Ali Davies, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Michael McCarthy, Leigh Waters, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Nigel Armstrong, Matthew Price, Stuart MacDonald, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Sport

Blues too good for Neyland

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HAVERFORDWEST closed the gap to leaders Neyland as they condemned them to a second defeat in as many games on Saturday (Nov 10).

The Blues made a good start and it was Craig Barnett who put them into the lead with a try which he then converted. Barnett then added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Haverfordwest continued to put the pressure on and Barnett extended their lead with a penalty.

Barnett then added two further penalties before half time to give his side a 16-0 lead at the break.

Both sides had chances to score at the start of the second half but errors meant the score stayed the same.

Patrick Bellerby came close to scoring for the All Blacks but Haverfordwest defended well to keep him out.

At the other end a Neyland clearance kick was blocked and kicked on with Barnett giving chase but he was beaten to the ball by Bellerby and Neyland were able to clear.

The visitors then went up the other end and came close to scoring but they gave the ball away. The referee was not happy with the scrums and after three attempts gave a penalty to Neyland from which Luke Griffiths-Dawes dived over. George Evans sent the resulting penalty wide.

Any thoughts Neyland had of making a comeback were quickly dashed as Jamie Zambas increased the home side’s lead with a converted try.

Neyland did pull another try back late on through Craig Power and Evans converted but it wasn’t enough as the Blues saw the game out.

The All Blacks are still top of the table but Haverfordwest are now just a point behind. Milford lie in third, two points behind with two games in hand on their rivals.

The teams are next in action on Saturday, November 24, when leaders Neyland travel to St Davids and Haverfordwest are also away to Llanybydder.

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Sport

Bluebirds through in thriller

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HAVERFORDWEST County scored late on to seal their progress into round three of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Nov 10) as they beat Swansea University 4-3 at the Bridge Meadow.

A good crowd gathered for the game and they witnessed a thriller as the Bluebirds went two goals up only for Swansea to peg them back to 2-2 before half time.

Sean Pemberton grabbed the winning goal late on and the home side will now look forward to their third round tie.

The home side looked to take an early advantage and they made the breakthrough after ten minutes when Lee Trundle played an excellent ball into the middle for Ben Fawcett who fired into the bottom left corner.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0 the ball was played through for Trundle who ran onto it and fired in to the bottom left from the penalty spot.

It looked as if the Bluebirds might go in at half time with the lead but Swansea were soon back into it with ten minutes to go.

The Uni side won a corner and after it wasn’t cleared properly the ball fell to Declan McAde who rifled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

They weren’t done there and three minutes later the ball was played into the box and was touched in by the unfortunate Tim Hicks with the Uni’s Levi Houapeu in close proximity.

There was still time for more first half drama and it came a minute later when Trundle again played the ball through for Fawcett who scored his second of the game.

The Students were then given a penalty after Houapeu was fouled but keeper Steve Hall made an excellent save to keep the score at 3-2.

Hall was called upon in the second half to keep his side ahead with more good saves while at the other end Danny Williams came close to scoring.

With ten minutes to go the Students brought themselves back level as Houapeu put the ball in the net and all of a sudden an upset was on the cards.

It looked as if extra time would be needed but two minutes from the end Jack Wilson threw the ball into the box for Sean Pemberton who drove the ball in.

The Bluebirds saw the game out and the whistle brought an end to a thrilling cup tie.

The draw for Round three was made on Monday (Nov 12), and the Bluebirds were drawn at home against fellow Welsh League Division 1 side Pontypridd Town.

Before that they will return to action in Division 1 on Saturday (Nov 17) as they travel to fourth placed Cwmbran Celtic.

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