2020 Harrison-Allen Bowl Snippets


Hugh Harrison-Allen and Sean HannonDeserved winners

It was a very competitive game of cricket before tea but then Neyland’s greater all-round strength in depth paid off and even the most ardent Haverfordwest supporter would have to say that they were well beaten as dropped catches cost them dearly – and it was fitting that Sean Hannon should receive the coveted bowl from Hugh Harrison-Allen.


Five out of six is pretty good!

It was Sean’s sixth final for Neyland and after losing the first in 2009 it has been an impressive 100% win record since then. It was his second success at the helm and readily admits that he learned so much from previous skippers in brothers Andrew and Gregg Miller.

Richard Merriman and Steve Blowes

Well done, the County Club

Inevitably the issue of no spectators has irked a number of people around the county and surprisingly being one of the few leagues in Wales to get competitive cricket off the ground. As a former chairman myself I know just how impossible it can be to please everyone so to new chairman Richard Merriman and experienced Hon secretary Steve Blowes I have to say well done – and keep up the good work.


Cresselly Cricket Club – brilliant organisation!

Cresselly Cricket Club is rightly proud of their club and they were acting under instructions from the Welsh Government and Cricket Wales on how the game was to be run – and did a great job. So well done hon sec Stef Jenkins and his hard-working band of helpers – and to Mr Hugh Harrison-Allen for giving his usual support to his cause!

Cresselly ground staff

Great groundsmen

I say it every year and I’ll say it again – the ground staff are amazing! To have a delayed start of only 20 minutes speaks volumes after all the horrible weather we’ve had lately – and the whole playing area was immaculate. Richard Arthur, Phil James, Glyn Cole, Denis Chiffi and Martin Perkins deserve a special medal from Pembroke County Cricket Club for their tireless efforts. Our picture features the first four but Martin was unavailable because, he said later, he did all the dirty work and had to go off for a shower!

Steve Blowes and Dave Brandon

Two English umpires in charge

There were two very experienced umpires in charge in Steve Blowes and Dave Brandon and they did a good job as they became the first English pairing to officiate in tandem at a Bowl Final. Steve hails from London and Dave is a proud Lancastrian – and there is another coincidence too because Steve was a policeman in ‘The Met’ and Dave pounded his beat ‘Up North’!


Richard Merriman and scorersExperienced scorers in both camps

It is a well-documented fact that Jayne Cole was scoring her 18th final for Haverfordwest, an amazing record that is never likely to be matched. But John Laugharne can also be proud of his involvement at Neyland because the 80 year old was scoring in his sixth final, the last five as a winner. But he also PLAYED in eight finals, the first one almost 60 years ago. Both did their usual upper job and are a credit to their clubs!


Steve Blowes and Ashley SuttonAsh wins his second man of the match award . . .

Congratulations must go to Ashley Sutton, Neyland’s powerhouse batsman for following his choice as man of the match award in 2013 with this second one in 2020. Ash is an excellent stroke player and scored 34 and 53, innings which contained no fewer than nine sixes, plus his running between the wickets as an added bonus. He’s also one of the best fielders in the county so saved a few runs too!


Nathan Banner. . . And Nathan destroyed Haverfordwest hopes!

Occasionally one sees innings of terrific importance and after Sutton’s star role we also saw a knock of such power and class that it remains in the memory. Many years ago I can still recall Peter ‘Jacket’ James hitting rivals Carew out of a final and last season’s two amazing innings by Adam James joined others in my memory bank. But on Saturday I have no doubt that Nathan Banner’s splendid innings for Neyland destroyed any vestiges of hope that Haverfordwest had. On this day he amalgamated raw power with exquisite timing and his 64 came in only 22 balls, including four fours and five huge straight sixes – and sent their score to unreachable heights.

Adam James


Jamer just misses out

For a short time in The Town’s first innings it looked as if Adam James might just repeat last season’s heroics as he smashed five equally big sixes in his 34 runs before being caught in the deep and another in the second innings as he bravely went out to bat after being injured bowling. So it wasn’t Jamer’s day but I would have him in my ‘select XI’ side any day because there is no bigger-hearted player in the county!

Richard Scriven

Scrivs makes a noise – and Merriman enjoys his first final in charge

Two of the larger than life characters involved all day were the two Richards – Merriman and Scriven, the former for the first time having been announcer for some time. Alongside him (but socially distanced) was one of the newer county club committeemen in ‘Big Scrivs’ who regards himself as something of a DJ and he played his special brand of music throughout the day. It is not always to the liking of real old fogies like me but there is no doubt that both give 100% to what they do in the county’s cause.

Martin Jones and Peter Davies

Jack and Martin aredelighted to hold The Bowl

Two other county club committeemen in attendance happen to be from Neyland and both deserve a mention for their involvement with club and county. Peter Jack’ Davies is the Neyland team manager and first aider and loves his cricket whilst Martin is club chairman as well as county junior and youth organiser – and were very proud to hold The Bowl aloft after the players had finished with it.

Kirsty and Sean Hannon

Family occasion for Neyland

Neyland were determined to treat the final as a family event and so some wives, fiancées, mums and dads were part of their special guest list – and Sean Hannon’s wife Kirsty was thrilled to be part of the day because she is such a great cricket supporter, although it took them away for the day and night from children Luna and Ronnie.

Scott and Martin Jones


Father and son share joy

Going back to Martin Jones for a second there was further joy because his youngest son Scott was out there in the middle for his third final at the ripe old age of 22. They shared a moment afterwards and it is what makes cricket the great family sport it is.

Ian, Brad and Mary

Brad joined by mum and dad . . .

It was also lovely to see Brad McDermott-Jenkins enjoying his first winner’s medal after two previous losses at Lawrenny – and he shared a huge hug from his parents Mary and Ian which reflected the joy they also felt in their son.

Brad, Sean and Ross

. . . And with skipper Sean and Ross!

There was a nice touch from Sean Hannon because he also insisted on sharing the moment with Brad and Ross Hardy, playing his first final and taking a part in the victory as he bowled and batted well. “I know what it is like to get my hands on The Bowl for the first time and it was nice to celebrate theirs too,” said the inspirational Neyland skipper.

Sean and Patrick Hannon

Nice moment for the Hannon twins

It would be interesting to know how many pairs of twins have played in the final (Paul Webb, over to you!) but for Sean Hannon and brother Patrick it was their fifth shared final, with Patrick having missed one because of work commitments. It formed an important weekend for them because it was their birthday the next day – and boy did they celebrate!


And finally . . .

So the final has come and gone for 2020 and hopefully there will never be another one like it in the future. The corona virus meant that it was played in a surreal atmosphere but both teams and officials deserve credit for making it work – and I felt sorry for the family twosome, one an umpire, who turned up more in hope than expectation – and were inevitably disappointed!