Banner helps Neyland to narrow Alec Colley Cup victory

Neyland 2nds celebrate victory

Alec Colley Cup final:

Neyland 2nds (146 for 4 and 152 for 4) beat Cresselly 2nds (127 for 4 and 165 for 5) by 6 runs


Umpires: Richard Merriman and Trefor Evans.

Scorers: Jenny Seaton and Des Brace.


Man of the Match: Nathan Banner

Adjudicators: Phil Tallett (Stackpole) and Tony Scourfield (Carew)


Venue: Treleet Ground, Pembroke

Steve Blowes and Paul MillerFor the first time since 1991, the Alec Colley Cup belongs to Neyland after they came through an absorbing match with Cresselly that went down to the final ball at Treleet, Pembroke.

Having led by 19 at tea, Paul Miller’s men made 152-4 in their second innings to set The Doves 172 to win, and after a tense chase skipper Matthew Lewis was left needing a six off the last ball to tie the scores.

He wasn’t able to get anything off Jamie Smith’s delivery though, the youngster staying ice cool in his final over to help the club secure a third domestic trophy of the summer.


Big guns fire

Inevitably, much of the focus in the final build up centred on Nathan Banner and Simon Cole, two players usually pivotal to their respective first teams who weren’t cup tied, and sure enough they didn’t disappoint.

Eventual man of the match Banner had knocks of 76 and 97, as well as wickets in both innings, while Cole led the Cresselly response both times with 55 and then 69 not out. But both sides were also able to field a good mix of club veterans and youngsters, and it all added up to an enthralling afternoon of cricket.

 A poignant minutes silence

A poignant start

Emotions were stirred before a ball was bowled as after Paul Webb paid tribute to John Williams following last week’s tragic news, both sides observed a minute’s silence. Collections were later made via a raffle for the Wales Air Ambulance, and one of John’s sons, Phil ‘Taffy’ Williams, was also in attendance on an afternoon that put all things Pembrokeshire cricket into perspective.

Neyland get off to a solid start

Paul Webb and Nathan BannerWhen the action did start it was Banner and Lewis Page who opened up for Neyland after Lewis had won the toss and opted to field, and the pair batted steadily to reach 48 without loss in eight overs.

It was then that Page (23) was bowled by Lyn Richards and Stephen Murray (9) soon went the same way to Lewis, and Gavin Rowland (11) was stumped by Neal Williams off Ollie Richards to leave Neyland 99-3 in 15 overs.

But then Banner inevitably accelerated, finishing with four fours and five sixes to his name when on 76 he holed out to Lewis off the captain’s nephew Josh. Patrick Hannon (17 not out) also made vital runs and Neyland’s total of 146-4 appeared a decent one.


Cresselly run into early trouble

It proved to be the case when Cresselly’s reply got a nightmare start. From the very first ball Neal Williams drove Hannon into the leg side but he and Mike Venables needlessly risked running two to Banner – whose sharp pick up and throw saw the latter run out without facing a ball.

And in the same over, Williams nicked behind to keeper Luke Ryan and The Doves were 1 for 2 and up against it.

But then came a stand of 83 between Cole and Scott Arthur, and the latter stroked four boundaries to help get his side back into it before being well caught for 32 by Miller off veteran spinner Gary Lloyd.

Cole hit five fours and two sixes in his half century before being trapped lbw by Banner, and although that stalled momentum Lewis (18 not out) and Richards (11 not out) took the Doves to 19 off the Neyland total as they finished on 127 for 4.

Runners-up Cresselly 2nds


Banner bangs Neyland past 150

It was then Banner who took centre stage with a brutal knock of 97 in Neyland’s second innings.

After fellow opener Lewis Page (9) had spooned a shot to Richards at mid-on off talented spinner Josh Lewis, Banner and Hannon shared a stand of 115, with the latter making just 26 of them.

The all-rounder crashed seven fours and five sixes, one of which was a mammoth shot that cleared the clubhouse at Treleet – and was just three short of a century when he was bowled by Lewis attempting another heave in the final over.

Cresselly’s captain took two more late wickets to help restrict the total, having both Hannon and Luke Ryan stumped by Neal Williams in successive balls, to take 3-39, as Neyland finished with 152 for        3.


Fireworks in first over

A winning target of 172 looked a big one for Cresselly but in an eventful first over, Williams showed they meant business by lofting Hannon for a leg side four and then hitting two further boundaries, while also surviving being dropped by 12th man Callum Woods, who was on for an injured Gavin Rowland.

But in the second over Venables (2) unluckily chopped a ball onto his bails off Lloyd and after Cole announced himself with a couple of boundaries Williams (15) also went, clean bowled by Banner.

Woods then made amends by snaffling Scott Arthur (8) off the same bowler and Richards (2) was caught by Page off Lloyd, and at 47-4 Cresselly were on the ropes.

But Cole kept building and was joined by Stefan Jenkins, and in the 12th over they took 18 off an erratic Miller to take the score to 104-4, leaving them needing 68 off eight overs.


Tense finale

Neyland weren’t helping their own cause as the ‘extras’ tally began to rise, and although with the total on 123 for 4, Jenkins (23) was caught in the deep by a juggling Banner of Hannon, Lewis came in and immediately hit the same bowler for a straight six to keep momentum going.

The equation became 23 off three overs but it was then that Smith and Hannon kept their cool, conceding just 10 between them in two of those overs as Cole appeared to tire as he tried to find the boundary rope.

Smith had the responsibility of the 20th with the Cresselly pair needing 13 to win, but after Lewis’ hook shot yielded three of the first ball, they shared just three singles off the next four before that final delivery - which was safely gathered behind the stumps by Ryan after Lewis couldn’t connect.


Richard Merriman and Trefor EvansA 28 year wait over

While Neyland first team have won every competition going in Pembrokeshire cricket in recent times, it has been almost three decades since the club captured the Alec Colley. The relief on Paul Miller’s face and that of his teammates was clear.

County Club Chairman Paul Webb congratulated both sides and thanked hosts Pembroke and all involved in the final, and it was PCCC secretary Steve Blowes who presented the Alec Colley Cup to Miller and his players.

Banner was duly handed the man of the match award and spectators were able to reflect on a hard-fought final, played without any ill-feeling or controversy, which was in the balance right until the final over.

The sort of a final that, no doubt, a gentleman like John Williams would have greatly enjoyed.



Neyland first innings:

Nathan Banner ct Matthew Lewis b Josh Lewis 76

Lewis Page b Lyn Richards 23

Stephen Murray b Matthew Lewis 9

Gavin Rowland st Neal Williams b Ollie Richards 11

Patrick Hannon not out 17

Paul Miller not out 0

Extras: 10.

Total: 146 for 4 wickets in 20 overs.

Bowling: Lyn Richards 5-0-25-1; Morgan Lewis 3-0-22-0; Matthew Lewis 4-0-28-1; Simon Cole 3-0-24-0; Ollie Richards 3-0-22-1; Josh Lewis 2-0-22-1.

Cresselly first innings:

Neal Williams ct Luke Ryan b Patrick Hannon 1

Mike Venables run out (Nathan Banner) 0

Simon Cole lbw Nathan Banner 55

Scott Arthur ct Paul Miller B Gary Lloyd 32

Matthew Lewis not out 18

Lyn Richards not out 11

Extras: 10.

Total: 127 for 4 wickets in 20 overs.

Bowling: Patrick Hannon 5-0-19-1; Jamie Smith 2-0-14-0; Paul Miller 3-0-26-0; Nathan Banner 5-0-31-1; Gary Lloyd 5-0-34-1.

Neyland second innings:

Nathan Banner b Matthew Lewis 97

Lewis Page ct Lyn Richards b Josh Lewis 9

Patrick Hannon st Neal Williams b Matthew Lewis 26

Stephen Murray not out 1

Luke Ryan st Neal Williams b Matthew Lewis 0

Extras: 19.

Total: 152 for 4 wickers in 20 overs.

Bowling: Lyn Richards 5-0-19-0; Ollie Richards 2-0-14-0; Josh Lewis 3-0-21-1; Matthew Lewis 5-0-39-3; Simon Cole 4-0-41-0; Morgan Lewis 1-0-9-0.

Cresselly second innings:

Neal Williams b Nathan Banner 15

Mike Venables b Gary Lloyd 2

Simon Cole not out 69

Scott Arthur ct Callum Woods b Nathan Banner 8

Lyn Richards ct Lewys Page b Gary Lloyd 2

Stefan Jenkins ct Nathan Banner b Patrick Hannon 23

Matthew Lewis not out 27

Extras: 19.

Total: 165 for 5 wickets in 20 overs.

Bowling: Patrick Hannon 5-0-49-1; Gary Lloyd 5-0-31-2; Nathan Banner 5-0-40-2; Paul Miller 1-0-18-0; Jamie Smith 4-0-25-0.

The hard-working Pembroke ground staff
Neyland celebrate victory
Runners-up Cresselly
Richard Merriman & Trefor Evans
Steve Blowes & Paul Miller
Paul Webb and Nathan Banner

A poignant minutes' silence
The hard-working Pembroke ground staff