Draw for popular cricket competition made for 2024

Rhian and Richard Howell


Ken Morris Memorial Cup Competition:

The draw for the Ken Morris Memorial Cup was made before the AGM of the Pembroke County Cricket Club in Haverfordwest this week and there will be nine teams included for the trophy, presented by the Morris family in memory of Ken, who was a stalwart member of Narberth Cricket Club and a highly respected umpire for a number of years, before he passed away 16 years ago, writes Bill Carne.
The idea from the outset was that it was in the main for clubs’ third teams so that it would be a chance for teenagers, some as young as 13 or 14, to play alongside older players, often their fathers or big brothers, and gain experience of 20/20 cricket where participation was a keynote element.

Superbly organised – with great trophies!

It has always been superbly run by Richard Howell, aided and abetted by his wife Rhian, on behalf of the club’s committee and one of the real features of the competition is that there have been very few of the midweek games not played, such is the popularity of it amongst participating clubs.
The trophies for the finalists are terrific quality, indeed far better than most cup competitions for a range of sports played in the area, some not even engraved and left in the changing rooms afterwards by the runners-ups!
Last season saw a slight, but important change, when the semi-finals and final were all played on a bank holiday Monday on the Narberth ground and it was generally agreed that the innovation was excellent before Hundleton were crowned as winners.

Slight problems that needed answers

 And therein lies a slight problem because Hundleton have only one team which plays in the lower echelons of local league cricket, but were keen to play because one of the reasons that they wanted to be involved was their late president, John Williams, had always given support to the competition and so Narberth decided to grant them  entry because a number of their league matches were played against other clubs’ third teams anyway.
Another team that was allowed entry was The Nomads, whose organiser Gareth ‘Gizmo’ Morgan I count as a good friend, but I told him from the outset that my only problem with that was the fact that a they included some players, albeit a relatively small number, who regularly played cricket for clubs in the higher sections of the league and were, in my opinion, too good to be involved against teams who were involved from division four down, as their statistics would show.
Another of their players was also a friend of mine in Ollie Cook, a genuine character and one of the best all-rounders to play for  Narberth in his era, who has stepped down from playing regularly because of getting a bit older, and his work commitments, and so in my opinion there could be no objection to him playing when he has time. To me, it has to be about not playing regularly on a Saturday for a strong club and doing really well yet still playing in this competition in midweek
I understand their disappointment at not being included this season but as someone who has always enjoyed the competition and supported it on this web site from the outset, I feel that in general it is the right decision.

Richard Howell with the Morris Family at a recent final

Seniors disappointed but they will still have plenty of cricket

Another group of players who have applied to join the competition over the last couple of seasons has been the Pembrokeshire Seniors’ team set up, as their name indicates, to give the chance to older players, some of them senior citizens, to enjoy the genuine fellowship that exists amongst them.
They are all keen too just play cricket and are a great advertisement for the game in our county but my problem with them taking part is again that they have a number of players who are still outstanding cricketers; indeed, four of them have been representing Wales in the World Cup for their age group in India!
In the indoor league a few of them are regular wicket-takers or have scored half centuries and whilst they might be a little slower in the field I genuinely believe the squad is too good overall to compete against the current participating teams.
They also have the chance to enter the excellent Midweek T20 league run by Craig Butland and so I’m sure they can still find enough cricket to keep those old legs going!

Please play in the right spirit, where winning isn’t everything

My only grouse is that some clubs have taken the competition a little too seriously because if they have a first team player who has missed the major cup competitions held under the auspices of the County Club, they are included in the third team taking part in the Ken Morris Cup - and it comes as little surprise when their team has won and the player has been chosen as man of the match!
I firmly believe that clubs should remember the spirit of this competition and not select anyone who has played more thana couple of games for their first team.
So in providing the draw we at PembrokeshireSport.co.uk wish all the teams every success but, even more importantly, enjoy the pleasure of taking part and the company of opposing teams. In last season’s competition I watched one game where there were players as young as 13 and ten teenagers taking part alongside those who will never aspire to reach the higher echelons, plus two dads who had two sons each playing with them - It was brilliant!

Richard Howell and writer Bill Carne at a recent final

Ken Morris Memorial Cup Draw:


The top two in each section to go through to finals’ day:

Group A:
Pembroke Dock
Group B: