Indoor Cricket - 2024 Men's Play-Off Finals

Champions - Neyland A

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Neyland reign supreme – Again! (By Bill Carne)

Venue: Neyland Community Hub
Umpires: Chris Stapleton & Steve Williams
Scorers: Ginny Davies & Kirsty Hannon
Neyland showed why they are regarded as the best indoor cricket team, not only in Pembrokeshire but across Wales, as they comfortably beat Pembroke and Hook in the play-off finals after beating their opponents into second and third places in the actual league season – but both other clubs can take real consolation from the fact that, as organiser Patrick Hannon rightly said in the presentation, both were only promoted last season and have significantly helped to raise the overall standard of the game in Pembrokeshire.
The three games were played over a maximum of 12 overs per team, rather than the usual ten in this county, because the forthcoming Welsh Final has that format, and so Neyland now go forward to play Felinfoel, from the Swansea area, at the Neyland Community Hub on Sunday, 4th February, 2024.
As well as the presentation of the trophy to Neyland co-captains Sean Hannon and Ross Hardy, it was appropriate the individual awards went to players from the other two teams, with Pembroke captain Jack Harries winning the batting and Hook’s Liam Miller winning the trophy for most wickets – and Pembroke vice-captain and wicket-keeper Luke Butler was also mentioned for pouching the most catches.
Patrick Hannon also thanked umpires Chris Stapleton and Steve Williams for their superb support over the season – and Bill Carne of, who presented the individual medals, for writing match reports for all 60 games and providing the only cover from any media outlet or web site.

Match One:


Hook pounce as Pembroke feel the pressure


Hook (97 all out) beat Pembroke (77 all out) by 20 runs

Hook showed their growth in the game as their talented quintet of young players, ably guided by their father-figure in Daf Bowen, outlasted Pembroke to claim victory in the first game, the ‘old timer’ helping them to a decent total as he came in last and stroked four fours in his 21. It came after they had made a great start with 51 runs from their first four overs via Liam Miller, Callum James and George James, who had only returned from New Zealand the day before.
But then skipper Aled and brother Rhys Phelps went cheaply as Gareth Long caused havoc in his three-over spell which earned him figures of 3 for 11, aided by 15 extras, 11 of them from wides.
At the half-way stage must have been slight favourites but they suffered a body blow when their ‘Mr Consistency’ Jack harries was bowled by his opposite number having raced to 13 for only four balls – but Long and Alan Webster pulled them back in line as Long belted a six and Webster two fours – but from 48 for 1 they lurched to 64 for 4 as Webster and Luke Butler were victims of good fielding and White was well caught by Aled Phelps’ second catch, after his first saw him with a nasty graze from a dive. It was the beginning of the end for Pembroke as skipper Phelps claimed 2 for 26 and with other wickets from George James and the ubiquitous Mr Bowen!
Hook batting:
Liam Miller ct Luke Butler b Alan Webster 21
Callum James ct & b Gareth Long 15
George James run out 15
Aled Phelps b Gareth Long 4
Rhys Phelps ct Luke Butler b Sam Davies 6
Daf Bowen b Gareth Long 21
Extras 15
Total (all out) 97
Pembroke 1sts Bowling:
Jack Harries 0-21, Alan Webster 1-21, Sam davies 1-26, Gareth Long 3-12
Pembroke 1sts  Batting:
Jack Harries b Aled Phelps 13
Gareth Long ct Aled Phelps b George James 22
Alan Webster run out 18
Luke Butler run out 9
Paul White ct Aled Phelps b Daf Bowen 1
Sam Davies ct Liam Miller b Aled Phelps 8
Total (all out) 77
Hook Bowling:
Callum James 0-20; Aled Phelps 2-26, Rhys Phelps 0-9, George James 1-10, Daf Bowen 1-11.

Runners-up - Hook

Match Two:

Neyland show their all-round class


Pembroke (66 all out) lost to Neyland A  (67 for 1) by 5 wickets:

Pembroke were clearly suffering from the disappointment of defeat in the first match as they went in to bat against Neyland and quickly lurched to 24 for 3 as they lost their key run makers.
Jack Harries was superbly caught by Ross Hardy off the netted side wall, diving low to his left off Patrick Hannon, who quickly removed Alan Webster as his brother Sean took a simpler catch off the same wall - and Gareth Long was playing back to Sean Hannon when he would have been better playing off the front foot.
Luckily for Pembroke, they still had Luke Butler at the crease and he showed his class and he found support from Paul White before he fell to Jack John when he looked set for a bigger score, but Sam Davies didn’t stay long as he was a victim of another Sean Hannon catch off brother Patrick, who had only been called into action at the last minute before showing Neyland’s strength in depth with a splendid 3 for 11 haul from his three overs.
But Butler moved to 32 off only 20 balls before he gave Patrick Hannon his second catch, diving to give Ross Hardy a deserved wicket as Neyland showed how good they are in the field by shooting out Pembroke with one ball left of their allotted overs - and with Sean Hannon allowing only four scoring shoots from his three overs!
Neyland then showed their batting strength as Paul Murray (24 not out) and Ross Hardy (retired with 27, including two fours and a six) - before Murray gave the opposition their only wicket as his very powerful low drive saw Long unable to hold a very difficult chance but deflected the ball onto the stumps to run out Andrew Miller for 9 as the veteran still recorded a three-figure average to show his value to the team.
Neyland strolled to their target in only 6.5 overs and in doing so set up what became a final against an eager Hook side waiting patiently in the wings.
Pembroke 1sts Batting:
Jack Harries ct Ross Hardy b Patrick Hannon 6
Gareth Long b Sean Hannon 2
Alan Webster run out 1
Luke Butler run out 32
Paul White ct Aled Phelps b Daf Bowen 19
Sam Davies ct Liam Miller b Aled Phelps 1
Extra 5
Total (66 all out)
Neyland A Bowling:
Jack John 1-15, Patrick Hannon 3-11, Ross Hardy 0-16, Sean Hannon 1-9, Andrew Miller 0-13.
Neyland A Batting:
Paul Murray not out 24
Ross Hardy retired 27
Andrew Miller run out 9
Sean Hannon not out 0
Extras 7
Total (1 wicket) 67
Pembroke 1sts Bowling:
Jack Harries 0-8, Alan Webster 0-13, Sam Davies 0-20, Paul White 0-14, Gareth Long 0-11

Third Place - Pembroke 1sts

Match Three:

Hook lose their way after good start


Hook (97 all out) lost to Neyland A  (97 for 3) by 3 wickets

Hook skipper Aled Phelps lost his ninth toss out of ten starts and was asked to bat first against Neyland, who applied early pressure when Callum James was bowled by Jack John - but Liam Miller and George James quickly advanced the score to 50 in five overs before Miller was sweetly stumped by outstanding keeper Paul Murray off Patrick Hannon.
Hook advanced to 68 but then they allowed Neyland pressure to tell as Aled Phelps (13), Rhys Phelps and Daf Bowen were run out in the space of 12 balls to leave George James on his own.
But James certainly set Neyland a challenge as he ran really well between the wickets, aided by Bowen as the runner at the other end - and he caught the eye with some excellent batting.
And in the final over he struck five threes off as many deliveries but then was run out seeking what would have been a deserved 50 - but had thrown down the gauntlet to the Neyland batsmen.
Neyland openers Paul Murray and Ross Hardy certainly accepted the challenge as they belted 40 from the first three overs before Murray was well caught bu George James at mid-on off Bowen.
Andrew Miller was clearly determined not get run out again and provided the perfect foil for Hardy, who inevitably reached 28 before compulsory retirement, Miller found further support from Sean Hannon and Jack Jones until the finishing post was in sighed and both departed as Hook refused to surrender - but after only scoring three runs in the penultimate to tie the scores over it was perhaps appropriate that excellent league organiser Patrick Hannon calmly stroked the first ball of the 12th over for a single to give his side the silverware for the eighth time in ten years.
Hook Batting:
Liam Miller st Paul Miller b Patrick Hannon 17
Callum James b Jack John 7
George James run out 47
Aled Phelps run out 13
Rhys Phelps run out 1
Daf Bowen run out 2
Extras 9
Total (all out) 96
Neyland 1sts Bowling:
Jack John 1-12, Patrick Hannon 0-27, Ross Hardy 0-16, Sean Hannon 0-31
Neyland 1sts Batting:
Paul Murray ct George James b Daf Bowen 18
Ross Hardy retired 28
Andrew Miller not out 18
Sean Hannon ct George James b Daf Bowen 11
Jack John run out 11
Patrick Hannon not out 4
Extras 7
Total (3 wickets) 97
Hook Bowling:
Callum James 0-19, Aled Phelps 0-14, Rhys Phelps 0-20, Daf Bowen 2-16, George James 0-16

Winning captains - Ross Hardy and Sean Hannon with Patrick Hannon

Umpires - Chris Stapleton and Steve Williams

Bowling award winner - Liam Miller (Hook) with Patrick Hannon

Battiing award winner - Jack Harries (Pembroke) with Patrick Hannon