The rise and fall in Pembrokeshire League cricket

2019 Division One Champions Neyland

Who will win titles, gain promotion or make the ‘Dreaded Drop’ with only two weeks left?

We look at the possibilities in all five divisions!

With just two matches left for clubs in the Pembroke County Cricket League, sponsored by the Thomas Carroll Group, the main issues in divisions one and two have been decided in terms of titles, promotion and relegation - but there are some real battles still to be fought in the lower echelons at the tops and bottoms of the respective section tables.

Neyland are deservedly kings – Burton and Llangwm go down

Neyland are currently the undoubted kings of Pembrokeshire Cricket as they have already won the division one crown for the second season in succession; their success against runners-up Lawrenny last Saturday allowed celebrations to begin in earnest at the Athletic Club.

Sean Hannon's boys left Lawrenny with a massive 68-point lead and, apart from a rare blip when they lost by three runs to Saundersfoot, have dominated events and created a double by winning the DR Morris Cup. It is hard to find a weakness in their team and with Ross Hardy providing another powerful string to their bow it is hard to find a reason already why they won't complete the treble next campaign!

Lawrenny can feel well pleased despite runners-up medals in the league and DR Morris Cup, plus their final appearance at the Harrison-Bowl and, like Neyland, it is hard to find any real weaknesses in their set-up.

At the other end of the table it is Llangwm and Burton who make the 'dreaded drop' and it is disappointing because neither team has played to its full potential and paid the inevitable price. But both will be in the challenge for promotion in 2020 because both are currently yo-yo teams which are too good for division two but struggle at the highest level!

Titanic final-day clash might decide division two whilst Johnston and Cresselly 2nds feel the pinch!

It is a similar story in division two as Llechryd and Narberth are promoted: a rare experience for Llechryd since it is almost two decades since they last played there, but with Narberth making a speedy return and still in with a chance of snatching the silverware from their rivals since they meet at Llechryd in the final game of the season.

Relegated to the third division are Johnston and Cresselly 2nds, who have graced the division for a long time but at least have the consolation of very talented youngsters beginning to break through. Johnston picked up their first win in almost two seasons at Carew in their previous match and with the likes of John Summons and Steve James at the helm will be looking for a quick return!

Battle royal for promotion from division three – and relegation too!

It is the battle for promotion from the third division that captures the imagination with Llanrhian (380), Lamphey (375) and Herbrandston (374) all desperate to go up a section but knowing that one of them is going to be disappointed! Herbie play Lamphey this Saturday whilst Llanrhian travel to Pill Parks so the position could certainly be clearer on Saturday evening, especially since Llangwm are fewer than 20 points ahead of Haverfordwest 3rds and Whitland 2nds to see who will join Lawrenny Seconds in relegation – and sides have been known to strengthen from their first teams as a means of escape!


Tish or Neyland – toss a coin in the fourth division!

The main issue in division four is who will be champions since the second teams of Neyland (421) and St Ishmaels (420) are already promoted, over 120 points ahead of the rest and since they don’t play each other in the final two weeks it depends on who comes out on top against teams below them – and I wouldn’t want to predict the rests but will watch with great interest!

At the other end of the table Haverfordwest Fourths are already doomed but who goes down with them?  Carew Thirds (221), Saundersfoot Seconds (223), Hook Seconds (235) and Burton 2nds (241) are all in danger and once again I fear there might be some strengthening going on!

Ifs and buts in division five

Whitland Thirds (233) and Hundleton (221) are favourites to come out of division five but Neyland Thirds (208) and Kilgetty Seconds (206) retain an interest, especially with Whitland having a bye on Saturday and  Hundleton having a bye in the final week, so lots could happen there.

At the other end of the table the whole league structure is held up by Stackpole Seconds but they deserve a special mention because at one stage it looked as if they might not be able to finish their schedule – but they did and hopefully will come back stronger, and with more players, in 2020!