2021 Harrison-Allen Bowl Snippets by Bill Carne

Neyland pre match

Congratulations to Neyland . . .

Let’s start off by congratulating Neyland on a masterful performance which saw them win by nine wickets and in doing so completed the double of League champions and Bowl winners under influential skipper Sean Hannon.
They have played so much cricket in the last six weeks that they could be forgiven for looking jaded but they played with amazing conviction and very high skill levels to seal their sixth success in the last 11 seasons – with, as far as we can tell – the best first innings score ever, the biggest lead after the first innings and the lowest number of wickets lost in a final. And then there’s Patrick Bellerby – but more of him later!  

. . . Commiserations to Carew

Lewis Hicks scored 95 runs in two innings for CarewCommiserations must go to Carew in defeat because although they would be disappointed about the result they appeared in their first final since 2012 and under Shaun Whitfield in his first season at the helm couldn’t be accused of not giving 100% - they just met Neyland on a day where they struggled against arguably the strongest team to come out of the county for many years, and perhaps ever.
They found themselves without a couple of key players but had useful performances from Lewis Hicks (95 runs from his combined two innings), alongside cameos from Nick and Rhys Davies, Brian Hall and Iori Hicks.
And the effervescent Sam Harts can also make a rare claim in the fact that he was the only successful Carew bowler in his first final for the club as he took 2 for 44 and 1 for 11 as reward for his never-say-die spirit that also saw him clout two big sixes in the final stages of The Rook’s second innings as he joined Iori Hicks in making sure Neyland didn’t win by an innings.

Well done Cresselly ground staff

As usual the ground at Cresselly looked an absolute picture, with a superb batting strip and lightning outfield that showed all the hard work the ground staff, led by chairman Richard Arthur and Glyn Cole, had undertaken all week.
The only thing missing was the large settee that they normally lounge about on after all their hard morning’s work but luckily there was a perfectly-placed picnic bunce which wasn’t as easy on the posteriors but provided them with a resting place for their deserved few pints. Our picture shows them all:

Cresselly ground staff

Front Row: Richard Arthur, Denis Chiffi; Phil James, Neal Williams
Back Row: Stefan Jenkins (the excellent hon secretary), Glyn Cole; John Arthur
Well done lads – see you next season!

Stumps at Cresselly

Even the stumps are classy at Cresselly!

Staying with Cresselly CC a second longer I’ve always said it is a club that has a bit of class and if you wanted proof on Saturday of how they do things with a bit of style you only had to loo k at the stumps for the big day – wow!
It bet they need security guards after top matches to make sure they are not taken as mementoes, like they are in test matches!

Steve Blowes with programme

County programmes are top quality

There is no doubt that the programmes produced by the Pembroke County Cricket Club are as good as any to be seen in any sport throughout Wales, with hon sec Steve Blowes at the helm as he co-ordinates the pen pictures supplied by the clubs, makes sure there are lots of sponsors and interesting articles and minor details regarding cricket here that make it a worthwhile read. He also links with publisher Clive James, who uses his expertise to create the programmes. So well done again both Steve and Clive.


Hugh Harrison-Allen and Nick Evans

Hugh looked the part at the final

It was nice to chat to Hugh Harrison-Allen, whose family presented the magnificent trophy all those years ago – and he performed his presentation of the Bowl with his usual aplomb, assisted by Nick Evans, the president of the Pembroke County Cricket Club.
Hugh loves a laugh and when I mentioned his bright orange trousers he had an appropriate answer about some people being able to carry off clothing with class – and when he presented Arthur Brady with his memento Hugh told the popular umpire, who retired from the police as an inspector, that he still remembered being booked by him for speeding in 1971!

Bowl replicaBowl and Replica – both magnificent!

I always look forward to seeing the magnificent Harrison-Allen Bowl on the big day because it must rank as one of the most impressive trophies in Wales. Such is its value that there is now a replica for the winning team for the year, whilst the Bowl goes back safely into the bank vaults.
When I was honoured with the county chairmanship I used to shudder that it was sometimes left at places like a shelf in the clubhouse or even the bar in a local pub but my suggestions for a replica fell on deaf years.
The Bowl’s award at Cresselly is just as impressive and Neyland also had that extra award on the day to enjoy!

Announcer Richard Scriven

Well done ‘Scrivs’!

I had to say a huge ‘well done’ to Richard Scriven, who is a committee member with the Pembroke County Cricket Club, for not only providing music for the day but also doubling up as a very good announcer who gave a big build up to incoming batsmen, successful fielders and bowlers and anything else that needed putting over the air waves.
I’m a 74 year old fogey and traditionalist who ‘Scrivs’ knows wasn’t a great fan regarding in the introduction of music but he provided a really good balance here – and it might just be that I enjoyed the music a little more than in other years. Perhaps it was the fact that it was played from 100 yeards away, rather than the 20 yeards of other years!

Martin Jones and Peter Davies

Breakfasts for both teams – and some big eaters!

As usual we have constructed our own survey on the eating habits of both camps prior to the match and on this occasion Neyland enjoyed their excellent breakfast at the Alumchine Restaurant at the Neyland Yacht Club headquarters. Apparently there were large and small breakfasts on offer and I’m reliably informed that the two biggest breakfasts were served to team manager Pater ‘Jack’ Davies and club chairman Martin Jones. One of the items on offer was sausages and it seems club scorer John Laugharne didn’t want his and this pair of troughers even fought over that too!
Meanwhile, The Rooks ate at the Carew Inn and there were some big eating done by Sam Harts, who can knock back the grub (it’s a family trait!) before he really played well in the bowling stakes!

Nick Scourfield

Gary LloydOld timers just miss out on final selection

Sam HartsSpare a thought for three old timers who just missed out on selection for the big day when they still have the skill levels to play a part.
For Nick Scourfield, Carew’s long-serving batsman, it would have been a tenth final and he would have created a record by appearing in finals over five different decades after making his debut in 1989. Nick doubles up as an excellent hon secretary of The Rooks and was at the final to cheer his team mates on – but I bet he would love to have been out in the middle and lending a little more stability to their batting line-up.
In the opposite camp, Gary Lloyd and Gregg Miller just missed out after doing a great job over the years and also this year, with ‘Gadgy’ taking 3 for 9 in nine overs in helping Neyland beat Lawrenny in a tense final league match – and Gregg having scored 44 and 13 in the Alec Colley Cup Final and also batting well for the first team in important matches outside the county.
But both are, like Nick, model club men and were there supporting their side but must have wondered what parts they might have played at another time!

Gregg Miller


Puffin sponsor the Bowl Final

The competition was again sponsored by Puffin Produce Ltd and their banner was very much in evidence at the presentation, with Gareth and Jason there as their representatives and presenting a special bottle of bubbly to winning captain Sean Hannon. Local sport needs help with sponsorship and it is nice to see Puffin providing financial help for such a big day on the local cricketing scene.
Senedd member Sam Kurtz and friends

Senedd member Sam enjoyed his day out

During the day I had a couple of conversations with Sam Kurtz, the recently-elected Senedd member, who now serves Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire in Cardiff but having a relaxing day out supporting local cricket in his area.
Sam is currently playing for his home town of Fishguard and this season scored more than his share of runs in helping them win division five to mark their return to cricket in style. – and is already looking to recruit a few players for his team’s assault on the fourth division in 2022 and hoping they can make their mark on the Alan Brown Cup now that ‘big guns’ Llanrhian and Johnston have left the competition.

Morris girls get my special award

If there was a special award for the most supportive group at the final I would have no hesitation in nominating all the Morris Family of Neyland.
Several of the girls have played cricket and all of them follow Neyland wherever they play, and especially at the Harrison-Allen Bowl Final, which they love so much they get there super-early to get their favourite sport.
They bring copious supplies of food and drink, cheer like mad and leave the place spotless, as they found it.
I love popping over to see them because they ‘force’ me to have a few treats (but don’t tell Mrs Carne!) – and with kids growing up so quickly it has become a large group.
So well done girls – and I look forward to seeing you next season at The Athletic Ground!

Ken Mathias, Roley Edwards and guests

Rowley and Ken provide excellent analysis

Another knowledgeable cricket pair I always enjoy talking to at the final are Rowley Edwards and Ken Mathias, always to be found on the far bank, nestled into the hedge and watching the game with interest as many others stop for a chat.
They know their cricket and some of my more interesting conversations are to be had with them, especially since former Cresselly 2nds scorer Des Brace joined them at the time of my photograph, alongside ‘Mr Burton CC’ Brian Griffiths and old Kilgetty warhorse Steve Flook.
Those boys could solve the sporting problems of the world and my annual chats with Messrs Edwards and Mathias are some of the highlights of my sporting season.

A minutes silence for sponsors Mike Scourfield and Tony Pidgeon, plus life member Dai Williams


Minute's silence for cricket stalwarts

There was a minute's silence prior to the start of the match for sponsors Michael Scourfield and Tony Pidgeon, plus life member Dai Williams, all fondly remembered by those who knew them.


Fraser Watson, Gordon Thomas and Bill Carne are spot on with prediction.I’ve got it right – again!

I’ve often been accused of being the county’s worst tipster and I have sometimes got things wrong but in my defence I have often agreed to put my name down in support of rank outsiders so that others could take the glory by tipping the favourites.
But this time there was only one winner as far as Gordon Thomas, Fraser Watson and I were concerned and that was Neyland, which takes nothing from Carew because they are a terrific group of young players from a club who for many years had, far and away, the best team I ever played against with players too numerous to mention as they won the league title ten times in 12 seasons.
Neyland are now in that talent bracket but I’m sure we will see a lot more of this current Carew team because they are an emerging unit with some talented young players!