Bowlers on top at Cresselly!

Mike Shaw - superb spell for Cresselly

Harrison Allen Bowl quarter final:


Cresselly (112 all out) beat Neyland (108-5) by 4 runs

On a perfect summer evening, with conditions ideal for batting, few of the large crowd of cricket supporters, would have envisaged the result of last night’s Harrison Allen Bowl quarter final between Cresselly and Neyland being a tense, low scoring affair, with the holders failing to chase down a very gettable 113 to win against a home outfit not generally regarded as being strong in the bowling stakes.

But it was the home side who avenged last season’s final defeat with a superb fielding and bowling display, with Dan James holding his nerve in the last over as Henry Durrant and Scott Jones only managed eight of the 13 runs needed for victory.

Cresselly opt to bat first but start poorly

Nick Koomen in action for NeylandUnsurprisingly, Cresselly skipper Neilson Cole had earlier opted to bat after winning the toss, and Dan Sutton struck the first big blow with an early six off Patrick Hannon - but in the third over the danger man was gone, clean bowled by Nathan Banner for 12, and Iwan Izzard (7) followed when he holed out to Gregg Miller in the deep off Hannon.

Opener Alex Bayley (14) was next to go, skittled by Nick Koomen, leaving Cresselly 37-3 inside six overs but Adam Chandler and Phil Williams steadily rebuilt matters after the latter had announced his arrival at the crease with a cover drive to the boundary off Koomen. This pair put on 42 before Chandler was stumped coming down the track to Andrew Miller for 26 (two fours), and it prompted a Cresselly collapse as 79-4 soon became 82-6.

Banner leads Neyland attack, supported by Andrew Miller

Ryan Lewis tried to go big straight away and was caught by Paul Murray off Koomen, and James was bowled first ball by Andrew Miller before Williams was next to pay for trying to up the ante, caught by Bellerby off Miller for 18, and Banner returned to dismiss Mike Shaw (13) and Tom Arthur (4).

Banner then sealed figures of 4-31 when last man Sean Jenkins (4) was caught by Murray, leaving captain Cole 6 not out and no doubt aggrieved his side failed to even see out their 22 overs as Hannon finished with 1-29, Koomen 2-27, and Miller 3-24.

Neyland start well in pursuit of lowly target before ‘Spin Twins’ enter the fray

Dan Sutton pulls to leg for CressellyIt left Neyland chasing just 113 for a semi-final spot, and there was little sign of the drama to come when Paul Murray sent Sion Jenkins to the fence first ball, and soon added two more boundaries as he and Patrick Bellerby raced to 29-0 inside four overs.

But it was then the tide turned, as slow bowler Shaw found the edge of Murray’s bat and Cole took a sharp catch behind the stumps, and in the fifth over Lewis reacted quickly off his own bowling to run out Banner (0) after a mix up between him and Bellerby.

And when Lewis struck again in his next over, having Bellerby (10) caught in the deep by Jenkins, Shaw followed up with a maiden - and suddenly Neyland were 30-3 and behind the rate.

Neyland strike back – but again lose key wickets at key times

Koomen and Gregg Miller then proceeded to dig in before the former broke the shackles by hitting Lewis for four over mid-off, and Miller also took the all-rounder to the boundary as Neyland moved to 44-3 after 12 overs.

But again Lewis provided a pivotal moment, having Miller (9) caught behind - and the wicket of Koomen began to look crucial as he put on 22 with Henry Durrant.

Yet in the 17th over, with Neyland having moved to 66-4, Tom Arthur struck a hammer blow as he bowled the key man for 23 (four fours) – leaving Sean Hannon’s men up against it as Scott Jones entered the fray in preference to Andrew Miller and the Hannon twins.

31 runs needed in last three overs

Durrant launched Arthur for a six in the 19th over to take matters to 81-5, meaning 32 was needed in the last 18 balls - an equation which became 20 off 12 balls after Jones hit two fours off James as his penultimate over went for 12.

But Arthur was on the money as Durrant and Jones managed just seven runs off the 21st - before a boundary by the youngster off James in the last over kept things alive; but he then needed nothing less than a six off the final ball of a match for a dramatic win.

Six required from James’ last delivery

Jones gave it a go as he launched one to the leg side – but it bounced short of the boundary rope and in front of a big crowd, Cresselly’s players celebrated an ultimately unlikely victory.

It meant a stand of 42 between Durrant (21 not out) and Jones (23 not out) was in vain, as for the home side, Shaw finished 1-13, Lewis 2-13, Arthur 1-21, Jenkins 0-21 and James 0-39.

The result completes the final four teams in the competition, with The Doves joining Lawrenny, Narberth, and Llangwm in the semi-final draw – as Cole’s men are still on course to return to their home ground for the final and capture a first Bowl since 2009.

Mike Shaw - superb spell for Cresselly
Dan Sutton pulls to leg for Cresselly
Nick Koomen in action for Neyland