Rain ruins county cricket's big day

Hail storm covers the Cresselly pitch

Cresselly (31 for 1) v Lawrenny - Match abandoned - rain

After six weeks of unrelenting sunshine the weather changed just in time to ruin the major event of the Pembrokeshire Cricketing calendar, despite the magnificent attempts of the Cresselly ground staff to stage the Harrison-Allen Bowl Cup Final between the host club and Lawrenny.
They had overcome the heavy overnight rain by covering the wicket, which looked in tip-top condition, and despite more showers in the hours before the 12 noon start the game began on time after Lawrenny skipper Joe Kidney won the toss and invited his opposite number Neilson Cole to bat first.

Bright start from Sutton

They opened with Dan Sutton and Adam Chandler, with the former player announcing his intentions in Rob Williams' first over as he rasped a brace of boundaries that defied the damp outfield.
Chandler started his innings with a single off Jamie Lewis before Sutton smashed a three to third man and then hit his third boundary as they sped to 24 in the fourth over - only for Cresselly to lose Sutton for 17 in a total mix-up between the batsmen which saw Ryan Morton stay calm at square-leg for Lawrenny as his accurate throw saw James Phillips run out a disappointed Sutton.

Violent hailstorm stops play

Iwan Izzard came to the crease and started steadily alongside Chandler but at 31 for 1 the elements threw everything they had against Pembrokeshire Cricket, starting with heavy rain, followed by violent thunder and lightning and ending in style with a hail storm which left the ground looking as if it had been hit by snow!
Again Richard Arthur and his ground staff battled valiantly to clear the wet but after some deliberations with umpires Steve Blowes and Allan Hansen decided it would take too long, especially with the prospect of more showers, and abandoned the match, which will now take place next Sunday at Cresselly, with another toss of the coin and a fresh start to proceedings.
Cresselly Batting:
Dan Sutton run out 17
Adam Chandler not out 7
Iwan Izzard not out 3
Extras 4
Total (1 wicket) 31
Lawrenny Bowling:
Rob Williams; James Lewis

Harrison-Allen Bowl Snippets:


Great ground staff

Well done to the Cresselly ground staff for their epic work in preparing a typically superb playing surface and their dedicated efforts on the day, perhaps best summed up by Denis Chiffi, who looks after the outfield as well as being a highly-thought of umpire. Denis had badly burnt three fingers in an accident at a barbecue but was still there, shielding his burnt digits and helping pull on and off the cover protecting the wicket.
Leading the way was Richard Arthur, with help from Phil James, Neal Williams, Martin Perkins, Glyn Cole and John Arthur - you boys deserve a medal!

Big breakfasts for both teams – and Lawrenny built a camping site for the night!

Cresselly enjoyed a breakfast together at the clubhouse whilst Lawrenny had over 80 in attendance at the Lawrenny Arms, with players, and officials travelling to the game in a mini-bus and the other supporters arriving in style in a big bus for the two-mile journey.
Lawrenny players were clearly intent on having a good night because pitched on their outfield were ten tents and a camper van, with the idea that players and their families didn't have to go home by car, so that everyone could enjoy a drink or two.

Tegan, Malcolm, Hywel and David

Nice choice for man of the match adjudicators

Invited to take on the role of man of the match adjudicators' role were the father and son duo of David and Hywel Gibbs. David has been hugely respected as a sports writer in his time and Hywel appeared in the Bowl final for Lamphey in their hey-day and is still captain of the club as a very loyal player there. We are sure that both smashing fellers will do a good job in the role, hopefully next Sunday!

Nice day for dad Ian and son Brad

On the subject of fathers and sons there is no doubt that one of those especially delighted to be picked was veteran Lawrenny all-rounder Ian Jenkins because it meant that he could play in the final alongside his son Brad McDermott-Jenkins, which he rightly regarded as a special occasion.

Tea still taken

One of the nice traditions of the final is the fact that tea is provided by Hugh Harrison-Allen, whose family presented the magnificent Bowl to the county club, and always supports the final. Sadly, the early finish stopped us from having a chat with Mr Hugh but we hope to put that right next Sunday!

Great sponsorship by Mike & Co at Thomas Scourfield & Sons

As usual the Harrison-Allen Bowl was sponsored by Thomas Scourfield & Sons, who are also well known for their affiliation with Carew Cricket Club. Michael knows his cricketing onions and son Tom is a very adept wicket/keeper batsman in The Rooks' first team - and they deserve huge thanks for their massive contribution to the big day.

Well done ‘Scriv’

As a self-confessed old fogey I’m not overfussed by the large amount of music which now features throughout the county’s finals but I have to say a big well done to Richard Scriven for the way that he kept things cheerful during the rainy conditions. He even had a dozen songs on his wide play list that included rain in their titles – so well done ‘Scriv’ on your efforts!

Tent boys struggle

During the gigantic hail storm that washed over the ground one of the funny moments was to see some young fellers trying to erect their open tent but having to give in as they dashed for cover in their car. They did resurface to eventually complete the job but y then announcer Richard Merriman had told everyone the news that play had been abandoned!

Umpires Steve Blowes and Allan Hansen

Umpires got it right

And finally, well done to umpires Steve Blowes and Allan Hansen for the way they handled difficult circumstances. They were clearly eager to see play get under way, despite the damp outfield, and showed fortitude in keeping the players on the field for as long as they could. When they finally called the game off there was total acceptance by players and supporters – you did a good job, boys!