Lamphey Cricket Club 'Select X1'

If any club has known the highs and lows of local cricket then it is south county village side Lamphey as they have been League champs in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and Harrison-Allen Bowl winners in 1999 and 2000 as David Lovell lead them to success – and reached the lower regains in the intervening years.
But under long-serving skipper Rob Mathias they have started to fight their way back through the divisions and after coming runners-up to Herbrandston in 2019 they finally return to Division Two for the 2021 campaign with high hopes.
We asked Rob to select a Lamphey XI and he elected to choose from home-grown players, after discussions with other senior players like Andrew Skeels, Hywel Gibbs and Haydn Cole.
Rob elected NOT to include himself in the squad so we have included a little potted history at the end of our description of his choices:
Peter Hall

Peter Hall
The one and only!  Gritty, determined, ultra-competitive and when he got in, a fabulous striker of the cricket ball.  I couldn’t believe how fit he was, playing with the Stags into his 50’s and was also a very handy, nagging bowler with the keeper up behind the stumps.  If he was out early, then we didn’t go near him for half an hour but once he had calmed down all his fabulous cricketing stories would come out and he’d have us in stitches.  I remember a league century in Division One v Tish in the last game of the season.  Peter’s last ever season for Lamphey was 2005 and we missed him!

Peter McGilloway

Peter McGilloway
A dashing stroke maker of a batsman and golden arm bowler.  Peter first came to my attention as a young lad playing cricket with his Dad in his garden right next door to us!  He has really developed his batting over recent years with an array of searing drives and wristy flicks.  He scored two centuries (his first for the club) in 2019. Bowls right arm with the strangest action imaginable but mixes it up well, is awkward to face and has that priceless ability to pick up key wickets, with best figures of 5 for 6.  A one club man and a true Stag!  Peter is big music fan and fanatical about The Rolling Stones and Morrisey.

James Skeels

James Skeels
A hard-hitting top order batsman, James became the key Stags run scorer in the 2nd decade of the 2000’s with his maiden ton coming v Hook in 2018.  I captained a young “Jimmy” back in the 2010 season and he soon cemented his place at No 3 with match-winning knocks v Tish  and Fishguard and a brave 50 v The Dock when it was hard-going. James has since captained the club before going to play for Lawrenny in 2019, including an appearance in the Harrison-Allen final.  ‘Skeelo’ belies his stature and cracks the ball a country mile and can also bowl sharp deliveries with a decent bouncer.  Another player to enjoy the craic, during and after the game, James always portrays himself well on the field and shows maturity beyond his young years.  Currently living and playing cricket in Australia, but we hope to see him back in Lamphey colours one day!

Mark YeaMark Yea
A classy middle order batsman and gifted wicket keeper.  Mark’s best days for the Stags were under the Lovell years of the late 90s/early 2000’s but he still turns out for the Stags when he can.  The sort of player who made it look so easy and would get going in no time with his perfect timing and ability to hit over the top.  Would never say a bad word to anyone on the cricket field and was almost too nice to be a keeper!  One of the benefits of Mark playing was that his wife, Fiona, would always make superb teas for us.  Occasional medium pace bowler who took eight wickets v Cresselly in Division One back in 2005 (league best figures) but we still lost!

Hywel Gibbs Hywel Gibbs
In his pomp ‘Gibbo’ was one of best all-rounders to play at Lamphey.  Hywel is one of the game’s purists with his classical bowling action and superlative cover driving.  He would swing the ball late, both ways, and was quicker than a lot of opposing batsmen thought as the ball often skidded into their stumps!  Another natural timer of the cricket ball who possessed the ability to genuinely play ‘off his legs’.  Scored a dazzling century v Saundersfoot in Division Two, back in 2003, when the rest of the top order had failed, sharing a memorable stand with his old buddy Stephen Vale.  Hywel has turned to off-spin bowling in his twilight years, picking up heaps of 5-wicket hauls with his sharp turn and cunning flight.  He has done yeoman service for the club in 25 years, serving as captain, secretary and junior coach.  Now likes to field at long leg!

Nick ShelmerdineNick Shelmerdine
Every club needs a player like “Shelmo”.  Fiercely determined when putting on the whites, Nick still gives everything for the Stags in all facets of the game.  A right-handed, middle order batsman, handy medium pacer, a terrific fielder and capable keeper, Nick’s game has developed superbly with his vast experience over many seasons.  No one in the club plays the pull/hook shot better than the lad from Fresh East.  Hywel still rates the two 6’s that he hooked off a rapid Paul Thomas (Haverfordwest fast bowler) as some of the best shots he’s ever seen!  Nick’s  highest score is 82 and he has best bowling figures of 5-15 with countless catches behind the wicket or out on the boundary.  Affectionately known to the boys as Sea Bass, due to his love of fishing, Nick is a great organiser of pub-related, team bonding games (beer, pool & darts) if a match is curtailed by rain.  Another one club man and true Stag who is now devoting lots of his time to the club’s juniors. 

Ian KerrisonIan Kerrison
Known to everyone in local sporting circles as Kerro, Ian was a right arm seam bowler and hard-hitting batsman who always played with a smile on his face but possessed a steely determination to up his performance in the big games.  Kerro would be the first to admit that he wasn’t the most naturally gifted of cricketers and that he didn’t know how he made the ball cut back off the pitch so prodigiously.  However, that would be to do him a disservice and the fact he dismissed so many of the opposition’s key players speaks volumes.  I can recall two of his best 5-wicket hauls in Division One, when defending low scores v Carew  and Narberth, that led to dramatic victories and nobody would celebrate more afterwards than Kerro.  Also, a very fine fielder, who took many fine great off his own bowling, and could swing the willow to good effect.  Once scored a league 50 v Stackpole nearly all in boundaries!  Ian was also a fine tennis player and former Lamphey FC goal keeper – and  was a joy to play cricket with.

Grant ColeGrant Cole
‘Mr Lamphey’ and son of the late, great Terry Cole.  Grant has been an incredible servant to the club for well over 30 years.  He started off in the second XI with his Dad back in the 80’s, learning his trade as a right arm fast bowler and hard-hitting batter, and captained the seconds to the Division Five title back in 2001. Grant has now become the backbone of the Stags’ bowling unit over the past 15 years, only missing the odd game to watch his beloved Cardiff City.  All the Stag keepers will swear that no one in the club hits the gloves as hard as Grant, who has two Stag hat tricks to his name as well as 3 in 4 balls on another occasion.   Perhaps the biggest hitter of the ball in the club, Grant is not renowned for lengthy innings but if he stays in for 10 overs the runs will amass.  HS -79 not out and BB of five for something (many times).  Does superb work as the Stags groundsman, former Treasurer and current Secretary.  No one does more work for the club!  Renowned for his dry sense of humour and keeping everyone on the straight and narrow.

Haydn ColeHaydn Cole
If ever there was a true village cricketer then it has to be Haydn.  With his infectious smile, barrel chest  and boyish good looks, Haydn would either come bustling in to bowl at you with his right arm, medium fast, swinging deliveries or else swing the willow with such gusto that the ball, if he connected, would disappear out of ground into Flemish Court.  He was a mainstay of the first team for many years and took countless wickets with his full-length deliveries.  I believe he once took 8 wickets v RAF Brawdy, only for his great mate, Andrew Skeels, to take 9 in the following match.  Also, a great fielder in his day, Haydn pulled off many amazing, reflex catches and also had a bullet like throw.  Smashed a boundary-laden 70 odd v Stackpole as recently as 2014.  Haydn loved to celebrate (win or lose) back in The Dial after a game and could always be relied upon to find a take away and a lift home after an away trip.  His son Scott has big part to play in the club’s future as a fine opening batsman and  fast bowler.  Haydn is also a very successful sea angler who has represented Wales on many occasions.

Andrew SkeelsAndrew Skeels
The greatest bowler that Lamphey has produced by a country mile.  No one has more wickets for the Stags than Ike and no one ever will.  A left arm slow bowler, Ike has teased countless batsman into miscues and reckless dismissals over endless seasons, but he also really turns the ball and has a very canny cricketing brain.  A nuggetty, right-handed batsman, he has a league ton to his name and always scored handy runs when he dropped down the order in later years.  He was my first 1st team captain back in 1989 and gave me the chance to shine as an opening batsman.  The most influential individual during my cricketing life, Andrew has done so much more for the club than help win Harrison-Allens and league titles.  He’s nurtured almost all the junior players to come through the club and today serves as a very active and committed Chairman.  He was once given out LBW by the Vicar, which didn’t go down too well, and got a mention in that Sunday’s sermon!  Renowned for his love of bacon  and creamed teas, Ike would always buy you a pint but would make sure he always had a lift on an away trip.  Known throughout the county in all sporting circles!

Stephen ValeStephen Vale
‘Valey’ was a fine swing bowler who took the new ball for the Stags for many seasons.  With his classical, sideways-on action and perfect wrist position, he would make the ball hoop like a banana and many a batsman would nick off to the waiting keeper.  If Steve was on song, then any total was defendable.  In fact, he seemed to relish it more when the chips were down, and all seemed lost.  He would just say, “I’ll bowl these out” and invariably he would.  Performances that come to mind were 5 for’s v Tish in Division 3 in 2010 and Llandyssul in the Welsh Cup a couple of years earlier.  On his day, he was unplayable!  Also, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet on the cricket field, he possessed an unbelievably laid-back nature, which was in stark contrast to most of the team mates.  Now devotes most of his spare time to golf, he still helps us out when he can.  Not renowned for his umpiring ability!!!

Lewis Haines
Lewis Haines – 12th man
‘Hainsey’ is a destructive, hard hitting batsman who keeps wicket.  The fact that I haven’t played that much with Lewis means he just misses out on selection!  I expect he’ll be giving me stick all season.  However, in recent years he’s been one of the club’s top run gatherers and pouched lots of catches behind the sticks.  Showed how destructive he can be with 46 in the Harrison-Allen quarter final last year v Burton.  Has fast hands and a great eye; Lewis will be the mainstay of the Stags batting for years to come.  Also likes to party and celebrate the wins!!!  Another one club man and true Stag.

Helen Hodges

Helen Hodges - scorer
Helen has kept an immaculate score book for the Stags since she started doing it, probably over 25 years ago.  Just to have a person who wanted to do it was a revelation but the fact she is a Lamphey girl, does such a great job and has become such an important, valued member of the club makes her contribution all the more special.  She has seen it all with the Stags, the high and lows, but I’d like to think that with the strides the club are currently making with the juniors, ground improvements and nurturing local talent, Helen rates the current crop as the best yet.

Significant Others

Gareth Lewis
One of finest left handers the village has ever produced, Gareth rose to prominence in the first team as a teenager and played his best cricket in the mid to late 90’s.
Alan Lewis
Gareth’s Dad, Alan was an excellent keeper and doughty batsman for the seconds, initially, and then the first team.  A late starter to the game, he became an integral member of the club.
Craig Nutty
A classy, right hand batsman who scored hundreds for the club before leaving the county to work away.  Would surely have scored thousands more runs for Lamphey had he remained in the village.  He really was that good!
Jonathan Mathias
Without my brother I may have never taken up the great game so devotedly.  We spent endless hours together in the garden, trying to emulate our heroes (Botham & Gower), and a love affair with cricket forged.  A great statistician of cricket, he once slapped a Mark Fraser delivery on to the roof at Pembroke.  Now serves as the club’s President.
Luca Trimarco
Hard, hitting middle order batsman who's come through the junior ranks. Once scored 90 in a Duggie Morris cup match.  Keeps wicket too! Currently living in Australia - and another player we'd love to see back soon.
Rob Mathias – Club Captain of Lamphey Cricket Club
Rob Mathias Affectionately known as ‘The Skipper’ to all the Stags, he started playing league cricket for Lamphey way back in 1985 as a fresh faced 14 year old.  By 1989, under Andrew Skeel’s guidance, he was opening the batting for the first team and that season scored his first-ever half centuries that helped him gain the player of the year award! 

“In 1994 I was first team captain of a side now facing Division Two and a difficult season ensued but, with local players, we just managed to stay up by winning our final game of the season.

"After playing ‘up the line’ when my work took me away I returned to play for Stackpole because I was living there and enjoyed sic very happy seasons with another great club.

"However, when we moved back to Lamphey in 2018 the natural choice to finish my cricketing days was with my beloved Stags and became captain at the suggestion of Andrew Skeels.

"I was so proud of the boys and I have passed my umpires’ course so I can officiate in local cup games – and now taking my ECB Level Two coaching badge with my pal Nick Shelmerdine so we can bring on the next group of talented young Lamphey players.”