Nicky Daley is doing a splendid job at Imble Lane

Bill Carne and Nick Daley

There might not have been much cricket played at Imble Lane in the season just gone by but Pembroke Dock CC managed to play one very important match as they took on a combined squad from Pembroke, Lamphey and Stackpole in a match which raised an amazing sum of £2,545 for National Health Service charities.
The momentum for this charity match came from The Dock’s long-serving all-rounder Nick Daley and after mentioning it to his colleagues and getting their immediate support contacted the other clubs, who readily gave it the nod – and off they went!

Great support from other clubs

“I spoke to Jonathan Rogers (Pembroke), Richard Mackay and Lee Smith (Stackpole) and Andrew Skeels (Lamphey) and they needed no second bidding – and it would have been four teams but for the fact that when I contacted Jonathan ‘Taffy’ Williams from Hundleton they were playing in the Alan Brown Cup Final, otherwise they would have been there too!
“Everyone played a part in the fund-raising and it was great that we were able to send off so much money to such deserving charities.
“We played two innings apiece of 20 overs and our playing strength was boosted with the return of Ryan and Matthew Lewis (Cresselly) and David Dunfee alongside our regulars like John Davies, Peter Kingdom, Scott and Jake Griffiths. Nicola Murray was scorer and we all had time to think about the late Helen Griffiths, who was a lovely person sorely missed on the day -  and it was so successful that we have already decided to do the same thing again next season for some different good causes.”

Two seasons at Pembroke – but 25 years at The Dock

Nick has played at Imble Lane for the best part of 30 years, apart from two seasons in his late teens when he was working with Pembroke skipper Nigel Phillips, who persuaded him to move to Treleet.
“I enjoyed it there and had a couple of games in the first team but as the old saying goes,
‘You can take the boy out of Pembroke Dock but you can’t take Pembroke Dock out of the boy,’ and I decided it was time to go back.
“I’ve never regretted the decision, even we went through some bad times and slumped to division five – but we’ve battled back to division two now and were looking to competing there before the pandemic knocked us back.”

Alan Brown cup highlights and four centuries at Imble Lane!

Nick was captain of the club’s first XI for 11 seasons and in that time there were a few promotions and two winning visits to the Alan Brown Cup Final.

“The first came in 2009, when we beat a strong Crymych team that was strong but we all played really well, and then in 2018 when we won a local derby match against Lamphey.
“That second success was very special for me because I not only got to lift the trophy but I also won the ‘Man of the Match’ award as I took four wickets in the first innings and another three after tea, alongside 20-odd not out. And we also won promotion to round off a good season!”
Nick is well-known for his big hitting exploits and so far he has hit four centuries, all at Imble Lane where he is quick to praise the hard work of groundsman Maurice Leyland in making it one of the best batting tracks in the county.

“I started out with 118 not out against Hundleton, followed by 108 against Llechryd and another 118 against Llanrhian – but my top score was another ton against Hundleton, where I had plenty of fours and sixes in my 155 not out – and on the bowling front I have also had a couple of six-wicket hauls, one of them at Llanrhian.”

Man of match Nick Daley with Brian Cooke

Other sports

Outside of his cricket Nick also played a lot of football, where he played for Pembroke Borough for almost all his playing days, other than two years before he retired when Pennar Robins needed a goalkeeper in the lower divisions and he stepped in to help.
“I loved playing at London Road, where I was a centre half or goalkeeper alongside the likes of Peter Kingdom, Jason Beynon, Johnny Gullam and Neil Armstrong from under 13 level to over 30s and with a Wiltshire Cup Final win with the brilliant Helen Matthews as our manager and her husband Willie helping out in any way he could. They were great days and I wouldn’t have missed them for anything.
“I also helped coach Llangwm juniors for three years from 2014 and when we can return to action I will help Darren Shaw to coach the Pennar Robins under 14s, where Rhys plays.
“Pool is another game I like to play and I was a member of the county team in 2019/20.
“I also played golf at South Pembs, where I won the doubles with Peter Jennings, and now am a member at Rosemarket, with a handicap of 12.3.”

Family matters

Talk to Nick for a while and it soon becomes evident how proud he is of his two children with 15 year old Finlay and 13 year old Rhys involved in different sports.
“Finlay is a talented and competitive gymnast and has won medals in the Poole Disability Championships after adapting so well to being born with sight in just one eye - I am so proud of him I can’t really describe it,” admits Nick.
“Rhys is already a talented young cricketer who not only plays for his age-group regional side but plays in the seconds for The Dock as an all-rounder who bats well and bowls leg spin – and is also a very useful rugby and football player.
“But most importantly for me they are smashing boys who I know will grow up to be wonderful men.”

Nick Daley and Jon Rogers

Early start in cricket

After starting out with The Dock juniors at 13 he quickly made progress and started playing for the first team captained by Steve Laugharne and then Malcolm Morris, with players of the calibre of Peter Jones, John Davies, Jason Coles, Neil Bulley and Neil Hallett.
“When we lost our way for a while and were relegated it was the likes of Peter and especially John who kept things going, on and off the field, with massive support from others like John and Janet Sheppard, plus Maurice Leyland, who we all regard as ‘Mr Pembroke Dock’.
“It is good to report that we are now developing a young side that includes Scott Griffiths, Billy and Archie Wood, plus my son Rhys waiting in the wings, supported by old-timers like me and Peter Kingdom so things are on the up.

Nick Daley with junior team

Heavy coaching commitment, at club and regional level

“I’ve also been coaching our junior teams for six years and we also have a smashing group of players in the 5-8 age group as part of our ‘All Stars’ project, plus under 13s/15s age groups – and we now have a ladies’ cricket section well coached by Rachel Sander, who also plays, and Peter, Phil Scott and I help out there when needed
As a Level Two coach I have also been involved at regional level for the last three years with the under 12, 13 and 14 squads with Rob Williams (coach) and Steve Lewis as team manager, both from Lawrenny – and eventually I would like to be involved in the ‘Pathway Wales’ scheme.

And finally . . .

Nick makes a point throughout our chat that Pembroke Dock Cricket Club is a cracking club to be involved in and is proud of the way that it has been recognised in recent years in holding a range of semi-finals for the Pembroke County Cricket Club.
“Maurice Leyland is the key man here but everyone mucks in to make sure they go well – and the same when they ask us if they can play county matches at Imble Lane.
 There is no doubt that he is  totally committed to the cause and although he tries to play down his part it is easy to see that Nick Daley is a real club man, in all that The Dock does – and we at can only say well done Nick – and good luck for the future!
 Nick Daley and teammates celebrate