Sporting Snippets - Part 11

Ben’s in the right village but at the wrong place of worship

Ben FieldI love this story about one of my favourite characters of local cricket who got himself in a bit of a pickle when he turned up for a family christening but initially went to the wrong venue – and still doesn’t know which member of his family contacted me to tell the story!
Ben Field is very good cricketer at Haverfordwest, as is his brother Dan and father Micky before them; and all three were due to meet up on a recent Sunday for a family christening, which proved to be a little eventful for Ben.

Ben thought he would be in plenty of time as he arrived at Spittal Church so he was a tad surprised to find the service had started, but he accepted a hymn book at the door and quietly sat at the back to avoid any disturbance. It was only when he looked up that he realised he couldn’t see any of the rest of the family – and it dawned on him that he was in the wrong church.

So Ben crept out to his car and as he drove through the village he was initially told by someone that there was no chapel in Spittal and then someone else told him that there were two chapels, to confuse the issue even further. But our Ben is nothing if not a trier and he eventually found Zion Chapel, parked the car up and slid quietly into the back seats.

There were a few quizzical eyes raised because he was slightly late for the start but when he related the saga to the family afterwards there was naturally a lot of laughter – and Ben will remember that particular family christening for a long time to come!


Micky plays his best golf - in real style in Las Vegas!


Micky EllisMicky Ellis does a great job as a coach at Haverfordwest County after playing football for them, Merlins Bridge and Pembroke Borough for many years. He is a natural ball player and has also turned his considerable attention to golf, where he not only showed his sparkle at The Bluebirds’ latest golf day but also showed true class with a win in Las Vegas!
Micky Ellis has always been a little bit of a style guru amongst his colleagues in football at Merlins Bridge and Haverfordwest County and he looked the part when he led his team in the recent Bluebirds’ Golf Day at Haverfordwest Golf Club, so excellently organised by David Hughes.

But it seems that when his son Matthew got married he was even more stylish on the ‘stag do’ as the pair joined Paul Manwaring and Richard Thomas in a challenge match at no less a course than the National Course – in LAS VEGAS!

I’m reliably informed that green fees start at around 100 dollars a round and the world-famous course is more than enough to test the very top golfers in the world – but Micky could have been taken for a Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods in the fashion race between the three Pembrokeshire golfers as he took on and beat his younger colleagues!


Gregg goes for his special celebration – big time!

Gregg MillerNo-one has contributed more to Neyland Cricket Club’s success over the last decade than Gregg Miller, both in outdoor and indoor competitions – and when his side beat Haverfordwest in the Harrison-Allen Bowl Final no-one was more delighted than he was as brother Andrew raised the magnificent trophy aloft – and Gregg later showed his drinking capacity in the Cresselly clubhouse, and back in Neyland too!
When Neyland beat Haverfordwest in the Harrison-Allen Bowl no-one was more delighted than Gregg Miller, who never gives less for the club than 100%, on or off the field. This was certainly so during this match as he batted and fielded well, although he was a little disappointed not to get a bowl – but all this was forgotten in the post-match celebrations.

The Bowl was filled with all sorts of alcoholic concoctions in the Cresselly Clubhouse and when all had taken a sip there was plenty left before they could move on to the Quay to further their evening so Gregg helped out by knocking back the remainder in quick time and off the bus went.

Back in Neyland, one of the youngsters in the team who had done well was invited to drink the yard of ale but sensibly declined because he had work the next day – so Gregg took up the challenge – and downed it all in one go to earn the cheers of his team mates and supporters.

Such celebrations weren’t without cost because when Gregg phoned me the next day to chat about the match (it was actually to boast because he says I am a Haverfordwest supporter!) the talented all-round sportsman had to admit that he had quite a hangover. But he fully deserved his chance to celebrate such a huge success – and was delighted for such a smashing local sportsman!

Wicked sense of humour at Glebelands


Steve JenkinsYou’d expect a great deal of sympathy for a cricketer who has missed out on a maiden century by being run out on 99 – but there was also some leg pulling in Johnston with a play on a 99 ice-cream that always includes a flake chocolate!
They’ve got a wicked sense of humour at Johnston Cricket Club, as evidenced by a recent first-team match where poor old Lee Summons was given out lbw when he was just one run short of what would have been a deserved century.

There was all sorts of teasing but none more apt than from former club captain Steve Jenkins, now languishing in the second team and playing an away match. But when he arrived back to the Railway Inn, their headquarters, he presented Lee with a Cadbury’s Flake he had bought en route – so that it would nicely finish off Lee’s 99!

I’m glad to report that Lee took all the leg-pulling but Jenks ought to be in comedy script writing with a brain like that!

‘Stumpy lives up to his nickname!’


Martin ThomasWhether it is rugby or cricket Martin Thomas has served Llangwm or Hook respectively in the right way, always competitively but always with a smile on his face – as he did when he tried to show his wicket-keeping skills in a special match – and came a real cropper!
Martin Thomas has always given 100% in his rugby at Llangwm and cricket for Hook, where he certainly had everyone in fits during the recent Terry Hitchings Memorial match.

He has always been popularly known as ‘Stumpy’ and lived up to that nickname as he kept wicket for the Invitation XI and caused just a little bit of chaos.

Now ‘Hitch’ meant a great deal to Martin, who was so eager to claim a stumping during the first innings that he took the ball and plunged forward in the hope of getting a decision from the umpire – but was a little too forceful and all he succeeded in doing was ploughing into the stumps!

The bails flew high and wide and the three stumps were literally flattened as a huge cheer arose from the crowd near the clubhouse as a red-faced Martin got up and waved to them.

It was so funny that he should have taken a bow and will surely go down in the folklore of the club as the day when this smashing all-round sportsman certainly lived up to his nickname!


Bernie takes a tumble and almost ends up in the briny!


Bernie ArmstrongI can guarantee we feature Bernie Armstrong in this series because my footballing pal, who is also a top table-tennis player (and he says he is a useful cricketer too) has often been into some harmless mischief, as the following story tells. On this occasion he was pursuing one of his other passions, which is fishing . . .
Another regular participant in this column over the years has been Bernie Armstrong and it seems the larger-than-life manager of Goodwick United has been involved in yet another scrape, but this time in his other sporting love of fishing, rather than football.

Only the other week Bernie was proudly showing me some superb sea-bass he had caught (but without offering me a taster!) but when he took a short trip down from his Goodwick home to the nearby slipway, just to use up some bait he had left in the freezer, he didn’t manage to go home with the same success.

He did manage a small flounder which wasn’t big enough to eat but was soon floundering himself when he tried to jump from one rock to another, missed his footing on the wet stone and found himself in a heap!

I am reliably informed by an unseen onlooker that Bernie, normally the most genial of characters, flung the rod and line away in a frustrated mixture of anger, pain and embarrassment.

Fortunately, he is a tough lad so he was left with just a scratch to his knee and some small bruising to his chest – but he was still playing table tennis that night and beating all and sundry despite a few moans about his fishing mishap every time he mishit a shot!