Sporting Snippets - Part 37

‘Evs’ must still be taking his Royal Jelly

Nick EvansIn 1988 Nicky Evans was playing his cricket as a 48 year old with at Cresselly and it was said in our column that if he kept taking this health product supplied by bees he could still tuck a few more years under his cricketing belt.

But just how long couldn’t be estimated because 32 years later he has still played the odd game for Narberth 2nds and in the intervening time has travelled to an amazing number of countries with county sides from all over England.

In that particular campaign, when he was approaching 50, the player known to all as ‘Evs’ had picked up four winners’ medals as Cresselly won the league division one title and added the Duggie Morris and Jubilee Cups – and because he hadn’t played in the Harrison-Allen Bowl in their defeat he also qualified to play for the second string in his only-ever appearance in a winning team in the Alec Colley Cup.

At the moment his terrific long service to the Pembroke County Cricket Club has seen him honoured with the presidency and no-one has deserved it more, and he occupies the same role in Ladies Cricket too.

So the question is: Will ‘Evs’ play at all in the 2021/22 season, pandemic willing – and our confident prediction is that he will!


Denis teased his opening partner – but David did the business . . .

David CherryDenis ChiffiAnother great stalwart at Cresselly has been David Cherry, despite being away for the first part of each season as a housemaster at Christ College, Brecon for much of the past three decades.

But he still found time in the school’s summer holidays to play at Cresselly – and as a very popular club member some of his team-mates in the seconds weren’t averse to pulling his leg a little.

On more than one occasion his opening partner was Denis Chiffi, who also kept wicket, and before one match Mr C was sat in his corner of the changing rooms, focussing on the task ahead, as always, when Denis came in, started putting his pads on and telling David they were batting.

So they both donned their pads and joined their team-mates, who were already outside, and it was then that the opposition were heard to ask why Cresselly had two wicket-keepers – and it dawned on David that Denis had duped him.

But David had the final word because whilst Denis didn’t take a catch behind the stumps and didn’t manage double figures, and Mr Cherry scored 70 runs in 14 overs and claimed two wickets!


. . . And was praised in the national press!

Staying with David Cherry a little while longer he switched from being to being a talented cricketer to a very good rugby referee around that time – and his first match was between Pill Harriers and Newport.

The yellow and red card systems for match officials had just been introduced and when the Newport hooker threw a punch at his Harriers’ opponent it was David who became only the second ref in Wales to give him a ten minute break to calm him down.

He was rightly praised in the Sunday papers for the way that he handled the situation and showed what a top official he was!


George gets mentioned for his commitment – and wicket-taking with Wales under 16s

George ThomasIn the late 1980s one of the talented youngsters beginning to break through in cricket was George Thomas, who was then playing for Burton before moving to Llangwm as he got older and then living in Cardiff.

In those days George was a useful all-rounder but better known for his off-spin bowling at Burton – and his performances with the county earned him selection for Wales under 16s.

His canny slow stuff earned him fine figures of 6 for 26 against Kent and then 2 for 27 against Avon in two of his earlier games.

He was mentioned in ‘Sporting Snippets’ for his keenness after going to play for Burton Thirds and then rushing back so that he could get yet more practice in the club’s nets.

It was said that he was one to watch for the future and that was certainly the case- although it was eventually his prowess with the bat that earned him selection as opener with the county senior team!


‘Ashy’ scores - from 85 yards!

Mark AshmanOne of my favourite footballing characters of the time was undoubtedly Mark Ashman, who was rightly regarded as one of the best shot-stoppers ever seen in this area for several Welsh League and local clubs, with his big frame belying his agility and positional sense between the uprights.

‘Ashy’ was playing for Milford United in the Welsh League in the late 1980s and in an away match against Ammanford he scored a rare goal as he took control of the ball in his own penalty area and launched a huge punt downfield.

The strong prevailing wind caught the ball as it landed near the opposing box and bounced over their keeper, who could only watch, stranded, as it sailed over his head as he was six yards off his line.

It was a total fluke, of course, and The Robins eventually lost 3-2 but it quite made Ashy’s day and when I bumped into him a week or so later he couldn’t wait to tell me about his goal – and then set about trying to convince me it was an actual shot because he had spotted the Ammanford keeper off his line!

It was all done in fun, and we still share a chuckle about it whenever we meet up now!


Referee confused by ‘Bomber’s’ size . . .

Richard Bomber MorrisA short while ago we featured Richard ‘Bomber’ Morris in an article about his rugby playing days for almost 25 years with Pembroke, where he was arguably the smallest loose-head prop around at the time since he was only 5 feet 8 inches tall and 14 and a half stone at his heaviest – but able to take on much bigger players in opposing front rows because of the natural toughness he acquired working on the family farm near Hundleton.

In a later chat he told me how he had only been injured once in all that time and began his come-back by joining fellow first-team hooker Gareth ‘Mallow’ Jones on the replacements’ bench at Hendy.

Before the match they were called in by the match official to check that they were bone fide  front rowers for health and safety reasons and he took one look at ‘Bomber’ and clearly didn’t think he was up for play in that tough area.

But ‘Bomber’ quietly said he was fine thanks and off they went to sit on the bench until they both joined the fray after half time with The Scarlets struggling in the scrums – and again the official checked that he was OK.
All that changed however, when within minutes ‘Bomber’ and ‘Mallow’ had succeeded in causing mayhem to the opposition and were on top in the scrummaging stakes thereafter.

In the bar afterwards he was again approached by the referee, who said how well he had played and was told by the ref, “If I’ve learned anything today it is to never again judge a book by its cover.” And Mr Morris certainly liked that!