Sporting Snippets - Part 40

Low scoring aplenty in Pembrokeshire Cricket over the years


‘Tacky’ recalls Steynton low scores

Tacky MarchantSteynton When I used to write ‘Sporting Snippets’ for the old West Wales Guardian’ in Market Street, Haverfordwest, it was always a pleasure to receive a letter through the post (no e-mails then!) from Phil ‘Tacky’ Marchant, who was working in Saudi Arabia but still kept a weather eye on his beloved Pembrokeshire Sport as he had the paper posted to him.

In one letter ‘Tacky’ talked about a low-scoring cricket match he had seen many years before that (1963) when he was a pup watching his dad ‘Tacky Senior’ play for Steynton, on the outskirts of Milford Haven.
“I can remember how disappointed my dad was when we were shot out for 29 against Llangwm but then we shot them out for only FIVE runs and my dad grabbed four wickets.

“Ironically, it was the only game that Llangwm lost all season as they got promoted to division one and the only game that we won as we were relegated!”

“Two years before that Steynton played Angle on our pitch and we managed to bowl them all out for ELEVEN runs as my dad again grabbed 4 wickets and Mike Lee claimed the other six wickets.

Was it great bowling or was it the fact that wickets were nothing like they are today – I’ll let you decide!”


Williamston scored 55 – and beat Neyland by an innings!

I was lucky enough to find out about this amazing story when I wrote Neyland’s centenary book in 1989 and went back to a time when local clubs borrowed a fairly flat field from a friendly farmer and used a hand mower to cut a strip down the middle.

It inevitably led to some low scores as bowlers held a clear advantage with uneven bounce and fairly long grass when they did manage to hit the ball past fielders so that boundaries were few and far between.

In 1891 Neyland played at Williamston, who batted first and amassed a decent score of 55 all out, but which turned out to a massive challenge that Neyland were unable to take on as they were shot out for just SIX runs – and that included three extras – as J Elkins claimed 7 for 1 and A Goodridge 2 for 2 alongside a run out.

Neyland batted again and did much better with 27 all out against Elkins (4 for 10) and Goodridge (4 for 15), with two extras this time but two run outs. There were 13 ducks in their combined two innings before tea was enjoyed by all!


Hundleton needed just one ball to beat Angle

Mike HughesAngle CC could boast, if that is the right word, of the fastest defeat in the county, and perhaps in the world, by a Hundleton team batting second and needing to use only one ball for victory.

The late Mike Hughes was a great man in sport in the village of Angle told us this story when we both played for Pembroke and he was my vice-captain after he had moved there when his home village finished playing.
“We were put in to bat and were blitzed by their fast bowlers ‘Pop’ Willington and Maurice Jones as we had NINE ducks in reaching THREE all out as I topped the batting with two runs and ‘Wiffie’ Harries grabbed a single.

Then our captain tossed me the ball as reward for being top batsman and when I ran in to bowl our first ball Graham Sheppard whacked me to the mid-wicket boundary so we had lost by ten wickets in just ONE delivery.

“The only way it could have been beating would have been if I had bowled four wides or no balls so I bet it would be the fastest defeat on record – but we had a bit of revenge as we played a second match after a leisurely tea with 20 overs each and we beat them.”


Bert and Brynley cause mayhem on The Racecourse

Kevin JenkinsHaverfordwest Nomads played Llangwm on The Racecourse in 1953 and must have been pleased to dismiss The Nomads for only 53 runs – but were in for a shock after tea when they faced the deadly duo of Bert Jones and Brynley Gettings.

The Nomads’ innings lasted 11 overs but in that time they lost ten wickets whilst scoring only FIVE RUNS, as Jones caused mayhem with five overs, four maidens, two runs and six wickets.

Gettings bowled six overs, with four maidens as he finished up with four wickets for a paltry three runs to leave the home side shell-shocked and back in the bar for an early finish!

Quarterdeck ‘earned’ me a Harrison-Allen Bowl medal - for touching the ball twice in the whole competition!

On a personal note, I have the Quarterdeck Cricket Club for giving me a Harrison-Allen Bowl winners’ medal when I was just starting out as captain of Pembroke Second XI after over a decade of playing first-team cricket.

The firsts were drawn against The Quarterdeck in the first round of the Bowl and when I went up to watch the game at Treleet I found we were a man short and so I had to play, knowing it would prevent me from leading the seconds in the Alec Colley Cup.

We put them in to bat and they had quite a few of the Milford Haven RFC first team playing in Alan McClelland, Nigel Gough and Paul Nicholas alongside old stagers like Steve Trueman, Gwyn French and Chris Thomas – but they couldn’t cope with Stewart Longhurst and Kevin Jenkins as they were shot out for ELEVEN RUNS.

I fielded at fine leg both ends and touched the ball twice in their innings – and didn’t get to open the innings because we decided to give our other bowlers George Hulbert and Kevin Watkins a chance to get a few runs; both carrying their bats in the four overs it took to reach such a paltry score.

Coincidentally Pembroke reached the final and gained their first-ever win and at the club’s dinner everyone who had contributed in the earlier rounds was presented with a medal – including me!

I’m sorry to say it meant little to me because I hadn’t deserved it and a few weeks later I spoke at The Quarterdeck’s inaugural dinner and presented it to my old pal Gwyn French because he had edged a boundary as top scorer in that first-round ‘battle’ – and I felt he had made a bigger contribution to his team than I did to mine!


Mike carried his bat for Pembroke Dock – for 8 not out!

Mike RidleyIn recent article on this site Pembroke Dock Quins’ stalwart Mike Ridley told me a bit about his five years of cricket with Pembroke Dock CC at Imble Lane – and it was in the 1971 season that his most memorable moment arrived because he opened the batting for the seconds at Cresselly and he was still there at the end with EIGHT NOT OUT in a total of 28 all out.

But it was also a day to remember because he was able to rush back to Imble Lane to see Charlie George score a fantastic goal that not only helped Arsenal win the FA Cup Final at Wembley but completed the double since The Gunners had already won the First Division, as it was then.

Isn’t it funny how you can remember those two great things being on the same day?


Fraser carries his bat – for 0 not out twice!

Fraser WatsonFraser Watson is recognised as a very good rugby player and is also a cricket administrator/batsman at Llanrhian – and he has an almost unbeatable claim to fame as he once opened the batting for the club’s first team and was still there at the end without a run to his name after the team was shot out for 21.

Coincidentally, Fraser had also scored 0 not out the previous evening at Hook as he went in as a tail ender for the first team in a Harrison-Allen Bowl match but he was back there less than 24 hours later with the second string – and this time was opening the batting.

“We were 1 for 1 after the first over and I had played out the fifth and sixth balls but then everything went haywire as wickets tumbled and I only faced a few deliveries as I looked on at the other end.

“I know it sounds crazy to be 0 not out after batting through an innings but it was all so quick – and the only consolation was that I was back in time to watch some of the Athens Olympic Games where the great Kelly Holmes won a middle-distance gold and I was able to watch it live on TV and cheer her on!”


A match with only five runs – and 12 wickets!

And it’s nice to finish with a real cracker from a game at Llanddewi Velfrey two years ago when Whitland Thirds, captained by Gethin Benjamin, bowled a nine-man Pembroke Dock Team (skippered by Phil Scott) out for only two runs – and then lost two wickets in reaching their target!

It must surely rate as the fastest finish in local cricket’s history as The Dock batsmen were dumped out by the bowling of former Lawrenny fast bowler John Fuller (4 for 1) and Barry Rees (ex-St Clears with 4 for 0) alongside one extra.

There was an early scare for Whitland though, as two of their top-line batsmen went for ducks but 14 year old Ethan Ryan scored three runs and his team were able to return to watch their first team play.

It meant that Young Benji’s team ought to have earned promotion from division five but there was a real set-back which prevented that since their second XI was relegated from division three.

But it was a remarkable end to their campaign and one which no-one involved will ever forget!

Gethin Benjamin