'Seffie' steers Carew to come-back win over The Town in 2010 writes Fraser Watson

Harrison Allen Bowl -winners Carew


The target was 153, the sun had long gone in, and Haverfordwest spinner Nick Dyer was turning it like nobody’s business.

For Carew, who had been 19 runs down at tea, winning the Harrison-Allen Bowl in 2010 looked a tall order.

But Ian Sefton had other ideas.

Final - Carew capt  Phil JonesSkipper Phil remembers it like yesterday

The opener would famously crack 92 from just 65 balls before The Rooks got home with five wickets to spare, and their skipper that day remembers it all too well.

“Seffie was amazing that day and I’ve always said he won it for us,” recalled Phil Jones.

“153 was a tall order as it was a turning track and the rest of us were struggling to get Dyer off the square. But he just picked him and all the other bowlers off easily.

“On his day he’s always been one of the best opening batsman around and he was superb in that second innings when we needed him most.”

Great start as ‘The Doc’ departs early – but The Town battle back

Indeed, until Sefton took command, the day had been anything but straightforward for Jones and co. And that was despite the best early bonus they could have hoped for.

In what would become a recurring theme in Bowl finals to come, much of the pre-match hype surrounded the prolific run getting of Haverfordwest batsman Simon Holliday. Carew had a plan to keep him in check – one as it turns out, they didn’t need.

“We had debated over selection all week and decided to give the new ball to a young Tom Davies,” said Jones.

“First over he bowled a filthy leg side full toss and Holliday clipped straight to Seffie at square leg. It was a big moment.”

Karl Rhead would go on to top score for The Town with 51 while a late blast of 32 from 18 balls from Adam James took Huw Scriven’s side to 145-8 in 22 overs.

Carew struggle but tail-enders Helmich and Griffiths give some hope before Rhys Davies’ bowling gives them a chance

Final - MoM - Ian SeftonFor much of their reply Carew were behind the eight ball. Sefton (20), Nick Scourfield (22) and Simon Wood (23) all got starts but Dyer (4-32) and Phil Kirkby (4-11) left them staring at a sizeable first innings deficit before an unexpected intervention salvaged some hope.

“Scott Helmich and Aled Griffiths were our final pair and neither was a renowned batsmen,” added Jones.

“But they managed to pitch and putt their way to a few runs and got us up to 126 all out. Suddenly, 19 behind didn’t look too bad.”

And after tea The Town were restricted to 133-7 as Holliday again went cheaply. Another blast of 29 from 15 balls from Adam James again added impetus, but Rhys Davies took 4-27 which included a memorable Brian Hall catch to remove Kirkby. His haul helped ensure Carew’s run chase was a tricky but do-able one.

Carew set off superbly via Nick Scourfield and Sefton

And even more so when Sefton and Scourfield (19) put on 75 for the opening wicket. Indeed it was only the latter and Simon Wood (13) who also reached double figures in the innings as Sefton, who survived a missed stumping chance by Scriven when in the 40s, cracked eight sixes and five fours.

He would eventually fall agonizingly short of a century, but by then the damage was done and it was Rhys Davies and Jones himself who then got Carew over the line.

Final - Carew 2nd inningsEmotional day for skipper Jones . . .

And the day still stirs emotion for the skipper.

“It’s a tough day to be a captain but it’s definitely the pinnacle for a Pembrokeshire cricketer. I’d been in a final as a player which was amazing but this was different.

“It’s a tiring day emotionally. Your team has good spells for half an hour and then suddenly the tide turns for the next half hour. As the day goes on the crowd are cheering and everyone is pointing to make suggestions.

“I was just determined to do my own thing.”

. . . As dad Cliff was remembered

But for Jones, it was about far more than him and his Carew teammates. So much so in fact, that the victory was almost tainted before a stroke of luck.

“All the other Carew players had their dads there that day but my own father (Cliff) had died six weeks before. In fact when I lifted the Bowl, Nick clocked me looking up at the sky quickly to acknowledge him.

“He’d followed me everywhere and had played for Narberth in Harrison-Allen finals in the 60s. I had his winners medal in my pocket for the day and while fielding I managed to lose it.  

“I was a bit down because of that and was hoping the missus had just put it through the wash - but the next day I had a call to say it had been found on the outfield.”

And finally . . .

Final - Carew skipper Phil Jones and coach Mike Scourfield with the BowlWeeks later Carew would narrowly miss out on the Division 1 title and Jones’ tenure as captaincy finished that season, but it didn’t taint what he labels his best day in Pembrokeshire cricket.

As for man of the match Sefton, he would say during the presentations: “In the second innings I was always going to target the clubhouse end and once you get on a roll it’s a matter of keeping it going.

“You get days like this occasionally and you just have to cash in.”

And cash in he did.

Sefton continues to score runs in the top tier of local cricket - but few of his knocks would have lingered as long in the memory as this one did.

Harrison Allen Bowl - winners winners Carew