A very large crowd pays tribute to Whitland's 'Benji'

Whitland and MP XI


 Mike Phillips says a few wordsRob Benjamin Memorial Match:

A very large crowd turned up to pay tribute to Rob Benjamin’s work with Whitland Cricket Club, and also the local rugby club, as Mike Phillips, the Welsh International scrum half and former cricketer at Whitland, brought a representative team to play them as a means of celebrating Rob’s life in the town.
He and his team, which included English international Robert Croft and well-known rugby pundit Sean Holley, helped raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity and the Neuro-Oncology Department at Singleton Hospital.
With rain causing one halt to play, captains Jonathan Thomas and Mike Phillips agreed to play a 20-20 game, followed by a superb tea and then a second game of 10 overs per side to round off a day where Rob’s partner Ann-Marie Jenkins, sons Gethin and Sion, plus a number of other members of the family, friends, colleagues and some from other clubs enjoyed good cricket and even greater camaraderie.
It was also great that stalwart club man and county club president Trefor Evans has recovered from illness and officiated throughout, whilst Darren Bujega did a masterful job with both scorebox and scorebook as honours ended even because the Invitation XI edged home in the first format and Whitland won the second tussle.

 Some of the guests


20-20 match:


Mike Phillips XI win a thriller


Whitland (131 for 5) lost to Mike Phillips XI (135 for 5)

Whitland batted first and set a decent target for the Invitation XI as Kevin Pearce (19) and Jacob Bowen settled in well, with Owen reaching a deserved half century that included six fours and a six before he retired.
Gethin Scourfield (14), Cian Rees (13) and Scott Newton (10) managed double figures whilst veteran bowler Mark Lee showed son Steff, playing for Whitland, that he could still take wickets with a 2 for 13 spell alongside wickets for Carl Smith, Matthew James and Robert Croft, who played in 21 tests for England and loads of one-day internationals, and delighted the crowd with his appearance.
Top pundit Sean Holley could only muster a single as he fell early to a good Steff Lee catch off Geraint Phillips but Jack Badham joined Croft in an excellent partnership before the latter fell for 20 as Scott Newton’s catch gave young Lee a wicket in a 2 for 13 spell that matched dad’s performance.
Croft went on to score a cultured 50 before he also retired and other steady scores by Bleddyn Evans (13) and Mike Phillips (15) set up the platform for Richard Cope (12 not out) and Matthew James (13 not out) took the Mike Philips XI home in a tesne finish.


Whitland Batting:
Kevin Pearce bowled Carl Smith 19
Jacob Owen retired 50
Gethin Scourfield b Mark Lee 14
Luc Owen ct Sean Holley b Mark Lee 4
Cian Rees run out 13
Scott Newton ct James Ingleton b Robert Croft 10
Connor Bowen not out 7
Steffan Lee not out 0
Total (5 wickets) 131
Mike Phillips XI Bowling:
Mike Phillips 2-0-20-0; Carl Smith 3-0-15-1; James Ingleton 3-0-4-0; Sean Holley 3-0-18-0; Mark Lee 2-0-13-2; Richard Cope 2-0-15-0; Robert Croft 3-0-25-1; Matthew James 5-0-20-1.
Mike Phillips XI Batting:
Sean Holley ct Steffan Lee b Geraint Phillips 1
Robert Croft retired 50
Jack Badham ct Scott Newton b Steffan Lee 20
Darren Rees lbw b Jonathan Thomas 0
Bleddyn Evans ct Gethin Scourfield b Steffan Lee 13
Mike Phillips b Luc Owen 15
Richard Cope not out 12
Matthew James not out 13
Extras 11
Total (5 wickets 135)
Whitland Bowling:
Cian Rees 4-0-21-0; Geraint Phillips 3-0-21-1; Jonathan Thomas 3-0-18-1; Connor Bowen 3-0-24-0; Scott Newton 2-0-14-0; Steffan Lee 2-0-13-2; Gethin Scourfield 2-0-13-0; Luc Owen 1-0-5-1.

 Spring Hill Ground


10-10 Match:


Whitland gain revenge with good batting


Whitland (88 for 1) beat Mike Phillips XI (62 for 5)

 Sporting finishWhitland started this shorter version of the game determined to gain a measure of revenge and experienced openers Kevin Pearce and Scott Newton despatched the bowing to all corners of the ground, aided by a couple for difficult dropped catches.
Pearce belted his usual boundaries before getting bowled by James Ingleton when he reached 20 but the pace of the innings increased even more as Newton was joined by skipper Jonathan Thomas as all the bowlers suffered with the exception of Lee (senior) whose solitary late over saw only two runs scored.
Newton impressed with his three big sixes and a four in his unbeaten 33 whilst Thomas supported with 21 not out that contained a couple of stylish boundaries – and with 14 from ‘Mr Extras’ a final tally of 88 was a good one in the conditions.
The Invitation XI needed a good start but Jamie Thomas squashed that hope as he removed openers Holley (2) and Ingledon (8) – and when Richard Cope went cheaply the writing was on the wall because the run-rate was well below the required pace.
But skipper Phillips redressed the balance a little with two mighty sixes and a four but when he’d reached 23 he went for one big shot too many and Jacob Owen took a vital catch off Geraint Phillips
Mark Lee showed he could also bat a bit as he remained unbeaten on 9 at the end of the innings but Whitland were worthy winners and so honours ended even on a great day’s cricket which was enjoyed by all as an appropriate tribute to Rob Benjamin and had the added bonus of raising much-needed funds for two very worthy causes!


Whitland Batting:
Kevin Pearce b James Ingleton 20
Scott Newton not out 33
Jonathan Thomas not out 21
Extras 14
Total (1 wicket) 88
Mike Phillips XI Bowling:
Carl Smith 2-0-16-0; Bleddyn Evans 2-0-12-0; James Ingleton 2-0-16-1; Robert Croft 2-0—19-0; Matthew James 1-0-12-0; Mark Lee 1-0-2-0.
Mike Phillips XI Batting:
Sean Holley b Jamie Thomas 2
James Ingleton ct Wayne Howells b Jamie Thomas 8
Mike Phillips ct Jacob Owen b Geraint Phillips 23
Richard Cope ct Jonathan Thomas b Jacob Owen 9
Carl Smith b Cian Rees 6
Mark Lee not out 9
Extras 5
Total (5 wickets) 62
Whitland Bowling:
Wayne Howells 2-0-9-0; Jamie Thomas 2-0-10-2; Steffan Lee 2-0-15-0; Jacob Owen 1-0-12-1; Geraint Phillips 1-0-6-1; Luc Owen 1-0-3-0; Cian Rees 1-0-4-1.

 Benji remembered