Sporting Families - The Summons'

The Summons Family


Sporting Families:

This month we at ‘Pembrokeshire’ are delighted to continue our popular series about sporting families in our county and we travel to Hayston Farm, in Johnston, to chat to the Summons Family about their fantastic contribution to cricket in Johnston and rugby at Haverfordwest . . .
There is plenty of work for the Summons family to do on their Hayston Farm, near Johnston, but all four members are heavily involved in the cricket club in the village and are also a very busy quartet at Haverfordwest Rugby Club and beyond.
Mum Delyth is the Hon Treasurer of both clubs as well as also looking after the finances of the Pembrokeshire & District Rugby Union; whilst dad John is still playing cricket for Johnston, despite being past his 60th birthday, and after many years of playing at scrum half for The Blues and sometimes for the county, he now looks after the players’ welfare on match days and during training as unofficial physio.
Then there’s daughter Emma, arguably the one with the widest range of sporting interests as she can boast of having played football and cricket for Wales, rugby for Haverfordwest, Whitland and The Scarlets, is still plays cricket for Johnston’s men’s team (she kept wicket the other week) and hockey for Milford Haven Ladies!
Son Lee followed dad into the No 9 jersey at Haverfordwest and after starting out his cricket with Johnston at junior level he won league and Harrison-Allen Bowl honours with Haverfordwest in a stay at The Racecourse – but is now back scoring runs for The Glebelands’ Gang!

Haverfordwest RFC Pork Supper - Gareth Griffiths, Derwyn Jones, Geoff Williams, Sam Warburton, Brian Stephens and Delyth Summons

Delyth has always loved being involved – especially off the field!

Delyth SummonsAsk Delyth about her own sporting participation and she would say that much of it was confined to her school days as she played hockey for Pantycelyn School in Llandovery and football for the boys’ team in her home village of Cilycwm.
“Then when I married John I came to Johnston and it was natural to support him and then the kids in their sport.
“I only ever played one game of cricket when the club was short and Emma insisted I join her in the team - and I went in to bat with only five balls left and could hardly walk because of all the kit I had on.
“I missed every ball but was not out at the finish – and I told her straight – NEVER AGAIN, although I have been the scorer for the club and I’m more than happy just balancing our books”
Delyth is also the Hon Treasurer at Haverfordwest RFC and told us,
“With the pandemic bringing about a halt in play we have tried to keep the boys together in other activities, like fund-raising for Dan Birch’s baby daughter, ‘Patch’ and The ‘Paul Sartori Foundation’.
“We have also tried to help our community by holding the local ‘Warfarin’ Clinic at the club, along with Covid vaccination clinics because we have plenty of space in the clubhouse and superb parking outside. We don’t charge any of them because we want to help our area – and we have been lucky to have grants from the Welsh Rugby Union and rate relief grants from Pembrokeshire County Council.
“Now we are looking forward to rugby’s restart and we have already had training sessions with our mixed-ability team called The Pembrokeshire Vikings, alongside our senior men’s team, ladies and juniors.
“It will also be a time to get busy again with the Pembrokeshire and District Rugby Union as we hope to start up the Knock-Out Cup again!”

John is so focussed on his sport – despite also running the family farm

  John SummonsPerhaps surprisingly for someone so involved with Johnston Cricket, John Summons didn’t start his cricketing days at Glebelands but with Rosemarket, a team full of characters but now sadly defunct.
He then had a couple of seasons at Neyland but in 1990 he joined Johnston and in the intervening three decades he has given yeoman service, on and off the field, with one of his roles being the maintenance of machinery, because, as he says, “a pitch and outfield is only as good as the equipment used to look after it.” He also joins Steve James and Steve Mills (senior) in any other jobs that need doing.
On the field he has been a reliable opening bat and useful bowler in his younger days – and is rightly proud of the fact that he was the first Johnston player to reach three figures at Glebelands. On the bowling front his biggest scalp in Division 1 is the wicket of Snowy (Simon Cole)
“I scored 113 not out against Fishguard and my only other ‘ton’ was exactly 100 not out, also against Fishguard. I’ve also had my share of half centuries and now that we don’t have a second team, at the moment I’m only playing the odd game, but am happy to play a part as umpire if I’m needed.
John Summons“On the bowling front I once got hit for three sixes on the trot but then bowled Gino Cleal, who is now our daughter Emma’s partner as his reward!”
John also played football as a teenager with Johnston and later played senior football on the right wing alongside the likes of Huw Brophy, big John Codd, Steve and Richard James.

“But a lot of my mates at STP School played rugby so I joined the likes Gordon Thomas, Geraint John, Mark Britton, John Scurlock, Andrew ‘Kanga’ John and Graham Morgan as part of a Haverfordwest Youth team that won the Pembrokeshire League and Youth Cup.
“Then I went straight into senior rugby with Trevor James as coach and he told me I might want to think about playing elsewhere for a while because The Blues had amazing scrum halves in Andy Grey and Gelly James but I stuck at it and eventually I made it into the first team where I won medals for both the league and KO Cup.
“Billy Martin was a great fly half and for much of the time we were given an armchair ride behind a powerful pack that included Brian ‘Ginger’ Davies, John Griffiths, PJ Thomas, Nigel Griffiths, Gareth Griffiths, John Lavis, Richard Thomas, Peter Griffiths and the incomparable Keith Fleming. In 1988/89 I was chosen as captain of Haverfordwest RFC, which I considered a great honour.
“I also played quite a few games for the county and was on the bench for two county cup finals but there was little chance for substitutes in those days so didn’t get on – but it was just nice to be included in the squad with so many good players about.”
Although John would play down his work at Pembroke Road there is no doubt that he is still very much part of the set-up and in the past has helped with coaching and is now the club’s first-aider on match days and unofficial physio as he gives pre-match massages to ease players’ tired muscles.
“I’m busy with my farming life but I have loved my time with Haverfordwest RFC, on and off the pitch, and am more than happy to continue helping there for as long as I’m needed!”

Lee is a chip off the old block – in rugby and cricket!

Lee, Beth and George SummonsLee has certainly followed in the Summons’ family sporting traditions because he has played rugby for well over a decade at Haverfordwest and has been a good all-rounder with Johnston, as well as having respective spells of two and three years with Neyland and Haverfordwest.
“I also played a bit of football at junior level with Johnston but it was rugby that I always enjoyed more,” admitted Lee, “ and I played for the juniors under Craig Jones – and I was a scrum half even then in a very good squad where Mikey Jones was my outside half partner.
“One of the undoubted highlights since then was playing for the first team in the Pembrokeshire Knock Out Final against Tenby United in Whitland where I came on as a second-half replacement for Richard James and we did well to win – and celebrated in style afterwards!
“At 31 I still have a couple of seasons left but I’m not sure what will happen after rugby restarts because I am a self-employed tree surgeon and I can’t afford to get an injury which would stop me working – so we’ll wait and see.”
Another factor is that he and his partner Beth have a son George and at two and a half years old is already taking to ball sports.

Lee Summons“He can already throw a ball well for his age and he loves coming to the cricket at Glebelands, where the other players are great and keep him occupied when we are batting – and although Beth is not a sports player she enjoys coming along too with the rest of our family.”
Lee came back to Johnston this season so that he could enjoy the fun there on match days.
“I had two seasons when I was a teenager at Neyland and was made welcome by skipper Gregg Miller and the rest of the boys but eventually returned to Johnston – and three years ago I decided to test my cricket at a higher level with Haverfordwest, where I was made at home from the outset.
“Undoubted highlight? That was winning the Harrison-Allen Bowl in 2019 and it was nice to be involved as I grabbed a couple of wickets and scored 20-odd in the first innings on what will always be known as the ‘Adam James’ Final’ because he battered Lawrenny with his incredibly powerful batting.”
“My top score at The Racecourse was 87 and I was pleased with that because I was usually in the middle order – but my best score came at Glebelands when a reached 145 not out against Pembroke.
“I have also had scores of 108 and 103 for Johnston and best bowling figures of 6 for 36 but although it is nice to remember them it is much more about enjoying my involvement and I have to say I’ve been very lucky wherever I’ve been, but now I’m just ready to play my heart out at Johnston – and see George grow up there!

Emma has played such a wide range of sport

Emma SummonsWith her family background it is small wonder that Emma has always enjoyed taking part in her sport – and she has played for Wales in cricket and football, rugby as a very talented scrum half, hockey to South Wales level, cross-country and athletics for West Wales, plus netball and badminton for Pembrokeshire – phew!
One of her favourites is rugby and as well as locally with Haverfordwest and Whitland she also turned out for UWIC in Cardiff, playing against other university teams like Loughborough and Northumbria and also doing well against local ladies’ teams like Llandaff and Pontyclun. She has done really well at Hendy Gwyn and also represented The Scarlets against the other Welsh regions as proof of her capabilities.
She, along with Kenny Davies, has also coached Pembrokeshire U19s to three Wynne Lloyd cup finals in five years, winning two of these against Caerphilly and Ceredigion at Cardiff Arms Park and Parc Y Scarlets respectively. She is now coaching The Pembrokeshire Vikings Mixed Ability team based in Haverfordwest RFC – and doing a great job.
Football was a game she started out with at Johnston as a 12 year old in the boy’ team and then moving on to play at senior level with Neyland Ladies.

In her first season in university she played for UWIC, turning out regularly at full back against the likes of Loughborough, Bath and Exeter, as well as playing for Cardiff in the South Wales League and getting promoted there. Not content with that little lot she also represented Wales in a four-team UEFA tournament in Holland, losing to the host nation but beating Finland and gaining a draw against Greece.
Emma has also represented her country at cricket, playing as a wicket-keeper/batsman at under 13, under 15, under 17 levels as well as at senior level. She was also delighted to be invited by a team mate called Moira Comfort to play for the MCC ladies team in Staffordshire and readily admits that she really enjoyed the experience!
 Emma, Gino and ElinIt all seems a long way from when she played with Johnston Juniors and then moved on to Neyland Ladies. She kept wicket there in a team which won the league title for five seasons with players of the calibre of Kath Easton, Julie Garlick, Naomi James and the Morris girls – and won three cup finals as well.
We believe she is the first female player to play in Pembrokeshire Division 1 where she kept wicket on a regular basis. She still plays for Johnston men’s team and has played twice this season to help out, one of them with the keeper’s gloves on.
During her time in school Emma also played hockey and netball for STP School and Pembrokeshire, playing for them, Haverfordwest Ladies and South West Wales in hockey as a sweeper against representative teams from North Wales and East Wales. She currently plays in centre midfield for Milford Haven in South Wales Division Two. In netball, she played for school and Pembrokeshire at centre or wing defence.
Emma started out in athletics as a 200m and 400m runner and was persuaded to take up the 400 metres hurdles after county success in both. She gave it a try and won the county competition before coming third in the Welsh Championships despite her inexperience!

It was a similar story in cross country because she was roped in to run it and won the school event before helping STP to victory in the county championships, where she was second runner home – and then was part of the county team which came first in the Welsh Championships at Brecon.
But she has her hands full at the moment because she and her partner Geno Cleal have a bouncing baby named Elin, who is already a visitor to cricket grounds around the county because dad is also a sportsman, having played football for Goodwick United and cricket at Fishguard (top score of 112) and now with Johnston, where he already has a top score of 89.
That brings us nicely back to the family’s terrific involvement in their local sport – and long may all of them continue to do so much, on and off the fields of play, at Johnston Cricket Club and Haverfordwest Rugby Club!