Helen has scored so well for The Stags

Cricket Scorers Feature:


Helen HodgesHelen Hodges has been the long-time scorer with Lamphey Cricket club after starting to help them out in 1991 when they were in division four, and saw the glory days when ‘The Stags’ were a top side in the county and winning three league titles in four seasons, appearing in three Harrison-Allen Bowl finals and winning two of them, plus two losses in DR Morris Cup finals and one defeat with the seconds in the Alec Colley Cup..
Then came the darker days when they slipped back to the third division but another renaissance when they won that section and Helen is still enjoying her part in her home village club now that they have climbed back into division two.

Loved playing French Cricket as a little girl

Helen’s love of cricket goes back a long time to her early childhood days when her late mother Diana told her that she loved French Cricket and whenever the family visited the beach any group playing the game would have her standing so very close to watch that eventually she was asked to join them – and did just that!

Captain of village hockey club – so roped in as skipper when they started playing friendly cricket . . .

But her main sport for a long time was hockey, where she was captain of Lamphey’s team, playing in goal and enjoying her role.
But then someone suggested they should start up a cricket team from their ranks to play friendly games and it was decided that since Helen was their skipper she should also do the same job – and being a diligent sort of person decided that the best course of action was to pop up to watch Lamphey play cricket and pick up some tips.

. . . And that led her in to becoming the local team’s scorer!

“But one of the players popped over to talk to me,” Helen told us with a chuckle, “and suggested that since I was there I might as well be their scorer for the rest of the game because they had no-one else!
“That was 29 years ago and I didn’t have a clue but someone sat next to me in turn (there were few actual scorers in division four) and I muddled through and enjoyed it so I just carried on.

Exciting times as Lamphey started winning major honours

“But a year later things began to change as John Green, who was one of the players, managed to get West Indian pace bowler Vasbert Drakes to join us and he helped us climb through the divisions.
“He had the longest run-up I have ever seen from any bowler and later on we had other West Indian players in Brendan Nash (who came from Australia but had a West Indian father) and Tyrone Greenaway, plus Dave Lovell (our brilliant Australian all-rounder) and another great player in Neil Warren (who lived in Australia but originally came from Saundersfoot).
“In a memorable time for the club John also managed to get world-famous players like Jack Kallis (South Africa) and Sir Viv Richards (West Indies) to play in a special match for the club at our ground and I remember when Tommy Roberts (our left-arm bowler) managed to his a huge six off Sir Viv’s bowling – and spent ages apologising to the great man!”
Other players who joined the club were the late Peter Hall and his son Brian (Carew), plus Hywel Gibbs (Kilgetty) alongside locals like Andrew Skeels, Haydn Cole, Jason Griffiths and Mark Yea.

Total commitment despite being choirmaster at Lamphey Church

A measure of Helen’s commitment to the club can be gauged from the following delightful detail which involves Helen being the choirmaster at Lamphey Church, where sometimes weddings are held.
“We haven’t had one in the cricket season for quite a while,” admitted Helen, “but when they have been on Saturdays I always hope they will be early in the day rather than later.
If our match is at home it’s not too bad,” she added, “but if we are playing away I’ve still done both roles.
“On one occasion we were playing at Saundersfoot and although I missed the start of the match I still got there in time to score after tea!”

Nice recognition from the players

It is nice to report that Helen’s devotion to Lamphey has been recognised by the players and in her time there she has been presented with a couple of radios – and on one occasion, which coincided with the celebration of Lamphey’s 50th anniversary, when Ben Stokes and Jack Leach were performing their heroics in a one-wicket win against Australia elsewhere, the team was huddled around her radio, which she had taken along with her, and almost missed having tea!
She was also presented with a framed cartoon of her herself in the scorebox, drawn by a professional and beautifully framed, as another memento in an end-of-season presentation evening – and it still adorns the wall at home.
“It is nice to be appreciated,” Helen told us, “but what matters most to me is the fact that we still have a team with a great bunch of boys who enjoy being part of Lamphey Cricket Club and I will stay as long as scorer as I am enjoying my scoring.”