Natalie really enjoys her scoring role with The Town

Cricket Scorers Feature:

Natalie Thomas Natalie Thomas was given her first scorebook as a present when she was only seven years old and now, 20 years later, she does a great job of scoring for Haverfordwest Cricket Club second XI and their Ormond Youth Cup team.

She and her sister Hannah used to attend matches when her father Paul was playing as a talented all-rounder with The Town and the family links are continued because her mum Alison is the club’s Hon Secretary.

Very early start to scoring and qualified as a scorer within two years!

Her grandparents Jean and Mel Thomas are also terrific supporters of Haverfordwest CC and it was Mel who bought her that first scorebook as she loved to sit alongside long-serving scorer Jayne Cole in the scorebox near the clubhouse.

“Looking back I used to moither Jayne a lot but she was always very patient with me and by the time I was nine I was taking the scorers’ exam at Cresselly with a lady called Stephanie who came down from Cardiff. 

“I took the beginner’s test at the same time as Joy James (Hook) was sitting the advanced test and I can still remember how chuffed I was when I was told I had passed!”

Third team start with some good guys in the team

Natalie started out officially scoring for the third team when she was in her mid-teens and Nigel Jenkins asked her to help out.

“It wasn’t easy at first because there were only a few times the other teams had a scorer in the lower divisions and it was difficult even with our own players to recognise them because they all wore helmets – but I got through it somehow and I must be honest when I say that I liked being involved because of the nice characters like Matthew Vaughan, Richard Davies, Paul and Nigel Jenkins who were part of the team.

At that time Natalie used to work part-time at a shop in the town centre and it is to her credit that she even managed to arrange her shift patterns so that she always had Saturday afternoons off!

She was too young to get to away matches under her own steam and she had great support in getting to them from – you’ve guessed it – grandparents Mel and Jean!

Took over the seconds’ scoring when Ros decided to step down

After a while Natalie was asked to join the seconds’ scoring team because regular incumbent Ros Phillips wanted to stand down and so she was mentored by Ros, keeping the scorebook in apple-pie order whilst Ros sat alongside and gave advice, when needed.

“I really enjoyed the season,” Ros told us, “because Natalie was eager to learn and it was great fun as we had deep discussions in between overs about all sorts of things.  I count her as a close friend now, as well as a good scorer!”

Great friendships formed with other scorers

Ask Natalie about other friends she had made whilst scoring and she can reel off a list of names of other scorers whose company she has enjoyed after Ros and Jayne Cole, like Ann-Marie Jenkins (Whitland),, Teagan and Casey Cartwright (Cresselly), Janice Brick (Llangwm), Rose Jenkins and the late Hazel Poole (Kilgetty) – and then there are old-timers like Des Brace (Cresselly), Dennis Venables (Burton) and Jeff Saies (Llangwm).

During her time in the scorebox Natalie has been part of the Haverfordwest Cricket Club second team in scoring in four or five Alec Colley Cup Finals at Pembroke and one Ormond Youth Cup Final which they won at Carew with talented young players like Dan Cole, Nitin Mathias and George Thomas playing.

And finally . . .

“Matches involving two innings per team are perhaps a little more stressful in terms of concentration,” admitted Natalie, “and I’ve also scored for the firsts in odd Harrison-Allen Bowl games when Jayne has been working, the Jubilee Cup Final and one DR Morris Cup Final at Burton when she was on holiday.”

“I really enjoy doing my job and I just love being involved where my grandfather and father played so in a way I am keeping up the family tradition – and I like helping out the old fogeys who want the scores from the local press,” she adds with a hint of a smile!

And as someone who picks her brain every week for individual scores, the number of fours and sixes involved, good catches and all sorts of other odd details, I can vouch for the fact that Natalie Thomas is not only a very good scorer but a pleasant and helpful young lady!