Lyn is a really good sport
2:02pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Sport
THERE can be few people who have enjoyed a more varied range of sporting activities in Pembrokeshire than Lyn Rees, who has been involved in cricket, football, badminton and golf, all to a high level in terms of success, alongside enjoying his work as head teacher of Milford Haven Junior School, where he tries to pass on that love of sport to his eager pupils.
As a lad in Solva he started playing his cricket in a Llanrhian team that had real characters like Alun Davies, Gareth Jenkins, Morgan Miles, David and Rob Lloyd, and he represented Pembrokeshire Schools U19s alongside Steve Meaney, Chris and Steve Rule, Meyrick Rowlands and Nigel Harries.
This was followed by selection for the Pembroke County Cricket Club at senior level in his final season at Llanrhian and a year later when he took up a teaching post in Milford Haven he joined Neyland Cricket Club. It was great to play with the likes of Gethin Evans, Peter Hall, Russell James and Tommy Jones, with a memorable fixture against the touring Queensland Colts, who were too strong for Lyn and Co!
At Neyland he was part of a team which won the first division title in 1980 and the Harrison-Allen Bowl in 1983, both memorable for all the right reasons!
Lyn left cricket at the ripe old age of 27 because he had become heavily involved in golf at Milford Haven Golf Club, where he became captain in 1986. He won the club championship six times and represented Dyfed for over ten years.
He is a former course record holder at St Davids City (where he started out at 11 and was down to a handicap of six by the time he was 18), and Milford Haven, where he had a best round of 65 (six under par). Lyn played in both Welsh Strokeplay and Matchplay Championships and won one Welsh Golfing Union event at Royal Porthcawl.
At this peak time he competed against a number of golfers who have since turned professional and been successful on European Tour and once beat Bradley Dredge in a match between Dyfed and Gwent, but lost against Phillip Price, who played for Glamorgan.
Lyn won the Pembrokeshire Championship at Milford Haven, finished second in the Dyfed Championship at Tenby (losing only on count back) and third at Carmarthen. He also won the Dyfed Foursomes Championship, playing with Steven Read at Haverfordwest.
During his time in golf, Lyn has had 3 holes-in-one, all on different holes at Milford Haven. He had played for 20 years without a single hole in one and then the first one came whilst being Captain, a very expensive round that day! Another followed within two months and, amazingly, the third arrived within a year! Lyns lowest handicap reached was the coveted scratch and he achieved that for first time after shooting a round of 68 playing at Tenby.
As a student, Lyn represented Welsh Colleges at golf (1975-78), cricket and badminton and in 1975, as a member of St Davids Badminton Club, was a Pembrokeshire finalist at badminton, partnering Jonathan Bennett but losing out to the top two players in the county in Barry Woods and Alan Hyde.
Not content with that little lot, Lyn also played football for Solva, Neyland and Milford Athletic before he finished at 35, having scored over 200 goals in the Pembrokeshire League, mostly in the first and second divisions.
He started out with Solva under 15s alongside Ian Walsh, Matthew Raggett and Nigel Phillips and was part of the clubs under 18 team which reached the West Wales Youth Cup Final but lost 5-0 to Swansea City Youth on the old Vetch Field.
Throughout this time Lyn was lucky to have the total support of his parents Yvonne and Colin, who has just had his 80th birthday and is still a sports fanatic from whom Lyn inherited his love of sport. They still live in Solva and they regularly travel to watch grandson Geraint playing cricket and football. Lyns other major supporters have been his wife Jane and daughter Beth.
After being so heavily involved in golf at Milford Haven Golf Club, Lyn returned to playing cricket accidentally when Jeremy Brock asked him if he fancied a game as Llangwm were short one week. He agreed and one game turned into eight seasons as he really enjoyed being back in cricket. Lyn scored two hundreds for Llangwm, with 120 at Fishguard for the thirds and 103 not out against Pembroke for the first team, when he shared an opening stand with Andrew Ackie Harries, who smashed 170 runs!
After eight very enjoyable seasons at Llangwm, Lyn returned to Neyland to play alongside 13 year-old son, Geraint in the clubs second team, and scored over 600 runs this season, including two centuries, both against Hook, both 103 and run out on both occasions! He reached 100 at Hook when batting with Geraint playing in his first senior match, which was a very memorable experience. That means that Lyn has now scored four centuries since returning to cricket (in old age!) having scored only one previously, which was 123 not out whilst playing for Cardiff College against Penarth in 1977!
I think the secret is patience, admitted Lyn, something I probably didnt have in my younger days!
I have also been heavily involved in coaching cricket in recent years, with Neyland Junior Section, from under 9s up to under 13s. During the past three years I have also been team manager for a County junior team.
Geraint was selected for the County under 10s in 2010 and the coach, Jamie Phelps, was staying with that age group the following year.
We were concerned that there would be no one to run the under 11s so Andrew Williams (Narberth) and I decided to volunteer, to ensure that our boys age group still had the opportunity to play county cricket. We, with the help of Brennan Lay, have now run the under 11s, 12s and 13s in successive years.
Lyn has accompanied team on trips to Ipswich, North Wales and Bromsgrove, playing approximately a dozen fixtures each season, and is delighted to see the progress that the boys have made since under 10 level. Before this season, the best score for the team was 46 not out but this year, three boys (including Geraint) passed fifty and Jacob Lay scored 110 against Oxfordshire.
I am also very pleased that majority of boys in county under13s squad are now playing senior cricket for their clubs, said Lyn, which helps to secure future of the game in Pembrokeshire.
Ask Lyn about ambitions and he would say he would like to play in the Welsh Seniors Golf Championships and to represent Wales Seniors! A few games for the Welsh over 50s cricket team wouldn't go amiss either because he is determined to play the game as long as his legs hold out and that should be for quite some time yet because Lyn Rees is very fit for his age and enjoying his sport as much as ever!
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