2:02pm Monday 28th April 2014
This week Bill Carne talks to William Morris, who used to play cricket and football for Lawrenny but now lives in Canada and has been braving huge snowfalls a little earlier in the year . . .
When we spoke to William Morris at his new home in Canada the outside temperature was -10C which he said was near-tropical compared to what he and wife Hannah previously had this winter - -28C, brrr!
They have been over in Canada for 17 months and it is quite clear that winter sports dominate the sports calendar. Ice hockey is like a religion in Canada, just as rugby is in Wales but William hasn't been brave enough yet to strap on any skates, but who knows, maybe one day!
Soccer, Canadian football, rugby and curling make up the remaining sports which seem to be available locally and there is even some cricket to be found in Toronto.
"This is a level above my ability," admits William, "and an hour and a half journey is not quite as accessible as my regular summer trips to play for the mighty Lawrenny Cricket Club when we lived in Pembrokeshire and where great characters like Chris Williams, Dai Jones, Owen Williams and Clive Lewis are old-timers, still as involved off the field in supporting our tiny village team as they were on it!"
"Hannah and I keep busy with both of our jobs being linked to farming in the dairy sector, which is far more profitable here than in the UK and more enjoyable, so our chances to spend much time taking part or watching sport are limited but who knows what the future might bring here once the weather relents a little and it gets warmer
William often thinks back to his sporting days in Lawrenny where he spent many enjoyable seasons playing cricket and football.
"I have many cricketing stories from over the years" he told us, "but the one that sticks in my mind involves the infamous Adrian Harries. One Saturday afternoon, while playing away at Haverfordwest in a league game, we found ourselves bowling first.
“Haverfordwest started in a familiarly aggressive manner and after 10 overs or so, I found myself bowling from the bottom end, up the hill. Batting against me as I bowled was Karl Rhead - which would have been a big wicket to get because Karl was rightly regarded as one of the top batsmen in the county.
“As the over changed, ‘Harries’ came running over and said, "come on Will, let's have Karl the next over! You can do it and we need to get rid of him now!"
“From the very first ball of my next over, Karl miss-hit the ball from a leading edge. The ball floated slowly up in Adrian's direction. There was an eerie silence as we all waited with baited breath - and Adrian dropped the simplest chance he could ever have in his life!
“Karl went on to score a shed full, much to the amusement of the entire Haverfordwest team and in fact the Lawrenny team, but once we reached the club house, the first round was on Adrian to say sorry!
“He was clearly upset but it was typical of the top Lawrenny players like Rob Williams, Steve Lewis, James Buckle, Ian Jenkins and the rest that they didn't make it worse by getting on to him about it!
"A few personal highlights would include getting my first (and only) 50 in the First Division - I scored 56 not out against Saundersfoot in 2011 and I was really chuffed but still had my leg pulled about how lucky I was. But I knew how pleased the boys were for me really!
“I also had a 5-wicket haul against Cresselly in a local derby in 2012, in my last game for Lawrenny before we left for Canada. Ironically neither performance contributed to a win but I look back on them with great delight during this icy weather out here!
Ask William about footballing memories and he is quick to respond.
"My favourite memory from my footballing days must be playing away in Johnston in 2004. To start with, we had to push start the bus when leaving the Quay on the way to the game as the starter motor had burnt out - typical. Jonny Palmer, our resident mechanic, claimed that it was a problem with the fuel pipes which it obviously was not. During the game, I took a face-on deflection to the nose which reshaped it slightly and knocked me to the floor.
Luckily, my team mate, Ian 'Bish' Jenkins, came to my aid. He grabbed my sore nose and demanded to know how many fingers he was holding up, as he stuck his middle finger up at me! A great help as ever! We all had a good laugh about it after the game as we push-started the bus to return home and I had a very sore nose for a few days afterwards!
Another personal highlight from my football days would be scoring from inside my own half, up the hill, while playing against Manorbier in a monsoon. The ball landed on the penalty spot and bounced over the keeper, much to everyone's amusement - but I was still able to claim that I had scored a goal from a longer distance than any of them!
I wish everyone in Pembrokeshire well, especially my parents Jocelyn and Walter (who was a bit of a cricketer with St Florence in his younger days), and my brother Jonathan, plus everyone I have been lucky to have met through sport in our great county!
I also can't wait for a game of cricket with Adrian and the boys when I return home for a holiday!
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