Harrison Allen Bowl semi final:
Cresselly (204-8) beat Narberth (190-6) by 14 runs
CRESSELLY will contest the Harrison Allen Bowl final for the first time since 2009 after coming through an epic semi final with Narberth at Pembroke Dock last night.
Phil Williams’ men made 204-8 in their 22 overs, but Narberth, buoyed by a superb innings of 96 from opener Marc Hughes, set up a grandstand finish as they reached 185-2 with two overs left.
But a terrific over from Cresselly pace man Tom Murphy turned the tide, before Steffan Jenkins finished the job as the last 12 balls yielded three wickets and just five runs.
That nearly 400 runs were scored during the evening was testament to a superb surface at Pembroke Dock, with the lightning quick outfield ensuring an entertaining contest.
Williams’ men won the toss and elected to bat, and he and fellow opener Matthew Morgan made a steady start as they reached 43-0, before Morgan was bowled by Narberth skipper Ian Hughes for 26.
Williams made 32 before he became Hughes’ second victim, caught on the boundary by Kamal Sharma.
But that brought Simon Cole and Iwan Izzard together, and the pair put on 62 before Izzard, who hit three fours and a six, was caught by Nathan Evans off Matthew Johns for 33.
That left Cresselly 128-3, but it was then that Cole, who had survived an early run out scare, took command as he accelerated the rate whilst watching Nick Davies (4), Harry Thomas (4) fall cheaply to Ben Hughes at the other end.
Cole struck seven boundaries and was eventually run out for 59, following good work by Sharma, after taking his side to the brink of the 200 mark.
Damian Arthur (7) and Neilson Cole (4) fell to Hughes and Ben Quartermaine respectively, before Mike Shaw (10 not out) and Jenkins (1 not out) edged Cresselly to 204-8.
For Narberth, skipper Hughes finished with 2-36, Quartermaine 1-42, John 1-42, and Ben Hughes 3-57.
But in truth, they were left to rue some poor fielding, which saw several left missed chances behind the stumps and one overthrow that went to the boundary rope, giving Cole a ‘5’ on his scorecard.
Regardless, they started their reply with real intent as Marc Hughes took 14 off Murphy’s opening over, and he and Richie Adams took Narberth to 54-0 after six overs.
The latter was then caught behind by Neilson Cole off Murphy’s bowling for 20, before no 3 Kyle Quartermaine (5) was run out after misjudging a single.
But his brother Ben then joined Hughes at the crease, and the pair put on 60 before Quartermaine was well caught by Shaw off the bowling of Jenkins, after hitting two sixes in his 29.
That left Narberth 120-3 off 15 overs, needing an unlikely 85 to win off 42 balls.
But Hughes was in no mood to give in, as he continued to hammer the bowling, hitting four boundaries off one particular Jenkins over.
Aaron Keane offered support, and the pair took Narberth within 20 runs of victory after 20 overs.
But then Williams brought back 15-year-old Murphy for his final over, and it proved a master stroke as he conceded just one wide, and had Keane (17) superbly caught behind by a diving Neilson Cole.
In the final over opener Hughes was finally dismissed, caught by Simon Cole off the bowling of Jenkins, just four runs short of a deserved century. But his knock, that included 13 fours and two sixes, saw him receive a standing ovation from both sets of supporters as he left the field.
Ian Hughes (0) also fell to Arthur at the death, caught by Arthur, as Cresselly set up a final appearance with the winners of the Haverfordwest v Whitland semi final at Kilgetty tomorrow night.
The final will take place at Cresselly on Bank Holiday Saturday, August 23rd.