Neyland (160-2) beat Cresselly (157-7) by 8 wickets

Umpires: Richard Merriman and Rob Cousins.

Scorers: Dave Richards and John Laugharne.

AN unbeaten partnership of 49 between Ashley Sutton and Nathan Banner helped Neyland to a final over win in an entertaining Jubilee Cup game with Cresselly.

The clash traditionally serves as the curtain raiser to the Pembrokeshire cricket season, but was postponed in April due to inclement weather and therefore, was scheduled to coincide with the opening of Neyland's new changing room facilities.

With Neyland having won both the Harrison Allen Bowl and Division One league title last year, Cresselly qualified for the game as league runners up, and it was the visitors who started steadily after Phil Williams won the toss and elected to bat.

Williams himself and opening partner Matthew Morgan put on 42 for the first wicket - before the Cresselly captain miscued a bouncer and gave a return catch to  Nathan Banner (1-36) in the 7th over. His knock of 33 included five boundaries.

Morgan (12) soon followed as he was stumped by Sean Hannon off the bowling of spinner Gary Lloyd (1-19), but Simon Cole (27) and Iwan Izzard took the score to 90-2 before the former fell to Henry Durrant for 27 (four fours).

Izzard (17) was also stumped by Neyland skipper Sean Hannon, this time off the bowling of Andrew Miller (1-36), while Adam Chandler made 12 before being dismissed by Patrick Hannon (1-31).

Damian Arthur then holed out to Paul Murray in the deep off the bowling of Durrant (2-39).

That left Cresselly 132-6 in the 18th over but their innings was given late impetus by Ryan Lewis.

He had come in at No 6 and accelerated to 45 in the closing stages, hitting four sixes and two fours, before running himself out in the final over.

Neilson Cole (5 not out) and Tom Arthur (2 not out) then helped Cresselly finish on 157-7 in their 20 overs.

Neyland openers Scott John and Paul Murray sped to 29-0 in their reply, before the latter was caught by Tom Murphy off Simon Cole (1-29) for 18 (four fours).

But John was joined at the crease by Sutton, and the pair kept the rate ticking while rarely looking like getting out, taking the home side to 111-1 in the 15th over.

John was then bowled by Murphy (1-12) for 35, a knock that included two fours and two sixes, and at that point Neyland's main obstacle appeared to be the light, which began to fade in the closing overs.

But Sutton and No 4 Banner kept the momentum going, and left themselves needing 18 off the final 12 balls for victory.

That equation became just 3 in six balls after they took 15 of Chandler in the penultimate over, and after the in-form Sutton knocked a two, he then smashed a boundary to end matters with four balls to spare.

Sutton ended 52 not out (five fours and a six) and Banner 29 not out (two fours and two sixes), while Cresselly were left to rue some sloppy fielding that cost them 27 extras.

Afterwards, Pembroke County Cricket Club Chairman Tony Scourfield presented the cup to Neyland captain Sean Hannon, and praised both sides for fielding strong line ups despite having crucial games coming up.

Indeed, the win could prove the start of a memorable weekend for Neyland, who will all but seal the Division one title with victory at Carew today(Saturday), while Cresselly play Haverfordwest, their exact opponents in the Harrison Allen Bowl final on Saturday, August 23rd.