Haverfordwest (196-7 and 201-6) beat Cresselly (158-8 and 111 all out) by 128 runs
HAVERFORDWEST turned in a dominant display to beat Cresselly in a one sided Harrison Allen Bowl final this afternoon.
Instrumental batting displays from man of the match Dai Davies and skipper Danny Potter, as well as a five wicket haul for Simon Holliday as Cresselly chased an unlikely final innings target of 240, helped The Town convert a 38 run lead at the interval into a crushing 128 run victory.
The win represented Potter’s first domestic trophy as Haverfordwest captain, and ended his side’s ten year wait for a title they last captured against the same opposition in 2004.
Haverfordwest first innings (196-7):
It was Potter who called right at the toss and opted to bat, but Cresselly struck an early blow when slow bowler Mike Shaw trapped the dangerous Holliday for a duck in the second over.
Holliday’s opening partner Adam James also fell to Shaw in the fourth over, but only after an entertaining cameo of 28 that helped lay the foundations for the middle order.
James struck an early four and six off Tom Murphy, and after surviving a run out scare, went six, four, six, in three Shaw deliveries before being bowled swinging across the line.
That left Potter’s men 41-2 after four overs and it was then that Davies and partner Jonathan Strawbridge took command.
The pair accelerated to 89-2 inside 12 overs before Strawbridge, who struck a six and a four in his 16, was caught in the deep by Adam Chandler to give Shaw, who finished with figures of 3-38, his final victim.
But that only brought in Potter, and he and Davies took The Town past the three figure mark before the latter reached his 50 in the 15th over with a leg glance for four off the expensive Stefan Jenkins (0-51).
Indeed, it was the 17th over, bowled by Jenkins, which proved critical as Potter played two square cuts for four, the second of which went through the fingers of Cresselly skipper Phil Williams, and also struck a straight six and two leg side fours as he took 22 off the over, leaving his side well placed at 140-3.
Harry Thomas (0-44) bowled the 19th over and he came in for similar treatment, with Davies and Potter taking 20 off it as the captain brought up his half century with yet another boundary.
But then Williams opted to bring Murphy back into the attack and the youngster stemmed the tide by bowling Davies for 60, a knock that included nine fours.
In the same over Murphy skittled Ben Field (1) and Huw Scriven was run out as The Town slumped from 164-3 to 167-6.
But they managed to regain their momentum, as Potter and Ajay Revu (1 not out) added 29 in the final two overs before Murphy (3-50) bowled the former off the final ball for 77, 62 of which remarkably came in boundaries.
Cresselly first innings (158-8):
It was skipper Williams and Matthew Morgan who opened for the hosts, and they started steadily to take the score to 28-0 after four overs.
James had struggled during the second over, bowling four wides and being hit for two boundaries by Williams, but Potter opted to switch his end for the fifth over and it paid dividends as Morgan (13) got a leading edge that was easily caught by Revu.
And then came a crucial moment, as three balls later the same bowler trapped the Cresselly danger man Simon Cole LBW for a duck.
James went on to finish with 2-28.
Williams and Adam Chandler tried to rebuild matters but they were not able to match the run rate of The Town’s innings, and Chandler (7) was brilliantly caught by Ben Field off Josh Wilment (1-35) to leave Cresselly 61-3 after nine overs.
Harry Thomas (3) was bowled by Ajay Revu, but Iwan Izzard joined Williams in taking the score to 81-4 off 14, before the latter went on the attack.
He struck the first six on the innings off Wilment in the 15th over, and hit a four off the following delivery as he and Williams took 19 off the over.
Izzard also took Revu for a straight six, before Williams’ steady knock was ended when he was stumped by Scriven off Holliday for 44 (six fours).
Holliday (2-33) then had Damian Arthur (0) LBW and at 122-6 after 18 overs, Cresselly were in need of a big push off their last 24 balls.
Mike Shaw (10) struck a six before being bowled by Revu (2-35), but Izzard reached 52 in the final over before being run out off the final ball, with Neilson Cole 3 not out at the other end and despite benefitting from 26 extras, Cresselly were 38 runs adrift at the interval.
Haverfordwest second innings (201-6):
Clearly, the hosts needed early wickets in The Town’s second innings, and they were given hope after Murphy was hit for a leg side four by Adam James off the first ball, but responded by bowling him with the second.
But Holliday and Davies refused to panic, and the pair took The Town to 34-1 off six overs before Holliday hit Thomas (0-31) for successive fours in a seventh over that yielded 14 runs.
The same bowler also came in for rough treatment in the ninth over, which went for 18 runs, as Holliday hammered a huge six onto the clubhouse roof.
The ‘Doc’ soon reached his half century with another six, this time off Shaw, but not before Davies had reached his second 50 of the day as The Town sped to 125-1 after 15 overs, a comprehensive lead of 163.
But after a partnership of 132, Holliday was run out after a comical mix up which saw both him and Davies stuck at the same end after the opener had set off alone for a second run.
Potter immediately picked up where he had left off from the first innings and Davies, who had been given a lifeline earlier in the innings when Izzard dropped him on the boundary, continued his good work with a big six off Shaw.
And in Murphy’s 18th over, things went from bad to worse for Cresselly as Potter was dropped twice, one by Thomas and once by Williams, and rubbed salt into the wounds in the following over with a six off Jenkins.
However, in the same over, eventual man of the match Davies was caught in the deep by Cole off Jenkins (1-33) for 75 (six fours and two sixes).
Potter hit yet another six off Murphy before being bowled by the pace man next ball for 24 (a four and two sixes), leaving his side 177-4 after 19.2 overs.
Ben Field (3) was run out and Strawbridge (8) caught by Cole off Murphy (3-47), but Revu (10 not out) and Scriven (1 not out) took Haverfordwest over the 200 mark – setting Cresselly a highly unlikely 240 to win in their final 22 overs.
Cresselly second innings (111 all out):
Cresselly had little choice but to go for broke and Williams came out with intent as he struck two fours off James’ first over – that went for 12.
But Thomas (2), pushed up to opener, nicked a James (1-32) delivery to Scriven in the third over and when Simon Cole (6) was caught by Field off Revu (1-13), leaving Williams’ men 31-2 in the fourth over, the final was all but over.
Izzard (9) came in and struck a huge six off James, but then was stumped charging down the track to Holliday, who removed Williams (three fours in his 25) in the same fashion to leave Cresselly 51-4.
And that soon became 56-6 as Chandler (3) was caught by Davies on the boundary off Holliday, before Arthur (1) knocked a Wilment (2-15) delivery to Field, who fortunately juggled the catch into the palms of Strawbridge.
Wilment then bowled Shaw (2), and although Morgan showed some resistance with 19, he became Holliday’s fourth victim when he was trapped LBW.
That left Cresselly 81-8 but Tom Murphy (16) struck two boundaries to take them past three figures before being bowled by Holliday, giving the ‘Doc’ a haul of 5-28.
Neilson Cole finished 16 not out, but the contest was ended in the 17th over when Clive Tucker had Jenkins (1) caught by Nigel Delaney as the hosts were skittled for 111.
The winning margin of 128 runs represented one of the most one sides finals in recent times, and Potter said he was delighted with the way his side had bounced back from the disappointments of missing out on the league title and DR Morris Cup.
“From the first ball to the last today we showed true grit and determination,” he told Telegraph Sport afterwards.
“We have put the earlier disappointments of the season behind us. A lot of people doubted us today and we well and truly put those doubts to bed.”
And it was a jubilant Potter who lifted the bowl in the post match presentations, after praising both sets of supporters for providing a good atmosphere throughout the match.
Haverfordwest: Danny Potter (captain), Huw Scriven (keeper), Simon Holliday, Adam James, Dai Davies, Ben Field, Jonathan Strawbridge, Josh Wilment, Clive Tucker, Ajay Revu, Nigel Delaney. 12th/13th men: Sean Williams and Ntin Mathias.
Cresselly: Phil Williams (captain), Neilson Cole (keeper), Harry Thomas, Simon Cole, Matthew Morgan, Stefan Jenkins, Iwan Izzard, Tom Murphy, Mike Shaw, Damian Arthur, Adam Chandler. 12th man: Tom Arthur.
Umpires: Richard Merriman and Dai Morris.
Scorers: Jayne Cole and Dave Richards.