CRICKET is back - The Thomas Carroll Pembroke County Cricket Leagues made its long-awaited return on Saturday.

It is the first league cricket since 2019, with the 2020 season wiped out due to Covid-19. Many people's pick for the title will be Neyland who were champions in both 2018 and 2019. Narberth (Division 2 champions) and Llechryd are the two promoted sides.

Even though Lawrenny finished as runners up in the last campaign it is Carew and Cresselly who are being tipped as being the closet rivals to Neyland this season.

Round Up:

Defending champions from 2019 Neyland began their defence of the Thomas Carroll Pembroke County Cricket League division one title with an emphatic 182-run victory over newly-promoted Llechryd on Saturday.

Nic Koomen hit a magnificent unbeaten century in the batting performance of the weekend, scoring 127 not out, with Nathan Banner also putting on 105 as Neyland put on a big total of 275-5, before dismissing Llechryd’s for 93 all out.

David Dunfee, having taken three for 28 for Llechryd, and top scored with 27 in the reply, with support from John Curran (16) and Andrew Fletcher (10).

Wickets, however, fell regularly to Andrew Miller (3-32), Henry Durant (1-10), Brad McDermott-Jenkins (2-18) and Ross Hardy (3-5) as the home batsmen fell well short.

Cresselly played out a close fought win against Saundersfoot, before eventually winning by seven wickets on 214-3.

Saundersfoot batted first, posting 210-5, with Danny Caine producing the batting performance of the match with 98, with support from Scott Hemlich (32), Nick Cope (30) and Tudor Hurle (20).

Daniel Sutton responded for Cresselly with 64, Phil Williams made 46 and Matthew Morgan 24, with Alex Bailley (39no) and Iwan Izzard (32no) scoring the winning runs.

Lawrenny produced the second highest score of the weekend, posting 264 all out to beat Whitland – who were dismissed for 75 all out – by 189 runs.

Kyle Marsh got 81 for Lawrenny while Kurtis Marsh produced a solid all round performance scoring 45 and taking two wickets for nought.

There were also valuable contributions from Thomas Cole (32), James Phillips (29) and Rob Williams (25no).

Wayne Howells (2-27), Jonathan Thomas (2-27), Connor Bowen (2-50), Geraint Jones (2-66) and Jack Bowen (2-60) all took a couple of wickets.

For Whitland Geraint Jones was their best performer with 30, but wickets fell to Rob Williams (2-29), Jamie Lewis (2-22), Ryan Morton (4-17) and Kurtis Marsh (2-0).

Haverfordwest made 187 for eight in their 104-run victory over Narberth, who were all out for 83.

Dai Davis made 70, with good contributions from Mikey Jones (46), and Jake Merry (32) while Clive Tucker (3-15), Will Phillips (4-15), and Dai Davies (2-12) did the damage with the ball.

For Narberth their highest individual batting score posted was 18 by Jordan Howel, but they did claim wickets through Ben Quartermaine (2-46), Louis Hough (2-32) and Ben Hughes (2-45).

St Ishmeals lost to Carew by 47 runs, in their chase of 201 for seven, with Yari Hicks claiming five for 15 for the visitors.

Carew’s top scorers were Brian Hall (52), Lewis Hicks (24) and Luke Hicks (35), but in the reply Harry Nicholas made 51, Brennan Devonald 41, and Jon Pawlett 37, before St Ismaels were all out for 154. In addition to Hicks’ five wickets, Shaun Whitfield took 2-23, and Rhys Davies 3-27 to seal victory.

*Star batter: Nic Kooman, Neyland, 127 not out.

*Star bowler: Yari Hicks, Carew, 5-15.

Next round of matches is Monday, May 3.