Harrison-Allen Bowl semi final: Saundersfoot (154-7) lost to Lawrenny (157-5) by 5 wickets

Cometh the moment, cometh the captain.

There was another incredible finish to a Pembrokeshire cricket semi final last night as Lawrenny skipper Joe Kidney cracked a six off the final ball to send his side through in the Harrison-Allen Bowl – and condemn Saundersfoot to the most agonising defeat in the process.

The Seasiders appeared on the brink when Kidney and Ryan Morton were left needing 14 off Neil Powling’s final over – and the equation became 10 off three balls before Kidney nailed a boundary and then managed to scramble two after his top edge had fallen safely

It left him needing four off the final ball, and he duly hammered a maximum over the wall at to give the large crowd at Pembroke Dock a moment to remember.

After opting to bat Saundersfoot had earlier posted 154-7 in 22 overs after a brilliant 50 from Tom Mansbridge had turned the tide, although the total still looked short on an Imble Lane outfield best described as an absolute road.

However, after an opening stand of 56 between Harry Thomas and Kurtis Marsh, James Caine’s men fought back superbly with Danny Caine and Nick Cope both instrumental in stifling the run chase before Kidney’s hammer blow.

Mansbridge on fire with 50:

The night had started with Saundersfoot openers Danny Caine and Cope batting steadily as they reached 13-0 in three overs, but soon got things moving as Cope whipped Rob Williams through mid-wicket for four and Caine cracked Jamie Lewis for the game’s first maximum.

But then on 36-0 Cope was given a lifeline, seemingly caught on the boundary by Tom Cole only for the fielder to step on the rope and give him a six. The batsmen failed to take advantage though as two balls later he went for another big hit off Williams and was caught in the deep by Kidney for 25.

Sam Franklin and Caine then took the score to 79-1 before the latter was yorked by Brad McDermott-Jenkins for 38, and Morton then clean bowled Franklin (19) and John Mansbridge (2) to leave Saundersfoot 95-4.

But Tom Mansbridge then changed the momentum, hammering McDermott-Jenkins for two sixes in the 18th over before taking advantage of a Morton no ball by sending his ‘free hit’ over the rope.

James Caine (5) was skittled by Kurtis Marsh but Mansbridge moved to 50 (four sixes) ahead of the final over before falling to the same bowler, who then made it two wickets in two balls when Yannick Parker (3) was stumped.

But a final ball boundary from Gareth Edwards (6 not out) pushed the Seasiders past 150, leaving Lawrenny with a tricky chase to make a second successive final.

Bowling figures: Rob Williams 6-0-34-1; Jamie Lewis 6-0-37-0; Ryan Morton 4-0-31-2; Brad McDermott Jenkins 4-0-31-1; Kurtis Marsh 2-0-15-3.

Cope keeps a lid on Lawrenny:

Thomas and Marsh seemed to lay the foundations in the run chase as they put on 56 when in the eighth over came a crucial moment, Thomas nicking Danny Caine to Taran Richards behind the stumps for 21 (two fours and a six).

And 56-1 turned into 88-4, Cope bowling Marsh for 38 (five fours) and having Jamie Phillips (6) caught by John Mansbridge – and sandwiched in-between was the key wicket of McDermott Jenkins (16) who after two fours was caught inside the rope by Tom Mansbridge off Powling.

Kidney keeps cool in the finale:

Kidney and Steve Lewis then steadied matters, and with five overs to go the batting side looked favourites with 31 needed off five overs.

That’s when Caine returned to the attack though and just three runs came from the 17th over, and when in the 19th over keeper Richards snaffled another when Tom Mansbridge drew an edge out of Lewis (13), Saundersfoot sensed blood.

Kidney and Morton were left needing 21 off two overs and Mansbridge was superb in bowling three straight dot balls before two singles, and more significantly a six sandwiched in-between by Morton left Lawrenny 13 away.

And then came that dramatic final over, which culminated in Kidney smashing his third six of the night at the death to end up 44 not out and spark big roars from his side’s players and supporters alike.

Bowling figures: Sam Franklin 3-0-28-0; Danny Caine 6-0-18-1; Nick Cope 6-0-37-2; Neil Powling 4-0-41-1; John Mansbridge 1-0-13-0; Tom Mansbridge 2-0-11-1.

A night to remember down the Dock:

There is something about Imble Lane and Harrison-Allen Bowl semi finals. It was the same venue two years ago that produced a ‘super over’ between Haverfordwest and Cresselly – and this finish was every bit as epic.

In fact on a near perfect evening for cricket, in front of big crowd, the County Club will have felt they struck solid gold with the spectacle that ensued. Given this followed that crazy finale to the Neyland v Haverfordwest DR Morris semi final, those who follow midweek cup cricket in Pembrokeshire are currently getting their money’s worth.

That will be of little consolation to Saundersfoot. They showed real mettle in those final few overs to bowl tight lines and keep the run rate down, and the first three balls of Powling’s final over were bang on the money before Kidney managed to cut loose. For a side who gave everything, it was a cruel blow.

But big moments, big players. Or in this case big captains. Had Lawrenny fallen short the knock of Tom Mansbridge earlier in the night would have been remembered as the defining factor – but in the end it was Kidney who stole the show.

He seemed to be struggling to connect properly in those last two overs but then to do that under immense pressure was beyond admirable.

It was the definition of ‘leading a side into the final’.

Umpires: Trefor Evans and Jonathan Willington.

Scorers: Adge John and Malcolm Thomas.