Haverfordwest halt Cresselly quest for six-time
5:35pm Monday 19th August 2013 in Sport
Alec Colley Cup Final:
Haverfordwest 2nds (94 for 8 & 128 for 6) beat Cresselly 2nds (101 for 3 & 110 for 8)
HAVERFORDWEST Seconds battled their way to victory over their counterparts from Cresselly in a low-scoring Alec Colley Cup Final and in doing so denied their opponents a sixth win on the trot in this popular competition.
Two of their key personnel were doctors Simon Holliday and Ajay Revu, who batted in the top three and bowled their five-over stints in both Cresselly innings, with the latter earning the man of the match award for his innings of 24 and 29, plus spells of 1 for 18 and 1 for 21.
But perhaps most typifying the grit shown by Haverfordwest after a disappointing start to the match was Ashley James, who scored 14 and 20 at vital times but caught and fielded superbly throughout the match.
There are inevitably game-changing moments in finals and undoubtedly one in this tussle came at the start of Cresselly’s second innings as Neal Williams, promoted to inject pace to their run-making, hit a straight drive off James Morris over James’s head at long off. James, back pedalling frantically, somehow stuck out a hand and claimed as spectacular a catch as one could wish to see.
From then on it was The Town who held the edge and Cresselly were left to rue the fact that they didn’t have a much bigger first innings lead after winning the toss and putting Haverfordwest in on an inevitably damp track on a cricket field which looked an absolute picture.
After being asked to bat first, Haverfordwest inevitably found runs hard to come by against the youthful exuberance of Harry Thomas (1 for 19) and Richard Harris (1 for 11). They advanced steadily to 27 in six overs but then skipper Richard Scriven was run out in a mix-up with Simon Holliday, having hit four boundaries in his 23 made from only 22 balls.
Even worse was to follow two runs later as Holliday was caught by Rhydian Rees, diving forward at point, having scored only 3 runs from 21 balls faced.
David Haynes, Kern Cunningham, Nitin Mathias and Jamie Jenkins all came and went as Richard Arthur (2 for 34) and skipper Matthew Lewis (3 for 27) cleverly took any pace off the ball.
Only Revu looked settled at the other end as he top scored with 24 before getting run out and only a speedy 14, including a big six, from Ashley James saw The Town to 94 for 8, fewer than they might have hoped but a score that gave them hope of staying in touch at tea-time.
Cresselly opened their innings with the experienced Andrew Harris and Scott Arthur and although their progress was steady at the start they at least made sure that there was no wicket thrown away against the pace of Avron Roulstone and James Morris.
But as the pressure intensified they were unable to increase the tempo from under four runs per over. A few half chances came and went and The Town missed a glaring run-out chance as Arthur was well short seeking a third run.
The arrival on the bowling front of Holliday and Revu, both slow left-armers, intensified the pressure and Harris was eventually bowled by Ravu for 41, including five fours and made from 52 balls.
Iwan Izzard was bowled by Morris for a single and Arthur finally departed for 25, caught seeking a second boundary but holing out to Dan Cole as part of Morris’s 2 for 36 spell. He had scored 25 from 54 balls and it took some big hitting in the final two overs by Nick Davies and Alex Bailey (a six and four in his 13 not out) to take Cresselly to 101 for 3 and a half-way lead of only seven runs.
Haverfordwest’s hopes of a good start after tea were ruined as Scriven was caught at long on by Bailey off Harry Thomas for only two runs with his team still four runs behind.
But then Revu joined forces with Holliday in a productive partnership of 58 runs before Revu was caught by Richard Harris off Richard Arthur for 29, made from only 22 balls and including four fours.
Holliday soon followed at 80, caught at deep mid wicket by Andrew Harris off Richard Arthur, having rapped three fours and a big six in his 40 made from 50 deliveries.
Ashley James (20) and Nitin Mathias (11) also batted well as Matthew Lewis (2 for 40) and Richard Mathias (3 for 39) claimed wickets as Haverfordwest ended up on 128 for 6 and set Cresselly a target of 122 for victory.
Cresselly lost opener Andrew Harries for a duck as he was bowled by fired-up South African pace man Avron Roulstone – and then came James’ one-handed wonder catch to shift Williams to leave them shaky at 13 for 2.
Iwan Izzard and Nick Davies both reached double figures but departed respectively to Morris and Revu so that Cresselly were well behind the required run rate at 43 for 4 in ten overs.
Richard Harris and Alex Bailey raised Cresselly hopes as both hit big sixes but both departed at key times as Ashley James and Kern Cunningham shared four vital catches in the deep as Revu and Holliday trundled their slow stuff.
Cresselly were left needing 16 runs from their final over but were unable to produce any last-gasp heroics so after five years they had to relinquish possession of the Alec Colley Cup.
Sponsor Dicky Parry presented the silverware to Haverfordwest captain Richard Scriven and the mementoes to both teams to neatly round off a very competitive match but one which was played in the best spirit of Pembrokeshire Cricket.
Umpires: Allan Hansen & John Austin.
Scorers: Ros Phillips & Des Brace.
Venue: Treleet Ground, Pembroke.
Announcer: Paul Webb.
Man of the Match: Ajay Revu.
Adjudicators: Mike Leighs & Tony Scourfield.