Cresselly (200-8) beat Neyland (160 all out)
A partnership of 107 between Damian Arthur and Richard Harris helped set Cresselly up to retain the Jubilee Cup at Neyland on Sunday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Phil Williams’ men were struggling on 59-5 before the pair both hit half centuries to turn the tide.
The current league champions then dismissed Neyland for 160, to bring some joy to a season that has surprisingly see them struggle at the foot of the table.
But it was the hosts who were in control early on after new signing Anton John clean bowled Williams and Simon Cole for ducks, before removing Nick Davies (4) in the same fashion.
John continued his early assault by bowling Andrew Harris for 12, and when Julian Arthur was stumped trying to charge Andrew Miller, the holders were struggling on 59-5 after 20 overs.
However, Julian’s brother Damian and Harris then steadily re-built the innings to take Cresselly to 88-5 after 30 overs.
But the pair then upped the run rate, with Arthur hitting four fours and three sixes before being bowled by Ashley Sutton for 67.
Sutton was then on a hat-trick after trapping Sam Harts LBW with his very next ball.
But Lyn Richards (4) and Neilson Cole (3 not out) provided late support as Harries tried to hit out in the final few overs.
He finished by hitting Sutton’s final ball of the innings for four, his sixth boundary which successfully brought up his 50 and Cresselly’s 200.
For Neyland, John finished with figures of 4-42 in his nine overs, skipper Miller 1-44 in his nine, and Ashley Sutton 2-23 in three overs.
Patrick Hannon was also economical, bowling nine consecutive overs for just 19 runs — but Neyland were still left to rue some careless bowling.
With Harrison-Allen Bowl rules applying to leg side wides, the home side gifted Cresselly 46 of them, bowling 30 more balls than scheduled in the innings.
The holders then had the perfect start to Neyland’s reply when Harts trapped Paul Murray for one.
Gregg Miller made 17 before Harts clean bowled him, before Lyn richards bowled Ashley Sutton to leave Neyland 29-3.
Patrick Bellerby and youngster Alex Codd took the score to 71 before Bellerby (16) gave a return catch to Simon Cole.
Skipper Miller joined Codd at the crease and the youngster continued to show promise, hitting four boundaries in his 33 before being caught behind off Stefan Jenkins.
But by now the home side were behind the rate, on 103-5 after 33 overs.
Sean Hannon (13) tried to up the rate before being stumped of Richards’ bowling, and brother Patrick (6) soon followed after being bowled by Jenkins.
However, with Cresselly in complete control, the weather threatened to ruin the day when it began to rain with four overs remaining.
Under Jubilee Cup rules, an abandonment would have handed the cup for Neyland, as they boasted a better score after 15 overs.
But then upped step veteran Richards, who bowled John (1) in the 42nd over, before Miller (37) was ran out backing up too far for Gary Lloyd’s first ball.
Just moments later the heavens opened at the Athletic Ground, but it was too late to prevent Williams’ men from retaining the trophy - and gaining a win they hope will kick start their season.
Richards finished with 3-40 off 8.3 overs while Harts took 2-15 off six overs.
Stefan Jenkins finished with 3-36 in his six overs, while Cole took 1-27 off his nine.
Umpires: Dave Morris and Steve Blowes.
Scorers: John Laugahrne and Dave Richards.