Neyland Cricket Club missed out on a grand final day at Lord's Cricket Ground in London after a semi-final defeat at home to Cheshire-based Alvanley Cricket Club.

It was Neyland's debut campaign in the Voneus National Village Cup, which is contested between 350 cricket clubs throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

The Pembrokeshire side defied the odds again and again as they beat Milford Hall Cricket Club, Clipstone and Bilsthorpe Cricket Club and South Wingfield Cricket Club, having played all Midlands-based clubs away from home.

Reaching the semi-final was built on over ten years worth of the squad growing and training together as a tight unit.

Club captain Sean Hannon said: “Nine of the 11 regular starters in the first XI have come through the junior system at Neyland and many of us have been playing together for more than a decade, so the squad has become a tight-knit group and even when we’ve had people from other squads step in, they’ve been quickly welcomed into the side.

“One of the reasons why the club entered the Voneus Village Cup for the first time this season was to see if we could test ourselves on a higher level."

It was a return to the Neyland Athletic Ground as Alvanley made the journey down, won the toss and batted first.

Despite a rough start for the visitors, being on an early score of 1-2, Simon Gee batted a half century of 55 while Michael Rowlands almost got another with 45.

This helped the visitors hugely as they reached a final score of 188-9, with Neyland preparing themselves to bat next.

It was a poor start for the home side, with scores of 9-2 and 38-5 and Nick Koomen, Ashley Sutton, Patrick Bellerby, Scott Jones and Ross Hardy out.

Nathan Banner scored 24 runs and Patrick Hannon got 14, but ultimately Neyland were all out for 102, and Alvanley winning by 86 runs.

Alvanley will now face Calmore Cricket Club from Hampshire in the final at Lord's Cricket Ground on September 19, while Neyland can just think what might have been.

Neyland Town Council, which provided travel funds for one of the club's long trips to the Midlands, was proud of the efforts and getting so close to the home of cricket.

Mayor of Neyland, councillor Simon Hancock said: "A huge achievement to get so far, a stellar performance considering all the other tournaments the team have entered this year.

"This has lifted the whole town, and as a mark of appreciation the town council has made a second donation of £250 to the club towards their many expenses. Well done to the team and indeed whole club."

Attention now returns to more cup action however, as Newport Cricket Club visit the Neyland Athletic Ground on Sunday, August 15, for a quarter-final tie in the Welsh Cup, with the semi-finals being contested only the weekend after.