Indoor Cricket – Regional Final:

Haverfordwest's hopes of a trip to Lord’s Cricket Ground for the last-four competition for the best indoor cricket teams in England and Wales were denied at the final hurdle as they travelled to Edgbaston and beat Stow Cricket Club, the Norfolk champions, before losing their second match against a strong and experienced Hagley side, which had won the Midlands’ region prior to this success, writes Bill Carne.

The Town played really well in their opening match to win by chasing down a total of 96, using only 8.5 overs, but were defeated in almost identical circumstances by Hagley as they were invited to bat first, lost key players cheaply and set a target of only 100 to win which Hagley reached for the loss of only one wicket in 9.4 overs.

Match One:

Haverfordwest (96 for 1) beat Stow (95 all out)

Haverfordwest started their day well as young skipper Kieran O'Connor won the toss and asked Stow to bat first before bowling well in tandem with Simon Holliday as they restricted the opposition to 32 runs in the first four overs.

The Haverfordwest captain certainly exerted an influence because he not only ended up with a terrific 3 for 20 haul from his three overs but also ran out Peter Brassett late in the innings.

Holliday also played his usual key role with the ball as he picked up two wickets in the last of his three over spell as he conceded only 22 runs

O'Connor had Matt Blowers well caught by Nigel Delaney and then trapped No 3 Steve Moulton lbw, both contributing just three runs apiece as O'Connor's canny slow stuff caused them problems.

But Stow had a firm anchor in opener Sam Morgan, who had nine threes in his 25 before he retired, having shared in a stand of 52 with Dan Ward (25), who also retired with six threes and a five (four of them from an overthrow!).

When main run-gatherers Morgan and Ward returned to the fray after their colleagues had departed they clearly aimed to raise the tempo but such was the quality of the bowling, especially from Nigel Delany (3 for 17 in three overs) that Stow were unable to score single boundary from the bat.

Holliday took a return catch to dismiss Ward and O’Connor shifted Morgan for 34 (nine threes) assisted by a typically sharp piece of glove work from keeper Huw Scriven to restrict Stow to 95 all out in their allotted 12 overs.

The Town suffered a shock in their very first over when Simon Holliday edged a delivery from Dan Ward into the gloves of Matthew Blowers without contributing a run - but Ben Field and Nigel Delaney both batted really well before having to retire on respective totals of 26 (two sixes and a four) and 28 (eight threes).

Dan Potter and O'Connor finished Stow off, their challenge made even easier by Stow conceding 20 wides out of 24 extras, to set up The Town's final against Hagley.


Stow Batting:

Sam Morgan st Huw Scriven b Kieran O'Connor 34

Matt Blowers ct Nigel Delaney b Kieran O'Connor 3

Steve Moulton lbw b Nigel Delaney 3

Dan Ward ct & b Simon Holliday 25

Jamie Cook ct & b Simon Holliday 8

Peter Brassett run out 8

Extras 14

Total (all out) 95

Haverfordwest Bowling:

Simon Holliday 3-0-22-2; Kieran O'Connor 3-0-20-3; Danny Potter 3-0-33-0; Nigel Delaney 3-0-17-0.

Haverfordwest Batting:

Simon Holliday ct Matt Blowers b Dan Ward 0

Ben Field retired 26

Nigel Delaney retired 28

Danny Potter not out 10

Kieran O'Connor not out 8

Huw Scriven (Did not bat)

Extras 24

Total (1 wicket) 96

Stow Bowling:

Dan Ward 2-0-16-1; Sam Morgan 2-0-10-0; Simon Moulton 1.5-0-28-0; Peter Brassett 2-0-27-0; James Cook 1-0- 13-0.

Match Three:

Haverfordwest (98 for 5) lost to Hagley (100 for 1)

Put in to bat first, Haverfordwest scored 15 runs off the first two overs but then suffered a real set-back when Ben Field, who had batted so well in their first match, was run out for only nine runs - and The Town only managed five runs in their next two overs and lost their most consistent run-maker Nigel Delany for just two runs.

Simon Holliday looked in good nick, however as he found a willing partner in Danny Potter but at the half-way stage they had managed just 33 runs, which was well below par. Potter had two fours and two threes in his 19 and skipper O'Connor departed with only three runs to his name against a strong and varied Hagley attack

Huw Scriven, however, raised the tempo as Holliday returned to the fray after previously retiring on 25 but was last to go with eight threes and a six in his 34 - with Scriven belting six threes, a four and a five in his undefeated 27 as James Lennon led the Hagley bowlers with 3 for 19 in his three overs.

It was a decent score after such a disappointing start but Hagley showed why they had easily won their semi-final, rattling up 44 in double-quick time thanks to Lennon (two fours and two threes) before he was bowled by Delaney, and Lee Nightingale (who retired on 31 having blitzed five threes, two fours and a six from only 15 balls faced)

Matthew Stead maintained the Hagley onslaught with eight threes and a six in his 26 before he retired and it was left to David Giles (10) and Joe McDonald to see Hagley through to a deserved victory and although Haverfordwest will be disappointed by the end of their adventure they certainly flew the Pembrokeshire Flag with distinction throughout the competition!


Haverfordwest Batting:

Simon Holliday ct Matthew Stead b James Lennon 34

Ben Field run out 9

Nigel Delaney ct James McDonald b Matthew Stead 2

Danny Potter b James Lennon 19

Kieran O'Connor ct & b James Lennon 3

Huw Scriven not out 27

Extras 4

Total (5 wickets) 98

Hagley Bowling:

Matthew Stead 3-0-14-1; Ed Rhodes 3-0-36-0; David Giles 3-0-26-0; James Lennon 3-0-19-3.

Hagley Batting:

Joe Lennon b Nigel Delaney 18

Lee Nightingale retired 31

Matthew Stead retired 26

David Giles not out 15

Joe McDonald not out 3

Extras 9

Total (1 wicket) 100

Haverfordwest Bowling:

Kieran O'Connor 2.4-0-35-0; Simon Holliday 2-0-20-0; Nigel Delaney 3-0-2-1; Danny Potter 2-0-18-0.

Venue: Edgbaston Indoor School

Umpires: Connor McGarry; David Gower; Graham Maltby; Allan McGarry

Scorers: Simon Williams; Holly Ecclestone