Harrison Allen Bowl Round 2: Neyland (142-7) lost to Haverfordwest (161-4) by 19 runs

The batting brilliance of Simon Holliday again proved critical as Haverfordwest prevailed in their crunch Harrison Allen Bowl tie at Neyland last night.

The opener, already with three Division One centuries to his name this season, ended 83 not out and shared a crucial late stand with Adam James - the pair piling on 46 in the last three overs to take The Town to 161-4.

Neyland were up against it in their reply from the moment Nick Koomen fell four balls in, and eventually finished up 19 runs short after leaving themselves too much to do in the closing overs.

Home skipper Sean Hannon won the toss and elected to field and it took Holliday just five balls to get into his stride with a boundary off Koomen, but he and Ben Field were steady rather than spectacular early on as they moved thing to 33-0 in eight overs.

But then came an eventful ninth over as Holliday cut a four and then launched a straight six off Geraint Rees – but Field went straight after as he holed out to Gregg Miller in the deep for 18 (three fours).

No 3 Lee Summons then got going with a maximum of Andrew Miller but ‘Windy’ duly had him stumped next ball by Hannon for 9, and Mike Jones (2) was caught by Will Hughes off the same bowler.

By that time Holliday had passed 50 and he added to that by hammering another six off Miller, but then came a crucial moment as he was put down by Hughes attempting another big hit.

Haverfordwest skipper Danny Potter (2) was stumped sharply by Hannon off Rees but then it was James who joined Holliday in a late assault.

The pair put on an unbroken 51, with Holliday finishing with eight fours and four sixes to his name while James blasted five fours and a maximum in his 38 not out.

For Neyland, Rees finished with 2-28, Miller 2-43, Koomen 0-44 and Henry Durrant 0-40.

Koomen (5) seemingly wasted no time in getting the run chase going as he drove James to the fence from the first ball of the innings, but just four balls later was spectacularly caught by Jake Merry at long off.

Ashley Sutton and No 3 Gregg Miller rebuilt matters but were unable to get above the rate, taking the score to 33 in the eighth over when Sutton (12) was caught by Field off the impressive Evan Watts.

At the half-way stage the home side were labouring on 53-2 but then Durrant sparked matters with two boundaries off Watts, who was also frustrated to see a delivery nick the stump but not dislodge the bail and it cost his side three byes.

Miller also swept Holliday to the rope and was then given a lifeline when he was dropped by Tucker, but the latter soon made amends when he came onto bowl by trapping him lbw for 30 (two fours).

That left Neyland 87-3 and George Evans (7) was next to go as he could only slash a James delivery into the hands of Archie Thomas – just one ball after the sub fielder had replaced a limping Holliday.

With overs running out Durrant was then skittled by Tucker for 37 (three fours and a six) as he tried to go big and Hannon came in and launched a six off the only ball he faced – but was then unluckily run out as he and Andrew Miller tried a quick single off James.

Miller himself (7) was caught by super sub Thomas off Tucker, giving the veteran 2-29, but by that point the contest was over despite the late efforts of Callum Power (13 not out) and Rees (6 not out).

Alongside Tucker, James finished with 2-35, Watts 1-38, and Holliday 0-33.

And having suffered a series of cup defeats to Neyland in recent seasons, Town skipper Potter would have been delighted at the manner of which his side held their nerve to book a place in the quarter finals, as they seek to regain the Bowl they last won in 2016.

Umpires: Dave Brandon and Trefor Evans.

Scorers: John Laugharne and Jayne Cole.