SENIOR OPEN WELSH CUP FINAL 2023 THE ROAD TO USK

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COLWYN BAY CC v SWANSEA CC – Sunday 3rd Sept, Hosted by Usk CC, wkts pitched midday.

The 51st running of the Senior Welsh Cup saw 87 clubs across Wales entering the 2023 Senior Welsh Cup, each Club were positioned into one of four Zones (North, East, Central & West). After some preliminary games and 5 qualifying rounds this year’s final will be contested between Colwyn Bay CC and Swansea CC.

Huge congratulations to both clubs but also the same sentiments to all clubs who entered this year’s competition.

At the outset of this storyboard massive thank must go to Bob Szpadt who has arranged umpires for all games (assisted by John Sneyd for North Wales games). Talking of umpires the organising committee are delighted to appoint Phil Haines and Andy Goodwin as this year’s Cup Final standing umpires in recognition of the fantastic work and support they give Wales ACO.

A big ‘thank you’ also to all the other Umpires who stood in the earlier rounds around the grounds of Welsh Cricket Clubs.

Cricket Wales are also indebted to Neil Perrett (Chair) and his Organising Committee at Usk CC for hosting this years final.  

So how did this year’s finalists get there?   

 

Colwyn Bay CC

Colwyn Bay, winners in 2015, have had good fortune throughout this year’s competition having received home ties in all rounds.

Their first game in the North Zone was against near rivals Llandudno CC who proved no match having been bowled out for just 101, chief destroyer Matt Russell with 6 for 35. In reply Colwyn were 102 for the loss of no wickets, Will Evans top scoring with 75no.

Round 2 pitched them against Mochdre CC. Batting first Colwyn scored 189 for 10 with Will Evans again top scorer compiling 50, supported by Luke Russell 32. In reply Mochdre could only score 97 ao with Ryan Holtby 4/20 and Arthur Jones 3/23.

The Zone Final saw Colwyn host Denbigh CC, and batting first amassed a challenging g score of 242 for 7 with Will Higginson 74 and George Johansen 50. In a spirit replay Denbigh scored203 for 7 with bowlers Sion Morris 2 for 57 and Pat Glover 2 for 35.

The Quarter Final draw saw South Wales club Cowbridge CC travelling north – The Bay hammered the SWPCL Divn 2 sides attack scoring 291 for 5 with Will Evans 105 supported by Will Higginson 63no and George Johansen 56. In reply Cowbridge were shot out for 87, Jack Parry starring with the ball taking 5 for 25.

Cardiff CC were the visitors for the Semi Final. Batting first the SWPCL Divn 1 outfit posted a challenging 267 for 7 with Henry Hurle scoring 115 supported by Steff Jones 57 and James Meggitt 51. Jack Parry with 2 for 39 was the most successful home bowler. In replay Colwyn reached the required total with just 5 balls remaining, for the loss of just 4 wickets with Sion Morris scoring an excellent 125 supported by Adam Campion 50.

Colwyn Bay's Zac Gidlow commented:

"Our semifinal with Cardiff CC  was a brilliant game. We went in as underdogs and didn’t know what to expect, but  chased down a big total, the highlight was  Sion Morris’ century to chase the win. We are really looking forward to the final. We were beaten by Swansea in the semi last year so want to get one back on them. We know how strong they are but despite this it’s our third final in eight years so we will be looking to get a win in Usk. We will be bringing a coach of supporters along with us. The Welsh Cup has been a brilliant competition for us this year."

Swansea CC

Can Swansea make Welsh Cup history by winning the Senior Welsh Cup 3 times in a row?

Along with the likes of Gorseinon (1972 & 73) , Ynysygerwn (1978 & 79 then again 1988 & 89), Ammanford (1981 & 82), Cardiff (1983 & 84 then again 1994 & 95), Brymbo (1987 & 88) , with Swansea (2011 & 12 then again for the past two years 2021 & 22). If they do, then they will go equal to Cardiff as 8 times Welsh Cup winners!   

Like fellow finalists Colwyn Bay, Swansea have enjoyed home advantage in all bar one ties!        

In this year’s competition Swansea drew near neighbours Llanelli in a pre-lim tie – ultimately Llanelli conceded.

The Round 1 proper saw them at home in a real local derby to Mumbles CC who batted first and were skittled for 98 with Brad Wadlan 4 for 12 and Cameron Hemp 3 for 29. In reply Swansea were 101 for 4 with the major contribution with the bat from experienced all-rounder Dan Rowe 54.

Gorseinon CC were next up this time at St Helens, the visitors scoring 177 for 9, two wickets each for Mohamed Azeem and Dan Rowe. In reply Swansea rattled up 180 for 2 with Stef Roberts 84no and Brad Wadlan 64.

The Zone Final saw Llangennech CC the visitors and chasing leather as the home team racked up 282 for 6 with contributions from Tim Moses 81, Mohamed Azeem 42 and 38 from both Osian Webber and Dan Rowe. Llangennech were skittled for 99 in reply with once again Dan Rowe in the wickets with 4 for 15.

The open Quarter Final saw Swansea drawn away to SWPCL Divn 1 League Leaders Newport CC. Excellent bowling from George Pritchard 4 for 14 backed up by two wickets each for Brad Wadlan & Dan Rowe saw the home side restricted to just 101 all out. Steff Roberts led the reply with 56no as Swansea won by 7 wickets.     

Brymbo CC were the semi-final opponents who elected to bat first on a good St Helens pitch. At 45 for 5 with Asim Hameed taking 4 for 45 supported by Tim Moses 2 for 38 they looked on the rocks! But a resolute 52 from Connor Davies 52 helped them set a target of 165 for 9. Swansea slipped to 21 for 2 before a 3rd wicket partnership of 60 between 17 yr old Owain Baxter (41)  and skipper Gareth Hayden (46 no) took the game away from the visitors, Tim Moses putting the them to the final sword with an excellent 47 no.  

Hopefully both Colwyn Bay CC and Swansea CC will serve up a Cup Final to be enjoyed by all.

Captain Brad Wadlan said: "We (Swansea CC) are delighted to be turning out in our 3rd Welsh Cup Final in 3 years on September 3rd at Usk.  The Welsh Cup is certainly a competition we value greatly. The opportunity to compete against clubs from all over Wales and travel to grounds we may not have been is something exciting and special. Having won the competition the last two years and this season making the final I’m very proud as head coach of Swansea CC that we continue to put out strong sides while also allowing younger players the opportunity to mix with 1st XI players. This creates a natural development process whereby our juniors see a way into the 1st XI sides and can develop at a steady rate.

 I strongly believe Cricket Wales and the Welsh Cup in particular is creating opportunities for everyone within the game to compete and improve the general standards.  We look forward forward to once again representing the South against a very strong Colwyn Bay from the North."

Steve Davies

Senior Welsh Cup Organiser

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