Sunday 3rd Sept 2023, at Usk CC
The 51st running of the Senior Welsh Cup was held in glorious sunshine throughout the day at Usk CC between the last two standing from 87 entrants in Colwyn Bay CC and Swansea CC.
Usk CC was looking at its best in the early Autumn sunshine and a large crowd had gathered for what promised to be a great Cup Final.
Colwyn Bay were appearing in their 3rd Cup Final (having won in 2015) whilst Swansea were attempting to win the Cup for a third year running - a feat never pulled off previously in the history of the competition.
Appointed umpires (Andy Goodwin & Phil Haines) together with Match Day Manager (Bob Szpadt) conducted the pre-match toss with captains George Johansen (Colwyn Bay) and Gareth Hayden (Swansea). George won the toss and elected to field first.
Match day MC (Paul Tabram) interviewed both Captains, George explaining that he felt that there was a little moisture in the pitch + they like chasing down a score, with Gareth stating that he would have batted first anyway.
The Swansea innings got off to a good start with openers Brad Wadlan & Cameron Hemp scoring freely but with the score on 81 Wadlan (45) was dismissed. At this stage general expectations that a score of +250 could be on the cards. Steff Roberts joined Hemp and took the score onto 116 before the former was caught for 19.
It was noticeable how the scoring rate reduced as Colwyn rang the bowling changes, spin proving far more difficult to get away to the boundary.
Swansea keeper Will Davey joined Hemp and the pair moved the score onto 156 before the Swansea glove man perished for 23.
Soon after Hemp left the crease having crafted a polished 69.
All-rounders Dan Rowe (25) Tim Moses (18) and George Pritchard (26) took the score onto a 40 over close of 231 for 6. A solid target but one that had probably fallen short by 20 or so runs, mainly due to some excellent bowling from all of the Bay bowlers, the stand outs being Sion Morris 3 for 62, Paul Jenkins 1 for 41 and the impressive Adam Campion 2 for 23 for their 8 overs.
The Colwyn Bay reply was off to a steady start with openers Will Evans (17) and Sion Morris compiling 42 before Evans was trapped LBW by the impressive left-arm seam of young Osian Webber. Bay skipper George Johansen joined Morris and the pair impressively set about their task always seeming to manage to maintain the required score rate (just under 6), despite accurate bowling from both George Pritchard (7.5 overs 1 maiden 0 for 36) and Webber (1 for 39).
With Dan Rowe (1 for 42) replacing Pritchard at the Pavilion end and Brad Wadlan providing spin at the other end you might have assumed that the Bay reply might have been kept in check. However, and possibly aided by a drying pitch, Morris & Johansen plundered many a boundary as they set up the game in the Bay’s favour with a stand of 88 for the 2nd wicket.
Bay skipper Johansen eventually fell for an excellent (59) with the score standing on 130.
If Swansea had any thoughts of getting back into the game these were quickly dispelled by the incoming batter Adam Campion (49) together with Morris who eventually fell for an excellent 76 caught behind by Will Davey off the bowling of Rowe with the score on 194.
Will Higginson joined Campion and brought the Bay reply home to 232 for 3 with 7 balls remaining.
Colwyn’s chase had proven to be a superb effort bringing them a comprehensive win, lifting the Senior Welsh Cup for the first time.
At the Presentation Ceremony, Senior Welsh Cup Competition Organiser Steve Davies presented bottles as a Thank You to Neil Perrett (Chair Usk CC) and Bob Szpadt (Umpire Appointments Officer).
Keri Chahal of Cricket Wales presented awards to the officials, Club Scorers Peter Barker (Swansea) & David Parry ( Colwyn Bay), Match Umpires Phil Haines & Andy Goodwin and Match Day Manager Bob Szpadt.
Jon Kinsey Chair of Wales ACO (Association Of Cricket Officials) presented the Man Of The Match Award (as decided by the match umpires) to Sion Morris of Colwyn Bay for his excellent figures of 76 with the bat and 3 for 62 with ball.
Neal Pearson, Cricket Wales Board Member presented awards to the players of Runners Up – Swansea CC.
Mark Frost, Glamorgan & Cricket Wales, presented awards to the players of Winners – Colwyn Bay and the Senior Welsh Cup 2023 to the Bay skipper George Johansen.
Both teams contributed to an absorbing, high class game of cricket well worthy of a Senior Welsh Cup Final. Usk CC were superb hosts. The weather was magnificent. All in all the 2023 Snr Welsh Cup Competition has been a great success.
WE DO IT ALL AGAIN NEXT YEAR!
Steve Davies, Cricket Wales Senior Welsh Cup Organiser.