AMMANFORD won the Welsh Cup for the first time since 1986 on Sunday (Sept 2), as they beat Neyland by 51 runs in the final at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff.
It was Neyland who won the toss and elected to bowl first on a sunny and warm afternoon in front of a good number of people who had made the journey to the Capital to support their team.
Neyland’s decision to bowl first had its desired effect as they had Ammanford at 60 for 4 but Ammanford’s all-rounders Matthew Fisher and Craig Maloney went into overdrive and with Fisher making 47 and Maloney a top score of 64 helped their team to a total of 209-9 after 40 overs.
So as Neyland came off the field they knew 210 was the target to win. Neyland’s Sean Hannon returning Best bowling figures 4-32 from his 8 overs.
Neyland lost an early wicket to Ammanford’s man of the match in the semi-final Matthew Fisher.
It was left to Neyland’s opener Patrick Bellerby to steady the ship and bring his team back into contention and he made a fine half century before getting out. Neyland had reached 101-2 off 27 overs.
Disaster struck for Neyland as they lost their remaining five wickets for just one run which included a hat trick for Ammanford bowler Matthew Roberts. Roberts then took a fourth wicket in a row to swing the game in his side’s favour.
So Neyland were left some 51 runs short of the target despite being in contention for a large part of the game.
It was a jubilant Ammanford team who celebrated with their supporters who will be bringing the cup back to the Amman Valley.
Rod Jones, Chairman of Cricket Wales presented the trophy to Ammanford, whose celebrations lasted well into the night.
It was a gallant performance from the Pembrokeshire team and left them thinking what might have been in what was a thoroughly entertaining cup final.
All-rounder Matthew Fisher again showed his worth to the team as he not only made a valuable 47 but chipped in with crucial wickets.
The win makes it a memorable double-winning season for Ammanford who won the South Wales Premier T20 competition, also at the Swalec, earlier in the season.