Inside Alder Meadow - An interview with Pontblyddyn Part Timer Ed Jones
Pontblyddyn Legend : Ed Jones
Next up answering questions is Ed Jones. Aggressive 1st Team Opening Batsmen who would now see himself more of a Bowling All Rounder after recent seasons. Although since 2015 he has unfortunately been pulled away with work, he always makes himself available when he can and here are his best bits of playing down at the Pont.
Playing in the back garden with my mate Jake Farrow (A few of you will unfortunately be familiar with his work). He always managed to twist the rules so he won. I still enjoyed it enough to go and play for a season at Buckley before moving to Pont when I was 8 and absolutely loved it.
Best Game I’ve Played In
Probably that relegation decider against Brymbo as much as it pains me to say. Still haven’t forgiven Ali Roberts for getting me run out after I got off to an absolute flyer. Quickest man in the team turned down a single to a man on one leg.
We had a few great games in 2011 when the 2nds won Division 2. A last ball run out securing a one run win over Gwersyllt and a few tight games against Marchweil who ran us close all season.
Tied game against Hawarden when they needed one to win and we needed two wickets to tie and Chris Moss took two wickets in two balls. Some questionable umpiring that day (SHOCK HORROR) so I don’t think either team could complain too much.
Best Personal Performance
Ignoring the fact I was given not out when caught at first slip when I was on 30… I went on to hit 140 in a losing effort against Bangor. Managing to battle through some balls seaming all over the place early on to stick it out (bar the one that went to first slip) and get a big score was pleasing. Shame it was when Blake Dean turned up.
Best Cricketing Moment
There haven’t been that many in all honesty, but winning Division 2 in 2011 is comfortably the best. We had a really good young side that blew away most teams. It’s a shame everyone seemed to move away for work or retired after that season. It was a pleasure to watch Pont’s answer to Adil and Moeen (Mark Gent and Tom Dawson) tie up opposition batsmen week after week.
Best Overseas Player
Marcel Frenzel without a doubt. He could do silly things with the ball. Solid batsman and unbelievable in the field. Don’t think we had a net session in two years where he didn’t clean me up.
Obviously I’m going to pick Alder Meadow but a special shout out to Bangor because I’ve only played there a handful of times and managed to score a shedload load of runs.
Favourite Team to Play Against
I can’t say I’ve ever walked out confidently against anyone! Maybe I’d have to say Bangor even though a lot of the runs I scored there were when I was about 15 against the third team. They all count though.
Most Feared Opponent
Menai Bridge would be up there. It’s annoying going all that way to get whacked. Think I’ve only won a game there once and saw one of the all-time great death overs from Ben Mason. I think the ball only landed in the car park four times.
Best Player Played Against
There’s a few I need to name here…
Firstly, Blake Dean. Daft that he had been playing in the Big Bash and ended up swanning round North Wales scoring hundreds without breaking sweat. Scored an unbelievable ton against us, effortlessly timing the ball and hitting it so hard at the same time, not to mention his filthy leg spinners that caused everyone a few problems. I was over the moon when the reverse fixture was rained off because I couldn’t be bothered with that again if I’m honest. There’d have been a lot of balls lost in the River Alyn.
Hawarden had a lad in Division One called Jason Biddulph who would’ve won the game if he played on his own. Best fielder I’ve ever played against and was great to watch him bat. Hardly as though my filthy seamers troubled him too much though.
Matt Redinger at Llanrwst hit it miles. I had to retrieve plenty from the far
side of the football pitch one Saturday afternoon. Having got out third ball of
the game, I didn’t need that in my life. Long day, long drive home.
Finally, Ben Hilliard at Brymbo. He was too good for me. He knew, I knew it, everyone knew it. Didn’t fancy him on a hard, seaming wicket on a freezing cold day at Brymbo at all. When I finally played one back onto my stumps I feigned disappointment, but in reality I couldn’t have scuttled off that pitch any faster. He needs to work on his send offs though…
Best Player Played With
Marcel who I’ve previously mentioned, but Glenn Chambers and Phil Davies are probably the best. I was fortunate enough to be the same age as Jamie Chambers and Lewis Davies so they always had plenty of advice for the three of us. Used to watch them bat on a Saturday afternoon and they seemed to score hundreds on a regular basis. As I got older and got into the first team I’d often pass Glenn on the bridge after another low score then put my feet up and watch him make it look so easy.
Mark Neath was also a great player before his premature retirement. Could slog sweep anyone into the river, tease a batsman into a silly shot, never drop a catch and was easily the best captain I’ve ever played with (Sorry Hughesy).
Best Batsman Played With
Ben Mason has to get a shout here. Solid opening batsman who has been let down by the lack of support in recent years. Great slip fielder, great at picking fights, just needs to unhook the caravan.
Best Batsman Played Against
Seeing as I’ve mentioned all the overseas players I’ll probably go with Martin Burger at Connah’s Quay. Will never forget Jamie Griffiths’ celebration after he caught him at backward point on a freezing cold day at the Quay. He did a lap of the pitch before getting back to the huddle and realised how much pain he was in.
Tom Ducker nailed it as well. Unorthodox stance but could hit a ball miles and scored plenty. Remember him getting a few fortunate decisions in the aforementioned tied game. I don’t walk when they go to first slip either to be fair, Tom.
Best Bowler Played With
The Flame and Glenn Chambers without a doubt. They keep telling me they used to be quick back in their day which I struggle to believe. Both very intelligent the way they go about setting a batsman up and if they can’t get you out, The Flame will talk you out.
Flame’s foster children Romario Greaves and Jeff Lituri need a mention here as well. Romario is a great spinner who I believe has gone onto bigger and better things in Barbados and recently Australia. Accurate and turned them miles. Jeff’s double bouncing leg spinners get a shout because of the old saying ‘S#£! gets wickets’.
Best Bowler Played Against
There’s a lot of bowlers who have dismissed me on multiple occasions. Jack Rimmington has got me a few times without me bothering to score a run again. Rogue shout here but Tom Thornton at Llandudno who I have played against maybe three times in second team and first team cricket and he has hit the top of my off stump every single time I’ve faced him. David North at Bangor once seamed them all over the place I couldn’t get near them. If he’d got one to hit the stumps I’d have gone.
Best in the Changing Room
Rhys Jones – The Flame is winning this by a country mile. Never a dull moment, you always need to watch your back. I’ve had to throw out a few pairs of boxer shorts over the years and we will not mention the infamous water bottle incident at Mochdre. I’m blaming getting out for another duck on that.
Longest In The Shower
We all know by now that it’s Chris ‘The Horse’ Myles.
Best Drinking Partner
There’s been a lot over the years, most people who’ve stepped inside the clubhouse in fact. Anyone that force fed me warm, flat Foster’s when I was younger really helped me turn into who I am today. Special shouts for Mossy, Ben Mason, Jeff Lituri and Daz Wilcock who effortlessly deletes a pint of Guinness. Trying to keep up with him in Dublin was a mistake.
Surprisingly it’s not the warm, flat Foster’s once served with a flake by the lovely Sandra. Guinness or a pale ale will do me fine. Menai Bridge selling cans of Red Stripe for £2 would always make up for another defeat.
Paul Jones – sets the standard really. Never worried about missing the last bus home and always sticks around for a pint and chat about the game. Often discussing another loose shot by yours truly.
All Time Pont XI – No Pros
1. Phil Davies
2. Mark Hughes
3. Glenn Chambers
4. Ben Mason
5. Ali Roberts
6. Mark Neath (c)
7. Lewis Davies
8. Chris Moss
9. Andrew Roberts (wk)
10. Kevin Owen
11. Rhys Jones
12. Richie Davies
All Time North Wales XI – No Pros
1. Kevin Owen
2. Kevin Owen
3. Kevin Owen (c)
4. Kevin Owen
5. Kevin Owen
6. Kevin Owen
7. Kevin Owen (wk)
8. Kevin Owen
9. Kevin Owen
10. Kevin Owen
11. Kevin Owen
Advice To Youngsters Starting Out
Enjoy yourself, stick around after the game, pay your subs and DO NOT under any circumstances use anything after Rhys Jones.