Phil "Snelly" Snell

Inside Alder Meadow - An interview with Pontblyddyn Legend Phil Snell

Pontblyddyn Legend : Phil Snell

Next up is Ponts most famous Chester fan, Phil Snell. "Snelly" had a long and successful career at Pontblyddyn and won plenty of games with both bat all ball. His new ball opening partnership with Rhys Jones is seen as one of the key reasons behind Pontblyddyn's league and cup double in 1992. Here Phil looks back on his Bont career.

Early Memories
Playing cricket in the garden with my brother, smashing my Dads greenhouse windows.....and the surrounding neighbours.
Being a Chester lad, playing in various school teams and training at Christleton and Chester boughton hall but ended up at the Bont? Work that one out.

Started off in the u13s, season after played 2nd XI, then at 14 was playing 1st XI. Hated it at first, 20 minute drive to the ground from Chester, I didn't know anyone but I was taken under the wing of Nige Jones {Rhys Dad} and he’s the only reason I stayed at the Bont for the next 30 years.

Best Game I’ve Played In
Best game I’ve played in would probably be the game against Desmond Haynes West Indies u19 cavaliers.

I was 14 at the time and even though I’ve got a head like a sieve it’s a game I’ll never forget.
Getting the great man to nick off through 3rd slip...….if only I’d had any slips in there.

Best Performance
Hard to break this question down, best or most satisfying. Some games I’ve scored runs or took wickets and we’ve lost, for me, they don't count.
A few games spring to mind but it’s so hard to remember, probably many more Rhys could fill me in on.

Winning back to back Denbighshire Finals, runs and wickets in both.

Bowling a near full strength Colwyn Bay out for 50odd in the Welsh Cup.

4 for and 98n.o. against Marchwiel in the early 90s.

Best Cricketing Moment
Without doubt winning the North Wales League at Pont.

Best Overseas Player
Played with - Collis King, no one else comes close.

Played against - Brad Strang, Micheal Jey, Glen Laylor, Mcneil Morgan,

Favourite Ground
Bont and Menai Bridge, beautiful place to play cricket

Least favourite…Bersham. If I was a farmer I wouldn't let my livestock go there

Favourite Team to Play
Hawk Green, always great games, competitive, plenty of chat....but off the pitch, great lads. We were fortunate to draw them in the village knockout many times.

Ok....I may be slightly biased here, the 1st time we ever played them was at home and down at fine leg waiting to bowl the 2nd over when 2 of their wives put a towel down and sunbathed topless next to me

Most Feared Opponent
Didn't fear anyone, who'd turn up at a game frightened of someone.

Best Player played against
Desmond Haynes, Curtly Ambrose, Winston Benjamin.

Best Player played with
Collis King

Best Batsmen Played With
Based on no Pros and the question I’ve been dreading. In over 30 years playing at the Bont I’ve seen many good bats, very few great bats. My top 3 are Big Phil, Glen and Mark Hughes.
Three fantastic players and all feature in my All Time north wales league 11.
I had to think long and hard and still couldn't split them.
I’ve been fortunate to bat with all of them and shake their hands as they got their tons.
Great players, not sure how many tons they got, but the best and bravest goes to Hughesy for his knock on Gresfords old track, absolute mine field. David Williams was at him that day, pushing 90mph, hit mark 10-15 times, whilst I was safely padded up locked in the toilet.

Best Bat Played Against
The Top 3 at Brymbo were always hard, Nige Roberts was the best North Wales will ever produce but Stewy was always the thorn in my side.
Also my old sparring partner Kevin Williams, great bat and in 30 years I never worked him out.

Best Bowler Played With
My partner in crime opening the bowling for over 10 years, Rhys. Vastly underrated, could put it on a beer mat, swinging it away...and had the chat too.

Best Bowler Played Against
Pace - David Williams and Shaun Roberts

Spin - Dave Phennah, Rene Clayton, Rob Fisher

Best in the Changing Room
I loved the changing room banter, and that's the main reason I played on as long as I could after my back op.

Rhys and Chippy were hysterical...add Tippy and Jules…….great scenes

Longest in the Shower
Mark Sharon Williams loved to get a bit of blood in it before he came out, and Rhys liked to p*ss on everyone before he came out.

Favourite Drinking Partners
Rhys, Matty Holt, Gary Smith. Also Jules for our nights out in Chester.

Favourite Drink
San Miguel and Stella

Favourite Umpire
None, neutral umpires couldn't come quick enough for me. If I had to chose one ……….pete hanaby

All Time Pont XI....not in batting order
Big Phil
Hughesy
Nige Snell
Rhys
Jules
Tony Manoj
Chippy
Glen
Me
Lamby
Neebo

Right, apologies to anyone I’ve overlooked here...….and there are too many to list.
I’ve picked this side, solely on the fact that this is the strongest side that took the field together, although I may stand to be corrected

North Wales All Time XI
Phil
Glen
Mark Jones
Karl Peers
Dave Williams
Mark Hughes - cpt
Rob Marshall - wkt
Stew Williams
Nige Roberts
Rhys
Robbie jones

Advice to Youngsters

  • Be dedicated and train hard.....then train again.
  • Listen to any advice offered.
  • Play hard but respect your opponents.
  • But most of all enjoy it, savour the runs and wickets.
Trust me, in over 30 years playing the beautiful game, they'll be gone in the blink of an eye.