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Ward hat-trick boosts Wales

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Wales women 4 Kazakhstan women 0

A HAT-TRICK from second half substitute Helen Ward gave Wales a crucial victory in their Euro 2017 qualifying game at a capacity Conygar Bridge Meadow on Thursday (26 Nov).

Wales women welcomed their counterparts from Kazakhstan, knowing that only a win would do if they were to maintain hope of qualifying for the Euro 2017 finals in the Netherlands.

Ahead of kick off Wales were adrift at the bottom of the table, one point behind the visitors, having lost their opening two fixtures, away at Austria (3-0) and Norway (4-0). With their next game a difficult trip away to Israel, it really was a must win game at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium.

Star striker, Manchester City’s Natasha Harding had stated as much before kick off saying, ‘”We can’t think of anything else. We can’t think to draw or lose.” Kazakhstan too had lost to both Norway and Austria, although their defeats came at home, whilst they had picked up a solitary point in a goalless draw at the Lod Municipal in Israel in October.

3 Pembrokeshire players were included in the matchday squad, with Angharad James (Bristol WFC) starting at right back, and goalkeeper Joanne Price (unattached) among the substitutes with Nadia Lawrence (also Bristol WFC).

The game didn’t get off to the greatest starts when the Welsh anthem was played twice, before it was announced that the Kazakhstan anthem was unavailable, leaving the visiting players to sing ‘acappella’, much to the dismay of manager Kaloyan Petkov.

As play got underway, Wales started the first half on the front foot, enjoying a great deal of possession in wide areas, and it was from out on the right hand side that the first opportunity was created, as a good cross from Helen Bleazard found the head of Nia Jones, who was ruled to be offside when she headed home from 8 yards.

Jones was proving a handful up front, and when she was slipped through on goal with just 15 minutes gone, the capacity crowd thought she had scored, but she struck her effort just wide of the far post.

The rest of the half passed without any chances of great note for Wales, although Fishlock will have been disappointed not to hit the target when the ball dropped to her 18 yards out.

On the other hand, Kazakhstan, despite being under pressure for the majority of the first half, will feel they should’ve gone in with the lead as a defence mix up led to a glorious chance for Saule Karibayeva, but with the goal empty, as goalkeeper Alice Evans was left stranded on the edge of the box, her chipped effort was headed off the line by the scrambling Natasha Harding.

With Wales having faded before half time, coach Jayne Ludlow will have been keen for her side to emerge for the second half with a renewed attacking vigour, and this they did, taking the lead within five minutes of the restart.

With the visitors failing to clear a corner, a bout of head tennis ensued, and after Rhiannon Roberts had nodded the ball across the goalmouth, Natasha Harding reacted quickest, nodding home from a yard.

This settled Wales down, and playing with confidence, the stage was set for substitute centre forward Helen Ward to shine as she collected a sensational second half hat trick.

Her first came just after the hour mark, as Fishlock played a beautiful ball with the outside of her right foot into her path, and she strode forward confidently to smash the ball past the on-rushing Oksana Zheleznyak in the Kazakhstan goal to spark wild scenes of celebration, and perhaps relief on the Welsh bench.

Two minutes later and the same two players combined to produce an identical result, as this time Ward raced clear through the left centre back’s channel, finishing smartly with a cool left footed pass under Zheleznyak, giving Wales a comfortable 3-0 lead.

As a dejected Kazakhstan faded, Wales kept possession with ease, creating several further opportunities to extend their lead. As it was, it was the in-form Ward who pounced again to give Wales a well-deserved 4-0 victory and complete her hat trick in the dying moments of the game. Good work from Bleazard and Fishlock had sent her through, and she stretched out her right leg to toe the ball into the far corner.

It was a fantastic victory for Ludlow’s side, which owed much to a magnificent second half salvo, which blew the visitors away. The side move on to play Israel in December with renewed confidence in their quest to reach Euro 2017.

Team:

12 Alice Evans, 3 Nia Jones, 4 Sophie Ingle ©, 5 Rhiannon Roberts, 7 Angharad James, 8 Melissa Fletcher, 9 Natasha Harding, 10 Jessica Fishlock, 11 Rachel Rowe, 13 Helen Bleazard, 16 Amelia Ritchie.

Substitutes:

1 Joanne Price, 2 Chloe Chivers, 17 Charlotte Estcourt, 18 Helen Ward, 19 Kayleigh Green, 20 Alys Hinchliffe, 23 Nadia Lawrence.

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Newport: Library to close as it prepares for move

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NEWPORT COMMUNITY LIBRARY will close next month as it prepares to move to a new location.

The current site, at Bank House on Bridge Street, will close its doors to the public for the final time at 12:30pm on Saturday, December 8.

The library will then begin the process of moving to Newport Visitor Centre on Long Street, where it is projected to open on Wednesday, December 19.

In advance of the closure period, Newport Community Library customers may borrow a further six books, in addition to the normal allowance, from December 3-8.

All items loaned from the current site will be given a longer loan period, so no overdue notices will be issued, and customers are welcome to return their items to any other library in Pembrokeshire during the closure period.

For more information, contact Newport Community Library on 01239 821 169.

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BBC’s Question Time to be broadcast from Milford Haven tonight

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DAVID DIMBLEBY will be chairing BBC’s Question Time from Milford Haven tonight. The show, which takes place on one of the most dramatic days in Westminster in living memory will be broadcast on BBC One at 22:45 tonight.
The program features a studio audience quizzing top politicians on the events of the day. The panel will be, as usual, comprised of at least one member of the three major parties.
Those who can’t watch the show, which is being broadcast from The Torch Theatre, it will be repeated at 6pm on Sunday on the BBC Parliament channel.
The management of the Torch Theatre have posted on Facebook saying they warmly welcome the crew and panel to Milford Haven.

Did you know?
Each week Question Time aims to select a panel with a broad range of views, knowledge and experience, with panellists who are relevant to the big stories or debates of that week.
The composition of the panel varies week to week, but across each series there is a range of politicians, journalists, and public figures from the arts, business and elsewhere, to add a variety of perspectives and represent a breadth of viewpoints.
Question Time is usually recorded “as-live” shortly before transmission. The recording is done in a single take, precisely as if it were broadcast live. The first time the panellists hear the questions is when they are asked by the audience; they are never pre-warned.
Question Time selects local audiences which reflect a broad range of political views. People apply to be in the audience for Question Time via the website and by phone and producers get in touch to ask questions on their previous voting record and future voting intentions, whether they have party political membership and also how they voted in the EU Referendum. This is to ensure a range of views are represented in the audience. Occasionally, if production staff feel any group or view is under-represented in the applications, they will promote the programme through relevant local media channels to encourage people to apply.
As with the make-up of the panels, Question Time is aiming to achieve due impartiality in the membership of the audience across the series as a whole, rather than being confined to an exact mathematical formula for each programme. However, particular guidelines will apply during election periods to both panels and audiences.
Audience members write and submit questions on the night. The production team chooses questions which represent the most popular topics. Throughout the programme, audience members are also given the opportunity by the chair to ask further spontaneous questions to the panel, or, of course, to make their own comments.

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Red Roses: MP calls for ‘urgent action’ on dangerous junction

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Crash: Just one of the incidents at the junction from earlier in the year

SIMON HART MP is calling for urgent action to be taken on dangerous junctions at Red Roses and Llandowror.

He has written to the Welsh Transport minister six times since the new Red Roses by-pass was built – but no action has yet been taken.

“Homeowners from Red Roses, Llandowror and Pendine who have to use these junctions all the time are telling me how dangerous they find them,” he said.

Despite repeated requests, the only changes made have been a few extra signs at the westbound approach to Red Roses junction.

“I am frustrated because the Welsh Assembly Government is refusing to release data on these roads – in April this year they told us they were waiting for the 2017 data in order to complete the three-year-safety audit,” added Mr Hart.

“We are now 11 months into 2018 – how much longer do we have to wait for last year’s figures?

“It is known that two crashes happened at the Llandowror junction requiring police in 2015 and 2016 and there was a fatal accident close to the Red Roses junction last week.”

Mr Hart added: “I have asked for improved lighting at the Llandowror junction and been refused because ‘there are no indications that this junction has safety problems in the hours of darkness’ according to Welsh Transport Minister Ken Skates.

“I have written to him once again asking for the figures and am working closely with the relevant community councils to try to make this road safer.”

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