Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sport

Heart & Soul: A fans view of the Scarlets’ victory against the Cardiff Blues

Published

on

By Jonathan Twigg

PARC Y Scarlets was the venue on Saturday (Oct 28) evening for the second ‘Welsh Derby’ as the Scarlets eventually defeated the Cardiff Blues 30-17 to remain top of the Guinness Pro 14 Conference B table.

Leading 18-3 at half time  through tries from man of the match Hadleigh Parkes and hooker Ryan Elias a buoyant home side were pegged back to 18-17 after an hour as the visitors scored tries from New Zealand born winger Willis Halaholo and replacement scrum half Lloyd Williams to go with conversions from former ‘man of Hendy’ Stephen Shingler.

At this stage the fire under the saucepan needed rekindling and the ‘hwyl’ found its voice from the Hydro North stand, be it water or something stronger to inspire replacement full back to fly over and score with his first touch, thanks to winger Steff Evans grubber kick following a flowing home sides move through the hands of their back division.

A bonus point victory was secured ten minutes from the end as Evans crossed to complete the scoring with Leigh Halfpenny striking a conversion and two penalties and Rhys Patchel a conversion.

Playing in deepest West Wales has often been revered as playing in heaven and the support given from the home faithful is legendry across the globe.  Be it the folk song Sospan Fach synonymous to Stradey Park and now Parc Y Scarlets or a rendition of Calon Lan the close knit community spirit associated to this Welsh Region is special.

Have you wondered how a person goes from being a supporter, to being a fan to becoming a fanatic?  Stationed in the Hydro North stand, which was inspirational after an hour of the game to push the Scarlets to victory, it was a question answered by Mick Haltam, a former three quarter with Haverfordwest and Llangwm, who hails from the Midlands, but is now firmly ensconced in the local sporting scene.

“As a child I grew up in the 70’s when Welsh rugby was such a joy to watch. Even as an Englishman I used to marvel at the skills of Phil Bennett, JJ Williams, Delme Thomas and Ray Gravell who used to play for this magical team way out west that I could not pronounce. Players like these and the romance of games, like beating the ‘All Blacks’ made me an admirer of Llanelli RFC from afar.”

Mick arrived in Pembrokeshire when he was posted to Cawdor Barracks, in 1996 and he fulfilled his dream of living the magic at Stradey Park. “I would be an irregular visitor to Stradey as I was still playing the game” said Mike.  With partner Joanne Phelps equally smitten from the pull of ‘Johnnie Bach’ it took little persuasion for them to take their son Olly when the Club introduced the ‘supporters’ village’ in 2010.  Hooked immediately with the family match day experience, that first against Leinster, when Olly was just three years old was the start of a love story.

Now season ticket holders, the family are committed to the pilgrimage from their home in Narberth by car or train, depending on the kick off time.  Mick recalled when he went from being a fan to a fanatic, after the 24-15 Heinekein Cup quarter final victory over Munster in 2007.

He has been to every Pro 12 ground, with the exception of Treviso and now with the introduction of South African sides the Southern Kings and Cheetahs, plans are already in place to finance the those memory making trips. “European games have also allowed us to get to all the English Premier clubs, except Newcastle, plus Perpignan, Brive, Clermont and Toulon in France.”

At the end of the 2013 season when the Scarlets made the play-off semi final away to Ulster, Olly was a mascot and savoured the atmosphere at Ravenhill for the first time holding Rob McCusker’s hand.  As proud as they were, it was surpassed last season with the Pro12 Final mauling of Munster as it rekindled the ‘magic’ which first drew Mick’s attention in a bygone era.

Mick recalls with delight that ‘Priestland’ try v Perpignan in 2010 as readily as any victory over the Ospreys, including last spring, alongside European victories at Northampton and Harlequins whilst Glasgow is undoubtedly a family favourite destination.  A definition of fanatical can be summed up with Micks explanation of how he and Olly had planned a ‘dads and lads’ visit to the last scheduled away game of last season in Connacht.

“Olly and I took my motorbike via the Fishguard ferry and rode to Galway, experiencing a fantastic away trip. Of course, winning this game meant we’d qualified for the play-offs and pitched us away to Leinster two weeks later. A family weekend followed, flying from Bristol to Dublin before a third Irish away trip in four weeks hit the wallet hard [but it was worth every penny], as we left Pembroke on the 3am ferry and drove to Dublin for the European Final.”

In true partnership Mick and Joanne shared the driving; Mick taking the wheel on the journey into Dublin from their hotel half an hour outside the City, with Joanne driving back! Not even Steve Martin could have perceived Micks voyage of discovery in supporting the Scarlets; through ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’, plus bikes and ferries, experiencing first hand the Heart and Soul of Scarlet Fever.

“We are all part of the Scarlets family” said Joanne, “including the staff and players; we always find time for each other. Today we’ve had a day out, firstly the obligatory shopping experience at Trostre before a family meal and the early arrival at the ground.”  A chuckling Mick, who himself is now coach of Narberth Under 11s after representing the Army with aplomb as far afield as Romania, summed up the victory over the Cardiff Blues with a splattering of ‘Calon Lan’ from his still notable Midlands cadence, alongside friends Steve Barnett and Tom George.

Rest assured there is more fever to come from the Scarlets family; Mick, Joanne and Olly will undoubtedly reminisce for time and memorial.

News

Sports awards judges announce the finalists

Published

on

Pictured are the finalists in last year’s Junior Disability Sport Award; Lily Rice, Libi Phillips, and Michael Jenkins (winner) with Jess West from Disability Sport Wales

THE FINALISTS for the 2020 Sport Pembrokeshire awards have been announced.

The judging panel considered the 120 nominations and has named the 26 finalists following a selection meeting.

Ben Field, manager of Sport Pembrokeshire, said: “Once again, the quality of the nominees was enormously high and it was a challenge to narrow it down to three finalists in each category.

“We are very pleased that people took the time to nominate so many deserving winners.”

As there will no ceremony at Folly Farm this year, following a social media campaign profiling the finalists, the winners will be announced on the Sport Pembrokeshire Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on Friday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m.

The announcement will also reveal the winners of three further categories – the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chairman’s Special Achievement Award and the School Award.

Winners will be contacted in due course, to arrange delivery of trophies and a socially distanced photograph.

The awards are organised by Sport Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council’s sport development section. 

They are sponsored by Sport Pembrokeshire, Valero, The Western Telegraph, Folly Farm and Radio Pembrokeshire.

The awards aim to recognise those people who have excelled in sport over the last 12 months, or who have given their time to coaching and organising grassroots sport.  

Sport Pembrokeshire Awards 2020 – Finalists

(In alphabetical order)

Junior (U16) Sporting Achievement of the Year

Kelci Francis (Dance)

Rhys Llewellyn (Cross Country / Athletics)

Lucy Wintle (Athletics)

Club of the Year

Fishguard & Goodwick Jemima Rowing Club

Fishguard Sports AFC

South Pembs Golf Club

Junior Disability Sport Award

Bleddyn Gibbs (Weightlifting)

Saskia Webb (Swimming)

Young Volunteer of the Year

Lucy Harding

Melody Street

Casey Stuchbury

Team of the Year

Haverfordwest High U13’s Football Team

Milford Haven School U13’s football team

Pembrokeshire Short Mat Bowls Team

Adult Sporting Achievement of the Year

Luke Harries (Golf) 

Josh Macleod (Rugby)

Stephen Varney (Rugby)

Disability Sport Award

Fishguard Thunderbolts

Gaynor Martin (Rowing)

Jake Richards

Unsung Hero

Nick Daley (Pembroke Dock Cricket Club)

Brian Millard (Fishguard Thunderbolts)

Steve Williams (Hundleton Cricket Club)

Coach of the Year

Derek Hart (Badminton)

Justin Head (Weightlifting)

Alison Marsh (Milford Tigers Swimming Club)

Continue Reading

Sport

Pembrokeshire Schools rugby present county ties

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE SCHOOLS RUGBY have presented their under 15’s team with their county tie’s after the season came to a sudden halt when the country was put into lockdown back in March.

Taking to their Facebook page, the organisation said: “Congratulations to the Pembrokeshire Schools Boys U15s from the 2019/20 season who were presented their ties over the last week. We apologise for the delay, as we had hoped to have a more formal event but with current restrictions it was not possible.

“We would like to once again congratulate all the boys on their efforts from last season, for which seems a long time ago now, but will hopefully live long in the memory of coaches and players. We were fortunate to have a strong and diverse cohort of boys this year who showed a lot of ability on the field, as well a positive attitude off it. One thing that really stood out this year was the attitude of boys who were not always involved or selected, but continued to travel, support the team and compete at training. This display of commitment and attitude epitomised the work ethic and unity of the team, one for which as coaches we are truly thankful. Despite the abrupt end of the season, we can undoubtedly categories the year as a great success and delighted to have been a part of the boys’ rugby journey. We hope that the recommencement of rugby is now closer than it is further away, and look forward to seeing the boys progress in the future and staying involved in the game.

“As stated previously the desire and commitment of ALL the boys this year has been unquestionable, however would like to recognise and acknowledge some of the achievements from last year.”

Individual awards presented to players.

Despite a halt to the season – The under 15’s were presented with their county ties

The club Awards and Recognition are as follows;

Players Player – A prestigious award as voted by his peers goes to Macs Page this year. Macs came into the squad whilst at U14s and showed great ability, with his desire to take on defenders and score tries. Macs has evolved his game this last year, playing predominately at full back, with an unmatched ability to kick the ball out of hand as well as off the kicking T and counter attack. Macs continued to score many match defining scores this year and was an exciting player to watch.

Forward of the year – As voted by the coaches forward of the year goes to Alfie Evans-Fecci. The forward pack has been tremendously competitive this year with many able players. However, Alfie in particular has shown great versatility and attitude in make the transition form number 8 to loose head prop with support from his school and county. In addition to this Alfie has continued to make an impact around the field most notable for his strong carries and big hits. We hope he continues to excel in this transition.

Back of the year – As voted by the coaches back of the year goes to Iolo Griffiths. Likewise with the forward pack the competition in the backline has been fierce. Iolo has impressed with his illusive and direct running ball hand, as well his competitiveness and line speed in defense. A notable memory of Iolo has his excellent interception away to Carmarthen School which he received the ball in his own 22 showing great athleticism to score in the oppositions corner. A very talented all round sportsman indeed.

Co-Captains this year – We would like to congratulate both James Price and Rhys Richards for their work as co-captains this year. As many will know the role of captain goes beyond the performances on the field, for which they both excelled on and off the pitch. We have been really impressed with the communication and leadership these boys have shown, which can often go unmissed. We firmly believe the attitude and personality of these boys set a high standard for the rest of the boys to follow and was big contribution to our success last year

RAG honors – Finally we would like to congratulate backrow Jac Delaney on his achievements being involved in the Scarlets West set and later full combined Scarlets U16s squad last year, all a year young. Jac was also involved at U14s and has developed both on and off the field over the last few years, bringing great leadership to the squad and physicality. We hope he continues to develop in this vein and gain further honors.

The club added: “A massive thanks goes to the coaching and school staff who have made last years program possible, ensuring that the boys have the best opportunity on and off the field. We would like to acknowledge that this is voluntary role for all coaches, and we are grateful for their commitment and hope that the boys appreciate it. Thanks to co head coaches Chris Shousha and Steve Martin, Aled Waters, Joe Poole, Morgan Lewis, Gethin Vobe and the school staff of schools who help co-ordinate, develop and forward players.

Ysgol Greenhill School players with their tie’s

“Thanks goes to the parents who have supported the program, we appreciate it is a task to ferry the boys to training and support at games as well as helping cater for some games. You feel the delight and dismay at every score just like us, but have always conducted yourselves in a fine manner and shown positive enthusiasm to support the boys and coaches.

“Thanks also goes to our sponsors; Edwards Bros (Tiers Cross), Tees R us (Haverfordwest), SAW Cymru and The Gourmet Pig. The sponsorship these generous businesses have given is truly invaluable.

“A final thanks goes to Tenby United RFC who played host for the majority of our home fixtures, despite rain, sun or hail the pitch was always in excellent condition and you showed the boys great hospitality and courtesy.

“We imagine some form of rugby will develop in the new year, and encourage the boys to begin to the prepare themselves and to continue to train so, if they aren’t already. We are unsure how the pathway will unfold, but regardless of this we hope to see the boys engaged in the future whether it be at school, club, youth, college or university. We also look forward to welcoming players from Year 10 and 9 whenever that may be when rugby resumes. In the meantime, we hope you all remain safe and well with the build up to Christmas.”

Ysgol Bro Gwaun have paid individual support for their students.

A spokesperson from the school said: “Congratulations to the following boys that received their county ties this week.

“Di awn Jac Delaney, Ethan Sapsford, Dan Page, Bryn Thomas, Dylan Scott and Dan Cleary.

“The boys were part of a successful Pembrokeshire Schools squad that reached the semi finals of the National Morgan Griffiths Plate competition before the season was suspended.

“These young men have also been fantastic role models and ambassadors for rugby in the local community. We wish them all the best in the future on and off the field. “

Continue Reading

Sport

Commissioner welcomes ‘Premier League Kicks’ to Dock

Published

on

ON FRIDAY (Nov 13), Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn visited Pembroke Dock, to attend the launch of the new Premier League Kicks initiative in the area.
Over 90 young people from the Pembroke Dock area took part in the first session on Friday evening and will continue to participate on a weekly basis.  During the sessions, the young people take part in various practical activities, such as football coaching sessions, as well as informal sessions that address crime issues.
The Premier League Kicks is free of charge for all involved, and is funded through the Police and Crime Commissioner and run in partnership with Swansea City Football Club Community Trust.
Whilst attending the first session on Friday evening at Ysgol Harri Tudor, Pembroke Dock, PCC Dafydd Llywelyn said “I am privileged to be here on the opening night, to see for myself the positive influence an initiative such as the Premier League Kicks is having on the youth here, and the wider community.
“As a sports enthusiast, and having played football at many levels in my youth, I am fully aware of the influence that sport and exercise have on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in general.
“This initiative will have a positive impact on the town and especially the children involved and wish them all the best of luck.”
Superintendent Ross Evans who has been leading and co-ordinating the setting up of the initiative locally in Pembroke Dock on behalf of Dyfed-Powys Police said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Premier League Kicks and to welcome them to Pembrokeshire for the first time.
“The launch of this scheme is a huge boost for young people in Pembroke Dock and also for the local area itself.
“I would like to wish everyone taking part good luck, we all hope that they make the most of this great opportunity of free coaching by a world famous brand”.
The initiative is run through the English Premier League’s ‘Kicks’ national program, and is delivered locally by Swansea City Football Club Community Trust. The program aims to use football and sport in general to inspire youth living in deprived areas.
Craig Richards from the Swansea City FC Community Trust, said “Premier League Kicks provides free weekly football sessions and educational workshops to young people, giving them opportunities, support and pathways to reach their full potential and divert them away from crime or criminals. It was a pleasure to welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn to Seaside Kicks session to see so many young people having great fun in a safe environment”.
PCC Dafydd Llywelyn is also funding the same initiative in the Llanelli area in partnership with Swansea City FC Community Trust.  PCC Llywelyn said: “Seaside Kicks was launched in Llanelli in January this year, to engage the youth of the Glanymor and Tyisha area in positive activities. More than 150 young people in the area participate on a weekly basis with the Seaside Kicks, and I’m proud to see the impact the scheme is having on young people in the area, and expect to see the same here in the Pembroke Dock area”.

Continue Reading
News4 hours ago

Camp security boss threatened unpaid staff

Guards walked out last week over wage dispute, police on stand-by SECURITY staff guarding the Asylum Seekers Accommodation Centre in Penally have...

News23 hours ago

Jessica ready to help in access officer role

Pembrokeshire County Council has a new Access Officer. Jessica Hatchett took up the role earlier this month and has always...

News2 days ago

Milford Haven: Footage of police pursuit released as dangerous driver is jailed

POLICE have released footage of a drug driver who drove through a stretch of roadworks on the wrong side of...

News2 days ago

North Pembrokeshire school closures explained

PEMBROKESHIRE’S education chief has explained the decision to keep six North Pembrokeshire schools closed today (Tuesday, 24th November). The schools...

News3 days ago

Two day centres to close temporarily as a precaution

TWO north Pembrokeshire Day facilities for older people and people with learning disabilities are to close temporarily as a precaution...

News3 days ago

North Pembrokeshire schools remain closed

THE SIX North Pembrokeshire schools which were closed today (Monday, November 23) as a precaution following the increased spread of...

News4 days ago

Tenby: Investigations continue following death of woman at caravan park

POLICE are still investigating the cause of death of a woman found dead at a caravan park in Tenby on...

News5 days ago

Tenby: Man arrested after woman found dead in caravan

A MAN was arrested following the death of a woman in the south of the county. A woman has been...

News1 week ago

Pembrokeshire castle’s ‘I’m A Celebrity’ rumour denied

CAREW CASTLE have denied being in the running to host ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’. Pre-coronavirus, the...

News1 week ago

Milford Haven: Police investigating burglaries targeting the vulnerable

POLICE are investigating a burglary and attempted burglary in Milford Haven. A concerned resident contacted The Herald after what he...

Popular This Week