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Sports awards winners revealed

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THE achievements and hard work of sportspeople, coaches and volunteers in the county were celebrated at the prestigious Sport Pembrokeshire awards ceremony on Friday (Nov 24) – one of the highlights of the local sporting calendar.

Now in its 11th year, the gala ceremony at Folly Farm was attended by more than 600 guests, and hosted by Bill Carne and Cllr Huw George.

Fourteen award-winners were announced in a variety of categories, together with the winners of two special awards – the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Special Achievement Award.

The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Paralympian and former international Boccia champion, Jacob Thomas (main picture) of Bethesda near Narberth.

Jacob, aged 23, claimed several international titles and achieved a place in the final sixteen in the London 2012 Summer Paralympics prior to his retirement last year.

Among his successes were the coveted gold medal at the World Student Games in Brazil, the pairs’ bronze at the European Championships, and bronze and silver in the World Championships in Beijing.

Jacob was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Geoff Williams, Head of Sport at BBC Wales.

He praised Jacob’s exceptional achievements and said that he was a ‘true champion in every sense of the word’.

“With his extraordinary degree of skill, determination and perseverance, Jacob is quite simply one of the most inspirational figures ever to come before us in the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards,” said Geoff.

The Special Achievement Award, presented by the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Cllr Paul Harries, was won by Marie Tilley of Narberth.

Pictured is Marie Tilley, the winner of the Chairman’s Special Achievement Award, with the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Cllr Paul Harries.

After her sister and son were diagnosed with diabetes, Marie set up ‘Marie’s Mission’ in 2014, a quest to raise funds to help improve the treatment and diabetes and contribute towards finding a cure.

Since then, she has completed many endurance events, including cycling the punishing La Marmotte in France – 110 miles of mountainous terrain – and raised more than £15,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

She has also set up ‘Marie’s Marvels’ – a running and fitness group comprising more than 30 women – and is currently establishing two further fitness groups for youngsters.

“Her dedication to helping others, while managing her own son’s condition, is nothing short of inspirational,” said Cllr Harries.

The awards ceremony also featured a screening of a music video by Tom Fletcher, previously of McFly, featuring the amazing skills of Tenby WCMX champion Lily Rice, winner of the 2016 Junior (U16) Disability Sport Award.

Councillor Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “The Sport Pembrokeshire awards are an opportunity to celebrate  the achievements of sportspeople across the County and recognise the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to all nominees, finalists and winners.”

The Sport Pembrokeshire awards were organised by Sport Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council’s sport development team, which also sponsored the awards together with the Western Telegraph, Valero, Radio Pembrokeshire and Folly Farm.

The winner of the award was Libi Phillips (Wheelchair rugby), whose sister Madi accepted it on her behalf from Tom Rogers of Arriva Trains Wales. The finalists were Leon Davies (Gymnastics) and Antony Triebel (Gymnastics).

Sponsors of individual categories included Strength Academy Wales, Arriva Trains Wales, Sport Wales and the Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

The winners of the 14 award categories were:

Sport Pembrokeshire Awards 2017 – Winners

Coach of the Year – Chris Barker (Squash)

Female Sporting Achievement – Abbie Williams (Triathlon)

Male Sporting Achievement – James Tomlinson (Athletics)

Boys (U16) Sporting Achievement – Iori Humphreys (Athletics)

Girls (U16) Sporting Achievement – Lowri Hart (Badminton)

Disability Sport Award – Jack Lloyd (Bowls)

Junior (U16) Disability Sport Award – Libi Phillips (Wheelchair Rugby)

Unsung Hero – Sam Rossiter (Cricket)

Club Organiser of the Year – Mel Marshalsey (Netball)

The award-winners Just Tri Junior Triathlon Club are pictured with David Walker from the Pembrokeshire Youth Service and Sion Jenkins from the Just Tri club.

Team Achievement of the Year – Sam and Daisy Coleman (Powerboating)

Junior  (U16) Team Achievement of the Year – Ysgol Preseli under 16’s rugby team 2016/17

Contribution to School Sport award – Rick Walton

Student Contribution to School Sport award – Nina Garcia (Greenhill School)

Club of the Year – Just Tri Junior Triathlon Club

Sport

Otters give Pooler a fright

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NARBERTH gave everything they had on Saturday (Jan 19), but it wasn’t enough to earn victory against Pontypool at the Lewis Lloyd Ground.

Pontypool, unbeaten in 49 games, arrived with an army of loyal supporters to add to a large crowd eager to witness the clash. They were not disappointed for the Otters had no intention of giving way to the league leaders.

The Otters kicked off and for the next few minutes attacked Pooler in their half and on the halfway line. A scrum was called and the ball was served and in seconds the ball came out on the tight head. Pooler winger Lloyd Lewis gathered the ball and seeing his way to the line clear, raced up the far touchline for him to score an unconverted try.

The Otters restarted and it seemed a kicking duel was likely until Pontypool put the ball in touch. From the Otters lineout the ball was moved  from left to right with hooker Rhodri Owens breaking forward, Pooler brought him down but the Otters rucked well, Ryan Lane fed the ball to Jonathan Rogers who repeated the previous weeks drop goal with ease, bringing the score to 3-5.

There was then another kicking duel with Pooler chasing every kick while the Otters played for safety and kicked into touch. Pooler then set up a rolling maul before releasing fly half Mathew Lewis to place the ball into touch on the Otters 22.

Pooler continued to put the pressure on but the Otters stood up to it well. The visitors forced the Otters back into their 22, gaining a penalty at the breakdown and Mathew Lewis put the ball into touch on the 5 metre line by the clubhouse.

From the lineout they set up a rolling maul but the Otters pack were equal to the technique and thwarted Pooler and managed to get the ball to Jack Price who kicked down field before full back Geraint Walsh moved the ball to the opposite side of the field before the Otters closed him down.

Pooler were penalised for offside enabling Jonathan Rogers to kick into the Pooler 22. The Otters gaining the ball moved across from the stand side but the move broke down when the passed ball was dropped.

The Otters regained possession and Jack Price made a powerful break and although tackled he managed to forced his way through before slipping to the ground. At the ruck the Otters were again penalised.

Then on 27 minutes with Pooler in attack in the Otters half the ball broke loose and reacting quickly Nick Gale kicked the ball down field, the Pontypool winger was unable to control the ball enabling Nick to kick forward again and easily win the sprint to the touch down. He followed this with an excellent conversion to make it 10-5 to the Otters.

Pooler responded aggressively to finding themselves behind but the Otters defended with good organisation and equal aggression stopping every attempt to break through even at the scrum 10 metres from the Otters line, when Rhys Lane was able to put in a relieving kick into touch on his 22.

The Otters pack put pressure on Pooler enabling wing Will Lewis to kick ahead and break forward. He gathered the ball making many metres before being tackled.

Pooler were making much use of their heavier pack but a stout defence held them back. Close to half time Mathew Lewis kicked Pooler to the Otters corner. At the lineout a maul was formed but held back only for the Otters to be penalised and for Richard Rees to be sent to the sin bin.

The referee eventually blew for half time after playing six minutes injury time with the Otters 10-5 ahead.

The second half started with both full backs attempting a kicking duel before Ianto Griffiths put the ball into touch on halfway.

The difference between the two scrum halves beside age is that Lewys has a longer pass enabling Jonathan Rogers to position himself further back away from the Pooler back row. However, five minutes into the second half, Pooler levelled the score with an unconverted try by flanker Mikey Herbert who broke through the Otters defence to cross the line and touch down.

For the next 10 minutes Pooler stepped up their pressure in an aggressive manner with both defences putting in some brutal tackles. The Otters were awarded a penalty for Nick Gale to step up and successfully kick the Otters into a 3 point lead at 13-10.

A few minutes later, the Otters were defending another forceful Pooler attack when on their 22, there was an unfortunate injury affecting flanker Steffan Phillips. His cries of agony were heard around the ground and play stopped for 10 minutes while he received attention. A huge round of applause occurred when Steffan rose and was able, with assistance, to walk off the field with his right arm supported.

A scrum restarted the game, Pooler were awarded a penalty with which Mathew Lewis levelled the score at 13-13.

This was followed a few minutes later with the Otters regaining the lead with another Nick Gale penalty.

The Otters continued their attempts to break through the Pooler defence and a diagonal break by Keiron Jones saw him tackled 5 metres from the try line. A successful ruck saw Jonathan Rogers throw a long pass which reached Nick Gale who raced towards the line before being pulled down, via the ruck the ball was moved quickly towards the clubhouse when Pooler were penalised for lying offside.

The Otters kicked to the corner at the lineout forming a maul but the possession was lost enabling Pooler to force their way downfield. On 76 minutes they were awarded a penalty, Mathew Lewis kicked to touch into the Otters 22.

At the lineout they formed a maul before quickly releasing the ball with Mathew Lewis managing to break the defensive wall and score an unconverted try. The score was now 16-18.

Unfortunately the Otters kick out on the half way line went directly into touch. Thus enabling Pooler to scrummage and retain the ball.

Otters defence coach Jon Dodd commented: “It was a very hard game, very physical. We probably gave Pontypool the hardest game of the season, we are disappointed we lost. Everything went to the game plan. There was more kicking and chasing than we normally do but that was because of the quality of Pontypool.

“Defensively we were very good but we spent long periods of time without the ball and it took its toll. We took our breakaway try very well but there were other chances we might have taken. We played excellently and for the spectator it was a good game to watch. The team from 1 to 15 put in a very good performance today. Nick Gale with his place kicking was excellent and kept us going. So with those thoughts in mind we can go forward in the remaining games and win them all.”

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Sport

Ruthless Mariners power past Saints

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MILFORD Haven put in a ruthless display as they scored seventeen tries to beat St Davids 119-5 at the Obs on Saturday (Jan 5).

The Mariners were right at it from the kick off and did not let up as they held a 63-5 lead at the break.

James Trueman scored a hat trick of tries for the home side and he also went on to kick each of his 17 conversion attempts for a club record haul of 49 points.

Dan Jenkins also crossed for three tries while Dan Birch, Sam Dolling and Brandon Cooper all scored twice for the home side.

The Saints, to their credit, kept going and were rewarded in the first half when Josh Strangwood crossed for a try.

Jamie Lewis, Dewi Williams, Ryan Mansell, Dan McClelland and Steve Martin all got their names on the scoresheet to seal an emphatic victory.

The win keeps Milford top of the table by a point from rivals Neyland and on Saturday (Jan 12), they will face a sterner test as they travel to Laugharne.

The Saints remain third from bottom in the table and on Saturday they are at home to third placed Haverfordwest.

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Sport

Trundle leaves Bluebirds

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HAVERFORDWEST County have confirmed that star signing Lee Trundle has left the club.

The news was announced on Sunday, December 30, and the former Swansea City player has since signed for Welsh League Division 3 side Trefelin BGC.

In a statement released by the Bluebirds they thank Lee for his time at the club in which he scored 12 goals in all competitions.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Due to increasing work commitments, Lee Trundle has decided to leave Haverfordwest County and his last game was on Friday evening (Dec 28) at Ton Pentre where he scored two goals taking his tally for the Bluebirds to twelve in all competitions this season.

“Whist his stay at our club was shorter than we would have hoped, we fully understand his decision and everyone at the football club would like to thank Lee for his time here and the way he has conducted himself both on and off the field of play. Lee leaves with our sincere best wishes.”

Lee commented on Haverfordwest County’s Facebook page saying: “Good luck the rest of the season boys. Great club run by great people. Wish you all the best on the race for the league title this year.”

Fans of the club have also commented saying they are ‘gutted’ to see him leave and that he will be missed.

As well as Swansea, Lee has also played for Wrexham, Bristol City and Leeds United in his career.

It was announced in May 2018 that Trundle would be joining the Bluebirds having helped Llanelli Town to promotion to the Welsh Premier League.

Lee now joins a team that sit top of Division 3 and his inclusion is likely to give a further boost to their promotion hopes.

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