Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sport

Swans have the scent for survival

Published

on

By Jonathan Twigg

SATURDAY (Feb 10) saw the Liberty Stadium in Swansea witness a ‘turf war’, won by the commemorative, Chinese New Year shirt wearing home side 1-0.

Visitors Burnley continued their miserable winless run which started on December 12, whilst Carlos Carvalhal’s side are now nine games unbeaten, lifting themselves clear of the relegation zone.

“You don’t have to see it; you smell it” can be attributed to an egocentric player who patrolled the left wing for both clubs four decades, Leighton James.

Saturday’s contest was fractious with neither side gaining ascendency, requiring the input of a mercurial talent like James, winner of 54 Welsh caps after his international in October 1971 against Czechoslovakia in Prague.

How former Swan, Jack Cork would have liked a smudging of the influence imposed by James in scoring 124 goals from 645 games to rub off on him, whilst the home faithful welcomed Andre Ayew to the bench, following his £16 million return from West Ham.

Brother Jordan was leading the line and loan signing Andy King also warming the splinters because the Premier Leagues newest ‘Tinkerman’ has taken his side from the depths of the Ocean to now have their heads above water.

This Portuguese man of war is wary of the sharks around him but can see the coastline of the promised land and knows how to get there, with James’ analogy from bygone years, ringing true.

James made his league debut for the Turf Moor outfit in November 1970 against Nottingham Forest, returning twice to the North West in a career which saw him transfer for a mammoth £310,000 to Derby in 1975.

He left Burnley for a second time in 1978 when they were relegated to the third division and signed for Swansea City helping them from the third division to the first division in the heady days of the John Toshack era. He had spells with Sunderland, Bury and Newport County before he retired in 1989 when at Burnley, to explore more avenues.

James, in his punditry role would have vilified Olsson for diving which brought a yellow card before half time, alongside Ayew, Clucas and Ki Sung Yeung’s efforts to hit the target.

They needed to watch the matchday mascot in the half time break as Neyland Pirate Ethan Blockwell gave goalkeeper ‘Cyril the Swan’ a lesson in finishing.

The East stand corner were drumming the beat as everything remained black and white; Johann Gudmundsson forcing a save from Lucas Fabianski, before Andre Ayew made his entrance to replace Olsson after Jeff Hendrick snagged a yellow card for stopping brother Jordan’s charge.

The side needed new life; brothers in arms, possibly ‘Kolo or Yaya’ were joined by Tammy Abraham, the Tinkerman’s batteries now recharged with a ‘Triple A’ strike force taking the game to Burnley.

Referee Marriner received queries over his parentage as Pope made a wonder save to deny Abraham, Jordan Ayew and Kyle Naughton smashed shots goalward, before the breakthrough came with six minutes remaining.

Ki hammered home the winner from the edge of the box after Naughton and Jordan Ayew’s silky build up play invoked the loudest rendition of ‘Land of my Fathers’ west of Twickenham.

Ethan Blockwell: The Neyland Pirate was a match day mascot as Swansea beat Burnley 1-0

Sean Dyche’s side were reduced to humping long balls which drew no change from Alfie Mawson and skipper Frederico Fernandez and when the new King ‘of Wales’ came across the drawbridge for his debut to replace ‘Prince Jordan’, a crescendo of choral voices greeted the signal of four additional minutes without fear.

James tried his hand at management in the League of Wales with Llanelli, taking in spells also at Garden Village and Haverfordwest but he didn’t enjoy the success Carvalhal has kindled way down by the sea.

An echo from the beach portrays the words of Martha and the Muffins from 1979, James surely remembering the wish for the sun not to go down. He didn’t need to see the ball; he could smell it and Carvalhal has the scent of survival from the sea as he approaches a return to his previous Club Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday (Feb 17).

The Swans travel to Hillsborough in search of a place in the FA Cup quarter final for the first time since 1964, where they eventually lost to Preston North End 2-1 in the semi-final at Villa Park, with the backing of the Jack Army who are enjoying the fruits of the BBQ served by Carvalhal.

Sport

Antwhistle praises Pembrokeshire’s best

Published

on

GRAEME ANTWHISTLE, Head Coach of Swim Wales visited Pembrokeshire County Swimming for a two day review of their development pathway on Thursday (Feb 7) and Friday (Feb 9).

Swim Wales work closely with their Regional Development Centres where Antwhistle has a critical friend role towards supporting Pembrokeshire Head Coach Craig Nelson and his Assistant Sam Jones who are working with the best swimmers in Pembrokeshire.

The overall aim is one of driving forward a pathway for producing success on the international stage, with the Governing Body offering opportunities to all swimmers in the Principality to reach that goal.

Pembrokeshire County is an integral cog in this wheel where swimmers in the National Performance squad and National Development squad are on his radar and from his recent visit he commented, “I’m impressed with the progress with swimmers from Pembrokeshire, where it was a noted success their performances at the Swim Wales Welsh Winter Open.”

Prior to taking up his position with Swim Wales Antwhistle was High Performance Coach for British Swimming based at Bath National Centre, an impressive credential for a man who has been coaching for over two decades.

Antwhistle has guided athletes such as Michael Jamieson, Jazz Carlin, Siobhan O’Connor and Andrew Willis to a combined 5 Olympic silver medals, attending high profile events on behalf of Great Britain at the European Youth Olympic Games, European Junior Championships, World Junior Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.

Antwhistle has an abundance of skills, knowledge and a positive personality where his enthusiasm rubs off on swimmers, coaches and parents as Swim Wales strive to develop their performance pathway for clubs and coaches.

Antwhistle went on to say: “The progress of Pembrokeshire swimmers is clearly visible from when I last visited in November; credit to the squad for taking on board the messages of both support and challenges that I have set them as they are responding.

“If they can see the progress within their training and recognise what they are doing well whilst also having an objective view of the areas they need to improve, then they can believe in themselves to deliver the performance they deserve at next month’s Easter National championships.”

The Pembrokeshire squads have the support of a volunteer committee, headed by Chairman Paul Hayley (Tenby Dolphins), who works closely with the coaching team, Swim Wales and Pembrokeshire Leisure who are funding partners in the initiative.

Recent developments have seen the swimmers working under the guidance of Strength and Academy Wales and Claire Davies [Physiologist] to provide the best opportunity for achieving success.

Antiwhistle concluded: “The biggest challenge is to maintain focus as all of the ten performance clubs in Wales are now receiving this level of support and we are aiming for the sport to become ever more competitive.”

With Swimming on such a high in the County, the performance programme is attracting swimmers who weren’t previously based in the County which shows there is no better time to join the umbrella pathway for swimming.

Young people, after completing Wave 6 of the Learn to Swim programme can join one of six development clubs (Pembroke & District; Tenby Dolphin; Haverfordwest Seals; Milford Tigers; Fishguard Flyers and Preseli Panthers) and could then progress to the Performance Squads and possibly International success.

Continue Reading

Sport

Biggar, Williams and Halfpenny in Wales team to face Ireland

Published

on

WALES have made three changes to their starting XV to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday (KO 14.15) with British & Irish Lions trio Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny all returning to the side.

Biggar has recovered from a shoulder injury to make his 61st appearance for his country and will line up alongside Gareth Davies at half-back.

Halfpenny and Williams join Steff Evans in the back-three with Hadleigh Parkes and Scott Williams continuing their partnership in the midfield.

Wales have named an unchanged pack for the trip to Dublin.  The all-Scarlets front-row of Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Samson Lee feature for a third consecutive game.  Cory Hill partners captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row with Aaron Shingler, Josh Navidi and Ross Moriarty comprising the back-row.

“It is great to be able to bring so much experience back into the starting XV and into the backline,” said head coach Warren Gatland, who will take charge of Wales for the 100th time.

“It is the first week we have had everyone in the ‘green’ in terms of availability which is a nice luxury to have and a positive ahead of what is a very important test match against a very good Ireland side.

“We have been pleased with the depth we have developed in the back-three and pleased with how those players have gone but having the experience of Dan, Liam and Leigh coming back in is hugely important.

“We have been pleased with how the forward pack has been going and how they have worked as a unit but as always there is pressure for them to perform too.”

Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones and Tomas Francis are named as the front-row replacements with Bradley Davies and Justin Tipuric completing the forward contingent.  Aled Davies, Gareth Anscombe and George North provide the back-line cover.

Wales Team to play Ireland:

Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (75 Caps)

Liam Williams (Saracens) (45 Caps)

Scott Williams (Scarlets) (53 Caps)

Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (3 Caps)

Steff Evans (Scarlets) (7 Caps)

Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (60 Caps)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (29 Caps)

Rob Evans (Scarlets) (22 Caps)

Ken Owens (Scarlets) (54 Caps)

Samson Lee (Scarlets) (35 Caps)

Cory Hill (Dragons) (12 Caps)

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (115 Caps) CAPT

Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (15 Caps)

Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (9 Caps)

Ross Moriarty (Gloucester) (19 Caps)

Replacements:

Elliot Dee (Dragons) (4 Caps)

Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (7 Caps)

Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (28 Caps)

Bradley Davies (Ospreys) (59 Caps)

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (54 Caps)

Aled Davies (Scarlets) (7 Caps)

Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (13 Caps)

George North (Northampton Saints) (70 Caps)

Continue Reading

Sport

Swimming Club fly the flag at National Urdd Finals

Published

on

LOCAL swimmers from Pembroke & District Swimming Club came out in force to represent Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest and Pembroke Comprehensive School in the annual Urdd National Swimming Gala.

The competition took place on Sunday (Jan 13) at Cardiff International Pool where Pembrokeshire County swimmers raced against the best swimmers across the country, with Pembroke and & District S.C. as one of six development clubs working in an umbrella pathway of Pembrokeshire County Swimming Performance Pathway.

Sam Jones Assistant Coach County coach expressed his delight saying: “It’s great to see Pembrokeshire swimmers representing their local schools at the URDD finals in Cardiff, not only is it great acknowledgment for swimmers individually, but most important to showcase the schools for their support in to the pupils education and sporting achievements.”

The Pembrokeshire swimming pathway is designed to capture children who start the sport with Pembrokeshire Leisure Learn-to-swim, joining Development clubs like Pembroke & District to progress to the Performance squads under the coaching of Jones and the County Head coach Craig nelson.

The county swimmers are performing well at regional and national level to take the county to new heights, as shown by the performance of Pembrokeshire in the Urdd gala.

Jones concluded by urging swimmers to get involved saying: “Swimmers should get involved with their local club, to be part of the success at national level, representing your school and enjoying the sport with friends.”

Results:

Charlie Shiels (Pembroke): 100m Breast stroke (Bronze) 200IM (Finalist)

Lauren Omnet (Pembroke) 100m Breast stroke (Finalist)

Arron Fitzsimmons (STP) 100m Backstroke (Finalist), 50m Butterfly (Finalist): Relay (200m Freestyle) Silver; Relay (200m Medley) Gold

Rosie Llewellyn (Pembroke ) 100m Breast stroke (Silver)

Hannah Greenwood, Ben Hilary, Charlie Shiels, Lena Hughes (Pembroke) 200m Mixed relay: Silver Mixed relay team events and obtained silver medals (Pictured).

Taylor Wilson (Pembroke) 200IM (Finalist)

Primary School

Callum Keane Boys under 10 25m Freestyle (Finalist)

Continue Reading
News2 hours ago

Pembroke: Attacker who laughed while raping his victim jailed

A LAUGHING rapist from Pembroke who urinated on his victim has been jailed for 12 years. Michael McNamara, aged 32,...

News7 hours ago

Welsh Secretary emphasises importance of City Deal to Pembrokeshire’s future

WELSH SECRETARY Alun Cairns has visited some of Pembrokeshire’s leading marine renewable tech firms to underline his support for the...

News1 day ago

Haverfordwest: Over £3000 raised for family of assault victim

AN APPEAL has been set up to cover travel and accommodation costs of a family whose son is in hospital...

News1 day ago

Man denies sexually assaulting 17-year-old three times

A HAVERFORDWEST man is to stand trial accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl three times on the same day. Riaz...

News1 day ago

Pembroke Dock: Man caught by ‘paedophile hunters’ jailed for 28 months

A PEMBROKE DOCK man trapped by paedophile hunters has been jailed for 28 months. Simon Fleet, aged 43, had turned...

News2 days ago

Welsh restaurant in NYC, owned by Milford Haven brothers, to close

A RESTAURANT in America, which is owned by two brothers from Milford Haven, and proudly serves Welsh food, is to...

News2 days ago

Council looking to save £1m with closure of facilities

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL may close and demolish some facilities in an attempt to save upwards of £1m it has been...

News3 days ago

4.4 magnitude earthquake felt across Wales

AN earthquake of 4.4 magnitude has been felt across Wales and England this afternoon (Feb 17). There are numerous reports...

News4 days ago

Haverfordwest: Man who died in collision with lorry named

A 43-YEAR-OLD man has died following a collision between two vehicles on one of the busiest roads in Haverfordwest yesterday...

News4 days ago

Man jailed after failing to pay £208k fine for illegal scrap yard

A MAN has been jailed after failing to pay a fine of £208,000 for running an illegal scrap metal business...

Popular This Week