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All Blacks keep Quins at bay

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NEYLAND sealed a fifth win of the season on Saturday (Feb 17), as they beat Pembroke Dock Quins 36-15 in an entertaining game.

However, the Quins were well in contention for the first hour before falling away in the latter stages, with All Blacks Outside Half Steve Martin pinning them back with some fine tactical kicking.

The Quins with the wind behind them and playing down the slope had hoped for a fast start, but it was the home side who struck first when Steve Martin popped over a simple penalty to put his side in front.

It was soon going to get worse for the Quins when Neyland Flanker Iestyn Evans crossed wide out for Steve Martin to add the extras.

The Quins though were giving their hosts a few problems with some determined running especially Captain Thomas Doyle who was a thorn in the Neyland side all afternoon.

On the half hour the All Blacks struck again when No8 Scott Buirds forced his way over, Steve Martin added the extras to seemingly put the All Blacks in a comfortable position at 17-0.

The Quins simply had to score next and that is exactly what they did when Full Back Liam Hargreaves-Gibson dummied his way over to put the Quins back in contention. Outside Half Lewis Davies just missed the conversion and the half ended with Neyland 17-5 to the good.

The Quins started the second half with the slope and the Wind against them, as well as a 12 point deficit, but it did not prevent them producing their best try of the Season.

No 8 Sam Dolling started it off with a determined run from his own 10yd line before linking with Thomas Doyle and with some fine offloading the Quins finally outflanked the Neyland defence for young Loose Head Prop Jack Brown to crash over in the Corner, Lewis Davies missed the Conversion.

With the score at 17-10 the Quins tails were up, but it was ex-Quins Scrum Half Adam Cawley who sneaked over near the uprights to finish off some All Black pressure, Steve Martin Converted, and with 15 minutes to go things started to look very difficult for the Quins.

With 10 minutes left Scott Buirds added his second try, which went unconverted before the Quins hit back with an unconverted try of their own from replacement Jordan Palmer.

With five minutes left and the score at 29-15 a converted try would have given the Quins two Bonus Points, but with Steve Martin pegging the Quins back with some accurate kicking it became an impossible task.

In the last minute, talented Centre George Williams crossed for a converted try to give the hosts a 36-15 victory.

As for the Quins they can look to the future, the young front row of Tom Clarkson, George Bellmaine and Jack Brown were outstanding as they improve with every game.

Sport

Bluebirds awarded promotion to the Cymru Premier League

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Paul Davies MS and David Hughes during a visit to Haverfordwest County AFC before lockdown restrictions were introduced in Wales

HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY AFC have secured their promotion to the Cymru Premier League.

Following the Football Association of Wales (FAW) decision back in March to curtail all domestic football throughout Wales, many teams have waited in angst for clarification on how the promotion and relegation process would be decided.

The FAW, confirmed on Tuesday, June 16, using the ‘average points per game’ method that Haverfordwest County AFC had done enough to be promoted to the Cymru Premier for the upcoming 2020/2021 season.

Taking to their website to confirm the news, the club said “It is nothing less than Wayne, the coaching staff, players, board and volunteers deserve after a fantastic effort last season.

“It has been a long wait to learn our fate, but the club and its staff have worked tirelessly on and off the pitch to ensure we had as much in place as possible, and following the announcement we can now hit the ground running and prepare for next season.

“We cannot wait to welcome the best teams in Wales to The Bridge Meadow!”

Local Member of the Welsh Parliament Paul Davies has also added his congratulations to Haverfordwest County AFC on their promotion back to the JD Cymru Premier League.

Commenting on the achievement, Paul Davies said “It’s great that Haverfordwest County will once again compete in the Premier National League of Wales with the likes of The New Saints, Barry Town and newly crowned champions Connah’s Quay Nomads. The management and players have done a fantastic job in gaining promotion from the JD Cymru South League.”

“With the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium widely regarded as being one of the top grounds in Welsh non-league football, it’s only fitting that the Bluebirds will be back in the premier division.”

“I would also take the opportunity to thank David Hughes and Rob Davies for the work they have done as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the club respectively. I have known David for a number of years and he has worked tirelessly for the club. I’m delighted to learn that both David and Rob will stay on the Board as Robert Edwards takes over as Chairman. Their knowledge and experience will be vital moving forward into this exciting new era.”

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Nigel Owens hosts virtual rugby quiz for Pembroke Panthers

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PEMBROKE Panthers RFC enjoyed a rugby return during lockdown after winning a competition which saw international referee Nigel Owens host their own virtual clubhouse quiz, thanks to Principality Building Society.

The women’s squad at the Pembroke club beat more than 1000 entries to win Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz competition. With many clubs affected by widespread flooding at the start of this year and now closed indefinitely due to coronavirus, the building society is continually looking for ways to support grassroots rugby clubs in Wales.

Pembroke Panther Lucy Neale, 30, entered her team with the hope of bringing the players together online. She said: “We’d usually see each other up to five times a week between training sessions, matches and socials, so it’s been a really strange time. I thought I’d enter the club thinking it would be a nice pick-me-up for us all, but never actually expected to win so it was an amazing surprise.”

The team were tested on their rugby knowledge by world cup referee Nigel Owens over video conferencing platform Zoom, where players won tickets to Welsh internationals at Principality Stadium, signed rugby shirts and balls, and tickets for a tour around Principality Stadium. The quiz included a guest appearance from former Welsh international Tom Shanklin.

Lucy continued: “It was such a memorable and special evening for us all. We’re usually quite a lively bunch but we behaved well for Nigel. We’re so thankful to Principality for putting on the quiz and allowing us to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience as a team.”

As sponsors of Principality Stadium and the National Youth Leagues for grassroots clubs in Wales, Principality has a strong relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union and knows how much rugby means to communities across the country. With matches on hold currently, the building society wanted to be able to bring the buzz of the clubhouse to the home.

Clubhouse Quiz host, Nigel Owens, said: “Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz was a fantastic way to bring one team closer together and Pembroke Panthers really showed off their rugby knowledge. Rugby plays such an important role in Welsh communities and I know they’ll be missing the action on the field right now, so it was lovely to have been part of this experience to bring this team together. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sin bin any of them either.”

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said: “Many rugby clubs across Wales have had a really difficult year, with flood damage to pitches and clubhouses now followed by coronavirus. This was our chance to recreate the camaraderie of the clubhouse for one team and we hope that it brought plenty of laughs and memorable moments for Pembroke Panthers at this challenging time.”

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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