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Joyce named in sevens squad for Commonwealths



ST Davids’ Jasmine Joyce has been named in the women’s sevens squad that will represent Team Wales in next month’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Five of the 12-player squad are currently involved in Wales’ Women’s Six Nations campaign: Alisha Butchers, Sioned Harries, Hannah Jones, Jaz Joyce (all Scarlets), and Elinor Snowsill (Dragons). The ‘One Programme’ approach taken by Wales Women has allowed certain players to spend time in both sevens and 15s camps this season.

Head coach Nick Wakley has the benefit of a number of leaders in his squad: the experienced Philippa Tuttiett, captain of Cardiff Blues; two members of the Armed Forces in Army Rugby Union captain Gemma Rowland and the RAF’s Sian Williams (both Dragons); and Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys), who won the most recent of her 46 caps in last year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup,

Powell-Hughes is one of a quartet of players with over 40 caps to their name, along with Butchers, Harries and Snowsill, for what is women’s sevens’ first appearance in the Games in its 88-year existence.

Other sevens specialists selected include Sinead Breeze and Laurie Harries, with Kayleigh Powell (Ospreys) the youngest in the side at 18 years of age.

The sevens will be held at the 27,500-capacity Robina Stadium from 13th-15th April. Team Wales have been drawn in a competitive Pool B with Australia, Fiji and England.

The Wales Women squad acquainted themselves with the conditions on the Gold Coast by participating in Brisbane’s Super 7s competition in early February. Before that, they were in action in Dubai’s invitational competition in December.

Nick Wakley, Women’s Sevens head coach, said: “We’re very excited and honoured to be representing Team Wales next month. In regards to the ‘One Programme’ approach through the Women’s Six Nations campaign, Commonwealth Games and World Series Qualifier prep, we have had our players exposed to international rugby week in, week out.

“We have been building up to these tournaments for two years and we have developed a real mental toughness which will be tested in the two weeks post-Six Nations to get us back up to speed. It is a real credit to all of the players’ commitment and dedication that they find themselves in these huge global tournaments which could go a long way towards sculpting the environment for the next generation of Welsh women rugby players.”

Helen Phillips, Chair of the Commonwealth Games Wales Board, said: “Congratulations to all the players who have made it to the final squad for Gold Coast. It’s excellent to have such a strong Team Wales squad heading to Australia for what will be the first time ever women’s rugby sevens tournament in the history of the Commonwealth Games.”

She added: “Women’s rugby in Wales has seen a huge growth over the past few years, and we congratulate the WRU for all the development work that’s been done to put the Welsh squad in such a strong position to qualify for Gold Coast 2018.”

Prior to travelling to the Gold Coast, the same squad will compete in the Hong Kong Sevens (6th-8th April) as Wales Women seek to qualify for next year’s World Rugby Sevens Series.

Team Wales Women’s Sevens: Alisha Butchers; Elinor Snowsill; Gemma Rowland; Hannah Jones; Jasmine Joyce; Kayleigh Powell; Laurie Harries; Philippa Tuttiett (c); Shona Powell-Hughes; Sian Williams; Sinead Breeze; Sioned Harries.


Goodwick set up Liberty final



GOODWICK United made it through to the West Wales Cup Final as they beat Carew 4-0 at the Bridge Meadow in Haverfordwest on Tuesday night (Mar 20).

It was a cold evening but that didn’t stop the fans turning out and a good number gathered to watch the game.

Two goals in the first five minutes from Matty Delaney set the Pheonix Boys on their way and a third before half time from brother Scott Delaney all but sealed their passage into the final.

Carew had been down by the same scoreline in the Senior Cup Semi-final just a few weeks ago and made a stirring second half comeback before being beaten 4-2. There was to be no repeat this time however, as a fourth goal from Adam Raymond all but ended any hopes the Rooks had of reaching the final.

It could have been a much different story as Sam Christopher’s shot went agonisingly wide of the post with only ten seconds on the clock.

But, with three minutes gone, the ball dropped kindly on the edge of the box for Matty Delaney and he volleyed the ball into the left hand corner of the goal to make it 1-0.

Just two minutes later they doubled their lead as Delaney again got ahead of the defenders to slide the ball home.

Johnny Horgan then did well to keep the ball in and set up a chance for Lee Hudgell but he sent his effort over the bar.

Chris O’Sullivan also saw a shot deflected wide as Goodwick continued to put the pressure on.

With just under half an hour gone O’Sullivan took a quick free kick which found Horgan on the edge of the box but his fierce drive was well tipped over by Carew keeper Tom Davies.

Three minutes later it was 3-0 as a scramble on the byline saw the ball squared into the box for Scott Delaney to knock into the roof of the net.

That all but ended Carew’s hopes of reaching the final as Goodwick saw out the remainder of the half and went in at the break with a comfortable lead.

Carew started the second half well and Scott Ferney saw an effort go over the bar before Alex Bayley and Jack Christopher both saw efforts saved by Goodwick keeper James Gwilt.

With twenty minutes to go Goodwick scored their fourth as the ball was tapped home by Adam Raymond.

They still went in search of more goals as Carew keeper Davies tipped an effort round the post before Matty Delaney shot over as he looked for his hat trick.

Jordan Griffiths also shot wide late on but it mattered little as the referee brought the game to a close meaning Goodwick had reached the final having last done in 2016.

They won the final on that occasion and they will be hoping they can repeat that feat once more.

A date for the final has not yet been set but Goodwick will play the winners of the tie between Bwlch and Penlan Club.

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P1 SuperStock World Champions Honoured in Monaco



TWELVE months ago, Sam and Daisy Coleman arrived back at Heathrow on an Air India flight and the customs officer asked if they had anything to declare. “We certainly have” replied Daisy excitedly. “We’re world champions!” To reinforce the point, Sam reached into his holdall and pulled out an impressive trophy.

A week earlier the brother and sister, who were the reigning P1 SuperStock UK champions, had left their home in Pembrokeshire to fly to Mumbai to join powerboat racers from eight counties to compete in the inaugural UIM P1 SuperStock World Championship.

This weekend they travelled to Monaco, along with other 2017 UIM world champions of offshore and circuit racing, to receive their accolade at the annual UIM Awards Giving Gala at the Salle des Etoiles, Sporting Monte-Carlo.

The event celebrates the best ravers and successes of last season and is attended by more than 450 guests from sport, business, the boating industry and international media.

As they awaited the afternoon press conference, Sam and Daisy’s thoughts went back to the event in Mumbai last year that was the culmination of six years developing a new paradigm for the best P1 SuperStock racers in the world in a superb setting.

Tens of thousands of spectators around the natural amphitheatre of Mumbai’s splendid, sweeping bay, together with millions of live viewers worldwide of Sony ESPN’s live television coverage, enjoyed by three days of intense racing as Powerboat P1 made its first visit to India.

Sam and Daisy completed a clean sweep of victories on the opening day and were applauded by the international media core as they entered the evening press conference.

They attributed their success to fitness, setting consistent lap times and detailed race preparation. “It was a very technical course and essential to seek out clear water and choose the right line when you’re racing in a pack of 12 boats on a never-seen-before race track on water formed by an extraordinary 6,500 red and yellow buoys” explained Daisy. “Selecting when to take the compulsory pit lap was also crucial” she added.

The finale to the weekend in Mumbai was an energy-sapping 50-minute race in a temperature of 35 degrees, and the Coleman’s again recorded a hat-trick of victories to lift the world championship crown.

“We’re honoured to be here in Monte-Carlo to collect our award” said Sam as he entered the Salle des Etoiles with his sister. “The exceptional success of the inaugural Mumbai event shows that powerboat racing can be a thrilling sport that is capable of engaging sizeable new audiences.”

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West Wales Cup Semi-final preview: Goodwick United v Carew



TONIGHT sees Goodwick United take on Carew for a place in the West Wales Cup Final at the Bridge Meadow in Haverfordwest.

Goodwick reached the final in 2016 and went on to win it so they know what it takes to make it.

Carew last reached the semi-finals of this competition in 1972 but were beaten on that occasion and they will be hoping they can go one better this time around.

A date at the Liberty Stadium awaits either side so both will be keen to create a little bit of history when they step out onto the pitch tonight.

Goodwick reached the semi-final on Saturday (Mar 17) as they beat Swansea side Ystradgynlais 2-0 thanks to goals from Jordan Griffiths and Matty Delaney.

They also beat Ystradgynlais on their route to the final in 2016 so they will be hoping history can repeat itself this year.

The Pheonix Boys overcame Hakin United in round 4 as they came out on top with a 4-3 win in what was a thrilling encounter.

They beat CRC Rangers 3-0 in the third round, Kilvey Fords by the same score line in the second after easing to a 7-0 win over St Clears in the first round.

Carew also proved that west was best in their Quarter-final as they beat Giants Grave 5-2 the previous Saturday (Mar 10).

The Rooks disposed of Bonymaen Colts in the fourth round with a 2-0 win away from home after beating Carmarthenshire side Evans & Williams 5-0 in round three.

In the second round Carew won 4-1 away to Glynneath Town following a 5-1 win over North End in the first round.

Carew also warmed up well for the semi-final as they rested players but still came away with a 4-1 win at home to Narberth with Scott Ferney scoring a hat trick.

The Rooks will be hoping for a better showing at the Bridge Meadow this time around having been beaten 4-2 by Hakin in the Senior Cup Semi-final just a few weeks ago.

The sides have met once already this season with Goodwick coming out on top with a 3-1 win at Pheonix Park.

Whatever happens, tonight’s game is sure to be another epic battle so make sure you get down to the Bridge Meadow for a 7:30pm kick off.

Good luck to both sides.

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