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Swimmers warming up for Welsh Championships

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY SWIMMING (PCS) are in the final throws of preparation for the Welsh Championships, due to be held at the National Pool in Swansea, between Friday (Mar 30) and Monday (Apr 2).

PCS Assistant coach Sam Jones took the opportunity to break the training schedule to undertake a Question and Answer session with his young charges, allowing them to focus on the task before them but also reflect on the progress they have made since joining the County Squads.

 

Tom Webb

Club: Haverfordwest Seals

National Performance Squad: Aged 17

Favourite stroke: Breast stroke

School: Pembrokeshire College

Favourite subject: Studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Sport

Training commitment: “I attend three morning sessions (6am – 7:30am) during the week and between 7am and 9am on a Saturday. For four evenings a week I am swimming in tow hour blocks. On top of this I do five sessions of land training a week, for 40 minutes and attend the Strength Academy Wales sessions.”

 

Grace Thomas

Club: Milford Tigers

Academy Squad; Aged 10

Favourite stroke: Butterfly and back stroke

School: Broad Haven Primary School

Favourite subject: Maths

Training commitment: “On waking up I also spend time stretching before enjoying breakfast usually porridge. If I am training in the morning I have a piece of toast and a drink before I leave for the pool and then have porridge when I come home, often with croissants before heading to school.

“In the evening I do homework and always try to relax, chilling on my IPad. Until evening training before eating well and reading before going to sleep.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “iPad, reading, gymnastics or if it’s not raining, going on my trampoline.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to get into the Performance squad in Pembrokeshire County Swimming. My future ambition is to get into the Olympics.”

 

Toby Price

Club: Tenby Dolphins

Junior National Squad: Aged 12

Favourite stroke: “Freestyle is my most successful and generally my favourite race. However, I’m beginning to improve all my stroke improves and now enjoy backstroke and butterfly more and more.”

School: Greenhill

Favourite subject: PE, Maths and Science.

Training commitment: “I Set my alarm at 4:30am and get up by 4:40am. I leave the house by 5am, eating breakfast in the car and trying to focus on the training ahead by listening to ‘wake up music’!

“I train from 5:40am to 7:30am, returning to get to school for 8:20am, where I can have time to eat a hearty breakfast. Evening training is from 7pm to 9pm at Tenby Leisure Centre, after which I enjoy a healthy cooked meal before heading to bed for 10pm.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “When I’m not swimming. I like to play on my PS4. I also play football for Tenby u12’s and Pembrokeshire County Schools.”

What’s been your most memorable experience when swimming with Pembrokeshire County: “I really enjoyed the Carmarthen Gala at Christmas. I felt that the positive training methods of the county pathway showed in my racing. It was also a fun gala with a good atmosphere and I also got to take part in relays, alongside my team mates, which l love.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to progress up through the county squads. I also aim to continue improving my strokes and my times. I hope to qualify for the nationals this year.”

 

Henry White

Club: Haverfordwest Seals

National Squad: Aged 13

Favourite stroke: Back stroke and the 200 metre Individual Medley

School: Sir Thomas Picton

Favourite subject: Georgraphy

Training commitment: “I train every weekday, sometimes twice a day. Occasionally I train on a Saturday morning too. This amounts to 14 hrs a week. I wake up at 5am to be at the pool for 5:40am. I have some cereal before I leave my house, then train for 2 hours and before walking to school. I have another breakfast at school!

“After school I walk to the leisure centre to have a pre training snack, stretch in the gym before doing onto the pool deck for another two hour swim session. I refuel with my main meal of the day, rehydrate before settling to sort out academic tasks and prepare again for the followings days schooling, hopefully being ready to sleep around 9pm.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “I enjoy playing FIFA 18 on the PS4 and going outside on the trampoline.”

What’s been your most memorable experience when swimming with Pembrokeshire County: “Getting into my first national final in the 2017 Welsh Winter Championships. It was in the 200 metre Backstroke.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to get into the Welsh National Squad and represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games.”

Sport

Rugby pays tribute to Tommo

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TRIBUTES have poured in following the news that popular Scarlets match-day announcer Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas has passed away at the age of 53.
Tommo was a huge character at Parc y Scarlets on match-day, bringing his infectious personality to the mic.
An official statement from the Scarlets said: “We are devastated to hear that the voice of Parc y Scarlets, Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas, has passed away suddenly.
“Tommo was a hugely popular figure as the Parc y Scarlets match-day announcer, a passionate Scarlets fan who brought his character and energy to every match.”
Scarlets chaplain Reverend Eldon Phillips said: “We are devastated to hear this tragic news. Tommo loved the Scarlets and put his heart and soul into his role as our match-day announcer.
“A huge character, he was much loved by supporters, players and staff.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Donna and son Cian at this sad time.”
Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney said: “This is desperately sad news. Tommo will be greatly missed by us all. I’ll miss his smile, energy and passion. Gone too soon, much love to his family at this terrible time.”
Attack coach Richard Whiffin tweeted: “Incredibly sad news. Tommo will be greatly missed by us all. Will miss his match day hugs! Love to his friends & family at this terrible time.”
Referee Nigel Owens took to social media to say: “Rwy methu credu y peth. Well I am devastated. A great man and a true friend. I Cant beleive it. Cydymdeimlad dwys iw wraig ar mab ac ir teulu I gyd. Bydd colled enfawr ar ei ol. Always had a smile on his face. RIP Tommo
Tommo was hugely popular with Scarlets players who posted tributes on their own personal social media pages.
Springbok Uzair Cassiem said: “Devastated by the news of your passing! Always got the biggest smile, big handshake before and after games! To the family and friends of Andrew Tommo Thomas, condolences from my family and myself.
Wales prop Rob Evans said: “Really sad to hear the news about Tommo tonight. Thoughts are with his family, a great man full of laughs.”
Former Scarlets captain Rupert Moon said: “Lost a great friend @TOMMORADIO …… my brother by another mother. Thoughts with his family & all his many friends. Sleep well buddy. Big boys do cry.”
Another ex-Scarlets skipper Matthew Rees said: “Can’t believe the news coming from west tonight. Tommo you were a true gent. PYS will never be the same!!”
Former Scarlets full-back Morgan Stoddart said: “Hearing of the passing of @TOMMORADIO, dreadful news. What a great man. He brought laughter to any room he entered. Will be remembered and missed. #TrueScarlet
Title-winning Ireland lock Tadhg Beirne, now with Munster, said: “Very sad news to hear of the passing of Tommo. An absolute gentleman, a passionate Welshman, and a true Scarlet.”
Among the other former players to pay their tributes were Kieron Fonotia, Michael Tagicakibau, Ryan Lamb, Rhys Thomas and Gareth Maule, while messages of condolence came from Cardiff Blues, Dragons and Ospreys,
Dragons hooker Richard Hibbard said: “Really sad news, RIP Tommo. What a great bloke.”
Tommo was also a popular radio presenter. He had been with BBC Radio Cymru between 2014 and 2018. He then left to present a daily program on Nation Broadcasting station. In 2011 he won the Radio Presenter of the Year award for his work on Nation stations in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
Rhuanedd Richards, Editor of BBC Radio Cymru, said: “Tommo was proud of his roots and a unique broadcaster who loved to entertain his audience on Radio Cymru. With his powerful voice and larger than life personality, his love for his family, west Wales and of course the Scarlets were a great influence on his broadcasting.”

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Sport

Crymych win at new home

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Crymych 132- 3 defeated Hundleton 74-7
IT WAS a happy start to Crymych CC’s new life at Ysgol Y Preseli playing fields as the home side brushed aside Hundleton in the Alan Brown Cup.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first, with the pitch showing signs of Monday’s heavy rain. Crymych opened with captain Sam Kurtz and chairman Rhodri Lewis, who started steady after a couple of tight overs from B Adams and S Williams (1-12). Both batsmen rotated the strike early on before Lewis chipped a ball to Peter Fox off Williams’ bowling for 7.
Kurtz then lifted the tempo with some boundaries, after Rich Thorne departed for 2, cleaned bowled by Stapleton (1-24). Osian Wyn the next batsman in as Kurtz reached his 50 in only 31 balls, having been dropped early on. Kurtz departed for 87, bowled by B Adams (1-42). Wyn and new batsman Dan Griffiths (3) then ran hard between the wickets in the final overs as the home side set the visitors 133 to win.
Hundleton’s reply got off to a rocky start as opening bowler Ioan Davies clean bowled both S McNiffe (1) and B Adams (0). Peter Fox caused the homeside some concern though, as he struck a couple of big sixes on his way to 24, before being caught and bowled by Dan Griffiths.
J Williams carried his bat for most of the innings, but as he looked to lift the run rate he was stumped by Kurtz, off Dan Jones’ slow stuff. Tight bowling from Wyn (1-14) and Ali Davies (1-6) Both Humphries and Lockyer departed without troubling the scorers with Griffiths clean bowling the latter for final figures of 2-13.
UMPIRE Dave Brandon
Crymych 132-3: Sam Kurtz 87; Osian Wyn 20*
B Adams 1-42; S Williams 1-12; C Stapleton 1-24
Hundelton 74-7: P Fox 24; J Williams 25
Dan Griffiths 2-13, Ioan Davies 2-9, Osian Wyn 1-14, Ali Davies 1-6, Dan Jones 1-16
Crymych win by 58 runs

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Swans grab last gasp play-off spot

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WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).

Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.

The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.

The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.

And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.

The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.

Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.

The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.

But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.

John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.

Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.

Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.

Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.

But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.

However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.

Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.

With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.

Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.

With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.

Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.

However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.

Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.

Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.

They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.

The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.

And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.

Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.

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