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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

Vikings up the pressure in Division One race

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MANDERWOOD PEMBROKESHIRE LEAGUE
A BLUSTERY but fine day at the Obs saw Hakin put in the sort of performance that reminds their rivals that the title race isn’t over until the Vikings have their say.
With the top of Division One contested by Goodwick Utd and leaders Monkton Swifts at the start of the day, Merlin Bridge’s storming comeback win against Goodwick meant this win propelled Hakin to second in the table.
With a vastly superior goal difference than Goodwick, with whom they are now level on points, and a better goal difference than the Swifts who lead the table by three points, Hakin will want to extract maximum benefit from the game they still have in hand.
If Swifts slip up against Fishguard Sports on Saturday and Hakin play to form against strugglers St Clears, the Vikings could seize the top spot next weekend.
Strengthened by the return of NIcky Woodrow, Hakin were never really in trouble against mid-table Clarbeston Road, who have been dogged by inconsistency all season and undoubtedly suffered from a recent lack of league football.
The returning Woodrow showed he had not lost his scoring touch, finding the net in typically clinical fashion.
A few tasty challenges in midfield never spilt over into anything more serious than a talking to from the referee to the players involved.
Hakin showed greater variety and poise in their play than Clarby and capitalised on moments of poor control by the visitors to press play upfield at every opportunity.
Cameron Thomas opened the scoring for the home team before Nicky Woodrow popped in a neat finish. Ashley Bevan rounded off a strong display from the Vikings with the third.
Elsewhere in the Division, Monkton Swifts hammered Narberth 7-0 away from home, with goals from Ben Steele (2), Jordan Richards (2), Dillon Davies (2), and Martin Carrol. Meanwhile, a hat trick from Steve Lewis allied to braces apiece for Danny Hopkin (2), Matt Harries (2), and Niall Kinsella (2) and a goal for Karl Headley led Fishguard Sports to a 10-1 hammering of second-from-bottom St Clears, who managed a consolation through Jamie Thomas. Bottom side Saundersfoot were edged out 3-2 at home to Carew and Pennar Robins, with a goal apiece for Craig Asparassa and Josh Clarke, shaded Neyland 2-1.
The day’s remaining top division clash was easily the match of the day. In-form Goodwick made the trip to the Racecourse to face a Merlins Bridge who haven’t given up on their title ambitions.
At one point, it looked like game over for the Wizards as Goodwick took a 2-0 lead. However, the home team muscled their way back into the game to clinch a thrilling comeback with three goals to take all three points.

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Sport

Quins shut out game Llangwm

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Specsavers National League
Division 3A West
Pembroke Dock Quins 39 – Llangwm 0

ON A rare pleasant day for rugby, Quins were made to work hard for their bonus-point victory over a very resilient Wasps side.

The Quins had to wait to get on the scoresheet, after missing a brace of early try-scoring opportunities. However, after pinning the visitors in their 25 for fifteen minutes, blindside wing Aaron Treweeks opened the scoring with a well-taken try after a long period of pressure. Full-back Ben Hathaway missed the conversion.
While the home team continued to dominate territory and possession, Llangwm’s defence held firm until the closing minutes of the half.

First, Quins man-of-the-match Gethin Bradney finished off a fine three-quarter movement to score in the corner. Ben Hathaway missed the tricky conversion. With Quins ten points to the good, Llangwm were desperate to shut the home side out before the half-time whistle. But just before the whistle, the Wasps’ defence backed off Quins’ outside-half Keiron Machin. The young number ten needed no second invitation and sped through to score. Ben Hathaway slotted over the conversion to leave the Quins 17 points to nil up at the half.

As ended the first-half, so began the second.

Centre Jack Price made a fine midfield break and passed the ball from contact to replacement blindside wing Jordan Asparassa. Asparassa made no mistake, streaking over in the corner for his tenth try of the season.

While Ben Hathaway missed the conversion from wide out, it was not long before Quins’ midfield combined again to secure to an all-important bonus point.
Jack Price made another strong break before passing to his fellow centre three-quarter Josh Thomas, who touched down between the posts.
Ben Hathaway must have been grateful for an easier kick at goal and added the extras to give the Quins a 29-point lead.

After conceding so many points in such a relatively short period of play, it would have been easy for Llangwm to give up. However, the Wasps showed real determination to salvage something from the game and spent long periods camped deep in the Quins’ half. For all their endeavour and pressure, however, they could not break down the home defence.

After sucking up Llangwm’s best efforts, Quins broke out of defence and scored the first of two late tries through Jordan Asparassa. As the minutes ticked away, Quins’ hooker Nick Drewett took great delight in scoring his first try for the club after a fine 35-yard run.

That was the last play of the match and Quins, after faltering in recent games, will be happy to be back in winning ways. This Saturday, the Bierspool Men head to St Davids before a tough home fixture against Laugharne which will say much about their progress this year.

Quins Team: Ben Hathaway, Gethin Bradney, Josh Thomas, Jack Price, Arron Treweeks, Kieron Machin, Jake Griffiths, Jack Davies, Nick Drewett, Dai Moseley, Martin Culley, Connor Colmel, Ollie Parsons, Harold Owen and Hywel Baker (Capt)

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Bluebirds top table for New Year

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JD Cymru Division One South
Haverfordwest County 4 Llanelli Town 1

THE BLUEBIRDS continued their recent run of good results with a 4-1 victory over Llanelli Town.

Despite going down to defeat, the Reds of Llanelli can take consolation from a vastly improved display in which they more than matched the home side box-to-box.

The only element missing from the visitors’ performance was the delivery of a telling final ball which could have led to a goal.

Llanelli’s meagre playing resources are already stretched by a long injury list and, at Bridge Meadow, three development players were in the matchday squad out of necessity.

To add to the problems, the visitors were also without a recognised striker, making the task of attempting to salvage some positive outcome from the contest even more difficult.

In fact, the visitors were the livelier side in the opening stages.

Ryan Hurlow played a ball into the path of Kyle Copp close to goal, but he failed to make a telling contact and a decent chance was lost.
Liam Samuel also posed a threat to the Bluebirds` goal with a run to the edge of the area, but he delayed his shot which was eventually blocked and then cleared out of danger.

The home side countered after a rebound from a Ben Fawcett strike fell to Kurtis Rees. Llanelli’s Lee Bevan acted quickly to alleviate the threat.

Copp and Hurlow combined with the latter forcing a corner which was eventually dealt with, but it was the home side who eventually struck first on 25 minutes when a Kieran Howard free-kick was headed out only as far as Rees who launched a 30-yard high ball into the goalmouth over the head of Kai Rees despite the Reds` keeper best efforts to prevent it finding the net.

A corner to the Bluebirds into the goalmouth was cleared with some difficulty by the visitors` defence, while Rees pulled off an important save by turning over a header from Marcus Griffiths when he connected with another Howard set-piece.

Haverfordwest had a goal disallowed for offside when referee Teifion Cook overruled the assistant referee’s failure to flag.
With the score 1-0 at the half, Llanelli had done well to hold off the league leaders and would have drawn confidence from their display.
Shortly after the kick-off for the second half, came the game’s most controversial moment.

Llanelli keeper Rees bravely put himself on the line to claim the ball from the feet of a Haverfordwest player. Rees was clearly injured and remained prone on the ground when the ball broke free into the path of Haverfordwest’s Howard. With the goalie incapacitated, Howard guided the ball into the back of the visitors’ net.

There was confusion about whether the effort would stand, particularly as Rees continued to receive treatment on the field following his injury while Llanelli players expressed their disapproval to the ref. However, the goal stood and, after further treatment, the shaken Rees was able to resume.

Galvanised by the perceived injustice, Llanelli struck back quickly.

Awarded a free-kick, Copp swung the ball into the Haverfordwest box where Bevan rose highest to head the ball beyond the Bluebirds’ Kyle Stuart to haul the Reds back into the game.

As the game opened up, both sides created chances. For Llanelli, Joe Clarke’s strike from the edge of the eighteen-yard box went wide. Kyle Stuart made a fine save from Copp’s well-struck effort.

With fifteen minutes left, the Bluebirds cutting edge up front proved decisive. The ball was neatly played through to Fawcett, who out-muscled defender Chris Thomas before hitting a low shot past Rees.

The score seemed to take the air out of Llanelli’s sails and Haverfordwest piled on the pressure. An effort from Wilson was well stopped by Rees, while Griffiths was prevented from scoring only by a last gasp tackle from Zac Griffiths. Fawcett saw his finish from an assist by Howard rebound off the top of the crossbar.

With time running out, a ball driven across the face of Llanelli’s goal was met by an attempt to hack it clear by Brown which only ended up in his own net.

The result was hard on the vistors, who for the most part had matched their opponents for effort. At least they have a chance of turning matters around when the sides do it all again on Friday evening (January 3) at Stebonheath, kick off 7.30 p.m.

TEAMS
Haverfordwest County: Stuart; Bradley (Merry, 82); Rowe; Pemberton ©; Howard; Tancock; Watts; Rees; Fawcett; Griffiths; Wilson (Palmer, 68); Subs. not used; Drake; Hughes; Harman.
Llanelli Town: Rees; Griffiths; Brown; Thomas; Bevan ©; Clarke; Copp; Logan; M. Cutler; Hurlow; Samuel.

SCORERS: Haverfordwest County; Rees, 25; Howard, 46; Fawcett, 76; Brown (OG), 90.
Llanelli Town; Bevan, 49.
CARDS: Haverfordwest County; Griffiths.
Llanelli Town; Thomas; Clarke; M. Cutler.
REFEREE: Teifion Cook.

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