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Swansea storyboard going to the wire

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By Jonathan Twigg

ROY RACE of Melchester Rovers, fashionable with a golden mop of hair, will be returning to embrace a new generation of readers, seventeen years after he last appeared in print in 2001, where for 19 years when he appeared as a weekly comic; with it comes the cloud of magic that lived with that generation of avid readers, the original kick off in 1954 in the Tiger comic, Roy epitomising the character of the footballer of the time; hard, but fair; energised, his forte a man of steel, committed to his club where he lifted nine league titles, eight FA Cups and three European salvos.

Swansea City have become every sport writers dream, calling up ‘Roy of the Rovers’ moments which the Welsh public have savoured, honouring a returning Michu warmly greeted by the 20,900 ensconced in the Liberty Stadium, on Saturday (Apr 28).

Those fans remember the European trails burnt, flirtations with domestic cups as League cup winners in 2013 and quarter finalists this season in the FA Cup, the first since 1964. Those halcyon days when they watched first division football under John Toshack in the Eighties before mooched off to Real Madrid.

A storyboard, added to recently with seven seasons in the Premier League, thanks to Brendon Rogers sending the Jack army into elation with a Wembley play off triumph over Reading.

Four minutes into the action and the dream was wavering, Spanish international Fabregas scored for the first time in 26 games, the story dictated by a Belgian crème de la crème in Eden Hazard.

The first half review saw the Swans way off the pace, perhaps referee Jon Moss adhering himself fully, but the home side needed impetus, a King (Andy) replaced by a saviour.

Nathan Dyer is no ‘Hot Shot Hamish’, a Hebridean man revered in comic book nostalgia as having the hardest shot in football, but boy did he bring a ‘Billy Whizz’ swagger alongside Tom Carroll who replaced debut making youngster Connor Roberts.

Dyer ran, direct and with pace, the quality on the end of his endeavours missing, needing that Hamish Balfour’s power shot, the West London boys not having to go through the gears to maintain their lead.

A final roll of the dice, Wayne Routledge for Martin Olsson, Kyle McNaughton testing Thibaut Courtois from 20 yards. England hopeful Alfie Mawson strode purposefully forward to test the Blues goal as the ‘Whites’ looked for that all important breakthrough, Ki Sung Yueng adventurous and Carroll a whisker wide.

Brothers Jordan and Andre Ayew unable to unlock the defence, the final action Routledge warming the hands of Cortois, the story ending in defeat, manager Antonio Conte’s fiftieth premier league win for Chelsea.

Memories linger; Terry Coles and Milmoor Lane in the Millennium; 2003 survival in the football league by a hairsbreadth with a win over Hull City.

That first victory in the Premier League, West Bromwich Albion in the September and after the trials and tribulations of the past two seasons, Carlos Carvalhal, in situ since December having three games to secure the points.

He has galvanised the Club, Roy Race style, meaning the trip to Dean Park, Bournemouth, on Saturday (May 5) brings pressure before the final two games at the Liberty Stadium against relegation rivals Stoke City and Southampton.

Suffice, for this comic book story line to fit the ending, two wins should do it.

Sport

Bush qualifies for Paralympic games

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PEMBROKESHIRE’s Para-taekwondo star Matt Bush has qualified for the Tokyo Paralympic games this summer.

At the European Paralympic Qualification tournament, Bush, who is the current world champion, beat Hungary’s Zoltan Kiss 29-1 in the +75kg final.

Para-taekwondo will make its debut at this summer’s Paralympics with the competition set to take place from September 2-4.

Bush, from St Clears, became Britain’s first ever world champion in the sport in 2019 began his latest tournament in fine style, seeing off Roman Ivaniuk of Ukraine 38-2 in the semi-final.

Matt told BBC Sport that it felt ‘so good’ to have secured his spot in the team.

The heavyweight athlete has made quite the mark on the mats. He has medalled at the Korean Open, Oceania Para Taekwondo Championships and the Pan America Para Taekwondo Open.

The GB team for Tokyo will be officially announced later this summer.

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Sport

Lawrenny through in Village Cup

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LAWRENNY are through to the next round of the Village Cup after they beat Llandysul on Sunday (May 9).

Both teams were rained off the previous day but some good work meant that the game was able to go ahead.

Llandysul batted first but were bowled out for 82 in 26.3 overs as Jamie Lewis took five wickets for the visitors.

He went on to finish with figures of 5-22 from his seven overs while the home side’s top scorer was captain Llew Hughes who made a score of 20.

Lawrenny did not have it all their own way in their reply as Rhys Jones bowled well to finish with figures of 3-10.

However, an excellent knock of 52 from Harry Thomas steered Lawrenny to their target inside the 24th over.

Elsewhere, Carew’s game away at Drefach was called off while Cresselly had already received a bye to the next round.

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Sport

Lawrenny earn big win over Whitland

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LAWRENNY got their 2021 season off to the perfect start on Saturday (May 1) as they beat Whitland by 189 runs.

Whitland won the toss and elected to field but they could only watch as the home side piled on the runs before being bowled out for 264.

Kyle Marsh top scored with a score of 81 while Kurtis Mars also scored 45.

Tom Cole added 32 and James Phillips chipped in with a score of 29 as they batted well.

Wayne Howells and Jonathan Thomas finished with identical figures of 2-27 as Whitland’s bowling did at least keep the score below 300.

Whitland knew they would need to bat well to knock off the runs needed but came up against Ryan Morton who took four wickets for the loss of 17 runs.

Kurtis Marsh also claimed two wickets without conceding any runs as the visitors chances got smaller and smaller.

Geraint Jones did score 30 for Whitland but that was as good as it got as they were bowled out for just 75.

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