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Sport

No Saintly intervention for the Swans

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By Jonathan Twigg

KEEPERS of the faith or a question when football rivalry becomes a ‘Holy War’ where your life depends on it.

Kevin Johns MBE, a pillar of Swansea City, spoke of martyrdom before defeat by Southampton, on Tuesday (May 8). Saint Mary, a team from the Church Young Men’s Association of 1885 born the banks of the ‘Itchen’ currently managed by ‘Welshmen’ Mark Hughes. A eulogy which encapsulates Peter Rodrigues, 1976 cup winning captain and the towering Paul Jones in goal; best of all from the pearly gates, none other than Gareth Bale.

Many thought godly intervention occurred with the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal prior to Christmas, divine intervention immediate, but the current situation, no goals and no points stretching back a month.

Wales and football have always had a heavenly ring when it comes to looking for signs but compare Scotland, Rangers vs Celtic for a view on how religion and sport cannot be separated. After Tuesday evening, a hope for a shared appreciation with Cardiff City in the Premier League once more, now hangs by a thread.

There was no cross carrying to the altar on this occasion, 20,000 white flag bearing emblems whipping the pilgrims to a frenzy. Andrew and Jordan Ayew the early disciples, Ki Sung-Yueng strong like St Barnabas, allowing Andy King having space to go for goal.

Luigi Scrosoppi (1804-84) the patron saint of footballers extended his care to all players but maybe, just maybe he had an inkling of companionship with George not David for the night. He was a battler against the strong anti-clerical feeling in Italy to bring hope and comfort to the poor; boy did Luigi, the son of a jeweller know when to kick sand.

The business of global football is humungous, still growing, the Premier League of course the place to be. Thursday, June 14, the start of the 2018 World Cup wouldn’t be able to match the energy of the Liberty Stadium, viral electricity in the form of a ‘berating Sparky’.

Kevin Johns’ reverence a catalyst for a chapel just off the players tunnel, encapsulating the imagery of ‘Camp Nou’? Peering back a replica of the Virgin of Montserrat, Catalonia’s most famous religious icon and its patron saint, with Baby Jesus on her lap exchange for St David, proudly inhaling a full choral rendition of ‘Land of my Fathers’. The Swans held sway, thirty minutes of football to their advantage, but no goal, Fabianski, the ‘big pole in the goal’ a saviour from Charlie Austin; twice.

One part of the epiphany, patron saint of the lottery, ‘Pantaleon’ although the Swansea players inspired by Saint Sebastian, extremely fit and able to withstand long physical endurance. Praying didn’t win the crunch game, when it mattered.

the ‘Jack Army’ a congregation of little ill repute registering the pressure, heading every ball, drumming pace and trickery. Sam Clucas saw his header slide across the face of the Alex McCarthy’s goal, the throng now not committed to the Sunday service Kevin asked of in his prayer.

The second half tension, flaring tempers and Jordan Ayew off like the clappers in tune with the stand, Austin chance after chance, enter Tammy Abraham, a tactical change replacing wing back Martin Olsson, Kyle McNaughton flying as Tammy called the tune, Jan Bednarek flattened by his own goal keeper, left to take a seat on the pews, Abraham cranked up the crescendo before substitute Manolo Gabbiadini broke the deadlock and the spirit.

Narsingh came on for McNaughton in the final quarter, Tom Carroll for King, Ki wasteful with Michael Oliver awarding six minutes of extra time, Abraham close before the emotion drained away.

The singing voices now clearly ‘the saints come marching in’ reminding us of St. Jude Thaddeus, cousin of Jesus and one of his Twelve Apostles, the patron saint of hopeless, desperate situations and lost, impossible, or forgotten causes. Read, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Kevin Johns, a Swan through and through and hope reigns eternal, perhaps with some ‘Hail Mary’s’ church bells will continue to ring loudly across West Wales.

Sport

Pembroke: Sports festival for children and adults with disabilities

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A FESTIVAL showcasing the range of sports available in Pembrokeshire for children and adults with disabilities will take place at Pembroke Leisure Centre on Thursday, 20th June.

The insport festival will take place from 11am to 4pm and is suitable for people with all impairments. Their friends and family are also welcome.

Angela Miles, disability sport officer for Pembrokeshire County Council, said if any parents or guardians of disabled children wanted to find out what sort of provision is available for their children, they were very welcome to come along.

“If your child’s school are unable to attend please come and find out what is available,” she said.

Angela added: “Previous events have been really successful and we are hoping that lots of the visitors will be inspired to try one of the activities and taster sessions on offer.”

The event is being organised by Pembrokeshire County Council, Snowdrop Independent Living and Disability Sport Wales (DSW). It is being sponsored by Snowdrop Independent Living.

Local and regional sports clubs are supporting the festival and there will be plenty of experts on hand to advise people on what sports would be most suited to them.

“We are extremely grateful to Snowdrop Independent Living for sponsoring the event,” said Angela.

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Sport

Disability Sports Festival at Pembroke

Published

on

A FESTIVAL showcasing the range of sports available in Pembrokeshire for children and adults with disabilities will take place at Pembroke Leisure Centre on Thursday, June 20.

The insport festival will take place from 11am to 4pm and is suitable for people with all impairments. Their friends and family are also welcome.

Angela Miles, disability sport officer for Pembrokeshire County Council, said if any parents or guardians of disabled children wanted to find out what sort of provision is available for their children, they were very welcome to come along.

If your child’s school are unable to attend please come and find out what is available,” she said.

Angela added: “Previous events have been really successful and we are hoping that lots of the visitors will be inspired to try one of the activities and taster sessions on offer.”

The event is being organised by Pembrokeshire County Council, Snowdrop Independent Living and Disability Sport Wales (DSW). It is being sponsored by Snowdrop Independent Living.

Local and regional sports clubs are supporting the festival and there will be plenty of experts on hand to advise people on what sports would be most suited to them.

We are extremely grateful to Snowdrop Independent Living for sponsoring the event,” said Angela.

· For more information, please contact Angela Miles, Disability Sport Officer for Pembrokeshire, on 07920 213 651.

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Sport

Gold medal for Fishguard’s Ffion

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FISHGUARD’s Ffion Wilmott won a gold medal at the GB Schools Three Nations Finals at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday (Jun 9).

13-year-old Ffion was selected to fight in the Three Nations finals, representing Wales in the 42kg category.

Her first opponent from Scotland did not make the weight so she moved on to fight an opponent from England in the final.

Ffion, who trains at The Yard Boxing Club in Letterston, put on an excellent display and came away with a unanimous points victory over England’s Kayla Holdsworth.

Trainer Ken Owen said: “She boxed brilliant, it was only her fourth actual fight so it is a big accomplishment. Her opponent would have had to fight a lot more so it is a big achievement for her.”

Highlights of the event were filmed and are available on YouTube and after winning her medal Ffion said: “It’s amazing, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Ken added: “I’m ecstatic, for a little girl from Fishguard to win the British Championships is amazing and hopefully it can influence other young girls to take up boxing as well.”

Ffion is still awaiting confirmation for her next fight but trainer Ken said it’s ‘onwards and upwards’ for the talented boxer.

On Wednesday (Jun 12), Ffion showed off her gold medal to fellow members at The Yard.

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