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Division 1 review: Neyland on top

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WITH four wins from four, Neyland are currently top of Division 1 of the Pembrokeshire League going into the fifth round of games.

Last week (May 12) it was Paul Murray who again starred for Neyland scoring 76 not out to help his team to a five wicket win over Cresselly.

Adam Chandler top scored for the visitors with 64 while Iwan Izzard scored 31 and Dan Sutton added another 30 runs as Cresselly posted 167-6.

Andrew Miller took four of the six wickets to fall and finished with figures of 4-34.

Nathan Banner added 37 runs for the home side but it was Murray who could not be stopped as Neyland earned a fourth victory in a row.

SIMON Holliday took his tally of runs for the season to 398 as he finished not out on 81 to help Haverfordwest to a nine wicket victory over Johnston on Saturday (May 12).

The in-form batsman also took two wickets as Johnston were bowled out for 125.

Johnston batted first after winning the toss but they were reduced to 68-8 with only four of their batsmen making it into double figures. Some late hitting also made sure they got past 100 runs.

Lee Summons also finished not out with a knock of 34 that included four fours and a six. Holliday hit 12 fours and a six in his innings.

Lee Summons bowling for Haverfordwest at Johnston

LLANGWM had to hold on for a draw in their game with Kilgetty on Saturday, as they fell short of their target.

Kilgetty batted first and made an excellent total of 225-5 from their allotted overs with Kurtis Marsh top scoring on 82 for the home side.

Ross Hardy also played well for his knock of 40 while Jack Parkinson finished well as he was not out on 51.

Will Beresford scored 39 and Richard Brock finished not out on 41 but it was not enough for Llangwm as they finished thirty runs short of their target.

Parkinson also performed well with the ball in hand as he took three wickets for the loss of 27 runs.

WHITLAND were denied an outright win by a stubborn St Ishmaels last wicket partnership as their game ended in a draw on Saturday.

Batting first, the Borderers were soon in trouble at 23 for 3. It was then that captain Iestyn Scourfield and Mathew Davies came together in a stand of 128.

Scourfield had 6 fours in his knock of 56, while Davies had 12 fours in his 80 not out. Nathan Evans gave the innings late impetus with a hard-hitting 35.

Leading the bowling attack for Tish was Andrew Palmer with 3 for 40.

After the interval, St Ishmaels lost wickets at regular intervals with only Dan Howells (35), Andrew Palmer (27) and Harry Nicholls (15 not out) getting into double figures.

Whitland were, however, unable to take the final wicket to gain the win, despite the best efforts of left-armer Ben Harvey with 4 for 27 and spinner Dylan Blain with 4 for 45.

The visitors finished well short of their target with 134 for 9.

LAWRENNY earned their second win of the season on Saturday, as they beat Burton by 27 runs.

The home side batted first but were all out for 158 following some good bowling from Burton. Lawrenny then produced a similarly excellent bowling display to pick up the victory.

Harry Thomas top scored for his side with 39 runs while Simon Cole was not far behind on 38.

Rob Williams finished not out on 27 as he helped his side post a total which they would have been confident of defending.

Burton’s Morgan Scale was the pick of the bowlers as he took four wickets for the loss of 27 runs.

In reply, Richard Jones top scored for the visitors with 37 runs while Morgan Scale added a further 27 runs.

That was as good as it got for Burton as Rob Williams bowled excellently to take four wickets for the loss of only 21 runs. Harry Thomas also bowled well to finish with figures of 3-21.

On Saturday (May 19), Burton are at home to Whitland and Cresselly will look to bounce back from defeat last week when they take on St Ishmaels.

Haverfordwest take on Kilgetty, Llangwm face Lawrenny at Pill Parks while leaders Neyland take on bottom side Johnston.

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Bluebirds bag last-gasp draw

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JD Cymru Premier League • Haverfordwest County 1 – Caernarfon Town 1

A LAST minute Danny Williams equaliser secured a deserved point for the Bluebirds after a dominant performance at the Bridge Meadow.

The tone for the game was set in the first minute, as only a last-ditch tackle denied Cameron Keetch a shot at goal after he latched on to a lofted pass. The opening 15 minutes were relatively quiet, Tibbets comfortably saved a Sean Pemberton header and Matt Turner stopped Mike Hayes in his track as he had the ball in the box.

The Bluebirds enjoyed a lot of possession in these opening minutes, playing some good football on the pristine surface. The first real chance came as an Elliot Scotcher corner ricocheted around the box before it was cleared off the line. Just 5 minutes later, Scotcher himself hit the post from an excellently struck free-kick from just outside the penalty area. The next chance fell to Marcus Griffiths who couldn’t quite get on the end of a low cross across the face of goal.

Some bad news for the Bluebirds, Cameron Keetch departed the pitch on the 29th minute after suffering an injury, he was replaced by super-sub Jack Wilson. He was straight into the action as he was played through by Ben Fawcett, but he curled his effort just wide of the post. Matt Turner then saved a well-struck free-kick from the edge of the Bluebirds penalty area. Jack Wilson had the final chance of the half as his curling effort from the right skimmed over the bar. A stalemate at halftime, but the Bluebirds on top.

The second half began as the first ended, this time is was Gruffydd John with a last-ditch tackle to deny Danny Williams. After Sean Pemberton headed wide, Danny Williams played a lofted ball through to Jack Wilson, who headed over Tibbets but Joe Williams cleared the ball off the line. Then, 4 minutes later, Wilson repaid the favour as he sent a lofted ball for Williams to chase, but Tibbets saved his lob attempt.

The Bluebirds continued to create chance after chance. Jack Wilson had a strike cleared off the line, again and Marcus Griffiths saw his header saved by Tibbets.

Against the run of play, Caernarfon took the lead on 74 minutes. Mendes picked up a cross at the back post and squared for Mike Hayes who couldn’t miss.

The setback didn’t deter the Bluebirds who continued to press.

In the space of a minute, Jack Wilson, Dan Summerfield and Jack Wilson all had shots blocked in the penalty area. Jack Wilson then turned provider as his long throw met the head of Sean Pemberton but his effort was over the bar.

With 94 minutes on the clock, Jack Wilson went racing down the right, squared for Danny Williams, and he did the rest from a few yards out with the final kick of the game.

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Wales gear up for Paris

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Wales face Les Bleus in Paris in what will be their first match since March.

It is one kicking and skills coach Jenkins is looking forward to.

“It is nice to be back. It has been tough since March, but to be involved now and have the boys back is great,” said the former fly-half.

“It’s doing things a little bit differently to what we are normally used to, but the boys have had a head start and been very good helping us.

“We understand what is going on, both at home and in France, and we respect that 100 per cent.

“We are there to do a job, we are there to represent our country, and I would like to think we are going to do that as best as we possibly can both on and off the pitch.

“We will adhere to everything that is required of us, hopefully play a very good game on Saturday, and do our utmost to win the Test match and try and pick the nation up.

“It’s brutal for everyone whether you are a sportsperson or a non-sportsperson. It is not an easy situation at this moment in time. I hope we can put some smiles on faces.

“We want to win, plain and simple. We have lost our last few games. We are here to play well and we are here to win Test matches.”

France got the better of Wales in the Six Nations at the start of the year before Covid-19 struck.

“It seems an incredibly long time ago. People might disagree, but for me it was a Test match I believe we should have won. We had opportunities,” Jenkins said.

“We gave probably 14 points away if I am brutally honest. We left a number of opportunities out there.”

Both sides will use the game to warm-up for their remaining Six Nations clashes and then their Autumn Nations Cup campaigns.

On questions regarding Josh Navidi’s involvement, Jenkins added: “He is going through his protocols and we will see how he goes this week and for the weeks coming up.”

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New Welsh rugby kit launched

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THE NEW Macron Wales kit, to be worn for the first time against France in Paris on October 24, has been unveiled simultaneously in the private changing rooms of the national team headquarters in Hensol and the Wales Women squad’s current base in Swansea University.

Jonathan Davies and Ross Moriarty were joined ‘virtually’ by Wales Women captain Siwan Lillicrap and Gwen Crabb to reveal the kit against a backdrop of jerseys from the community game in Wales which have also been produced by the WRU’s new official technical partner.

The launch of the new kit has taken on a post-Covid feel with both squads currently training in respective ‘bubbles’ and so the community aspect of the partnership – £1m of free kit to be supplied yearly to Welsh rugby clubs over six years – has been reflected by a display of existing Macron community rugby shirts.

A set of unique features sees the red dragon of the Welsh flag embossed across lower back of the shirt, an embossed pattern covering the sleeves – cleverly transforming the hexagonal shape of the WRU three-feathers logo into ‘dragon scales’ – and the Welsh word ANRHYDEDD (honour), also embossed, on the back of the collar.

The ‘away‘ version is a black jersey with a white v-neck collar, this time tipped with red trim that is also found on the sleeves and cuffs.

Both sleeves again feature an all over embossed pattern, but this time a geometric graphic brings a new age look to the garment.

The Welsh dragon is once again embossed on the lower back and another Welsh word, ANGERDD (passion) is embossed on the back of the collar.

“The new kit is striking representation of Welsh rugby tradition and we are delighted to be able to launch our new seven-year partnership with Macron in such a spectacular way,” said WRU CEO Steve Phillips.

“We are delighted with the bespoke kit, training and leisurewear Macron has provided so far, where Italian design meets Welsh passion with impressive results.

“And we are sure that the Welsh rugby watching public will be equally impressed when they get their hands on their favourite pieces in the expansive product range available.”

Wales Women will wear the kit in action for the first time against Scotland in their own postponed Six Nations clash on November 1 and, from next season, Macron’s affinity with Welsh rugby will increase even further when the first instalment of £6m worth of kit over six years, is supplied to the clubs in the community game throughout Wales.

“The Welsh Rugby Union represents one of the pillar stones of world rugby and for Macron to stand side by side with this sporting giant, means that we as a brand, have reached yet another great milestone,” said Macron‘s CEO Gianluca Pavanello.

“Our goal is for the new kits to be instantly recognisable and something that clearly express the Welsh identity and spirit. We hope that our hard work has paid off and that the new collection will be loved by players and fans alike and that the kits evoke the emotion that such a great nation deserves.”

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