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Pembrokeshire Cricket: Division 1 Round up

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ON Saturday (Jun 2), in Division 1 of the Pembroke County Cricket League, there was a surprise result as Lawrenny beat leaders Neyland.

Lawrenny were bowled out for 120 in their innings Patrick Elliott scored 31 and Joe Kidney added 26 as the visitors recovered from being 65-5.

Henry Durrant and Andrew Miller each took three wickets for the home side as it looked like they would go on to earn a seventh win in a row.

However, Neyland could not reach their target as they were all out for 94! Rob Williams and Brad McDermott-Jenkins did the damage for Lawrenny taking nine wickets between them.

The Division 1 relegation battle at Johnston saw Kilgetty Cricket Club reach 63-2 off the first 15 overs.

They went on to reach a total of 216-4 thanks to a score of 78 from Dafydd Bevan!

Johnston came close to teaching their target but finished on 196-9 meaning their game ended in a draw. Gino Cleal top scored for Johnston with a score of 87.

Cresselly are now eight points behind leaders Neyland as they beat Whitland by seven wickets!

Whitland batted first and were all out for 164 with Dylan Blain top scoring on 85. Tom Arthur was in fine form for the home as he took seven Whitland wickets.

Cresselly’s Dan Sutton then finished not out on 99 as he guided his team to a seven wicket win!

Simon Holliday was again in fine form as he hit another century to help Haverfordwest to a nine wicket win over St Ishmaels.

Tish batted first and scored 189-8 with Philip Cockburn scoring 40 and Andrew Williams adding 45.

Holliday took three wickets and then went on to score 111 not out while Lee Summons finished not out on 60 as Town secured a comfortable win.

Llangwm earned a 4-wicket win over Burton thanks to Will Beresford who finished not out on 69.

Burton were all out for 140 in their innings with Robbie Neil and James Davies both scoring 30. Chris Inward took four wickets for Llangwm while Ollie Davies also took two.

In their reply, Beresford was supported well by James Venables who scored 36 and although there were wickets from James Davies and Morgan Scale it wasn’t enough to stop Llangwm taking the win.

Neyland’s defeat has allowed both Cresselly and Haverfordwest to close the gap with only ten points separating the top three.

Whitland sit behind them in fourth while at the other end, Kilgetty’s draw has taken them out of the bottom two and they have been replaced by St Ishmaels.

On Saturday, June 9, Burton host Johnston, Kilgetty make a short trip to take on Cresselly and Llangwm host Haverfordwest.

St Ishmaels take on Lawrenny while leaders Neyland will look to bounce back when they travel to Whitland.

On Sunday (Jun 10), Cresselly travel to Bronwydd in the Dyfed area Final of the National Village Cup.

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.

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Walking rugby is a game for all ages and abilities

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WALKING RUGBY has taken off throughout Wales in the last 12 months and is benefitting participants in more ways than one.

The participants – male and female of all ages and abilities including one man who lost his sight 13 years ago – talk of clear benefits to their physical health and crucially, their mental health through being involved in the groups.

The number of Walking Rugby groups in Wales grew organically from two in December 2018 to 16 just twelve months later and new groups are starting up all the time.

A range of organisations from rugby clubs to charities, Health Boards and third sector bodies are seeing the benefit of the inclusive rugby format and engaging more than 300 participants on a weekly basis.
The Aneurin Bevan Mental Health unit has worked with the Dragons Community team to set up a team of their own, training weekly at Rodney Parade.

Kevin Hale, Community Support Worker for the Aneurin Bevan Health Board Forensic Psychiatry Service, who set up the Dragons NHS Walking Rugby team said, “From a mental health point of view it’s been priceless, the social benefits, in particular, are tremendous. Many of the players were very shy at the start and quite withdrawn but confidence levels and communication skills have grown massively and they have told us Walking Rugby has helped them in other areas of their lives.

“It started off as a means to get some of our service users active and also to have some social time afterwards to discuss any issues they’re having. It’s gone from strength to strength and we’ve opened up the opportunity so that anyone can join us at Rodney Parade on a Tuesday afternoon.

Christian Hyde now plays for the Dragons NHS team despite having lost his sight through diabetes.
“I played rugby from the age of 8 to 26. After losing my sight, I had to stop playing – and refereeing. You really miss being part of a rugby environment so being back involved in the game is huge for me and something I never thought I’d do.

“I’m already involved with the visually impaired rugby at Cardiff Blues but being a Dragons supporter, I’m thrilled to be able to train at Rodney Parade and to be involved in matches again like the recent festival. To have ten teams turn up shows the enjoyment we’re all having.”

Anne Jackson plays for Pontyclun Walking Rugby. She said “I’m the only woman at the club at the moment and we could do with more. It really is for everyone. It’s wonderful. It keeps you active – I’ve got fitter since playing Walking Rugby. We train twice a week on a Monday evening and Wednesday morning. We laugh most of the time, we all get on very well.”

Former Wales full-back and Cross Keys coach Morgan Stoddart coaches the Cambrian Walking Rugby group in the Rhondda. He said, “We regularly get 15 or 16 players at our twice-weekly training sessions, we had 12 teams at recent Walking Rugby festivals in Treorchy and Cambrian so it’s gaining popularity all the time.

“Quite a few of the players played rugby in their youth and others haven’t played much sport at all throughout their lives. One lady, Frances Jones, is a regular player and still going strong at 84!

“They enjoy the exercise and also the friendship and camaraderie they gain from it. I enjoy it too, it’s a real change from competitive league rugby as it’s so open to male and female players of all ages and abilities.”
While the format is fully inclusive to all ages, genders and abilities, its main appeal is to Wales’ older and socially isolated population. With more than 877 000 people over 60 in Wales (just under 30% of the population), and that figure set to rise to over one million by 2030*, social isolation and mental health issues are a real issue.

The Welsh Government Strategy for Older People in Wales (2013-2023): Living Longer, Ageing Well, states that loneliness is a real health risk – ‘the same as smoking and twice that of obesity.. that staying physically active protects mental and physical health and that older people say that if they are able to participate in social and leisure activities, they are more likely to say they feel well.’

Based on this evidence, it is no surprise that some GPs are now referring patients to Walking Rugby for the physical and social benefits it brings.

Greg Woods, WRU Enterprise Manager said: “Anyone can play Walking Rugby, whether you’re a lapsed rugby player or new to the game. It’s a social, enjoyable activity with obvious physical and mental health benefits. There is clearly a growing demand for more Walking Rugby opportunities around Wales and we are working with the current groups and a wide range of other partners to not only cater for that demand but provide support to the volunteers running the clubs and work with others to set up new outlets.”

WRU Community Director Geraint John added: “It’s exciting to see the growth of Walking Rugby and to think of its future benefits to the health and well-being of the people of Wales – both the current or recent rugby-playing population and those who could join the rugby family through the Walking Rugby format”.

If you want to start a walking rugby club, get in touch for advice and support participation@wru.wales

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