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Harrison Allen Final Preview

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Cresselly v Lawrenny; at Cresselly, Sunday, August 5

CRESSELLY and Lawrenny will try again this weekend (Aug 5) for the biggest prize in Pembrokeshire Cricket as they contest the Harrison Allen Bowl Final.

The final had to be abandoned last Saturday (Jul 28) due to heavy rain and with the forecast not looking good for the rest of the day, time was called on the game.

Sunday’s forecast looks more favourable and we should have some good weather for the final.

Both sides have played well to get to the final, which is being played at the home of Cresselly, and they will both be itching to get their hands on the trophy.

There is also the added spice that just less than four miles separates the two teams and a big crowd will be expected for the derby clash.

Lawrenny were last in the final in 2001, the last time they won the tournament, and they will be eager to get their hands on the trophy for the first time in 17 years.

Lawrenny have shown what they are capable of throughout this season in beating last season’s Harrison Allen winners Neyland and both Cresselly and Haverfordwest in the league.

They began their route to the final with a nine wicket win over Pembroke Dock in the second round to ease into the quarter finals where they beat St Ishmaels by five wickets having restricted them to 157-9.

In the semi-finals they came up against Llangwm who had previously beaten Saundersfoot and Pembroke.

Llangwm scored 126-7 in their innings with Rob Williams taking three wickets and Brad McDermott-Jenkins taking two.

Lawrenny then reached their target thanks to scores of 44 from Simon Cole and 43 from James Phillips.

Although they lost three quick wickets, Patrick Elliot and Joe Kidney finished unbeaten to see Lawrenny over the line.

Cresselly have reached the final in the last two seasons but were beaten on both occasions and they will be hoping it will be a case of third time lucky. They last won the tournament in 2009.

Cresselly began their route to the semi-finals with a hard-fought win over Kilgetty after scoring 185-5 before bowling their opponents out for 151.

They then beat Neyland in a repeat of last year’s final being bowled out for 112 before restricting Neyland to 107-5.

In the semi-final, Cresselly took on a Narberth side who beat Carew in the second round and Burton in the quarter finals.

However, Cresselly proved too strong as they reduced Narberth to 44-7 before they eventually finished their innings on 115-8.

Cresselly were untroubled in their reply as they reached their target with Adam Chandler finishing not out on 38 and Dan Sutton unbeaten on 63.

The teams have already met once this season and it was Lawrenny who got the better of their rivals.

Lawrenny batted first but were all out for 184 with scores of 59 from Harry Thomas, 27 from Simon Cole and 25 not out from Joe Kidney.

Dan James, Tom Arthur and Mike Shaw all took wickets for Cresselly who were unable to reach their target despite scores of 30 from Phil Williams and 21 not out from Neilson Cole.

Lawrenny’s Brad McDermott-Jenkins in action in the semi-final

Brad McDermott-Jenkins took four wickets for Lawrenny while Jamie Lewis and Rob Williams were also amongst the wickets to bowl Cresselly out for 143.

That win in June saw Cresselly slip out of top spot in Division 1 but they currently sit just three points behind leaders Haverfordwest.

Saturday’s game will see the two teams play two 22-over innings each and both will be looking to make a good start and get an advantage at the halfway stage.

Lawrenny Captain Joe Kidney told the Herald: “We are coming into this final on the back of a brilliant season thus far and we have the confidence and belief to embrace the occasion and win.

“With the majority of our side never playing in the final, we have a few “old timers” in the squad that have played in 1 or 2. They have been encouraging us to enjoy the day but realise that the chance to win the bowl doesn’t come often down Lawrenny so we have to go all out and claim the day!

“Cresselly have a great line up and their bowling has been underrated this year in my opinion. Obviously Cresselly’s batting is the major threat but we will just focus on our game and be fearless as we are the underdogs, with nothing to lose.

“Beating Cresselly in the league this year won’t be any benefit in the final. However the win is a reminder that we are capable of beating anyone on the day.

“I’m very proud of the team, hopefully we will earn the respect we deserve and make it a final to remember.”

Cresselly Captain Neilson Cole told the Herald: “I am very proud to lead the club and we are all very excited to make the bowl final again.

“For me, big game experience will be key. We are fortunate to have this running through the squad. Going into a match like this it will be invaluable in the high pressure moments of a bowl final.

Iwan Izzard: Played in the final last year

“Both teams have strong batting line-ups and anything can happen in one innings, but over two innings is very different. One poor innings and it’s likely the game will be out of reach, it will be about consistency.

“I did actually feature briefly in the final 17 years ago, an injury to one of our players meant I had to field for most of the game. Both teams played well and Lawrenny deserved to win on the day, but the result hurt us. Since then we have reached 8 finals and we are looking forward to this derby face off.”

The final starts at 12pm and it sure to be an entertaining game! Good luck to both teams and may the best team win!

Sport

Penybont secure Championship conference place

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PENYBONT secured their place in the Championship Conference for the second phase of the JD Cymru Premier after they beat Haverfordwest County on Friday (Apr 2).

Manager Rhys Griffiths will have been delighted with his side, who, prior to Friday’s game, had already gained 11 more points this season than they had in the entirety of the 2019/20 season.

Ahead of the game, Haverfordwest knew they needed to win to stand a chance of moving into the top six.

A County win, coupled with a defeat for Caernarfon Town, could have seen them sneak into sixth place but it wasn’t to be for Wayne Jones’ men.

The Bont applied the pressure early on but were unable to test County keeper Matthew Turner.

There was concern for Turner shortly before the half hour mark as he claimed the ball but fell awkwardly under the challenge of Kane Owen.

After receiving treatment he was taken off to be replaced by Wojciech Gajda.

With 45 minutes on the clock the Bont had a corner which Owen floated in and it was Sam Snaith who got his head to it to score despite the best efforts of Gajda.

It was a big blow to the Bluebirds who would have hoped to have been level at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, Ben Fawcett forced his way through but his effort was blocked by the Bont defender.

On 53 minutes, the ball was played into the box from a free kick and sent back across goal to Snaith. He took one touch to flick the ball up in the air and acrobatically shoot towards goal but Gajda made an excellent save to keep his side in the game.

Five minutes later, the Bont doubled their lead as the ball was played to Mael Davies who sent a low driven shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

Sub Marcus Griffiths had an effort for the visitors but his shot towards the bottom left corner was tame and keeper Morris made a comfortable save.

With just over fifteen minutes to go, the ball was played forward for Fawcett but he couldn’t get enough power on his shot and saw his effort saved by the Bont keeper.

The Bluebirds won a series of corners with seven minutes remaining but they were unable to get an effort in as the Bont defended well.

As the clock ticked towards the 90, the Bluebirds’ task of scoring three goals to win the game became increasingly unlikely.

The Bont saw the game out to seal the win and they can now look forward to the second phase of the season in the Championship conference.

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Pitch bookings for organised under 18s outdoor activity resume

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now able to accept outdoor pitch bookings for organised children’s outdoor activity.

It follows the Welsh Government allowing U18 organised sporting activity to resume.

All Council outdoor pitches are now taking bookings and the council is inviting all junior clubs to get in touch and to book their space.

Whatever your team sport, as long as you are delivering organised sports sessions for children, activities are fully risk assessed and you follow the safety guidelines specified by your sport’s governing body, the council is open and ready to welcome you back.

For more information, to make your booking and to get started please email leisureadmin@pembrokeshire.gov.uk with your club name, the sport you will be training for, the number of players who will be attending along with the days and times you would like to book for.

Please also add your name and contact details along with the space you will be booking and, importantly, the leisure centre you wish to book for.

Further news on facility re-opening will be released as it happens. Check www.pembrokeshireleisure.co.uk and follow Pembrokeshire Leisure on Facebook for updates, news and ways to keep yourself healthy.

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Sport

A 48-7 victory over Italy leaves Wales a win from the Grand Slam

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IT was always going to be a tough game for the Italian side, but now it is official, Wales are one win away from the Grand Slam!

Wales scored seven tries through Josh Adams, Taulupe Faletau, Ken Owens (2), George North, Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit as they secured a comfortable Six Nations win in Rome.

The unbeaten tournament leaders reeled off a third successive bonus-point victory to increase pressure on their rivals for silverware. Italy meanwhile are staring down the barrel at another Wooden Spoon – they haven’t won a Six Nations match since 2015.

STILL A BIT OF WORK TO DO

The Welsh captain, Alun Wyn Jones, who is just one win away from winning his fourth Six Nations Grand Slam told S4C: “We were pretty clinical, particularly in the first half.

“We’re a tad frustrated with the second half but it’s a case of job done and plenty to work on.

“The excitement I feel every time I pull on this red jersey is insurmountable, so I’m looking forward to getting back to it on Monday and preparing for next weekend.”

Jones added: “It’s job done, but there’s still a bit to work on.”

Another heavy defeat will again raise the inevitable questions about Italy’s position in the Six Nations and whether there should be relegation.

The facts speak for themselves.

Today marked a 31st successive defeat for the Azzurri in the competition, with their last victory coming against Scotland in 2015.

Italy have not managed a home Six Nations win for eight years, with 20 successive losses.

Italy have conceded 187 points and 26 tries in four games this year.

 

Line-ups
Italy: Trulla, Bellini, Brex, Canna, Ioane, Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Bigi (capt), Zilocchi, Cannone, Sisi, Negri, Meyer, Lamaro.

Replacements: Fabiani for Ioane (7-18), Lovotti for Fischetti (65) Riccioni for Zilocchi (33), Lazzaroni for Cannone (52), Mbanda for Meyer (26-36), Violi for Varney (63), Mori for Garbisi (54) Padovani for Trulla (44).

Wales: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, J Davies, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; W Jones, Owens, Tomas Francis, Hill, AW Jones (capt), Navidi, Tipuric, Faletau.

Replacements: Dee for Owens (54), Carre for W Jones (57), Brown for Francis (45), Ball for AW Jones (54), Wainwright for Faletau (51), L Williams for G Davies (52), Sheedy for Biggar (52), Halaholo for North (46)

Match officials
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Touch judges: Pascal Gauzere (France) & Christophe Ridley (England)

TMO: Tom Foley (England)

MATCH ANALYSIS

Surely it was discipline that was the main problem for Italy.

Mistakes and an incredible ability to give away stupid penalties, as a series of needless errors allowed the visitors to build an insurmountable lead early on.

It all started with Paolo Garbisi sending the ball dead from the kick-off before Luca Bigi infringed at the breakdown. The captain then cynically stopped a Gareth Davies quick tap and was duly yellow carded. Against 14 men, Wales built up an advantage they would not relinquish as the visitors won the game before it had really started. It was not a good example from the skipper and is symptomatic of where the Italians are currently at.

Arguably since before the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour, the back has struggled for form, leading many to question whether that was it for the Welsh centurion. Although he is only 28, it must be remembered that North has been around at the top level for a long time and there is only so much the body can take in modern day rugby. However, the move into the midfield seems to have given him a new lease of life.

To the surprise of many, Callum Sheedy did not start against Italy after his superb performance versus England. Instead, it was the much criticised Dan Biggar who continued at fly-half and produced a significantly improved display before giving way to the Bristol playmaker in the second period. Sheedy was also excellent when he came on and it leaves Wayne Pivac with a decision to make going forward. No doubt, Biggar will start next week against France – albeit the head coach is not afraid of making a big call – but the 25-year-old is certainly not far off the first XV.

Much has been said and written about the Azzurri’s continued presence in the Six Nations and based on the evidence in this fixture, they really shouldn’t be playing in a competition of this stature. Franco Smith’s charges were never at the races with Wales racing into a 22-0 lead midway through the half without really breaking a sweat. Italy hardly threatened on attack – especially during the first half – and it looked like it was a case of men against boys for large periods of this Test. The result means they have now lost 31 matches on the trot, which is the longest losing streak in the history of the Championship, and they last tasted victory in a Round Three clash against Scotland in 2015. The time is now ripe for tournament organisers to reconsider their participation.

Although Italy were never in this encounter, Wales deserve plenty of credit as they impressed for the entire game and made full use of the opportunities which were presented to them.

Pivac will be delighted with the clinical fashion with which his players went about their business and they had their bonus point in the bag by the half-hour mark after Josh Adams, Taulupe Faletau and Ken Owens (2) crossed for tries. Despite leading 27-0 at the interval, Wales did not take their foot of the pedal with North also crossing the whitewash soon after the restart and although Monty Ioane scored a try for the hosts, that was a mere blip as Wales continued to dominate and sealed their win with five-pointers from Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit.

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