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Burton survive as Kilgetty beaten

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BURTON guaranteed their place in Division 1 for the 2019 Season as their win over St Ishmaels, coupled with Kilgetty’s defeat against Whitland, saw them jump out of the bottom two.

Kilgetty had a seventeen-point advantage over second from Burton going into the final games and a positive result would have seen them stay up.

Burton knew all they could do was try and win their game and hope that Whitland did them a favour.

Tish won the toss and elected to bat but it was Burton who made the early breakthrough as Harry Nicholas was caught by James Davies off the bowling of John Scale on a score of 11. Scale then had Daniel Howells caught by Morgan Scale for a duck as Tish were reduced to 27-2.

Peter Bradshaw and Phil Cockburn then shared an excellent stand worth 73 runs as they put the pressure on the Burton bowlers.

Burton could have picked up another two wickets had it not been for a dropped catch and a missed run out and Tish looked to make them pay for those misses.

Bradshaw made 45 with five boundaries but he was then well caught by Toby Hayman off the bowling Jack Davies.

Cockburn then shared another 32 runs with Andrew Palmer before he was caught by Jonathan Venables off the bowling of Morgan Scale on a score of 44 which included four boundaries and one maximum.

Jack Nicholas did not last long at the crease as he was caught by Jack Davies off the bowling of Morgan Scale for a duck.

Daniel Richards made 14 but he was then caught by Hayman off the bowling of Scale.

Andrew Palmer batted well and his score of 51 from 53 balls (six fours, one six) took Tish to their total of 181-6.

Kilgetty got off to a good start in their game after losing the toss and being invited to bat first.

Openers Kurtis Marsh and Ross Hardy put on an opening partnership of 53 before Hardy was dismissed for 16 (2 fours and a 6). Marsh continued and hit 10 fours in his 58.

There followed a partnership of 46 between Kyle Marsh (32) and Dafydd Bevan (16) and further contributions from Toby Poole (17), Jack Parkinson (12) and Ian Poole (10 not out) as the overs ran out with the score on 181 for 9. Star bowlers for Whitland were spinner Jack Bowen (3 for 23), Mathew Davies (3 for 36), skipper iestyn Scourfield (2 for 32) and Nathan Evans (1 for 34).

Burton lost opener Richard Jones early in their reply as he was caught by Daniel Richards off the bowling of Brennan Devonald.

Luke Hayman scored 13 for Burton but he was then caught by Jack Nicholas off the bowling of Andrew Palmer.

Robert Neil also scored 12 for the home side before being caught by Harry Nicholas off the bowling of Andrew Pawlett.

Morgan Scale added just 11 before Pawlett picked up his second wicket as Scale was caught by Peter Bradshaw.

That left Burton on 84-4 but opener Toby Hayman and Jonathan Venables shared 74 runs for the fifth wicket to take Burton to within touching distance of victory.

Hayman eventually fell for a score of 90, unlucky to miss out on a century, as he was stumped by Jack Nicholas off the bowling of Andrew Palmer. His knock included 12 fours and one six.

James Davies was run out late on by Lenny Rees but Venables was the hero as he finished not out on 45 to guide his side to victory, and, more importantly, to safety.

After tea, the Whitland batsmen set about their chase. Steffan James was involved in two good partnerships – one of 54 with Gethin Scourfield (30) and one of 42 with Nathan Evans (25).

James was eventually out for 41 (5 fours), but then Mathew Davies showed his all-round ability as he took the initiative with a crucial innings of 59 with 5 fours and a six.

He was helped by Geraint Phillips (11) as the total was reached with two overs to spare. Top bowlers for Kilgetty were Christian Phillips (3 for 34), Jack Parkinson (3 for 34) and Kurtis Marsh (1 for 48).

The result left Whitland celebrating one of their best ever seasons with a fourth place finish, while Kilgetty have to contemplate life in Division 2 next season.

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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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