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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.

Sport

Wales quartet bolster Scarlets side for Cardiff Blues rematch

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Scarlets take on Cardiff Blues on Friday night

SCARLETS welcome back Wales internationals Johnny McNicholl, Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias and Jake Ball to their starting XV for Friday’s rearranged Guinness PRO14 rematch against Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets (20:00; S4C, Premier Sports).

There are six changes in all to the run-on side, while club skipper Ken Owens is poised to make his first appearance since October. The Wales and British & Irish Lions hooker is named among the replacements after being cleared for action following a shoulder injury.

Behind the scrum, McNicholl comes in for the suspended Liam Williams in the only change to the back division that took the field against the Blues at the Cardiff City Stadium two weeks ago.

The front row changes en bloc with Jones packing down alongside Elias and tight-head prop Javan Sebastian, who replaces the injured Pieter Scholtz.

Ball has made a swift recovery from the knee injury he suffered against the Dragons on New Year’s Day and resumes his second-row partnership with Sam Lousi.

Josh Macleod, this week named as the only uncapped player in Wales’s Six Nations squad, misses out with an ankle niggle so Ed Kennedy slots into the openside spot and links up with Blade Thomson and Sione Kalamafoni the back row.

On the bench, Owens has recovered from the shoulder damage he sustained in round two up in Glasgow. Phil Price, Werner Kruger, Tevita Ratuva and Uzair Cassiem provide the rest of the forwards cover. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Steff Hughes make up the remainder of the replacements.

Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (Friday, January 22 (20:00, S4C, Premier Sports)

15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Ed Kennedy, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Reps: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Tevita Ratuva, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Steff Hughes.

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Sport

Clubs react as Pembrokeshire football league season cancelled

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THERE will be no football in Pembrokeshire until at least August after the 2020/21 season was cancelled on Wednesday night (Jan 20).

The Pembrokeshire Football League said it had taken into account the current Covid-19 situation and replies from clubs in making their decision.

Clubs had played a small number of friendlies towards the end of 2020 with the hope of getting back into the league action.

However, as the coronavirus situation worsened, the majority of clubs took it upon themselves to suspend football activity.

A spokesperson for the Pembrokeshire Football League said: “It was resolved that there will be no competitive football this season in Pembrokeshire at Senior or Junior level. There will also be no organised mini football fixtures for this season.

“Should clubs wish, when the restrictions are lifted and subject to Covid regulations want to play friendlies then they are free to do so subject to the authorisation of the League (as previously).”

Neyland’s Sean Hannon said: “The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise. The most important thing is everyone’s safety and wellbeing. We haven’t had a chance to discuss any possible return to friendlies if restrictions allow but I’m sure we will leave it until at least August by which time we will have a further update from the FAW.

“It goes without saying the FAW will need to update all area associations and clubs on what will happen to player comet registration fees which they asked all clubs to pay for at the start of September 2020.”

A spokesperson for Saundersfoot AFC said: “We all knew it was coming inevitably and you’d be hard pressed to argue against it. As a club the safety of our players/ coaches and their families is paramount it’s just not worth the risk.

“You saw before Christmas the clubs took it between themselves to stop playing before any order from above came through so that shows how serious the clubs are taking it.”

Owen Duggan, Chairman of Fishguard Sport AFC said: “The decision was inevitable and we would commend the Pembrokeshire league for an early conclusion to this, every football club will be working hard behind the scenes to try and retain enough finance to continue.

“We all hope that in the coming months things will improve and we will hopefully commence season in August. We hope all our members and other clubs stay safe and fit and well which is the priority.”

Hakin United, who were crowned champions of the curtailed 2019/20 season, said they fully supported the decision to cancel the league season and recommended that football shouldn’t start back until it’s safe to do so.

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Wales unveil Six Nations squad for forthcoming 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign

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WALES have named a 36-man squad for the forthcoming 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign.

The squad features one uncapped player, Scarlets back-row Josh Macleod, who was named in the autumn squad last year but didn’t feature after picking up an injury before the campaign began.

Josh was a former pupil at Ysgol Bro Gwaun and played rugby for Crymych before his move to the Scarlets.

Four players who made their international debuts in that campaign, Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Johnny Williams and Louis Rees-Zammit are all included.

Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones and Rhodri Jones (last appearance for Wales v South Africa in 2018) are named as the looseheads in the squad with Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias and Ken Owens (who missed the autumn campaign through injury) the hookers. Leon Brown, Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis are the three named tight-heads.

Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Rowlands and Cory Hill are included as the second-rows.

Dan Lydiate returns to the international set-up (last appearance v Australia in 2018) and is named alongside Josh Navidi, Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau, Macleod and Justin Tipuric.

Hardy who made his debut back in November is named as one of three scrum-halves along with Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams, who has returned from injury. Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans and Sheedy are the three fly-halves.

Johnny Williams, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins and Owen Watkin are named as the centres with George North, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Rees-Zammit, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams named as Wales’ back-three options.

“We are hugely looking forward to meeting up as a squad on Monday and to the forthcoming campaign,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“The Guinness Six Nations is an important tournament and we have selected a squad accordingly.

“As we consistently spoke about, the autumn for us was about opportunity and development, looking ahead to RWC 2023 and it served that purpose for us.

“This campaign is different, it is tournament rugby and we are excited to get going and to play our part.

“We have picked a squad for this tournament based on form and we are excited to meet up on Monday and to get our preparation underway.”

WALES 2021 GUINNESS SIX NATIONS SQUAD

Forwards:

Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues) (12 Caps)

Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (30 Caps)

Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (17 Caps)

Elliot Dee (Dragons) (33 Caps)

Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (17 Caps)

Ken Owens (Scarlets) (77 Caps)

Leon Brown (Dragons) (12 Caps)

Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (52 Caps)

Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (28 Caps)

Jake Ball (Scarlets) (49 Caps)

Adam Beard (Ospreys) (21 Caps)

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (143 Caps)

Will Rowlands (Wasps) (5 Caps)

Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues) (29 Caps)

Dan Lydiate (Ospreys) (62 Caps)

Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (24 Caps)

Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (27 Caps)

Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (81 Caps)

Josh MacLeod (Scarlets) (*Uncapped)

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (80 Caps)

Backs:

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (57 Caps)

Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (20 Caps)

Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (2 Caps)

Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (87 Caps)

Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears) (4 Caps)

Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) (6 Caps)

Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (2 Caps)

Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (85 Caps)

Nick Tompkins (Dragons) (8 Caps)

Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (25 Caps)

George North (Ospreys) (98 Caps)

Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (29 Caps)

Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues) (22 Caps)

Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (4 Caps)

Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (93 Caps)

Liam Williams (Scarlets) (67 Caps)

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