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Hook and Llangwm seal Ormond Youth success

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HOOK and Llangwm won the 2018 Ormond Youth Cup on Sunday (Sept 2) as they beat last year’s winners Carew and Saundersfoot in the Final.

Rain had put the match in doubt but the excellent work from the Carew groundstaff meant the teams were able to get the game underway shortly before 1:30pm with a full game in prospect.

Carew and Saundersfoot won the toss but invited their opponents to bat with the ground still damp from a sprinkling of rain.

Despite that, openers Noah Davies and George James got their side off to an excellent start with a stand of 65 runs.

That was broken when Rhys Grigg bowled James on a score of 36 that included three fours and two sixes.

Soon after Tom Mansbridge had Aled Phelps caught by Lewis Catt, leaving Hook and Llangwm on 66-2 nearing the halfway stage.

Mansbridge then picked up his second wicket as Davies was stumped by Morgan Grieve on a score of 25.

Jack Nicholas then scored 20 to take his side to 100 but he was then bowled by John Mansbridge.

Keegan Codd added another ten runs to the total but he was also heading back to the pavilion when he was caught by Grieve off the bowling of Carl Thomas.

Harry Nicholas made a score of 8 before being caught by Elliot Waters off the bowling of John Mansbridge and Callum Jenkins was then caught by Catt off the bowling of Thomas.

Ben Fairburn and Finlay Elrick then finished not out as they guided their side to an opening total of 123-7.

Carew and Saundersfoot’s reply did not get off to the best of starts as Tom Mansbridge was bowled by Noah Davies with the fourth ball of the innings.

John Mansbridge and Morgan Grieve then got their side off the mark with a stand of 32 before something quite special happened.

Aled Phelps was brought on to bowl and with the second ball of his second over he had Mansbridge stumped by Jack Nicholas on a score of 16. Phelps then bowled Carl Thomas and Rhys Grigg to claim a sensational hat trick. He wasn’t finished there as he picked up a fourth wicket in a row, bowling Rhys Canton.

That saw the defending champions slip from 32-1 to 32-5 in one over and they were in need of some help.

Morgan Grieve did his best with a score of 31 but he was then bowled by Davies. Tudor Hurle and Lewis Catt both fell in similar fashion as they were stumped by Nicholas off the bowling of Ben Fairburn for scores of 11 and 4 respectively.

Harry Nicholas then picked up the wickets of Taran Richards and Morgan Broomhall to dismiss Carew and Saundersfoot for just 76, giving Hook and Llangwm a lead of 47 at the halfway point.

Hook and Llangwm set about trying to make Carew and Saundersfoot’s final target as big as they possibly could as Davies and James shared 47 runs for the opening wicket.

Davies made 18 but he was then caught by Canton off the bowling of Tom Mansbridge. James then shared another 35 runs with Aled Phelps before James was caught by Catt off the bowling of Mansbridge on a score of 40 that included one maximum.

Phelps then shared 40 runs with Jack Nicholas as Hook and Llangwm’s lead passed 150 runs. Phelps had played well for his score of 35 but he was then run out.

Keegan Codd was also run out on a score of 7 while Jack Nicholas finished not out on 18 to take his side to a total of 135-5, setting Carew and Saundersfoot 182 to win.

The Mansbridge duo then made a good start to their reply with Tom scoring 24 before he was caught by Fairburn off the bowling of Phelps.

John scored 21 before he was bowled by Phelps and Tudor Hurle was then caught and bowled by Callum Jenkins to leave them 54-3.

Morgan Grieve and Rhys Grigg then did their best to get Carew and Saundersfoot back on track with Grieve scoring 21 before he was caught by James off the bowling of Jenkins.

Keegan Codd then had Carl Thomas caught by Elrick on a score of 9 and Canton caught by James on a duck.

Harry Nicholas also bowled Lewis Catt on a score of 4 while Grigg had made his way to a score of 46 with three fours and two sixes before he was caught by Elrick, also off the bowling of Nicholas.

Nicholas then bowled Taran Richards as Carew and Saundersfoot finished their innings on 137-9, giving victory to Hook and Llangwm by 45 runs.

Aled Phelps was named man of the match for his four wickets in four balls and his score of 35 in the second innings.

Sport

Wizards sink Swifts to set up Carew final

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MERLINS Bridge set up a Senior Cup Final date with Carew as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-0 at the Bridge Meadow on Tuesday night (Mar 19).

Both sides named strong line-ups for the game, determined to make it into the final, but it was the Bridge who proved the stronger as they exacted revenge for a 5-1 league defeat to the Swifts earlier in the season.

A good crowd gathered to watch the game despite persistent light rain throughout the evening.

A minutes silence was also held prior to kick off in respect of former Merlins Bridge player Denzil (Tally) John, who sadly passed away.

The Wizards had previously beaten Monkton 3-0 in the West Wales Cup and from the first whistle it was clear that they were in a confident mood.

Adam Hawkins and Nathan Greene linked up well but when Greene was tackled the ball fell to Laurie Haworth whose shot was saved.

Hawkins then saw a shot saved after he had been put through and he then played a one-two with Jordan Thomas whose shot hit the post.

Monkton then had their first chance as James Russell won a 50-50 but he saw his shot blocked wide for a corner.

All that action came in the first five minutes and it set the tone for the rest of the game with both sides coming close to opening the scoring.

The Bridge then came close again when Dai Davies sent Greene through but he flashed his shot across goal and wide.

With half an hour gone Russell came forward but dwelt on the ball too long leaving Dylan Davies and Ben Steele frustrated after both made good runs.

Blake James then saw a cross go straight into the arms of Bridge keeper Gary Thomas who then also saved Davies’ deflected shot.

With seven minutes to go until half time, the Wizards took the lead as Laurie Haworth turned excellently in the left corner and ran into the box before crossing for Hawkins who fired in to the roof of the net.

Five minutes later they doubled their lead as Ashley Beck played the ball through for Haworth who poked the ball past Swifts keeper Michael Murray to make it 2-0.

Monkton looked to respond but a corner on the stroke of half time from Chris Richards went out over the bar.

It left the Division 1 leaders with a mountain to climb in the second half and they knew they would need an early goal if they were to get back into the game.

Ten minutes in the Wizards had the first real chance of the half as Haworth won the ball and crossed for Beck but he shot wide.

On the hour mark Monkton won a free kick on the edge of the D but Steele’s free kick bounced back off the wall.

The Bridge won a series of corners which came to nothing and when Monkton looked to break off one, Hawkins made a desperate lunge to try and stop the attack. He was booked for his challenge which may have done more harm than good as he was then replaced by Will Haworth.

With twenty minutes to go sub Ryan Griffiths crossed into the box but Russell’s looping header was comfortably claimed by Thomas.

Moments later it should have been 3-0 as a slip allowed Greene in but he fluffed his lines and scuffed his shot wide.

The Swifts continued to look for a way back into the game and when Steele went down in the box he was adamant he had been pushed but referee Angus Scourfield waved away his prolonged protests.

Davies then saw a shot saved and then came perhaps their best chance of getting back into the game as a good move found Richards but Davies could only head wide from his cross.

They were soon made to pay for their missed chances as Laurie Haworth found Greene in the box who knocked in to all but seal the win.

Greene and Matthew D’Ivry were then taken off in a double change, perhaps with one eye on the West Wales Cup semi-final with Hakin next week.

The game had been won but Monkton’s Josh Richards, who had only came on in the second half, let his frustrations get the better of him late on as he overstepped the mark and saw red for his language.

Merlins Bridge saw the game out and will now look forward to the final with Carew. That game will take place on Saturday, April 20, again at the Bridge Meadow Stadium.

Speaking after the match, Merlins Bridge boss Matthew D’Ivry said: “We are really pleased with the result. We were confident that if we played to our abilities that we would get the result.

“We were confident on the back of the season we have had so far, having only had one loss to Monkton. It wasn’t about getting revenge, but more about us achieving what we had set out to do.

“Last night our experience in the bigger games shone through and that gave us the edge.”

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Joyce thrilled with first Six Nations try

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JASMINE Joyce relished her first Six Nations try as Wales Women ended the campaign on a high by playing some fine rugby in a 24-5 win over Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park.

Electrifying wing Joyce produced an individual performance as part of a fine team display from Rowland Phillips’ team in the Welsh capital.

Joyce scored the fourth of Wales’ tries by sprinting down the right touchline in sensational fashion as her team followed their win over Scotland with a second straight victory.

“It was literally a great team performance. We are going to be buzzing for a long time after that,” said Joyce.

“It’s the best we’ve played in a very long time both as a squad and in terms of individual performances. I think we can enjoy ourselves after that one – it all clicked.

“We have been getting better and better. Against Italy we managed to get a draw, but I think in this campaign they have shown they are something most teams don’t think they are. Italy are on the up, which we saw with their win over France on Sunday, and for us to get wins over Scotland and now Ireland is massive for us. It’s great to give us some momentum going into next year’s Six Nations and then the World Cup in 2020.”

Ireland dominated the opening quarter and finally made their pressure count as teenage wing Beibhinn Parsons opened the scoring. After that, they failed to score a point and Wales showed a clinical edge with their best performance of the campaign as they sealed their first Six Nations over Ireland since 2011.

Home tries came from Jess Kavanagh, captain Carys Phillips, Bethan Lewis, and Joyce.

Kavanagh’s was a fine effort too as she scored in the corner, while Phillips and Lewis provided tries from the forwards. It was left to Team GB Sevens Olympic star Joyce to round off the scoring and she did exactly that in an effort which was eerily similar to the one she had ruled out against Italy.

“We’ve got to make sure we enjoy the experience of this win and do it together,” added Joyce, who scored a try, made 208 metres, five line breaks, and four tackle breaks against Ireland.

“We had a different kind of mentality coming into this game in terms of trying to get the ball wide and I think we did that. I must have had about 10 carries and to finally get a try right at the end was amazing.”

Wales were beaten by France and England, drew with Italy, and then downed Scotland and Ireland to round off an encouraging Six Nations campaign. Phillips’ side ended the tournament in fourth place.

“To get our second win of the campaign is massive for us and we’ve ended up finishing fourth which is a massive step up from last year,” said Joyce.

“We couldn’t ask for much more than that. England and France are a step above the other nations, but we want to keep building on this moving forwards.”

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Wales thump Ireland to seal Grand Slam

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WALES secured a historic Grand Slam on Saturday (Mar 16), as they thumped Ireland 25-7 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Going into the game they knew that a win would see them crowned Six Nations Champions and that anything but would have opened the door for the Irish or England to snatch the title.

However, Wales were in no mood to let their Grand Slam hopes fade away and scored with just over a minute on the clock gone, and they never looked back.

It was the perfect start for Warren Gatland’s men as Ken Owens’ throw found its way to Gareth Anscombe who beautifully chipped over for Hadleigh Parkes to catch and touch down. Anscombe then added the extras.

It meant that Jonathan Sexton’s first act of the game was to restart it but they very nearly scored moments after, only for an excellent tackle.

Jacob Stockdale picked the ball up and looked as if he would run to the try line but Parkes made a try-saving tackle and Wales were able to win the ball back.

Wales increased their lead with a penalty on 18 minutes with a 49-metre penalty from Anscombe and they continued to push forward, not wanting to sit on their lead.

Two minutes later they had a penalty advantage but when the ball was kicked ahead, Gareth Davies’ over-eagerness saw him tackle the Irish player after the whistle had gone, much to the displeasure of the four Irishmen around him. The penalty was reversed.

Irish errors continued to be punished though and with five minutes of the first half remaining, Anscombe sent another penalty through the posts to make it 13-0.

On the stroke of half time, Ireland were guilty of collapsing the scrum and Anscombe again scored a penalty to give Wales a 16-0 lead at the break.

The first score in the second half would prove crucial, a Wales score would deflate Ireland while an Ireland score would give them hope.

After both sides traded penalties it was the home team who got the first points as Anscombe again punished Ireland with a 33-metre penalty which sailed just inside the posts to make it 19-0.

The Grand Slam was within Wales’ grasp and when Sexton’s restart went out of play, you got the sense that an Irish comeback seemed unlikely.

Another penalty from Anscombe made it 22-0 with just under half an hour to play but Ireland came back looking for a way into the game. However, try as they might they passed the ball out of play.

Connor Murray then came close to scoring but was held up and some excellent defending saw Wales turn the ball over.

With just over ten minutes to go Anscombe scored his sixth penalty to continue his perfect record and it was only a matter of time before Wales were crowned champions.

There was still time for Ireland to attack though and came close as Wales were penalised for being offside on three occasions but a knock on allowed Wales to clear the ball.

As the clock ticked over the 80 minutes, Wales knew they had done enough to secure the Grand Slam and a fourteenth win in a row but Ireland were not going down without a fight.

Stockdale was again halted but the ball was recycled to Jordan Larmour who dived over for a consolation try. Jack Carty added the extras but the celebrations for Wales had already begun.

It was a third Six Nations title for Warren Gatland in his final tournament, his second Grand Slam, proving that Wales were the one team to beat.

They will now look forward to preparing for the World Cup in Japan which starts in September.

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