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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.

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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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