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Super Quins earn first win

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THE Quins pulled off their first victory of the season on Saturday (Dec 29), defeating League leaders Neyland 13-10 in a bruising encounter at Bierspool.

The All Blacks will now have to pull out all the stops if they are to have any chance of promotion.

The Quins gave a debut to 18yr old Gethin Bradney at Scrum Half, in which he partnered his older brother Rhys to become the first ever brothers to play at Half Back for the Quins.

It was the All Blacks who struck first in the tenth minute when Centre Alex Codd pounced on a Quins mistake to score half way out. Outside Half George Evans converted to ease his side into a 7 point lead.

Most spectators must have thought here we go again, especially after the drubbing Neyland had handed out in September, but they could not have been further from the truth.

The hard work being put in by the Coaches is starting to come to fruition although there is a long way to go with this young Quins Side.

They countered the Neyland back division brilliantly, even when a tackle was missed there was always another Quins player ready to put his body on the line, as no one took a backward step.

The half ended with the Quins pack slightly on top with replacement Alex Pierce and 2nd Row Darren Potter both putting in a huge shift.

As the second half started it was obvious that the Quins would have to score first, especially against the leaders, and that is exactly what they did.

The Quins rolling maul was pulled down when a certain score looked on, and the Referee had no choice but to award the Quins a penalty try.

With the score now even, and the Quins playing their best rugby for some time a shock result seemed on the cards.

The All Blacks however soon hit back when George Evans slotted over an awkward penalty to restore his sides’ lead.

The Quins though, with still 25 minutes left, were simply not going to go away, as they tore into now what was becoming a very nervous Neyland side.

They started to force errors, and when the visitors were penalised 30 yards out the Quins made the right decision to go for the three points, with Full Back Arron James banging it over and it was all square at 10-10 with 15 minutes to go.

The All Blacks however were soon back on the attack, but it was the Quins who broke out of their own 22 through Outside Half Rhys Bradney who pounced on a loose ball and set off into Neyland territory.

He chipped ahead only to be taken out off the ball, it was an obvious penalty and up stepped Arron James, who, with the ground in deadly silence, put another 30 yard penalty straight through the uprights to put the Quins into the lead.

However, there was still ten minutes of the match left as Neyland laid siege to the Quins line but the young Quins side repelled them time after time as the team ethic started to show as each player to a man did not give an inch.

The Quins can look back on this match with great pride after the turbulent times they have been through.

Taking points when on offer was crucial, and for young Captain Hywel Baker to make these decisions in a tight game went a long way to securing a hard fought victory. It is very rare that the bottom side beats the top sides in Rugby, but it happened at Bierspool on Saturday.

Team. Arron James, Ben Gibby, Harry Lawrence, Jake Griffiths, Liam Scourfield, Rhys Bradney, Gethin Bradney, Rob Hearne, George Bellmaine, Joe Gray, Martin Culley, Darren Potter, Hywel Baker (Capt), Jordan Palmer, Nick Drewett. Replacements: Alex Pierce, Josh Brown, Tom Clarkson, Mike Jones.

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Bluebirds awarded promotion to the Cymru Premier League

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Paul Davies MS and David Hughes during a visit to Haverfordwest County AFC before lockdown restrictions were introduced in Wales

HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY AFC have secured their promotion to the Cymru Premier League.

Following the Football Association of Wales (FAW) decision back in March to curtail all domestic football throughout Wales, many teams have waited in angst for clarification on how the promotion and relegation process would be decided.

The FAW, confirmed on Tuesday, June 16, using the ‘average points per game’ method that Haverfordwest County AFC had done enough to be promoted to the Cymru Premier for the upcoming 2020/2021 season.

Taking to their website to confirm the news, the club said “It is nothing less than Wayne, the coaching staff, players, board and volunteers deserve after a fantastic effort last season.

“It has been a long wait to learn our fate, but the club and its staff have worked tirelessly on and off the pitch to ensure we had as much in place as possible, and following the announcement we can now hit the ground running and prepare for next season.

“We cannot wait to welcome the best teams in Wales to The Bridge Meadow!”

Local Member of the Welsh Parliament Paul Davies has also added his congratulations to Haverfordwest County AFC on their promotion back to the JD Cymru Premier League.

Commenting on the achievement, Paul Davies said “It’s great that Haverfordwest County will once again compete in the Premier National League of Wales with the likes of The New Saints, Barry Town and newly crowned champions Connah’s Quay Nomads. The management and players have done a fantastic job in gaining promotion from the JD Cymru South League.”

“With the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium widely regarded as being one of the top grounds in Welsh non-league football, it’s only fitting that the Bluebirds will be back in the premier division.”

“I would also take the opportunity to thank David Hughes and Rob Davies for the work they have done as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the club respectively. I have known David for a number of years and he has worked tirelessly for the club. I’m delighted to learn that both David and Rob will stay on the Board as Robert Edwards takes over as Chairman. Their knowledge and experience will be vital moving forward into this exciting new era.”

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Nigel Owens hosts virtual rugby quiz for Pembroke Panthers

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PEMBROKE Panthers RFC enjoyed a rugby return during lockdown after winning a competition which saw international referee Nigel Owens host their own virtual clubhouse quiz, thanks to Principality Building Society.

The women’s squad at the Pembroke club beat more than 1000 entries to win Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz competition. With many clubs affected by widespread flooding at the start of this year and now closed indefinitely due to coronavirus, the building society is continually looking for ways to support grassroots rugby clubs in Wales.

Pembroke Panther Lucy Neale, 30, entered her team with the hope of bringing the players together online. She said: “We’d usually see each other up to five times a week between training sessions, matches and socials, so it’s been a really strange time. I thought I’d enter the club thinking it would be a nice pick-me-up for us all, but never actually expected to win so it was an amazing surprise.”

The team were tested on their rugby knowledge by world cup referee Nigel Owens over video conferencing platform Zoom, where players won tickets to Welsh internationals at Principality Stadium, signed rugby shirts and balls, and tickets for a tour around Principality Stadium. The quiz included a guest appearance from former Welsh international Tom Shanklin.

Lucy continued: “It was such a memorable and special evening for us all. We’re usually quite a lively bunch but we behaved well for Nigel. We’re so thankful to Principality for putting on the quiz and allowing us to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience as a team.”

As sponsors of Principality Stadium and the National Youth Leagues for grassroots clubs in Wales, Principality has a strong relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union and knows how much rugby means to communities across the country. With matches on hold currently, the building society wanted to be able to bring the buzz of the clubhouse to the home.

Clubhouse Quiz host, Nigel Owens, said: “Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz was a fantastic way to bring one team closer together and Pembroke Panthers really showed off their rugby knowledge. Rugby plays such an important role in Welsh communities and I know they’ll be missing the action on the field right now, so it was lovely to have been part of this experience to bring this team together. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sin bin any of them either.”

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said: “Many rugby clubs across Wales have had a really difficult year, with flood damage to pitches and clubhouses now followed by coronavirus. This was our chance to recreate the camaraderie of the clubhouse for one team and we hope that it brought plenty of laughs and memorable moments for Pembroke Panthers at this challenging time.”

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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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