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Neyland extend lead again

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NEYLAND extended their lead at the top of Division 1 to 44 points on Saturday (Jul 6) as they eased to a seven wicket win at Burton.

Burton won the toss and elected to bat first but they were bowled out for 104. Neyland then reached their target inside 21 overs to seal their ninth win from eleven games.

Burton’s innings did not get off to the best of starts as they lost opener Toby Hayman for a duck when he was caught by Nick Koomen off the bowling of Nathan Banner.

Fellow opener Jonathan Venables did not last much longer as he was caught by Tom Pritchard off the bowling of Henry Durrant.

That left them on 3-2 as Morgan Scale and Luke Hayman tried to repair the damage.

Durrant struck again however as he had Scale caught by Ross Hardy on a score of 11 to make the score 20-3.

Hayman was out soon after when he was caught by Koomen off the bowling of Patrick Hannon.

32-4 became 37-5 as Matthew Webb was caught by George Evans off the bowling of Andrew Miller.

Geraint Rees then bowled James Davies and had Jack Davies caught by Koomen as Burton slipped to 56-7.

Martin James and Will Ridge then shared 35 runs for the eighth wicket as they looked to give their side something to defend.

James had played brilliantly with eight four and a six in his score of 50 but he was then bowled by Pritchard.

Ridge scored 17 but also fell to the bowling of Pritchard when he was caught by Hardy.

Miller then brought the innings to a close as he had John Scale caught by Banner, leaving Neyland with a target of 105 to win.

Burton picked up the wicket of the in-form Patrick Bellerby, who had scored 269 runs over the previous weekend, for a duck as he was caught by Martin James off the bowling of Matthew Webb.

Koomen and Ross Hardy then shared 50 runs for the second wicket to set their side on their way to victory.

Hardy made 22 before he was caught by Luke Hayman off the bowling of Morgan Scale.

George Evans was caught and bowled by Hayman as Neyland were reduced to 89-3.

Koomen and Nathan Banner were untroubled however as they saw the visitors to their target with plenty of time to spare.

Banner finished unbeaten on 12 while Koomen hit eleven fours as he made a score of 68.

On Saturday (Jul 13), Neyland are away to St Ishmaels while Burton travel to Carew.

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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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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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