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Hook face Kilgetty in Under 11s final

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THE Pembroke County Cricket Junior League Under 11s final takes place tonight (Jul 22) and will see Hook take on Kilgetty.

Both sides played their respective semi-finals last week which saw Hook beat Llechryd while Kilgetty beat Neyland.

The Under 11s final takes place in Hook and starts at 6pm.

Hook too good for Llechryd

Hook U11s (310-7) beat Llechryd U11s (276-1)

ON a perfect evening in West Wales, both teams played out a tremendous game of cricket and demonstrated excellent skill with bat and ball. Llechryd fielded a young, talented side after skipper Ifan won the toss and decided to have a bowl first.

The decision paid dividends as Ellis took a double-wicket maiden with his first over. He clean bowled the Hook openers, Dylan James (11 runs) with the first ball of the match and followed up with another clean bowled in the same over, dismissing Manny Davies (12 runs), returning figures of 2 for 19 off 2.

Not to be outdone, Flo (1-19) took a wicket with his first ball, before Manny Davies and Dylan James steadied the ship to get Hook back in to positive figures with some excellent stroke play including 6 boundaries between them.

As the dark clouds above looked ominous, this was the calm before the storm. Callum Nutty (7 runs) and Oscar Willington entered proceedings with the later amassing 41 runs off just 15 balls, including five 4s and three 6s – one of the 6s almost landed in the adjacent school playground, a huge hit at any age level of Cricket.

This partnership of 48 runs propelled Hook to a decent total halfway through their innings. Delme (2-11) bowled exceptionally well, with disciplined line and length, pressuring the Hook batsmen into a second run that was almost on, until some sharp fielding by Llechryd denied them.

Delme gathered the ball well from the throw and took the bails off with ease.

It should be mentioned at this point that all the Llechryd players fielded tremendously well with some excellent ground fielding, taking their catches and backing-up making sure any wayward throws were gathered.

With the scoreboard ticking over nicely, William Harries (23) and Dylan Goodridge (6) kept the momentum up, adding 35 runs between them. William Harries in fine form once again, nudged the ball into the gaps for three 4s, before effortlessly placing the ball straight down the ground for a maximum.

Dexter kept nagging away at off-stump and eventually got his reward, bowling Harries off the last ball of his over, returning figures of 1 for 18 off 2. A quick change of personnel behind the stumps, saw Ifan have a bowl at the last pair of Hook batsmen.

Ifan bowled with a lot of skill and excellent technique, only allowing the batsmen to nudge him for a few singles and one boundary in his spell of 1 for 7 off 2. Jack Thomas (3) and Rhys Phelps (16) added 13 vital runs at the end as Llechryd picked up 2 wickets, with Delme once again showing his class by bowling Thomas with the last ball of the innings.

The Llechryd openers, comprising of Ifan (8) and Japp (14) got off to a flyer, adding 21 off their first 4 overs. Oscar Willington bowled with excellent control and pace, taking the only wicket of the Llechryd innings, returning figures of 1 for 4 off 2.

Ellis (4) and Delme continued to build on the great start and between them added 27 vital runs, with the later scoring 20 runs, including four 4s. At the halfway stage of the Llechryd innings they were on track to pass Hooks final score.

However, although no wickets fell, the Hook bowling trio of Rhys Phelps, Jack Thomas and Dylan Goodridge bowled with discipline and control, only allowing 17 runs during the third pairing. Evan (9) and Dexter (3) played with a straight bat and defended their wickets well.

With the batting side requiring 46 runs to win from the final pair, once again the Hook bowlers showed a lot of mettle, restricting Llechryd to just 11 runs from 4 overs. Callum Nutty bowled the innings only maiden over with some recently acquired wrist spin deliveries (obviously doesn’t get that from his Dad!) and once again Jack Thomas bowled superbly well going for 1 run off the penultimate over of the match.

It was down to Manny Davies, the youngest player in the Hook team to bowl the final over. He grasped the responsibility with both hands and showed real maturity to get the job done. The last pair of Flo (4) and Osian (7) fought to the end, defended their wickets well, but eventually came up short of the total.

Llechryd demonstrated that they are certainly a team to watch out for over the next few seasons with so many young talented players coming through.

Credit to Jonny Lewis for his coaching efforts and it was a pleasure to be part of such a great game of cricket played in great spirit.

The players even enjoyed homemade cakes, biscuits, cookies and gallons of squash at halftime.

Good luck to Hook in the Final, who will be looking to right a few wrongs after losing out to Lawrenny last season.

Well done to all involved with Junior Cricket this season in Pembrokeshire, without dedicated volunteers the kids would not have all these fantastic opportunities to express themselves through the medium of sport.

Kilgetty hold off Neyland

Kilgetty 265-5 beat Neyland 211-4

A SUNNY evening at Kilgetty Cricket Club was the perfect venue for Monday’s under 11’s semi-final between the home team, Kilgetty, and their visitors Neyland, in a sixteen over match.

Kilgetty came into the game full of confidence having won all six of their group games and started well with Kiaran and Lewis hitting 13 runs off the opening two overs. Neyland fought back hard though, and some accurate bowling saw them take five quick wickets to leave Kilgetty with a disappointing total of 221 at the halfway stage.

Euan and Morgan took the field next and steadied the ship by adding another 15 runs with no further losses.

Then a hugely important last pairing saw Madoc snatch lots of quick singles whilst Logan went for the boundary with a series of powerful strikes. The result was an extra 29 runs in four overs giving Kilgetty a very respectable total of 265.

After a short break and a well-earned burger from the barbecue, both teams took to the field again. Neyland began with a couple of strong pairings and quickly piled on the runs.

Euan took one wicket and Morgan grabbed two more to peg them back slightly but after nine overs Neyland were on 245 and well ahead of where Kilgetty had been at the same stage.

The visitors score could have been even higher had it not been for some excellent wicket keeping from Dylan who kept the run rate down, refusing to let a ball get past his gloves.

Then, just as the large crowd of home supporters were starting to fear the worst, a fabulous spell of bowling from Jamie and Kiaran saw the game turn on its head. A stunning five wicket haul in three overs left Neyland in disarray as the Kilgetty boys leaped around the field in joy.

From that point on there was only going to be one winner and Kilgetty produced a ruthless finish. Logan dismissed three opponents in a single over and Kiaran and Jamie picked up a couple more to finish things off in style and secure a win by 54 runs.

Overall it was a fabulous team effort and Kilgetty take a deserved place in the final.

Sport

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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