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Double centurions stun Whitland

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SAUNDERSFOOT openers Tom Mansbridge and Danny Caine both scored centuries as they set up a big win for their side over Whitland on Saturday (Aug 3).

Whitland won the toss but elected to field and they could only watch as Mansbridge and Caine piled on the runs in an opening stand worth 207 runs.

Caine was the first to reach his century as he hit sixteen fours and a six as his score of 102 came from 108 balls.

It was Geraint Jones who eventually made the breakthrough for Whitland as he bowled Caine.

Jones then also had Sam Franklin caught by Nathan Evans as the home side began to hit back.

Mansbridge then reached his century after hitting eleven fours and two sixes but he was then out on a score of 100, caught by Gethin Scourfield off the bowling of Jones.

Scourfield then bowled Jamie Hitchings for a fourth-ball duck, reducing Saundersfoot to 233-4.

Nick Cope hit a six and four in his score of 20 from 15 balls but he was then caught by James Thomas off the bowling of Scourfield.

The same bowler then had John Mansbridge caught by Jamie Thomas on a score of 10.

Yannic Parker hit a six and a four in a late score of 18 from 12 balls as he and James Caine guided their side to an excellent total of 278-6.

Whitland knew they would need to bat well if they were to reach their target and openers Ed John and Adam Davies shared 50 runs for the first wicket.

Danny Caine picked up the first wicket as he had Davies caught by Taran Richards on a score of 27 that included five fours.

Soon after, Ed John, who had hit three fours and a six in his score of 23, was caught by Sam Franklin off the bowling of Caine to leave Whitland on 55-2.

Geraint Jones and Gethin Scourfield 46 runs for the third wicket but it was Caine who struck again to bowl Scourfield on a score of 17.

Jones had hit five fours and a six in his score of 32 from 20 balls but he was then caught by Tom Mansbridge off the bowling of Franklin.

Nathan Evans and Matthew Davies continued to keep Whitland in the game with another good stand worth 63 runs.

Evans hit two fours and two sixes as he scored 26 from 26 balls but he was caught by Mansbridge off the bowling of Neil Powling.

That left Whitland on 170-5 but they soon collapsed to 199 all out.

Nick Cope had Martin Thomas caught by John Mansbridge for a duck and he also trapped Jamie Thomas leg before.

Cope then claimed his third wicket as he bowled Jacob Owen.

Powling then had James Thomas caught by Tom Mansbridge and Rob Owen, on a score of 11, caught by Yannic Parker. It left Matthew Davies not out on a score of 45.

That gave Saundersfoot a 79-run victory and on Saturday (Aug 10) they will look for another win when they host Carew.

Whitland remain third from bottom in the table and on Saturday they travel to fourth from bottom St Ishmaels with both sides looking to secure their Division 1 status.

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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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