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Harrison Allen Bowl Final preview: Lawrenny v Haverfordwest

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THE curtain will come down on the Pembrokeshire Cricket season this weekend as Haverfordwest take on Lawrenny in the final of the Harrison Allen Bowl.

For Lawrenny it will be another chance to get their hands on the prestigious trophy after they were beaten by Cresselly in last year’s final.

Haverfordwest will be looking to regain the trophy they last won in 2016.

The game will take place in Cresselly on Saturday, August 31, and starts at 12pm.

ROUTE TO THE FINAL

Haverfordwest began their route to the final in May when they took on Hundleton in the first round.

Hundleton reached a score of 63-6 in their innings before Town passed that for the loss of only one wicket.

In the second round, Town saw off 2017 winners Neyland as they beat them by 18 runs.

They scored 161-4 in their innings as Adam James scored 38 while Simon Holliday finished unbeaten on 83.

Some excellent bowling then saw them restrict Neyland to 143-7 in their reply to seal their passage to the quarter finals.

In the last eight, Haverfordwest beat Herbrandston by six wickets.

Four wickets from Adam James, three from Archie Thomas and two from Clive Tucker saw them bowl Herbie out for 72.

Ben Field then scored 27 in reply and Dai Davies finished unbeaten on 24 to see their side into the semis.

Haverfordwest proved too strong for opponents Whitland as they secured a 105-run victory.

Simon Holliday scored an excellent century as Town posted 210-5 from their 22 overs. They then restricted Whitland to 105-9 to book their place in Saturday’s final.

Lawrenny had a bye in the first round and did not have a game in the second round as opponents Johnston could not field a side.

That saw them to the last eight without having played a game and they were pitted against rivals Carew.

Lawrenny scored 141-9 in their innings with Brad McDermott-Jenkins scoring 32, Ryan Morton scoring 27 and Joe Kidney scoring 26.

McDermott-Jenkins and Rob Williams then each took four wickets as they restricted Carew to only 94-9 in reply.

Lawrenny played Saundersfoot in the semi final who had knocked out holders Cresselly in the quarters.

Saundersfoot batted well for their score of 154-7 but Lawrenny went through as Joe Kidney hit a six off the final ball in a thrilling conclusion.

LEAGUE FORM

Lawrenny have had an excellent season, finishing in second place with thirteen wins to their name from 18 games.

Photo from the game between Lawrenny and Haverfordwest in June

They finished well clear of neighbours Cresselly and Carew and only suffered three defeats.

Haverfordwest finished the league campaign in fifth place with six wins and three draws to their name.

The two league games between the finalists went the way of Lawrenny as they bowled Town out for scores of 81 and 101.

Lawrenny finished the season with a good win over Cresselly while Haverfordwest’s last game with Carew ended in a draw.

WHAT THE CAPTAINS SAY

Haverfordwest captain Danny Potter said: “We are feeling good going into the final. We played well last weekend so hoping to bring that form into this week

“Lawrenny have become a very good side. They have boys who have played really well this year so we have to be at our best.”

Lawrenny captain Joe Kidney said: “The boys cannot wait to get going. It’s a special day and this time, I sense we’re not letting the occasion get the better of us.

“Haverfordwest are a fantastic team and they have a lot of big players.

“However, I am only focussed on our performance and if we put the same effort that we have done all season we will have something to show for it.

“I hope everyone gets to watch a great final that will live long in the memory.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

Saturday’s final promises to be an excellent game and perhaps more even than their league games would suggest.

Both sides have players who can hurt the opposition and have players who have experience of playing in a Harrison Allen Final.

Simon Holliday’s century in the semi-final showed what he is capable of while Danny Potter also scored a century in Town’s last game of the season.

Lee Summons and Clive Tucker both claimed wickets on Saturday and they will again be a threat for the Town.

Brad McDermott-Jenkins has also shown his worth for Lawrenny with vital runs and wickets in the competition and in their final game of the season he scored 79 and also took six wickets.

Steve Lewis also scored a half century while captain Joe Kidney has also shown he can hold his nerve hitting that six off the final ball to send his side into the final.

Lawrenny will be keen to make up for last year’s defeat while Town will be aiming to reclaim the trophy.

This final is one you wont want to miss, make sure you get down to Cresselly to support your team.

Sport

New Welsh rugby kit launched

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THE NEW Macron Wales kit, to be worn for the first time against France in Paris on October 24, has been unveiled simultaneously in the private changing rooms of the national team headquarters in Hensol and the Wales Women squad’s current base in Swansea University.

Jonathan Davies and Ross Moriarty were joined ‘virtually’ by Wales Women captain Siwan Lillicrap and Gwen Crabb to reveal the kit against a backdrop of jerseys from the community game in Wales which have also been produced by the WRU’s new official technical partner.

The launch of the new kit has taken on a post-Covid feel with both squads currently training in respective ‘bubbles’ and so the community aspect of the partnership – £1m of free kit to be supplied yearly to Welsh rugby clubs over six years – has been reflected by a display of existing Macron community rugby shirts.

A set of unique features sees the red dragon of the Welsh flag embossed across lower back of the shirt, an embossed pattern covering the sleeves – cleverly transforming the hexagonal shape of the WRU three-feathers logo into ‘dragon scales’ – and the Welsh word ANRHYDEDD (honour), also embossed, on the back of the collar.

The ‘away‘ version is a black jersey with a white v-neck collar, this time tipped with red trim that is also found on the sleeves and cuffs.

Both sleeves again feature an all over embossed pattern, but this time a geometric graphic brings a new age look to the garment.

The Welsh dragon is once again embossed on the lower back and another Welsh word, ANGERDD (passion) is embossed on the back of the collar.

“The new kit is striking representation of Welsh rugby tradition and we are delighted to be able to launch our new seven-year partnership with Macron in such a spectacular way,” said WRU CEO Steve Phillips.

“We are delighted with the bespoke kit, training and leisurewear Macron has provided so far, where Italian design meets Welsh passion with impressive results.

“And we are sure that the Welsh rugby watching public will be equally impressed when they get their hands on their favourite pieces in the expansive product range available.”

Wales Women will wear the kit in action for the first time against Scotland in their own postponed Six Nations clash on November 1 and, from next season, Macron’s affinity with Welsh rugby will increase even further when the first instalment of £6m worth of kit over six years, is supplied to the clubs in the community game throughout Wales.

“The Welsh Rugby Union represents one of the pillar stones of world rugby and for Macron to stand side by side with this sporting giant, means that we as a brand, have reached yet another great milestone,” said Macron‘s CEO Gianluca Pavanello.

“Our goal is for the new kits to be instantly recognisable and something that clearly express the Welsh identity and spirit. We hope that our hard work has paid off and that the new collection will be loved by players and fans alike and that the kits evoke the emotion that such a great nation deserves.”

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Scarlets slide to PR014 loss

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SCARLETS went down to a second defeat of the Guinness PRO14 campaign after ill-discipline cost them dear in a 20-7 loss at Scotstoun.

Trailing 10-0 at half-time, they had second row Sam Lousi red carded for a dangerous tackle two minutes into the second period and despite a spirited late resurgence left Glasgow empty handed.

On his 150th appearance, prop Samson Lee crossed for his side’s lone try to spark a comeback in the final quarter, but Scarlets were unable to take the chances they created to claw their way back into the game.

It was Lee who was handed the honour of leading out the Scarlets as the visitors looked to continue their excellent record at Scotstoun.

Both sides have built a reputation for running rugby, but the opening half proved a real arm wrestle, particularly at the breakdown.

There were threatening bursts from scrum-half Gareth Davies and centre Johnny Williams, but every time the Scarlets entered Warriors territory, they conceded a penalty.

It took 28 minutes for the scoreboard operator to be called upon with Glasgow fly-half Adam Hastings landing a long-range penalty, sandwiched between two misses from similar range.

Prop Oli Kebble then barged over from close-range with Hastings’s conversion making it 10-0 to the home side.

To compound matters Scarlets lost back-rower Josh Macleod to a leg injury, replaced by international openside James Davies.

Halfpenny was wide with his first penalty attempt as Scarlets attempted to claw back the deficit, but in the final move of the half a Williams break came to nothing as Glasgow pilfered another turnover penalty.

Needing a strong response after the restart, the second half started in disastrous fashion when Lousi was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Glasgow wing Ratu Tagive.

It wasn’t long before the Warriors took advantage of the extra man with experienced No. 8 Ryan Wilson diving over for his side’s second try.
Scotland international Adam Hastings converted and added another penalty to push the score out to 20-0, but that sparked the Scarlets into a spirited response.

With the bench making a big impact, Scarlets brought a real energy to their performance and were rewarded when Lee found a way to the line after a lovely ‘show and go’ from a couple of metres out. Halfpenny converted and suddenly the Scarlets sensed a way back.

It needed an outstanding cover tackle from Steff Evans to deny Scotland international Tommy Seymour shortly afterwards, but back came the Scarlets forcing the home side to concede a string of penalties.

It led to lock Richie Gray being shown yellow, but the visitors couldn’t make the most of it as Ken Owens had the ball dislodged as he charged towards the whitewash.

In the dying moments, the dangerous Evans almost produced a stunning solo score but wasn’t able to ground the ball in the corner, then Tom Rogers went close on the other flank.

Reduced to 13 men following the sin-binning of Nick Grigg for an illegal high shot, Glasgow were able to hold out late on, leaving the Scarlets to reflect on a second defeat of the campaign.

Speaking after the match, Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney said: “It was a game of two halves, we weren’t accurate early in the first half. We were quite rueful we did not take the opportunities when they presented themselves. We had some territory and possession without really getting momentum with the collisions. At the breakdown area we were struggling a little bit to keep the ball and continuity going and that told.

“It was a nip and tuck first-half and they capitalised, took a chance and fair play to them for that.

“In the second period we had a red card and then we really put some momentum into the game and we looked pretty good and I felt we probably had another score in us at that point and it was all on.

“We finished with plenty of energy. That is the footie we are trying to play, we just didn’t get to do that in the first half.

“I was really proud of the effort, that is never in question with our lads. We just need to be more accurate so we can put more of a mark on our game.”
As for the injuries to Josh Macleod, Ken Owens and Blade Thomson, Delaney added: “Josh has a hamstring injury so we will have a look at that and see how he gets on. The medics are looking after him and it’s pretty early to make an assessment, we will know more in the next 24-48 hours.
“He has worked so hard to get in that Wales squad and I thought he was outstanding again today, making big plays and doing what he has been doing for us for the last 12 months.

“The form that he has shown to get us into that position he was showing that tonight so it was a shame for him. When James (Davies) came on he looked great so we have two good guys in that seven shirt.

“Ken has a shoulder injury, he has some bruising, and Blade has an elbow problem. It’s about managing it. It’s pretty early when you get those joint related things, they tend to take a day or so to really know what the severity is.”

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Chairman’s disappointment at Haverfordwest County AFC v Cefn Druids game postponement

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TODAY’S match (Sept 12) between Haverfordwest County AFC and Cefn Druids has been postponed.

The club’s chairman, Robert Edwards, said that he was disappointed to learn the news and stated that the club had followed every single FAW regulation and protocol to the letter.

In an official statement, Mr Edwards said: “The club are extremely disappointed to learn of the postponement of today’s match versus Cefn Druids. It has been a summer of change at the club and we were all looking forward to seeing our hard work played out on the pitch today. The ground staff, coaching team, and Club Secretary have worked tirelessly for the last few weeks, so I am bitterly disappointed for them, and cannot thank them enough for their effort and dedication.

“We would like to make it clear that our club has followed every single FAW regulation and protocol to the letter. Since the resumption of training, we ensured that all rules within the Return to Play guidelines were followed during their respective phases, all players and staff have completed Benchmark COVID-19 questionnaires, and we have spent the previous few weeks guaranteeing that The Bridge Meadow Stadium is a safe environment for football to resume, as per FAW guidelines.

“At all our pre-season games, we ensured that they were correctly sanctioned, and once again, all protocols were followed. We will continue our hard work to ensure that all rules are followed at our club and look forward to getting our campaign underway against Cardiff Met on Tuesday.
“We will not make any further public comment as a club and will be liaising directly with FAW on this matter.”

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