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Town take tenth Bowl title in thriller

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HAVERFORDWEST won the Harrison Allen Bowl on Saturday (August 31), after they beat Lawrenny in a thrilling final played in Cresselly.

Overnight and early morning rain had threatened to delay the start of the game but the sterling work of the Cresselly groundsmen ensured the game would start on time.

It was Lawrenny who batted first after Town won the toss and chose to bowl.

Kurtis Marsh and Brad McDermott-Jenkins got Lawrenny going with some fine hitting as the pair shared 93 runs for the first wicket.

Those runs came inside the first ten overs but it was Marsh who departed as he saw his shot caught by Mike Jones giving Simon Holliday his first wicket of the day.

McDermott-Jenkins then reached his half century as he and Harry Thomas continued to pile on the runs, taking Lawrenny past 150.

Brad had smashed his way to a score of 76 but then saw himself bowled by Lee Summons.

Town then began to hit back as Summons bowled James Phillips before Adam James did the same to Ryan Morton and Joe Kidney.

Harry Thomas finished unbeaten on 53 however as Lawrenny’s opening 22 overs came to a close with them on 192-5.

Town knew they would need to bat well if they were to keep the lead down, or even build a lead.

They made a blistering start too, Adam James reaching his half century in just the sixth over.

Lawrenny then made the breakthrough as Brad McDermott-Jenkins caught and bowled Simon Holliday on a score of 10.

James Buckle then took an excellent catch to dismiss Danny Potter and give McDermott-Jenkins his second wicket.

At the start of the ninth over, James smashed three big sixes in a row but then saw himself caught by McDermott-Jenkins on 84 as Marsh picked up the crucial wicket.

Marsh then bowled Dai Davies and McDermott-Jenkins then bowled Dan Field to leave the Town on 96-5.

Lee Summons and Jake Merry looked to rebuild and the pair shared 25 runs for the sixth wicket.

Merry then walked down the pitch to play a shot but missed and he couldn’t get back in time as James Phillips knocked the bails off to give Marsh his third wicket.

Mike Jones was then caught by James Buckle off the bowling of Ryan Morton and Archie Thomas was caught by Morton off the bowling of Rob Williams.

Jack Scriven then edged behind to Phillips and with the penultimate ball, Clive Tucker was run out by Buckle.

That left Summons not out on 25 but Town had been bowled out for 149, giving Lawrenny a lead of 43 at the half-way stage.

Marsh and McDermott-Jenkins began again for Lawrenny as they looked to increase their lead.

However, in the second over, Town got the early wicket they wanted as Tucker bowled McDermott-Jenkins.

Marsh was joined in the middle by Harry Thomas and the pair batted well together taking the lead past 100.

They put on 64 runs for the second wicket but Holliday made the breakthrough as he had Thomas caught by Adam James on a score of 33.

Town then struck again as James Phillips hit the ball to Mike Jones who clung on to give Holliday his second wicket.

Holliday then had another as he had Steve Lewis caught by Adam James and he soon had a fourth as he had Joe Kidney caught by Jake Merry.

That left Lawrenny on 91-5 after 14 overs and their lead was only 134.

Holliday wasn’t finished there either as he then ran out James Buckle who had set off for a run that wasn’t there.

Marsh then reached his half century but then saw Ryan Morton trapped leg before by Adam James on a score of 15.

Marsh made his way to a score of 58 but then missed as he came down the wicket for a shot and was stumped by Scriven.

That left Lawrenny on 130-8 with their lead on 173.

Skeels hit a six but a mix up with Tom Cole saw the latter run out by Archie Thomas.

Thomas then had Rob Williams caught by Jake Merry as Lawrenny were bowled out for 143.

That meant that Town would need 187 to win their tenth Bowl title and they would need to go some too to do it.

James and Holliday did indeed go some as the pair shared 104 runs off the first ten overs with some excellent hitting.

Holliday reached a score of 43 but then saw himself caught and bowled by McDermott-Jenkins.

James had smashed his way to a score of 81 from only 44 balls but he was then caught by Ryan Morton off the bowling of McDermott-Jenkins.

That left the Town on 129-2 but Danny Potter and Archie Thomas shared twenty runs for the third wicket.

Morton bowled Thomas but Danny Potter and Dai Davies continued to put runs on the board as the game went down to the wire.

Potter and Davies both cracked maximums as Town edged closer to a remarkable victory.

Potter finished not out on 37 while Davies hit the winning four to finish not out on 15 and spark scenes of celebrations amongst Town players and supporters.

It was a cracking final and a great advert for Pembrokeshire cricket and Lawrenny will feel desperately unlucky to have missed out two years in a row.

Town captain Danny Potter claimed the Bowl for the third time as Captain and for the tenth time in the club’s history.

Adam James was named man of the match shortly after for his knocks of 86 off 33 in the first innings and 81 off 44 in the second.

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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