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Tasker pilots GB to best bobsleigh result in 50 years



Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon: Celebrating their top four finish in Igls (Pic. Charlie Booker)

Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon: Celebrating their top four finish in Igls (Pic. Charlie Booker)

PEMBROKESHIRE’s Winter Olympian Bruce Tasker admits finishing ahead of some of his heroes was a surreal experience after producing Great Britain’s best two man bobsleigh result for 50 years at the World Championships in Igls, Austria.

Tasker, who comes from Manorbier and is a former Greenhill School pupil, piloted Joel Fearon to fourth place, just 0.20 seconds out of the medals, as Germany’s Francesco Friedrich won his third consecutive world title alongside Thorsten Margis.

Another German pair, Johannes Lochner and Joshua Bluhm, took silver while Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Alex Baumaan came third.

You have to go back to 1966 to find the last time a British two-man crew did better at the World Championships and the result was all the more remarkable as it was Tasker’s first major global competition as pilot.

The 28-year-old still competes as a brakeman in the four-man bob and concedes it will take some time to come to terms with he and Fearon’s accomplishments.

“I still can’t believe it – I’m pinching myself,” said Tasker. “It’s amazing to know that is our best result since 1966: I don’t really know what to say to that.

“I’ve had my ups and downs this season and I’m just glad to get it right on the day. All I wanted was four consistent heats, and I knew if I got that I’d end up with a result I’d be happy with.

“The result that we did end up with was far, far better than I could ever have imagined and I’m absolutely over the moon.

“There are some huge names in that list of sleds below us: Oskars Melbardis is a hero of mine as a brakeman turned pilot so to be one place ahead of him is just phenomenal.”

“We’ve been searching for two man results for a number of years now: we’ve had some highs and lows in 2-man and we’ve been known as a bit of a 4-man nation. We’re trying to change that with our Accelerated Driver Programme initiative and this is more confirmation that the programme is working.”

Fearon, who represented GB at the 4x100m relay in the World Athletics Championships in 2013 and has a personal best of 10.10 seconds, only returned to bobsleigh at the end of the summer after a year back in athletics.

A 4-man Olympian alongside Tasker in Sochi, he admits that excelling this swiftly in the 2-man is beyond any expectations he had prior to re-joining the fold.

“It’s one of my best bobsleigh moments ever. I couldn’t have even dreamed about this when I decided to come back to bobsleigh,” added Fearon.

“It’s surreal – it’s better than any dream I’ve ever had – and we can still get better at the start so I hope there’s more to come.

“I’m very proud of Bruce. I’m honoured to be a part of this team and I’m just so happy that things are moving forward in this year.

“I can’t wait to get back to my wife and kids now and celebrate with them. This is a Valentine’s Day present for my wife Jemima!”

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Lawrenny earn big win over Whitland



LAWRENNY got their 2021 season off to the perfect start on Saturday (May 1) as they beat Whitland by 189 runs.

Whitland won the toss and elected to field but they could only watch as the home side piled on the runs before being bowled out for 264.

Kyle Marsh top scored with a score of 81 while Kurtis Mars also scored 45.

Tom Cole added 32 and James Phillips chipped in with a score of 29 as they batted well.

Wayne Howells and Jonathan Thomas finished with identical figures of 2-27 as Whitland’s bowling did at least keep the score below 300.

Whitland knew they would need to bat well to knock off the runs needed but came up against Ryan Morton who took four wickets for the loss of 17 runs.

Kurtis Marsh also claimed two wickets without conceding any runs as the visitors chances got smaller and smaller.

Geraint Jones did score 30 for Whitland but that was as good as it got as they were bowled out for just 75.

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Town earn comfortable win against Narberth



HAVERFORDWEST got their season off to a good start on Saturday (May 1) as they beat Narberth by by 104 runs.

Narberth won the toss but elected to field first which would ultimately be a decision that would come back to haunt them.

The Town almost reached 200 runs, finishing their innings on 187-8.

Dai Davies top scored for the home side with a knock of 70 which included six fours and one six. He shared a third wicket stand of 49 with Mickey Jones.

Jones hit five fours in his knock of 46 before being caught off the bowling of Louis Hough.

Ben Hughes then had Ben Field caught by Hough to leave Town on 86-4.

Davies was joined in the middle by Jake Merry and the pair shared another good stand, worth 74 runs for the fifth wicket.

However, Merry fell for 32 and soon after Davies was out on 70 as Narberth hit back.

Ben Quartermaine picked up two late wickets as they were able to restrict their hosts to under 200.

Narberth’s opening pair shared 36 runs as they made a good start to their innings but wickets began to fall in quick succession and the 2019 Division 2 Champions were soon 36-4.

Jordan Howell scored 18 but he was his side’s top scorer as Will Phillips took four wickets for the loss of 15 runs for Town.

Ben Quartermaine scored 17 but he fell to Clive Tucker who went on to finish with figures of 3-15.

There was also two wickets for Dai Davies as Town bowled Narberth out for just 83.

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Carew prove too strong for Tish



CAREW’s Iori Hicks picked up a five-wicket haul on Saturday (May 1) to help his side to victory over St Ishmaels.

Tish won the toss but elected to field first and that gave the visitors the chance to build a good total.

They made a steady start, reaching 40-1 after the first 11 overs. They made a series of 32-run partnerships as opening bat Brian Hall made his way to a half century.

Lewis Hicks made a score of 24 before he was bowled by Andrew Pawlett but when Shaun Whitfield was caught by Peter Bradshaw off the bowling of Jonathan Pawlett, the visitors had slipped to 92-4.

Hall and James Hinchcliffe then shared a stand worth 45 runs for the fifth wicket as they looked to accelerate the score.

Hinchcliffe was caught off the bowling of Andrew Pawlett on a score of 19. Hall was joined by Luke Hicks and the pair shared another good stand.

Hall reached his half century but was then caught by Andrew Pawlett off the bowling of Brennan Devonald on a score of 52, leaving Carew on 176-6.

Hicks then took over as he thumped three sixes in a score of 35 but he was then run out.

Iori Hicks and Ceri Brace both finished unbeaten with a six to their name as Tish were set 202 to win the game.

However, their reply did not get off to the best of starts as they lost three wickets in quick succession, all to the bowling of Rhys Davies, leaving them on 15-3.

They faced an uphill task from then on but Harry Nicholas and Brennan Devonald did their best to get their side back in the contest.

They shared 46 for the fourth wicket but then saw Devonald caught off the bowling of Whitfield on a score of 41.

Tish were not out of the game though as Nicholas was joined by Jonathan Pawlett and the pair shared 63 runs for the fifth wicket.

Nicholas reached his half century but was then out on a score of 51 and Pawlett was out to Iori Hicks on a score of 37.

Hicks then took over matters as he picked up four further wickets, including two ducks, to finish with figures of 5-15.

It meant that Tish were bowled out for 154.

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