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Carew could count cost of hollow victory

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CAREW CRICKET CLUB has come under intense criticism for the act of gamesmanship which ensured they finished the season ahead of Cresselly and has made national and international news.

The decision by Carew to declare their innings closed at 18-1, denying their title rivals Cresselly the chance to close the gap on them – depending on your point of view – was either the cynical and calculating act of a club that places more importance on holding a tin cup for 12 months than the interests of the game, or a masterstroke in which the strict letter of the rules was exploited in a wholly blameless way by a club whose win at all costs attitude is a shining example of how to win.

That there is no middle ground is demonstrated by the reactions – mostly condemnatory – on social media and by cricket journalists.

The mathematics of the final game gave Cresselly the chance of overhauling Carew if – and only if – they won by a large enough margin to overhaul Carew’s 21 point lead going into the last round of fixtures.

With the maximum number of points available for a win 30 points and the possibility of Carew batting out for a draw to stymie any Cresselly victory attempt, Cresselly would have had to limit Carew to eight bonus points. In practical terms, that would have meant bowling Carew out for either 120 or 150 and passing that total without losing more than six wickets.

The decision to declare on 18-1 meant that Creselly could – at most – gain a bare 20 points for the win, leaving them one point shy of closing the gap and doomed to finish in second place.

And so, Carew are ‘champions’.

The club’s boosters on social media point out that Carew had won more games than any other side and had lost bonus points due to bowling out opposition cheaply, leaving them unable to reap a full thirty points. In addition, the same supporters point out that Cresselly won the toss and elected to field, thereby making Carew’s decision possible. However, by far the most common attitude expressed – particularly by current Carew players on social media – is the old Millwall line ‘nobody loves us, and we don’t care’.

Arrogant and petulant, the words of some Carew players suggest that they blame everyone else for their tarnished success. And they have been quick to fling around personal attacks towards those who have dared criticised their club.

‘It’s not our fault, it’s the rules’; ‘it’s not our fault, it’s Cresselly’s’; ‘it’s not our fault, we are the champions’.

But, in the case of the last of those, the question is open as to how long they will be able to retain their crown.

And while Carew’s players and supporters have been very forthcoming, the Club is saying nothing.

A Carew statement read: “In consequence of the coverage of this matter in some sections of the media, we, as a club, have decided not to comment further. We stand together.”

There is precedent against Carew here from first class cricket. In 1979, Brian Rose, then the Somerset skipper, worked out that his side would qualify for the knockout stages of a cup competition if they declared their innings closed early. He did so and Somerset qualified for the next round of the competition.

The TCCB – as it then was – met and expelled Somerset from the competition by seventeen votes to one, with even Somerset voting with the motion.

Somerset’s actions were within the rules but outside their spirit and the spirit of the game.

So it is that the focus now turns to what – of anything – the usually spineless County Club will do about the situation.

Past experience is not promising, the league having historically failed to act over shamateurism and being particularly reluctant to do anything to offend larger clubs.

Last year, both Haverfordwest and Llechryd played an unregistered player in competition. Haverfordwest were excused, whereas Llechryd were penalised. It was a decision that allowed the strong inference to be drawn that it was one rule for some sides and one rule for others. There was a protest at the Harrison Allen final, reached by Haverfordwest, which some media reported was ill-judged, implying that the ‘we’re all old pals’ act still holds sway in some parts of the game.

The signs are not promising that the County Club will do anything.

The County Club’s chair, Paul Webb, has declined to comment. Perhaps understandably so, as he now plays for Cresselly.

The County Club’s secretary, Steve Blowes, has told BBC Wales he is ‘personally disappointed’ by Carew’s actions, even though they have not ‘technically broken any rules’.

However, the County Club is bound by its own rules to promote the interests of the game and, in addition, has sweeping powers conferred upon it by its Code of Conduct, which incorporates the MCC’s ‘Spirit of Cricket’.

The ‘Spirit of Cricket’ is a preamble to the Laws of the game. It provides that cricket ‘should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game’. It continues to say: ‘Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself’.

And the County Club’s Code of Conduct supports that position. It claims that the County Club ‘is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and conduct at cricket matches both on and off the field. All clubs and players … explicitly agree to abide by this Code of Conduct, which incorporates the Spirit of Cricket, and are bound by the provisions in these Regulations.

‘The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit and Laws of Cricket’.

The implication of that could not be clearer. The ‘Laws’ and the ‘Spirit’ go together and are not divisible. That means that playing within the rules of play is not enough; games must be conducted within the rules of play AND within the ‘Spirit of the Game’. The inclusion is not conditional, but explicit. Gaming the system is plainly outside the Spirit and therefore outside the rules.

It appears, therefore, that not only does the County Club have the power to act, but that it is bound to by its own rules and the Laws of the game it is supposed to promote.

Bearing in mind the Code of Conduct’s scope, however, it appears that it is Carew skipper Brian Hall who is potentially in the cart for any breach of the Code of Conduct. That is harsh, as it is clear that the scheme was hatched not spontaneously by Brian Hall on August 26, but was the result of consideration by others within Carew Cricket Club.

Perhaps as they all ‘stand together’, the County Club might consider whether it ought to take Carew at their word.

If the Spirit of Cricket’s interpolation in the County Club’s own rules has any force and is not just lip service paid to a concept, then it is for the County Club to decide that playing (just) within the rules is more important than protecting the game.

Charity

Puffin Party fundraising initiative returns for another year

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THE Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust is inviting people to host a Puffin Party this July, to celebrate the Trust’s 6th birthday and raise vital funds.

The Trust has raised more than £380,000 from a range of sources since 2018, including projects such as People, Paths & PollinatorsMake More Meadows and Wild About Woodlands.

It has also provided Force for Nature Grants to help community groups and local organisations boost biodiversity, act on climate change or educate others on these important topics.

Puffin Parties were added to the list of fundraising activities last summer, and proved so popular that they are being brought back for another year.

Director of the Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust, Katie Macro, said: “We are delighted to see the return of the Puffin Parties. These events not only help us raise essential funds but also bring the community together in celebration of our beautiful natural environment.

“Once again, there’s plenty of inspiration on hand to get you started, including some party food recipe cards (with healthier options available), invitation templates and some ideas for party activities.

“We encourage everyone to get involved and help us celebrate by arranging a tea party, coffee morning or cake sale with friends, family, colleagues, or the local community during the month of July. As well as having fun, you’ll be making a difference in protecting our stunning coastline and safeguarding it for future generations.”

The celebratory resources, including invitation templates, new recipe cards, and craft activity templates and instructions are available for download at https://pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales/how-you-can-help/puffinparty.

To find out more, register your interest and access the special celebratory visit www.pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales.

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Business

RWE launches pre-application consultation for RWE Pembroke Battery

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TO support their decarbonisation ambitions as part of Pembroke Net Zero Centre, RWE is progressing proposals to develop a battery energy storage system on its land adjacent to Pembroke Power Station. 

Battery energy storage plays a crucial role in the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, into the power grid, excess renewable energy can be stored and fed into the grid when needed. Electricity is consumed in real time and this technology will, where possible, enable homes and businesses to be powered by renewable energy.  

The consultation on RWE’s plans launches Monday 17 June 2024 and will end on Monday 15 July 2024. RWE is asking the community for their views on these plans and has launched a consultation where local people can provide feedback on the planning application. 

The proposed development would be located on a 5.1 hectare area to the south of the current power station and would comprise 212 Battery Containers, 106 Power Conversion Systems (PCS) enabling connectivity to the grid, and associated infrastructure. 

The battery would have a maximum charge / discharge power of 350 megawatts and would connect via underground cables to the grid at the adjacent National Grid 400 kV substation. Once fully operational, Pembroke Battery would be capable of storing enough electricity to meet the average daily domestic energy needs of more than 72,0001 typical UK homes. 

In line with RWE’s commitment to protect and enhance local environments, the company has pledged to deliver various biodiversity measures as part of the proposals. Field margins will be enhanced by species-rich meadow planting, native woodland and scrub planting, while a new large pond will be provided and managed to support local wildlife. The periphery of the development site will also be further enhanced with bat and bird boxes, insect hotels and reptile hibernation shelters around the field edges. A Habitat Management Plan will ensure the habitats created are managed sensitively in support of local wildlife for the lifetime of the project.

Commenting on the proposals, Richard Little, Pembroke Net Zero Centre Director, said: “RWE Pembroke Battery represents the next step in our plans to invest in new innovative energy technologies, as part of our vision for Pembroke Net Zero Centre. We would like to thank those who engaged with us in our Green Hydrogen consultation and encourage the community to get involved with the consultation process, learn more about our battery energy storage proposals, and have their say on the proposals.” 

Members of the community can contact the project team and leave feedback via the project website rwe.pembrokenetzerocentre.co.uk/battery, telephone 01646 370090, email [email protected] or by writing to ’Freepost PNZC Consultation’.  

Local people can also join RWE at an in-person event at South Pembrokeshire Golf Club on 24th June 2024 between 2pm and 7pm to speak with project team members, ask questions and provide feedback. 

Pembroke Net Zero Centre has a critical role to play in Wales’ and the UK’s pathway to Net Zero. By decarbonising its current operations at Pembroke Power Station, while investing in new innovative technologies, such as battery energy storage and hydrogen generation, RWE can establish Pembroke at the forefront of South Wales’ low carbon future.

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Charity

Megan’s Starr foundation launches Bottle Top Collection Appeal

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THE Megan’s Starr Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting young people’s mental health and combating bullying, has recently launched an innovative recycling initiative and is calling on the community for help. The Milford Haven-based foundation is asking for donations of old bottle tops, both metal and plastic, to be dropped off at the Megan’s Starr Community Coffee House in Milford Haven.

This appeal is part of the foundation’s ongoing efforts to support mental health and community engagement through creative and sustainable projects. Bottle tops collected will be used in various community art projects and workshops, aimed at fostering a sense of togetherness and promoting mental wellbeing.

The Megan’s Starr Foundation was established in memory of Megan Evans, a vibrant 14-year-old who tragically took her own life after enduring severe bullying. Her mother, Nicola Harteveld, founded the charity to prevent other families from experiencing similar heartbreak and to provide much-needed mental health support to young people in Pembrokeshire.

In addition to their recycling efforts, the foundation offers a wide range of services including counselling, educational workshops, and support groups. They also run the Speakeasy Coffee Van, a mobile unit that brings support directly to young people in rural areas, offering barista training and mental health resources.

To contribute to the bottle top collection, community members can drop off their donations at the coffee house or arrange for a volunteer to collect them. The foundation expressed their gratitude for the community’s continued support, emphasising that even small acts of kindness can have a significant impact.

For more information on how to get involved or to learn about the foundation’s other initiatives, visit their website at Megan’s Starr Foundation.

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