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Swimmers warming up for Welsh Championships

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY SWIMMING (PCS) are in the final throws of preparation for the Welsh Championships, due to be held at the National Pool in Swansea, between Friday (Mar 30) and Monday (Apr 2).

PCS Assistant coach Sam Jones took the opportunity to break the training schedule to undertake a Question and Answer session with his young charges, allowing them to focus on the task before them but also reflect on the progress they have made since joining the County Squads.

 

Tom Webb

Club: Haverfordwest Seals

National Performance Squad: Aged 17

Favourite stroke: Breast stroke

School: Pembrokeshire College

Favourite subject: Studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Sport

Training commitment: “I attend three morning sessions (6am – 7:30am) during the week and between 7am and 9am on a Saturday. For four evenings a week I am swimming in tow hour blocks. On top of this I do five sessions of land training a week, for 40 minutes and attend the Strength Academy Wales sessions.”

 

Grace Thomas

Club: Milford Tigers

Academy Squad; Aged 10

Favourite stroke: Butterfly and back stroke

School: Broad Haven Primary School

Favourite subject: Maths

Training commitment: “On waking up I also spend time stretching before enjoying breakfast usually porridge. If I am training in the morning I have a piece of toast and a drink before I leave for the pool and then have porridge when I come home, often with croissants before heading to school.

“In the evening I do homework and always try to relax, chilling on my IPad. Until evening training before eating well and reading before going to sleep.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “iPad, reading, gymnastics or if it’s not raining, going on my trampoline.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to get into the Performance squad in Pembrokeshire County Swimming. My future ambition is to get into the Olympics.”

 

Toby Price

Club: Tenby Dolphins

Junior National Squad: Aged 12

Favourite stroke: “Freestyle is my most successful and generally my favourite race. However, I’m beginning to improve all my stroke improves and now enjoy backstroke and butterfly more and more.”

School: Greenhill

Favourite subject: PE, Maths and Science.

Training commitment: “I Set my alarm at 4:30am and get up by 4:40am. I leave the house by 5am, eating breakfast in the car and trying to focus on the training ahead by listening to ‘wake up music’!

“I train from 5:40am to 7:30am, returning to get to school for 8:20am, where I can have time to eat a hearty breakfast. Evening training is from 7pm to 9pm at Tenby Leisure Centre, after which I enjoy a healthy cooked meal before heading to bed for 10pm.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “When I’m not swimming. I like to play on my PS4. I also play football for Tenby u12’s and Pembrokeshire County Schools.”

What’s been your most memorable experience when swimming with Pembrokeshire County: “I really enjoyed the Carmarthen Gala at Christmas. I felt that the positive training methods of the county pathway showed in my racing. It was also a fun gala with a good atmosphere and I also got to take part in relays, alongside my team mates, which l love.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to progress up through the county squads. I also aim to continue improving my strokes and my times. I hope to qualify for the nationals this year.”

 

Henry White

Club: Haverfordwest Seals

National Squad: Aged 13

Favourite stroke: Back stroke and the 200 metre Individual Medley

School: Sir Thomas Picton

Favourite subject: Georgraphy

Training commitment: “I train every weekday, sometimes twice a day. Occasionally I train on a Saturday morning too. This amounts to 14 hrs a week. I wake up at 5am to be at the pool for 5:40am. I have some cereal before I leave my house, then train for 2 hours and before walking to school. I have another breakfast at school!

“After school I walk to the leisure centre to have a pre training snack, stretch in the gym before doing onto the pool deck for another two hour swim session. I refuel with my main meal of the day, rehydrate before settling to sort out academic tasks and prepare again for the followings days schooling, hopefully being ready to sleep around 9pm.”

What to do like doing to relax when you aren’t swimming: “I enjoy playing FIFA 18 on the PS4 and going outside on the trampoline.”

What’s been your most memorable experience when swimming with Pembrokeshire County: “Getting into my first national final in the 2017 Welsh Winter Championships. It was in the 200 metre Backstroke.”

What are your future ambitions in swimming in Pembrokeshire County Swimming: “I would like to get into the Welsh National Squad and represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games.”

Sport

Scarlets make five changes for Cardiff Blues clash

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Scarlets show five changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash with Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets (15:00; Premier Sports),

Interim head coach Dai Flanagan has reshuffled his side, giving opportunities to centre Ioan Nicholas and lock Josh Helps.

It will be 23-year-old Nicholas’s first PRO14 appearance since October 2019, having been frustrated by injury this season. Helps comes into the starting XV for the first time since November.

In the back three there is one change with Johnny McNicholl replacing fellow Wales international Steff Evans on the left wing. The only other switch behind the scrum is the inclusion of NIcholas for Tyler Morgan to partner Jonathan Davies in midfield. Angus O’Brien and Kieran Hardy continue their half-back partnership.

Up front, Ryan Elias again swaps with Ken Owens and resumes the captaincy after leading the side for the first time in the opening round match against the Dragons. He packs down in between Rob Evans and Alex Jeffries, the scorer of the only try of the game in last weekend’s 22-6 win over the Ospreys.

Helps and Lewis Rawlins combine in the second row, while injuries to Blade Thomson and Uzair Cassiem see Ed Kennedy handed the No. 8 jersey. Kennedy, Aaron Shingler and Jac Morgan make up the back row.

There are two of Warren Gatland’s 2021 Lions selections on the bench in Ken Owens and Gareth Davies. Steff Thomas, Javan Sebastian, Morgan Jones, Iesyn Rees, Dan Jones and Joe Roberts provide the rest of the replacement cover.

Both the Scarlets and Blues have a win apiece after the opening two rounds of the Rainbow Cup.

Scarlets team v Cardiff Blues (Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup; Parc y Scarlets, Sat, May 15, 15:00 Premier Sports)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ioan Nicholas, 11 Johnny McNicholl; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Kieran Hardy; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ryan Elias (capt), 3 Alex Jeffries, 4 Josh Helps, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Jac Morgan, 8 Ed Kennedy.
Reps: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Iestyn Rees, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Joe Roberts.

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Sport

Newtown hold on to beat Haverfordwest

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NEWTOWN secured seventh place in the JD Cymru Premier Play-off conference as they beat Haverfordwest County 2-1 at the Bridge Meadow.

The Robins had beaten the Bluebirds 6-1 at Latham Park a few weeks ago but it was much different this time around.

Newtown took the lead as early as the second minute as they won a corner which was sent into the box for Tyrone Ofori who flicked the ball in.

The Bluebirds battled for a way back into the game and came close when the ball was played over the top for Jack Wilson but it just ran away and the Newtown keeper Dave Jones was able to gather the ball.

On 17 minutes, the Bluebirds won a corner which Elliot Scotcher sent into the box and Danny Williams headed in to the far corner to make it 1-1.

Newtown were then given a free kick in a dangerous position which captain Craig Williams sent into the box. Kieran Mills-Evans chested the ball down at the back post and Bluebirds keeper Wojciech Gajda made a good save to push the ball away.

There was another chance for Newtown soon after as Tyrone Ofori saw his header pushed wide by Gajda.

From the resulting corner, Shane Sutton headed home to put Newtown back in front.

The Bluebirds then had a chance to get level but Dan Summerfield sent a rasping drive just over the bar.

With half an hour gone, Alaric Jones sent a ball into the box but Corey Shephard saw his header saved by Dave Jones.

Both sides battled away with Scotcher sending a drive over from the edge of the box.

However it remained 2-1 to the visitors as the half time whistle went.

Newtown had a great chance to extend their lead at the start of the second half as Williams sent a corner into the box but Mills-Evans headed just wide.

The Bluebirds looked to get back in the game but despite getting into some promising positions, they were unable to test the Newtown keeper.

With twenty minutes to go a Bluebirds throw was headed on to the back post. Danny Williams headed towards goal and thought it had gone over the line but Dave Jones made a fantastic save to keep Newtown ahead.

Sub Cameron Keetch then had a great chance to level for the home side but he headed wide.

As the game entered the final stages, rain became harder making things difficult for both sides. Newtown were still searching for a third and nearly had it when the ball was played in to Breese into the box but he shot wide.

The Bluebirds were also looking for a late equaliser but as time ran out they resorted to long balls which Newtown were able to deal with.

The visitors kept the ball in the corner late on but the Bluebirds were able to get the ball out as they looked for one last chance.

It never came and the visitors held on to secure seventh place in the table.

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Sport

Neyland through in Village Cup after beating Bronwydd

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NEYLAND made it through to the next round of the Village Cup as they beat Bronwydd by 98 runs on Sunday (May 9).

No cricket had been possible in Pembrokeshire on Saturday because of heavy and persistent rain but some great work meant that their cup game could go ahead.

Before the game got underway, a minutes silence was held in respect of former Bronwydd CC player Aled John, who recently passed away.

Bronwydd won the toss and elected to field first which came as no surprise and they were able to restrict Neylad to a score of 160-9 in their 40 overs.

After losing Patrick Bellerby and Ashley Sutton early on, to the bowling of Clive Tucker, Neyland were sitting on a score of 23-2.

However, a stand of 54 between Nick Koomen and Brad McDermott-Jenkins put the hosts in a good position.

Koomen had reached 38 with six fours but he was then bowled by Josh Rencken and wickets continued to fall.

Nathan Banner departed for a second ball duck when he was bowled by Matthew Bagshaw and the same bowler then did the same to Ross Hardy.

McDermott-Jenkins had hit six fours in his score of 40 but he then fell to the bowling of Rencken and Neyand had slipped to 99-6.

Andrew Millers (1), George Evans (11) and Lewis Page all fell to the bowling of James Dickson as Neyland were in danger of being bowled out.

It was left to brothers Sean and Patrick Hannon to steady the ship as they shared 29 runs for the final wicket.

Both finished on scores of 15 not out with Sean hitting a six while Patrick’s score came from only 14 balls.

It meant that Bronwydd would need 161 to progress to the next round.

They made a steady start to their reply but when Josh Rencken was caught by Patrick Bellerby off the bowling of Nathan Banner on a score of 19, wickets began to tumble.

Jacob Jenkinson made a score of 15 but he was then stumped by Sean Hannon off the bowling of Andrew Miller.

Miller also picked up the wicket of Oliver Furneaux before Ross Hardy trapped James Dickson leg before to leave the visitors on 51-5.

Hardy then did the same to Carwyn Jones and he also bowled Iwan Davies as the game started slipping away for Bronwydd.

Miller then picked up his third to finish with figures of 3-11 from his eight overs while Hardy returned to pick up his fourth to finish with impressive figures of 4-5 from seven overs, five of which were maidens.

McDermott-Jenkins wrapped the game up with the wicket of Colin Tucker as the hosts secured an excellent win.

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