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Tenby trounce Tycroes

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By Jonathan Twigg

TENBY TOURERS sponsored Tenby United completed their home fixtures on Saturday (Apr 7) with an emphatic 47-5 demolishment of relegated Tycroes, running in six tries alongside 17 points from the boot of full back Craig Barnett.

Referee Lloyd Hughes from Taibach, Port Talbot was empathetic in keeping the game flowing on an excellent surface despite the horrendous recent weather, allowing both teams the opportunity to run with ball in hand with advantage, his demeanour one of autocratic control which has seen the engineer perform at championship level this season.

The red and blacks have stumbled in recent times, perhaps due to a shortage of front row forwards since injury ruled prop out Lewis Davies, although the return of former player Andrew Evans from Loughborough has helped the home side.

They had to elect to go for a passive scrummage set piece for the final minutes of the game much to the disgruntlement of the travelling visiting support, meaning very little as the game had been comprehensively put to bed.

Hooker Joe Poole was the Heywood Butchers man of the match for his all round play which saw Tenby dominate the line out, his throwing accuracy supported by robust action on the fringes of the gain line and high tackle count, which undid the Ammanford village sides dominant start.

Poole, a student at Swansea University also had a magnetic pair of hands to offload passes before contact, a mantra which coaches Chris James and Andrew Morgan have instilled throughout the team.

Led by Johnnie Morgan at outside half it took a quarter of an hour for his side to open the scoring, weathering the black shirted visitors driving play, where they turned down three points from in front of the posts after outside half James Owen long range penalty attempt after three minutes bounced off the cross bar from the halfway line.

Man of the match: Tenby Hooker Joe Poole

Flanker Andrew Cooke, like Poole was in the thick of the defensive number 8 Darryl John was held up over the try line, the ensuing scrum set piece saw the home eight establish a game marker from which they had a platform from which to build, winger Jordan Asparrassa scooting down the touchline as he combined well with diminutive scrum half Matthew Morgan.

Both had excellent games running with ball in hand and willing to take the opposition on from the front foot, rewarded with touchdowns and without Poole’s work rate off the ball may well have tucked into the steaks from Heywoods Butchers themselves.

Skipper Luke Hansford scored the opening try just after the first quarter, as his fellow forwards controlled possession driving forward in pods, well drilled and setting the ball back on a plate for Morgan to use.

The flankers touchdown close to the posts came when he clambered through the strewn bodies to cross, full back Craig Barnett landing the conversion, which he did again four minutes later after robust centre Pat Roberts broke through some weak opposition tackling to run in from 20 metres as the ground beneath him held firm after the sterling work undertaken by Boots of Lydstep who manicure the ground.

A killer third try came two minutes before the interval, when Barnett entered the line at pace and timed his pass beautifully to draw the final man and allow winger Yannik Parker to pin back his ears and cross unopposed, Barnett completed the scoring meaning the second period was about the ‘Seasiders’ ensuring maximum points with a bonus point fourth try.

This was achieved within five minutes of the restart, centre Moritz Neuman the catalyst, working well with his skipper Morgan at outside half, Poole linking into the traffic alongside Roberts and number 8 Roy Osborne, who was credited with the all-important score.

An appreciative crowd led by the match sponsors Scaffold 2000 alongside the ‘scoreborad regulars’ minded little that Barnett’s conversion struck the left upright as Tycroes visibly tired allowing Tenby to dictate the play, at pace and with vision as the Morgan brothers, alongside Parker took opportunities to turn the opposition on their heels.

Evans and his fellow prop Ethan Morgan continue to ensure set piece parity as Luke Dedman and replacement second row Jack Clancy stood tall in the line out, Poole with a nigh on perfect throwing record and Cooke able to link play between forwards and backs superbly.

Centre Elean Griffiths was instrumental in stemming the tide for Tycroes, but neither he or his back three could stem the try count, Asparrassa showing a clear pair of heels to touchdown and scrum half Morgan breaking clear with runners either side as options, he sold a lovely dummy to full back Scott Bowen to race clear from 25 metres.

Barnett had converted before Tycores centre Matthew Lemon scrambled over wide out after some sustained driving from his forwards with number 8 John a strong ball carrier, some pride restored for the divisions bottom of the table side.

Coaches Chris James and Andrew Morgan have brought an attacking game plan to Heywood Lane over the past two seasons, encouraging the ball when possible to be kept out of contact areas and running space, Cooke and Roberts combining well which released Asparrassa once again, to score, Barnett missed the difficult conversion as Tenby had to opt for passive scrums for the final throws of the game and from a defensive set piece on their own five metre line Osborne picked up at the base and set his back division in motion.

Handling at pace with the vision to attack space they spread the ball through the hands and when play switched back across the field second row Deadman was able to race 20 metres from the half way line, drawing the cover defence and popping a pass to Osborne to round off a length of the field play which he started, Barnett adding the coup de grace before Hughes shrill blast ended the home fixtures for the season at Heywood Lane.

James on conclusion of the game said: “No negatives from the performance as we put together a complete team performance, where the players were never afraid to back their own skills set. We have been on a losing run stretching over the international period but always maintained confidence in our style of rugby and we can look forward to our final four fixtures on the road without fear.”

The first of those sees them travel to the Ranch on Saturday (Apr 21) to take on Llanelli Wanderers before heading to Parc Lloyd Thomas the week after to tackle Crymych, both sides sitting below Tenby in the league table and needing a full head of steam to overhaul them.

Sport

County go through in MG Cup after thumping Barry

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HAVERFORDWEST County began life under manager Tony Pennock in fine fashion with a 4-2 victory over Barry Town United in the Nathaniel MG Cup second round on Friday night (Aug 5).

A brace from Jack Wilson, along with goals from debutants Lee Jenkins and Rhys Abbruzzese helped see the Bluebirds safely through to the third round.

Josh Graham and Mo Djalo found the net for the Dragons, who reached the semi-final of the competition last season, but it wasn’t enough as County’s extra firepower made the difference.

In front of a crowd of 337 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow, the Bluebirds nearly took an early lead when Wilson got a volley away from inside the area which was pushed away by Cameron Clarke.

The majority of the chances fell the hosts’ way in the first-half, with Jordan Davies trying his luck from distance after Clarke had come off his line and given possession away, before Ryan George’s solo run to the edge of the area ended with the wing-back shooting over the bar.

Jenkins then went close when he rose highest to meet Wilson’s long throw into the area, with his header going narrowly wide of the right post.

It was very nearly 1-0 on the half hour mark when George’s cross into the area picked out Jordan Davies, who directed his header goalwards but saw the ball cleared off the line.

However, just three minutes later, it was 1-0 when the ball was worked out to George on the right side, and his cross picked out the towering Jenkins who powered his header into the left corner to mark his first competitive County appearance with a goal.

Almost immediately after the restart though, the Dragons found an equaliser as a through ball played Graham in, and the forward slid the ball past Lewis Brass for an instant response.

Wilson shot over the bar as Haverfordwest County looked to restore their lead before the break, and while he was off target on this occasion, seven minutes after the restart his header from debutant Jamie Veale’s corner flew into the net to make it 2-1.

And less than five minutes later, the youngster almost doubled the Bluebirds’ advantage when a long ball upfield from Dylan Rees played him in, and an excellent first touch gave the forward a chance to get a chipped effort away which rolled just wide to deny what would have been a spectacular goal.

With the hour mark approaching, George sliced an effort wide of the right post, but just a minute later Abbruzzese was on hand to tap in from point-blank range from Jordan Davies’ pass to join Jenkins in netting on his debut with a goal against his former club.

Pennock’s men were full of confidence at this stage, and they were able to make it tell when Abbruzzese turned provider to set Wilson up to score his second goal of the night with a neat finish from close range to extend the advantage to 4-1.

Gavin Chesterfield’s side pulled a goal back with just over 10 minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty after Brass was adjudged to have fouled substitute Djalo inside the area, and the forward converted from the spot to make it 4-2.

With the Bluebirds in a comfortable position in the closing stages, Pennock was able to introduce academy product Toby Davies and exciting young prospect Dan James, allowing the pair to play out the final few minutes.

With their passage through to the next round safely secured, the Bluebirds now turn their attention to the start of the new JD Cymru Premier season, which gets under way with a game against Caernarfon Town at the Ogi Bridge Meadow next Saturday, August 13 (Kick-off 14:30).

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Hook seal win in Under 11s final

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Hook (246-6) beat Cresselly (217-10) by 29 runs

THIS year’s final was between the top two sides from both zones with Cresselly beating Haverfordwest in the one semi final and Hook beating Narberth in the other.

The Under11s game is played in a pairs format and Hook Captain Charlie Holder won the toss against his counter part Phoenix Phillips and decided to bowl first.

Some tight bowling from Hook saw St Cresselly lose wickets on a regular basis. The batting pairs of Phoenix and Ollie Toy put on 13, Arthur Jenkins and Elin Edwards 7, Caden Jones and Jack Mears 7 and Cody Jones and Finley Rowlands 7.

For Hook the pick of the bowlers were Olly Nutty 1-11, Rhys Tennick 2-10, Charlie Holder 2-10, Mason Hughes 2-12 and George Wonnacott 3-11. Cresselly finished on 217-10.

After Mondays rained off game where the Cresselly bowlers dominated the Hook batters came in with a bit more determination and Cresselly found wickets a little harder to take despite their best efforts.

Ollie Nutty and Mason Hughes put on 13 for the opening stand followed by Rhys Tennick and George Wonnacott 19, Jack llewellyn and Joe Warrender 14 and Charlie Holder and Oliver Stamp 18.

For Cresselly Jack Mears 1-12 , Phoenix Phillips 1-9 and an excellent direct hit run out, Cadyn Jones 3-8 and no doubt the fieder of the match with two suburb catches was Finley Rowlands.

Hook finished on 246-6.

This final was the inaugural year of the Evan Martin Trophy, a stalwart of Hook CC for many years, and after deliberations with the Umpires the trophy was awarded to a jubilant George Wonnacott of Hook

Again it was great to see a large crowd of knowledgable spectators who certainly saw some entertaining Cricket . It was great to see the two teams enjoying the aftermath game celebrations with Hook playing all sort of games on the field.

In the presentation after the match Martin Jones (Junior Organiser) congratulated both sides on reaching the Final with some excellent play by both and Hook for their victory. Both sides should be proud of their Junior sections.

He thanked Hook for hosting the final including Andrew Thomas & Keith James the grounds staff. Afterwards the Club l refreshments for the players, which was well received.

He thanked Umpires Allan Hansen and Robert Ridge, Scorers Natalie Jones & Jon Willington who all contributed to the evenings entertainment.

Last and by no means least he thanked Sponsors Colin John of Llewelyn Davies & Co Chartered Accountants for his continued and valuable support of Junior Cricket in the County togerther with Richard Merriman County Chairman.

Cresselly Squad: Rhys White, Bobby Shapcott, Mari Cole, Lilly & George

Hook Squad: Dylan Keen, Nico Quinn, Morgan Jones, Rowan Nickerson

Sponsor: Colin John – Llewelyn Davies & Co Chartered Accountants

Umpires: Allan Hansen & Robert Ridge

Scorers: Natalie Jones & Jon Willington

Coaches: Simon Cole/ Christian Phillips and Matthew Holder

Venue: Hook CC

Cresselly Under 11s
Evan Martin Trophy winner George Wonnacott
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Wales senior men’s assistant coach Gareth Williams departs

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GARETH Williams, Wales senior men’s assistant coach with responsibility for the contact area, has left his role to join the Scarlets as defence coach.

Williams departed following the three-Test Series in South Africa where Wales’ senior men’s side secured its first ever win over the Springboks in South Africa in the second Test.

The 40-year old started working as part of head coach Wayne Pivac’s coaching team during the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup and 2021 title-winning Guinness Six Nations campaigns, combining the role with his previous position with the Welsh Rugby Union as head of transitional players and head coach of Wales men’s U20, before being appointed on a full-time basis in June 2021.

Prior to this Williams spent a decade coaching Wales Sevens on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, during which time he helped his country win Rugby World Cup Sevens, as well as assisting Team GB in claiming silver at the Rio Olympics.

Pivac said: “I’d like to thank Gareth for his work over the last two years. It’s a shame to lose one of the coaching team just over a year out to Rugby World Cup, but I understand Gareth’s decision and am pleased for him.

“He’s not going far and it will be great having a good young coach moving from the national team into the regional system to further their development. This is also an important element in increasing alignment between international and domestic rugby in Wales.”

Williams said: “I’m incredibly proud to have been able to work with the men’s national team over the past two years. This is a such a great group of talented and hard-working players and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“It is not an easy decision to leave and I’d like to thank Wayne, the other coaches and staff for all their support during my time with the squad.”

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