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Pembrokeshire claim Wynne Lloyd Final victory

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THE Wynne Lloyd Inter-District Youth Cup Final went the way of Pembrokeshire who beat Ceredigion 36-28 in a thrilling game at Parc Y Scarlets on Sunday (May 20).

It was first blood to Pembrokeshire who scored the opening try of the game through Jack Tucker but the conversion was wide.

Ceredigion then answered back as Iestyn Evans scored the try before Dylan Morgan added the extras to put Ceredigion 7-5 ahead.

The action was back and forth and Pembrokeshire soon went back ahead as Gino Setaro (Whitland) scored and Dan Evans added the extra two points.

Pembrokeshire began to pull away as Jack Broadhurst (Narberth) scored their third try of the game with the conversion going in off the post from Evans.

Geraint Powell (Narberth) then increased Pembrokeshire’s lead with Evans again sending the conversion through the posts to give his side a 26-7 half time lead.

Ceredigion fought back at the beginning of the second half as Iwan Bowden scored the try and Dylan Morgan added the extras.

Morgan then scored a try of his own and converted to bring Ceredigion back to within five points with the score at 26-21.

They then took the lead as Dylan Davies scored the try that brought them level and Dylan Evans then added the extra two points giving Ceredigion a 28-26 lead.

Whitland’s Dan Evans put the Pembrokeshire side back ahead with a penalty from 40 metres out and they led by a single point with time running out.

As Ceredigion pushed for a late try that would have seen them claim victory, it was Pembrokeshire who got the final score of the game as Prop Cole Barry (Haverfordwest), who had been on the field for eighty minutes, went over for the try and Evans put the seal on the victory with another conversion.

Nigel Owens was the man in the middle for the game and afterwards he Tweeted: “A pleasure to referee Ceredigion Yth 28 v Pembrokeshire Yth 36. Top quality game of rugby with some class players on both sides. Well done all, a credit to rugby.”

Also running the line were Pembrokeshire’s Thomas Carew and Ross Grieve.

Tom told the Herald: “It was such a surreal experience. Being a referee was something that I’ve always wanted to do, even from a young age. To be involved in the game on Sunday was a dream come true and I cherished every moment of it.

“Nigel Owens has always been like a hero to me, I can’t remember a time where he wasn’t. I’ve always looked up to him and aspired to do what he does week in week out. What he has achieved makes him a superb role model for not only referees but for everyone.

“So to have the chance to not only meet him but to also run the line for him was an experience that I never would have expected to happen to me. Sunday will be a day that I won’t forget in a long time!”

Ceredigion Coach Justin Lloyd said: “It was a great occasion to be a part of for Ceredigion as we’ve only been set up for a few years and we’ve done really well to get to the final.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game against a strong Pembrokeshire side but I am super proud of the performance.

“Any neutrals who were watching the game would have seen a game played in Scarlets style. Both teams weren’t afraid to take any risks.”

Pembrokeshire coach Kenny Davies added: “It was a hell of a game of rugby and a great advert for west Wales rugby. Playing at Parc Y Scarlets with Nigel Owens being the referee made it an excellrnt occasion for all involved.

“We started the game well and were leading 26-7 at half time but they came back into it to lead. We then had a 40metre penalty from Whitland’s Dan Evans and we finished strongly to win it.

“Thanks to everyone involved, including Ceredigion, and I hope the players got a lot out of it”.

Photos by Darren Harries

News

United Airlines unveils limited-edition Wrexham AFC amenity kits and pyjamas

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UNITED AIRLINES has introduced new, limited-edition Wrexham AFC amenity kits and pyjamas to commemorate the Welsh football team’s recent promotion to League One. The launch coincides with the rising global popularity of the Emmy award-winning series “Welcome to Wrexham”, which is currently streaming on Hulu.

Starting from 1st June, passengers flying in United’s premium cabins on long-haul international routes will receive these exclusive Wrexham AFC-inspired kits. These kits will include essential travel items such as an eye mask, toothbrush, and toothpaste, along with exclusive Therabody skincare products. Additionally, United Polaris® customers on flights of 14 hours or longer will be provided with pyjamas designed to resemble the team’s uniforms, featuring a long-sleeve Wrexham red shirt and grey pants.

Co-chairmen of Wrexham AFC, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, revealed these new onboard amenities in a recently released video. The kits and pyjamas, designed in collaboration with United Airlines, draw inspiration from Wrexham AFC’s crest, jerseys, and overall aesthetic.

Amenity Kit Details:

  • United x Wrexham AFC Amenity Case: For United Polaris business class travellers, this reusable toiletry case features the Wrexham crest and is available in red, black, or white. It includes a top handle, wrap-around zipper, and a loop for hanging.
  • United x Wrexham AFC Amenity Pouch: For United Premium Plus® travellers, this slim, zippered pouch also features the Wrexham crest and is available in the same colour options. It is designed to fit easily into a carry-on bag.
  • United x Wrexham AFC Pyjamas: Available to United Polaris business class passengers on flights of 14 hours or more, this lightweight pyjama set includes a red, long-sleeve shirt with the Wrexham AFC and United logos on the front and grey pants with the United logo on the hip.

Each amenity kit contains a United-exclusive Therabody hand cream, lip balm, cleansing towelette, bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, ear plugs, and socks. The Polaris kit also includes Therabody eye serum, face spray, tissues, and a United pen.

Peter Wolkowski, Director of Onboard Product Design at United, commented, “With our amenity kits, we always aim to provide customers with products that make their travel journey more comfortable as well as create one-of-a-kind keepsakes for them to enjoy well beyond their flight. Wrexham’s story is one that has been documented and celebrated these last few years, so we’re thrilled to now give United customers team-branded gear they won’t be able to find anywhere else.”

United Airlines, a prominent sponsor of Wrexham AFC, will continue to support the club throughout the 2024-2025 season. The airline is the front-of-jersey sponsor for both the men’s and women’s teams, and it will also sponsor the club’s North American summer tour, providing exclusive offerings to MileagePlus members.

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Former Wales rugby international Tonia Antoniazzi MP joins Scarlets Board

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THE Scarlets have said this week that they are delighted to announce that Gower MP and former Wales international Tonia Antoniazzi will join the Scarlets Board of Directors with immediate effect.

Tonia, who is Gower’s first female MP, has served at Westminster since June 2017. She was born and raised along with two brothers in Llanelli by her Welsh Mum and Welsh-Italian father who supported her love of sport from an early age.

With Welsh-Italian sporting heritage, she won nine caps for Wales as a prop playing internationally for three years as well as playing for Benetton Treviso’s women’s team in 1993-94 while studying in Venice. Her last cap as tighthead prop came in 1999. She participated in the first Women’s World Cup in 1998. From a rugby family, her brother Julian Antoniazzi played for Welsh Schools seven times in 1985.

Tonia is a passionate, lifelong Scarlets supporter after spending many years growing up supporting rugby on the terraces at Stradey Park. Alongside her international rugby career, Tonia is a graduate in French and Italian from Exeter University with a PGCE from Cardiff University, teaching in Wigan before returning home to West Wales as Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Ysgol Bryngwyn in Llanelli.

Since retiring from international rugby and forging a successful political career, she is now a leading light and voice championing the growth and development of women’s and girls’ rugby across Wales, campaigning for greater equality, engagement, participation and inclusion at all levels in the game.

Scarlets are building for the future which includes a fresh focus on the girls’ and women’s game, with four players in the U18s Women’s Six Nations squad, a number of girls from the region selected for the West Wales Professional Development Centre (PDC) plus 70 girls are registered with the Scarlets’ first U17s Development Squad.

Scarlets’ Academy coaches support training and development of Celtic Challenge Cup side Brython Thunder who are based at Parc y Scarlets. Two of the region’s age-grade teams Teifi Timberwolves and Taf Valley Tigers were U16s and U18s WRU National plate winners this season. Increased demand from girls to play rugby is now being supported with 32 WRU clusters supporting players from U7s to U18s across communities in Wales.

Scarlets’ Community Foundation rugby programme also continues to go from strength-to-strength delivering wide-ranging rugby inclusion events to support social benefit across its region and engaging with more than 20,000 young people this season.

Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “It truly is an honour and privilege for me and I am very excited to be joining the Scarlets Board. Scarlets rugby has been at the heart of my family and my upbringing and it was that love and passion for this club that led me to play for Wales. Now I am continuing to support the sport that means so much to me off the pitch.

“Rugby is ours. It’s everybody’s sport and everybody matters in our game.”

“We need a plurality of voices in Welsh rugby to take the game forward. There is a new era of rugby dawning in Wales and Scarlets rugby has a bright future within it, I want to be part of that and ensure everyone connected with our game has a voice and is well-represented.”

“I am passionate about bringing more women into the game. I feel very strongly that when I was a young girl, I had to look up to my brother – and think if he can do it I can do it. Now we can see a future in the sport for young girls to aspire to – with the likes of Alex Callender (from Llanelli), who I used to teach, coming through and winning multiple caps.

“What we need now is to engage more through the women’s and girls’ programmes into clubs to ensure we have more teams and more international players playing their rugby in Wales. When you can see it as a player, you believe you can be it. We need to show our young girls that there is a future for them in rugby in Wales.”

Scarlets Executive Chairman Simon Muderack said: “Tonia will bring valued rugby expertise, a strong voice for the women’s game and great governance leadership from her experience and knowledge across international rugby, the educational sector and her parliamentary career.

“Her energy, ambition and passion for Scarlets rugby and the women’s and girl’s game in this region is undeniable. She is a positive driving force who wants to see Scarlets and Welsh rugby thrive now and in the future and is helping spearhead a culture change throughout our game. We are delighted she is joining us at a time when we are restructuring and strengthening our business operations to meet the challenges of the future and we look forward to Tonia’s input and support.”

Tonia lives in Pontarddulais and has a son Jac who is currently studying at Cardiff University.

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Memorial football day honours George Davies

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Milford United held a memorial football day in honour of George Davies on Sunday (May 19), who passed away on 25 November 2020. He would have turned 84 on Monday.

George Davies and his family dedicated decades of service to Milford United, and their contributions have left an indelible mark on the club. Known for his tireless promotion of the club and town, George extended his efforts throughout Pembrokeshire and Wales, especially during Milford United’s tenure in the Welsh League. In recognition of his 45 years of service, George received a Citizens Award in 2022. He was renowned for his fundraising activities and for driving the Carnival Queen float most years, serving in many roles, including club president.

The event took place at a resplendent Marble Hall, which set the stage for a memorable day of football. The match was played in three 30-minute periods, allowing managers to give ample game time to their large squads. The respect for George and the Davies family was evident, with everyone eager to participate in the George Davies memorial game. This year, Claire and Rhian from the Ladies Robins joined the teams, which were Over 25s versus Under 25s. The age contrast saw Curtis Davies at 18 and ‘Parksy’ at 57 as the oldest Over 25. Youth and experience clashed as the Over 25s took an early lead, going 2-1 up. However, the Under 25s rallied to level the score at 4-4, and the match concluded with a penalty shootout, where the Over 25s triumphed 4-3.

The day was a great success, thanks to the contributions of many. MIlford United would like to thank Jonathan, Sam, and Liam Davies for managing the Over 25s, and to Simon Rutherford, Charlie Davies, and Andrew Burgoyne for managing the Under 25s. Notably, Charlie Davies played the entire 90 minutes.

Gratitude is also extended to David Farrow for his exceptional organisation of the event, and to Scott Griffiths, Mike Barrett, Billy Raymond, Joel Codd, Steve Parks, Terry Berryman, and Andrew Burgoyne for preparing the grounds. Additionally, thanks to Mark Coaker and Ian Smith for capturing brilliant photos of the day.

The event concluded at the Milford United Sportsman Club, where Bruce, Rachel, and their team kept everyone refreshed. A special mention goes to all those who helped with the raffle.

Entertainment was provided by The Messiaens, an outstanding 8-member band and the newest sensation in Pembrokeshire. The band, comprised of talented young musicians aged 16-19, kept everyone dancing and entertained well into the evening.

This memorial day will continue to be held on the closest Saturday to George’s birthday. Next year’s event is scheduled for 17 May.

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