Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sport

We take life too lightly and sport too seriously

Published

on

By Jonathan Twigg

DEBATE rages in Wales at present, where rugby has infiltrated the summer domain of cricket, which has held unparalleled dominance of the summer sunshine.

There has been a culture change, whereby summer tours and early season fixtures of the traditional winter sports means earlier starts.

Look no further than next seasons football league championship season for Swansea City, starting on Saturday (Aug 5) until Sunday (May 26) 2019.

The outcry from the boundary ropes comes more about how mini ruby has become a summer sport, bulldozered through, as opposed to negotiated.

WRU figurehead in this Ryan Jones, former Wales captain and British Lion parading the paraphernalia, Cricket Wales Development Officer Keri Chahal, having face to face meetings to form common ground.

The winner, undoubtedly now rugby as their mini game is happening in front of our eyes, but has cricket lost?

Jason Roy: In action for England against Australia

Not looking at the participation statistics in the new ‘All Stars’ programme, where children bestowed in blue attire are bouncing around cricket fields in the sunshine, the magic there to entice the next generation.

What sells it to parents, who undoubtedly influence their siblings?  The paradox of ‘I played the game, so you must do also’ may live in both sports, but it’s more than that.

Attendances at international matches, in cricket’s case by supporting England, well the England and Wales Cricket Board side, the pathway? Saturday (Jun 16) saw them rock up in Cardiff, rugby capital of Wales, the Swalec Stadium to be precise, skirting the River Taff through Bute Park, the hosts leading a five match series against Australia 1-0.

Sell out you would think? Far from it; the Principality Stadium, bestowed with a retractable roof, unequivocally is, if Australia are the visitors, the Swalec attracted around 13,000, a fifth of their rugby rivals capacity.

Does cricket lack that panache to attract the floating spectator, often then with the family in tow?  The game has stand out stars, opening batsman Jason Roy pulverising the Aussie attack, the Richardson’s, Jhye and Kane, of no blood synchronisation, a rarity in this sport for two with the same name to be sharing the new ball. Root 66, the featured face of the cricketing market, Joe, England Captain present, alongside former Glamorgan opening bowler Alex Wharf, making his ODI debut, as an umpire.

Coloured clothing, blue against yellow for the 11am start, the Aussie public back home having a choice of watching cricket, World Cup football against France, or rugby as the Wallabies welcomed Ireland to Melbourne.

Cricket is sensational down under, the viewing figures from Saturday would make an interesting comparative, lifting some of the ‘doom and gloom’ emanating from our ‘middle England’ type dulcet tones of the cricketing ‘I know best brigade’.

Food for thought, or is it time for the Blazers and prawn sandwiches to be confined to the attic, relics of periods passed? 100 ball ‘City’ cricket is another gurus dream, not welcomed by the current ‘Blazers’, where Saturday’s game produced 102 runs for one wicket, from just a third of the games total deliveries.

Believe me, there was a following of supporters, some perhaps beer monsters, in fancy dress but the majority of paying punters here, at £65 were from a generation brought up on John Arlott, a commentator remembered with fondness, his soupy‑thick Hampshire vowels drawling “we take life too lightly and sport too seriously.”

‘Wise up or weep’ is the cry for cricket, as this game on paper had everything, including the proverbial rain, which has so impacted the winter sports programme to influence the thinking of the WRU game management board.

England’s batsman rattled up for the first time in history five consecutive 50 plus run partnerships with stand in skipper Josh Butler ‘ramping’ sixes over the wicket keepers head; text book they are not but part of the modern game as he brought up his own 50 in the forty first over, with 17 runs in five balls!

What are the indicators for success? Tactical understanding from a blooded skipper Tim Paine, Jason Roy 120, Josh Butler 91 not out and Johnny Bairstow 42, in England’s highest ever ODI total of 342-8, where the expectation nowadays is 300 plus. Certainly, making sunshine on a rainy day sings Zoe, although those in the know were drumming Mambo number 5 with a cucumber sandwich during the interval.

Australia, looking to save some grace on a day when their rugby and football comrades were dispensed made a fist of it, Maxwell striking 31 alongside Glamorgan star Shaun Marsh.

Marsh handled the pressure but the crowd sensed the game slipping into the memory bank, in the lowering sunlight, buoyed by the beach ball antics of amongst others, Baywatch, tennis players and the Smurfs who embraced the evening’s ambiance, before the jobsworth lumbered in.

Marsh passed 2000 white ball runs on his way to 131, the end coming through Roy’s match winning catch to secure the star player award as over 600 runs were chalked in the scorebook. Something was missing, no pyrotechnics from which to salivate. Down to the pitch maybe, a slow burner typifying middle England in the centre of Wales, or is the product label just too predictable.  Maybe a famous son of Yorkshire can answer that, after all he was called upon to ring the five minute ‘bell’ to signal the start of play.

That Yorkshireman; Neil Warnock; the irony, Manager of the newest Premier League football team, Cardiff City, promoted last season from the Championship, brought in for ‘iconic value’. Can the traditional sports share the space before time is called one wonders, with no frills, no fuss, depicted serenely by Arlott.

That memory is worth a toast, of his favourite Beaujolais tipple, for this is cricket as we know it, but for how much longer?

Sport

Pembrokeshire Foootball Preview

Published

on

Once again we’ve had a wet week and groundsmen and volunteers up and down the county will be working hard today to try and ensure we get some games tomorrow. There are five cup ties due to take place tomorrow, three in the Senior Cup and two in the fifth division cup.

In the first division Clarbeston Road host Hakin United in what is a mouthwatering clash, the visitors will be extra motivated after Clarby have beaten the Vikings twice already this season. Elsewhere in the first division table toppers Goodwick United travel to Neyland in what looks likely to be a routine win for the visitors if form is anything to go by. Tenby United host Fishguard Sports at the Clicketts with the hosts looking very safely placed in mid-table, while Fishguard need a drastic change of form to have any chance of survival. Pennar Robins much like Tenby seem very safely positioned in the league, Carl Vincent’s team host Kilgetty who could do with a win or two to pull clear of the bottom two.

The second division has been full of interesting results of late and this weekend in form St Ishmaels host Monkton Swifts Reserves, the visitors have been faultless of late but the Mice are a tricky opponent. Promotion chasing Herbie also have a tricky game ahead as they travel to Johnston on the back of the Tigers win in the Senior Cup. Carew Reserves host St Clears in what really is a relegation six pointer and one neither team can afford to lose. Finally Broad Haven host Camrose in a mid table clash, the hosts would like a few more wins to be sure they won’t be sucked into any sort of relegation battle.

The Senior Cup has the potential for an upset this weekend with each of the three games having a strong favourite. In Cosheston there is likely to be plenty of passion and desire as they host local rivals Monkton Swifts and would love to knock their neighbours out of the cup. Solva who are having a good season in the third division host Merlins Bridge who on paper would be expected to win comfortably however the conditions in Solva are going to be more challenging than the perfect 4g surface they are used to at home. Finally in the cup, Haverfordwest Cricket Club host Carew in again will be a very different test for the visitors, Cricket Club have plenty of experience and quality in their ranks and the Rooks will have to be prepared to avoid any slip up here. 

Continue Reading

Sport

Saints revolution the real deal

Published

on

St Davids rugby club have always had a good junior set up, a good club house and a brilliant team spirit and culture off the pitch. However for the past decade the teams performances on the field were lacking, languishing at the bottom of division three west, hoping for a win or two a season. How times have changed!

This season they are in excellent form and sit fifth place in the league, above clubs who’ve sat above them in this league and leagues above very recently. Last Saturday saw the Saints host Pembroke, who last season were playing the likes of Llanelli Wanderers and Llangennech. However Saints are no longer a team clubs look forward to playing and they proved this once again Saturday coming out 31-24 winners.

Players such as Jack Jones, George Raymond, Ben Joyce and Morgan Griffiths are just a selection of the quality players at the Saints disposal this year. Under the guidance of club legend Jack Dudley the Saints are absolutely flying in comparison to what they’ve become accustomed to over the past decade.

Off the field the clubhouse is always welcoming and there’s always a good atmosphere in there post game win or lose. The junior section is strong and all in all the future for our county’s only city rugby club looks very bright. It’s a credit to all involved with the club as we well know it takes so much work to keep a small club alive. I’m sure there have been numerous challenges over the years including covid and struggling for players. It’s times like that when the club’s characters really come to the fore and I’m sure everyone involved with the club is prouder than ever of their teams on field performance.

Continue Reading

Sport

Goodwick win again as Mice hammer Cosh

Published

on

Most games fell foul to the weather last weekend with pitches saturated after all the rain we’ve had. Five games however did go ahead, including two senior cup ties. As Goodwick booked their place in the next round after another impressive win.

Senior Cup

Goodwick United 5-0 Herbrandston

Will Haworths excellent hat-rick put the tie to bed for the hosts before half time. Despite having a good season in division two Herbie were unable to pose any real threat to Goodwick senior cup run. Jones and Delaney added two more for O’Sullivans men in the second half. The excellent form continues and we await to see who they’ll face in the next round.

Camrose 2-3 Johnston

A five thriller goal thriller between two mid table division two teams, ended with the Tigers progressing to the next round. The visitors came back after finding themselves 2-0 down after a Chalmers brace for the hosts. Joey George started the late comeback with a goal after 79 minutes, Richards soon added the equaliser, before Kieran Blundell got the vital goal to send his team into the next round.

Elsewhere in league action St Ishmaels hammered Cosheston who’s recent form has been good. Brennan Devonald was the man of the match with a hat-rick for the Mice. Tish’ league form in 2024 is now three wins out of three and they climb to sixth with a fair amount of games in hand over the teams above them.

In the third division Morgan Elliott’s hat-rick kept Solva’s promotion charge on track. The hosts beat St Florence 3-1, and Solva now sit second just two points off table toppers Lawrenny. In the fourth division Angle came out on top of an eight goal thriller when they hosted St Ishmaels reverses. A brace a piece for Niall Brunton and James Potter ensured the points for the hosts, which leaves them in fourth place and with an outside shot of promotion as it stands.

Continue Reading

Farming1 day ago

Farmers protest as Drakeford arrives to open engineering centre

PROTESTS erupted as First Minister Mark Drakeford arrived at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhyl, to inaugurate a new engineering centre. Approximately 200...

News2 days ago

Pembrokeshire man’s tragic end following partner’s death

A MAN from Pembrokeshire took his own life three weeks after the passing of his partner, an inquest was informed...

News2 days ago

Pembrokeshire council tax rise ‘could lead to failed budget’

A PROPOSED 16.3 per cent council tax increase in Pembrokeshire could see the council failing to set a budget for...

Community2 days ago

Heavy rain leads to flood alerts and closed roads in Pembrokeshire

FOLLOWING a night of heavy rain, Natural Resources Wales has issued a series of flood alerts for multiple areas across...

Crime2 days ago

20-year-old accused of making indecent images of children

A HAVERFORDWEST man has appeared before a district judge charged with making 74 indecent category A images of a child....

News2 days ago

Calls for sea defences for flood-hit village turned down

A COUNCILLOR’S call to be able to speak on a potentially much-cheaper alternative to a bypass for the flood-hit village...

News3 days ago

Independent Group opposed to ‘unprecedented’ Council Tax hike

CABINET proposals recommending a significant increase in Council Tax rates by 16.31% for the fiscal year 2024/25 AND the following...

News4 days ago

Milford Haven mourns loss of former top-cop

MILFORD HAVEN is morning the loss of a great man, following the passing of retired local policeman Detective Inspector Billy...

Health5 days ago

Significant disruption expected during second junior doctors strike, says WG

URGENT and life-threatening care will continue to be provided during second junior doctors strike in Wales this week, but significant...

Business6 days ago

‘We want to work’: Tata Steel workers protest over proposed cuts

HUNDREDS of people have taken part demonstrations against the anticipated elimination of numerous positions within the steel sector. Tata Steel...

Popular This Week