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O’Sullivan and Croft twins finish with victories

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CRYMYCH’s peerless Croft twins finished a winning season with a flourish by bagging golds at the prestigious Monkstown Cup tournament in Dublin.

Cardigan ABC duo Ioan and Garan came through six tough bouts in a top-class event which drew around 830 entries from 18 different countries.

Southpaw Ioan secured his second Monkstown triumph in the 60kg 2001 class with a unanimous points win over Louis Joey Barra, of the US, while Garan improved on last year’s silver medal by beating Ireland’s Eric Byrne, again on a unanimous decision, in the 62kg class.

And on the same day in Cardiff, Fishguard’s Mikey O’Sullivan captured a Welsh schoolboy title by recording a unanimous points verdict over Guto Owen (Caernarvon ABC) in the 35.5kg 2006 category.

In the Monkstown Cup quarter-finals, Ioan Croft boxed Jo Jo McArdle, of Belfast, in what proved a closely-matched contest.

The Crymych 16-year-old began well, maintained constant pressure and dictated the fight from start to finish en route to a unanimous decision.

Garan boxed England’s Max Curtis and dominated from the start on his way to a unanimous points victory.

The following day saw Ioan pitted against Belfast’s Jack McGivern in a semi-final which proved his closest and toughest test of the tournament.

“Jack’s an all-Ireland champion who we had watched beating a top American the day before,” said Cardigan ABC head coach Guy Croft.

“We knew he was going to be hard to beat, but Ioan pulled out all the stops from the start, just edging every round with a sharper work rate and strong front foot boxing to win by a split decision.”

Garan proved too strong for Ireland’s Trefor Hegarty in his semi-final – a couple of powerful right hands checking his opponent’s progress early on.

The doctor was called in twice in the first round to inspect the Irish boy’s nosebleed and the towel came in as Croft really started to go through the gears.

Barra, a stocky, powerful Mexican who had looked dangerous in close in the semis the day before, was expected to be a daunting final opponent for Ioan.

However, the Welsh teen produced an outstanding display, catching Barra from all angles as he strove in vain to close the gap on his elusive opponent.

By the end of the third round the bloodied US boxer looked battered and deflated – Ioan securing his second Monkstown gold with ease.

Garan saved his best until last, keeping his composure against the aggressive Byrne, picking his shots and landing a succession of good punches throughout the fight.

“I was suprised Eric wasn’t given at least two counts during the fight because Garan landed some crackers,” said Croft senior.

“He won by unanimous decision to take the gold, having had to settle for silver last year after losing to Mikey Stokes.”

Meanwhile, over at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens, club-mate Mikey O Sullivan began his schoolboy final against Owen in his usual whirlwind fashion, virtually overwhelming the north Walian with an endless barrage of punches from both hands.

Only a good defence kept Owen in the contest, although he did take a standing eight count in the second round, and the result was never in doubt.

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Ultra-runner demonstrates to never give up on your dreams

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Rhys O’Mara (Left), Sanna (Centre) and Hollie Thomas (Right)

INSPIRATIONAL speaker Sanna Duthie recently inspired Military and Protective Services learners at the College with her story of running the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in a record breaking 51.5 hours without any sleep, to help raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Former College learner Sanna Duthie, an office manager by day and active runner by night, shared her experience of running the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in record breaking time. Sanna had participated in a few marathons over the years such as Tenby Long Course Weekend, the Gower 50 and the London Marathon.

However, the real adrenaline rush to complete the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was when Sanna competed in a 100 mile race of the coastal path in 2017.

“I realised I wasn’t too bad at that distance and then that’s when I got it in my head about doing the whole thing.”

Running a coastal path isn’t the easiest challenge and Sanna had to be prepared with an extensive training programme running over 300 miles a month equivalent to 10 miles a day. Sanna also had strength and conditioning training at a local gym to ensure her successful recovery.

“Coast running is hard on your muscles and joints and you need to strengthen those in order to not get injured,” said Sanna.

Originally Sanna started to run the entire coastal path in August 2020 but after 63 miles had to abandon the race due to dangerous weather conditions. This only made Sanna more determined and she completed her ultra-run on 8 th May 2021.

Sanna explained the highs and lows of the run, “There were times when I just wanted to quit, and I even started to hallucinate but I used a tactic where rather than focus on the whole run I broke it down into sections – this made things less overwhelming. Close friends and family would join alongside me on different stages of my run, and this motivated me to get to the finish line.”

Protective services learner Rhys O’Mara was thoroughly inspired by Sanna’s story, “I feel like, from the talk, I’m more inspired to go out and push myself to take on bigger and better physical challenges, the talk really showed that you can achieve anything when you dedicate yourself to a task. After College I’m looking to join the RAF as a drone pilot and have a full career in the forces.”

Sanna was the first female to run the entire coastal path and breaking the previous record of 64 hours and 32 minutes and raised an impressive £5,768.14 for charity.

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Veteran Vikings beaten by Swansea

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HAKIN United Over 40s travelled to the Llandarcy Academy of Sport last Sunday (Nov 28) to play Swansea University.

Hakin took the lead inside 10 minutes as Matthew Price raced clear of the Uni defence before side footing the ball into the bottom corner.

A great start for the Veteran Vikings, but on the half hour mark, two quick goals for the Swansea men turned the game on its head.

A third goal just before half time put Swansea firmly in the drivers seat, but, the Hakin players felt that the goal was offside and that there was a handball in the build-up.

However, despite all of the protests, the goal stood.

Hakin looked far more purposeful in the second half, but they failed to find a goal that was going to get them back in the game.

Hakin are next in action on Sunday, December 12, when Church Village visit the Obs.

Hakin 40s: Jim Payne, Nick Jones, Adam Collins, Ali Davies, Paul Hannon, Marc Devonald, Simon Atyeo, Mark Riley, Paul Jones, Matthew Price, Phil Richards.

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Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League results

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IN the Pembrokeshire Junior Netball leagues on Saturday (Nov 27), there were wins for Sapphires White Under 12s and Pembroke Under 14s.

There was also a win for Fishguard Under 16s as they beat Pembroke 28-24.

Results for Saturday, November 27:

Under 12’s:

Sapphires White 7-4 Chaos Thunder

Players player:

Sapphires: Orla Maulio Martina

Chaos: Annabel Richards

Under 14’s:

Pembroke 23-17 Sapphires White

Players player:

Pembroke: Carys Kenniford

Sapphires: Florence Barker

Under 16’s:

Fishguard 28 v 24 Pembroke

Players player:

Fishguard: Evie Rands

Pembroke: Megan Bowen

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