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Sport

Hook and Llangwm seal Ormond Youth success

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HOOK and Llangwm won the 2018 Ormond Youth Cup on Sunday (Sept 2) as they beat last year’s winners Carew and Saundersfoot in the Final.

Rain had put the match in doubt but the excellent work from the Carew groundstaff meant the teams were able to get the game underway shortly before 1:30pm with a full game in prospect.

Carew and Saundersfoot won the toss but invited their opponents to bat with the ground still damp from a sprinkling of rain.

Despite that, openers Noah Davies and George James got their side off to an excellent start with a stand of 65 runs.

That was broken when Rhys Grigg bowled James on a score of 36 that included three fours and two sixes.

Soon after Tom Mansbridge had Aled Phelps caught by Lewis Catt, leaving Hook and Llangwm on 66-2 nearing the halfway stage.

Mansbridge then picked up his second wicket as Davies was stumped by Morgan Grieve on a score of 25.

Jack Nicholas then scored 20 to take his side to 100 but he was then bowled by John Mansbridge.

Keegan Codd added another ten runs to the total but he was also heading back to the pavilion when he was caught by Grieve off the bowling of Carl Thomas.

Harry Nicholas made a score of 8 before being caught by Elliot Waters off the bowling of John Mansbridge and Callum Jenkins was then caught by Catt off the bowling of Thomas.

Ben Fairburn and Finlay Elrick then finished not out as they guided their side to an opening total of 123-7.

Carew and Saundersfoot’s reply did not get off to the best of starts as Tom Mansbridge was bowled by Noah Davies with the fourth ball of the innings.

John Mansbridge and Morgan Grieve then got their side off the mark with a stand of 32 before something quite special happened.

Aled Phelps was brought on to bowl and with the second ball of his second over he had Mansbridge stumped by Jack Nicholas on a score of 16. Phelps then bowled Carl Thomas and Rhys Grigg to claim a sensational hat trick. He wasn’t finished there as he picked up a fourth wicket in a row, bowling Rhys Canton.

That saw the defending champions slip from 32-1 to 32-5 in one over and they were in need of some help.

Morgan Grieve did his best with a score of 31 but he was then bowled by Davies. Tudor Hurle and Lewis Catt both fell in similar fashion as they were stumped by Nicholas off the bowling of Ben Fairburn for scores of 11 and 4 respectively.

Harry Nicholas then picked up the wickets of Taran Richards and Morgan Broomhall to dismiss Carew and Saundersfoot for just 76, giving Hook and Llangwm a lead of 47 at the halfway point.

Hook and Llangwm set about trying to make Carew and Saundersfoot’s final target as big as they possibly could as Davies and James shared 47 runs for the opening wicket.

Davies made 18 but he was then caught by Canton off the bowling of Tom Mansbridge. James then shared another 35 runs with Aled Phelps before James was caught by Catt off the bowling of Mansbridge on a score of 40 that included one maximum.

Phelps then shared 40 runs with Jack Nicholas as Hook and Llangwm’s lead passed 150 runs. Phelps had played well for his score of 35 but he was then run out.

Keegan Codd was also run out on a score of 7 while Jack Nicholas finished not out on 18 to take his side to a total of 135-5, setting Carew and Saundersfoot 182 to win.

The Mansbridge duo then made a good start to their reply with Tom scoring 24 before he was caught by Fairburn off the bowling of Phelps.

John scored 21 before he was bowled by Phelps and Tudor Hurle was then caught and bowled by Callum Jenkins to leave them 54-3.

Morgan Grieve and Rhys Grigg then did their best to get Carew and Saundersfoot back on track with Grieve scoring 21 before he was caught by James off the bowling of Jenkins.

Keegan Codd then had Carl Thomas caught by Elrick on a score of 9 and Canton caught by James on a duck.

Harry Nicholas also bowled Lewis Catt on a score of 4 while Grigg had made his way to a score of 46 with three fours and two sixes before he was caught by Elrick, also off the bowling of Nicholas.

Nicholas then bowled Taran Richards as Carew and Saundersfoot finished their innings on 137-9, giving victory to Hook and Llangwm by 45 runs.

Aled Phelps was named man of the match for his four wickets in four balls and his score of 35 in the second innings.

News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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Crime

Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner

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A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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Politics

Culture secretary vows push to keep free-to-air Six Nations games

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WALES’ culture secretary vowed to make the case for keeping Wales’ Six Nations games on free-to-air TV to her Labour colleagues in the new UK Government.

Lesley Griffiths told the Senedd she will be seeking a meeting with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to discuss the issue.

Ms Griffiths said: “Making the Six Nations free-to-air ensures that everyone, regardless of their financial situation, can feel part of this shared experience.

“This inclusivity strengthens community bonds and fosters a sense of belonging.”

Responding to a debate on a Senedd culture committee report on broadcasting rights, the culture secretary said she would write to the UK Government by the end of this week.

Delyth Jewell chairs the culture committee, which held an inquiry on whether Wales’ matches should be added to Ofcom’s list of events that must be shown on terrestrial TV.

The Plaid Cymru politician said: “A perfect storm of market dynamics in broadcasting live sport has seen more and more events go behind a paywall.

“Public service broadcasters are facing significant budgetary constraints, be this from long-term cuts to the licence fee, or a downturn in the advertising market on broadcast television. Increasing production costs are compounding both these factors.

“The advent of global streaming services also means that the value of sports broadcasting rights has increased.”

The Welsh Rugby Union told the inquiry that moving matches to the protected list could have a devastating medium- and long-term impact on the whole game in Wales.

Media rights account for £20m of the WRU’s £90m total revenue, with the union calling for open competition to maximise income for the game.

Carolyn Thomas, the Labour MS for North Wales, recognised this tension but warned: “There is a real risk here that avoiding action will leave us dropping the ball. We must ensure future generations can connect with the game without having to shell out for the privilege.”

She added: “Let’s hope, with the new UK Labour Government, we will be in a safe pair of hands and we get protected, free-to-air Six Nations coverage over the line.”

Heledd Fychan called for matches to be broadcast on S4C, rather than having a Welsh viewing option on platforms such as Amazon Prime.

The Plaid Cymru MS, who represents South Wales Central, pointed out that Rhondda MP Chris Bryant has been appointed a junior DCMS minister as she urged Labour to act.

Samuel Kurtz raised concerns about the 8% interest rate the WRU is paying on an £18m coronavirus business interruption loan scheme from the Welsh Government.

Pointing out that the rate was fixed at 2% for English premiership sides, the Tory MS said: “I think that’s a financial constraint that’s hurting our professional clubs here in Wales.”

Caerphilly MS Hefin David joked that he has a lot in common with former PM Rishi Sunak – “as my dad wouldn’t let us have Sky either, and we had to listen to it on the radio”.

He called for a ‘Plan B’ for the hospitality industry if rugby goes behind a paywall, including a contractual clause to give small pubs and clubs a reduced pay-to-view subscription.

Dr David said he watches Wales matches at Gilfach workmen’s club, which pays £514 a month for Sky, as he raised concerns about venues having to buy multiple subscriptions..

“Well, Gilfach workies simply can’t afford that,” he said.

Alun Davies, a fellow Labour backbencher, said: “We need to address the real crisis in Welsh rugby and that is ensuring that the game exists for future generations, and I believe that exposure to the Six Nations championship is fundamental to that.”

The Blaenau Gwent MS raised the example of Glamorgan cricket.

He said: “It does raise fears within me that the more we take the game away from the screens, the more we take it away from our communities and from the people who enjoy watching the game, and the less it becomes our national sport.”

The culture committee’s inquiry was sparked after John Whittingdale, a Conservative former culture minister, left the door open last autumn while giving evidence.

Sir John told the meeting: “We’ve always said that if the Welsh Parliament argued very strongly that, for the good of sport in Wales, we needed to look again at the listed events, we would look at it, certainly. So, it’s not closed.’

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