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Harriers selected for Mini Marathon

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WELSH Athletics have named their team of thirty-six who will head to the Virgin Money Giving London Mini Marathon races in 2019.

The Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 28, 2019 and is the official British Athletic three-mile road championships for young athletes aged between 11 and 17.

The race is open to entrants from the nine regions of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and teams from all 33 London Boroughs.

It kicks off the day’s action in the English Capital as early as 8.40am before the main 26.2 mile London Marathon starts half an hour later.

A new selection was in place this year as each of the four regions in Wales held time trial events in January over 3000m. The winners from the South, East, West and North were guaranteed a selection spot whilst the final two spots were decided on the fastest times across the under 13, under 15 and under 17 age groups.

A total of five club athletes in the Dyfed district received the news recently that they’ve been selected to compete in the upcoming event, along with three reserves. For two, they will look forward to picking up their first Welsh vest and making their debuts in the English Capital.

The Under 15 boys has plenty of experience in the team which will include Carmarthen Harriers duo Liam Edwards and Dafydd Jones along with 2019 Welsh Cross Country Champion and Llanelli AAC’s Adam Beer.

Iori Humphreys (Pembrokeshire Harriers) has been named as one of the reserves should a space arise. All four have been in fantastic form over the country this winter and will aim to use the event experience to their advantage.

It has been a great cross-country season for the Carmarthen Harriers’ under 13s in the Gwent League and two of the group will join their Welsh teammates for the road trip to London. Zach Elvy and Jack Thomas both ran quick enough times in the time trials earlier this year to be selected.

Ffion Ouseley (Pembrokeshire Harriers) and Frances Mackie (Carmarthen Harriers) are the first two reserves in the under 13 girls’ category and will be ready should they be called up to the team.

For the majority of the squad, it will be an opportunity for them to test themselves against the best in Great Britain & Northern Ireland, competing against the other Celtic nations, the powerful English regions and athletes representing each of the London boroughs.

The London Mini Marathon is over the last 3 miles of the main 26.2 mile course. Hundreds of the next generation will take centre stage, following in the footsteps of their heroes including the likes of Mo Farah, Shelly Woods and David Weir.

This Weekend (Saturday, March 23), Welsh Schools will head to the annual SIAB Schools Athletic Board Cross Country International which in 2019 is hosted by Irish Schools in Dublin.

The Welsh schools squad expects to be highly placed in several of the age groups against athletes from their Celtic neighbours, with a number of experienced athletes looking to impress alongside debutants making their first appearance on the international stage.

Athletes heading to the International to wear the red vest of Wales were selected following the Welsh Schools National Cross-Country Championships, in Brecon on 13th February where the leading finishers that day were automatically chosen to be involved in this end-of-season International event.

There will be individual Junior and Intermediate races between English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Schools as well as a new 4 x 1500m relay in the upper age group where an additional 2 boys and 2 girls will be invited to participate in this additional element.

Wales’ team includes Beer, who finished as the second Welsh athlete in 7th at the 2018 edition in Nottingham and Humphreys who was 15th at the same fixture. They will both contest the Inter Boys’ 6,000m distance.

Jones will also make the journey and start in the 4 x 1500m lap relay alongside his country teammates.

Bro Myrddin’s Frank Morgan eased to victory at the selection race in Brecon in February and after competing in the East Midlands 12 months ago, will fancy his chances in the upper year of the age group.

Rhys Llewellyn (Haverfordwest High) will join Morgan in the junior boys’ race following his seventh-place finish in Mid Wales. Ioan Cressey-Rodgers is a reserve in this category.

Harriers coaches Delyth Brown and Carol Jones are among the Welsh team managers for the trip to Northern Ireland later this week.

Sport

Saints get back to winning ways

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ST CLEARS got back to winning ways in Division 2 on Saturday (Jan 15) as they beat Merlins Bridge seconds 4-1.

They were beaten by leaders Kilgetty in their last game before Christmas and they were keen to avoid another defeat against the side that sat just one place below them in the table.

The game started off frantically with lots of errors from both teams but after 15 minutes, both started to settle and the chances began to come.

The first fell to St Clears with Nathan Evans, after good link up play with Steve Thomas, who was through on goal but he dragged his shot wide.

Will Evans, who was busy on the wing for St Clears, then managed to beat the oncoming defender but his shot was at the keeper.

From this Bridge set up a counter attack and moved the ball well up to the strikers and a pinpoint cross found the head of Ryan Doyle who made no mistake from 8 yards out to put the hosts 1-0 up.

After the goal, St Clears began to find their rhythm, again mounting attack after attack and seeing a fair amount of possession.

There were chances for Will Evans, Josh Jones and a flurry of corners but the away side could not convert.

Bridge however, were proving dangerous on the counter and had two opportunities themselves to extend their lead which were snuffed out by the away defence and keeper Jason Jones.

Into the second half and it started very much like the first half ended.

St Clears went straight on the attack, playing their short, sharp passing game and began to create chances. Will Evans again had three early shots but Dan Birch the Merlins Bridge keeper was resolute and holding firm.

It was on around 60 minutes when a wide free kick was whipped into the box and challenged for by Nick Squire, that the ball fell and was coolly finished by Steve Thomas to bring the score to 1-1.

After this period Bridge began to get a bit more of the ball and started to form some of their own attacking play, however nothing significant to concern the away keeper, as the defence in front of him stood strong.

Around 70 minutes in and another excellent pass from Nathan Evans found Thomas again on the edge of the box, who brought the ball down on his left and thundered a half volley into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 to the away side.

Not long after this, Thomas again picked up the ball after a neat flick from Josh Jones and ran at the Bridge defence, Thomas then returned the favour to Josh Jones who went on to finish and make it 3-1.

Finally, around 85 minutes in, substitute Dorian Davies whipped in a long cross from wide and the ever alert Thomas ran in at the back post to secure a hat trick and a 4-1 win for the Saints. 

The win moves the Saints up to third, two points behind the top two with four games in hand.

On Saturday, January 22, St Clears host Johnston while Merlins Bridge seconds host Hakin United seconds.

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Pennar and Neyland share the points

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PENNAR Robins and Neyland settled for a point on Saturday (Jan 15) as their game at Bush Camp ended 2-2.

It was just over a month since both sides last played a game and Neyland welcomed back some absentees.

Pennar went in to the game on the back of two defeats (one in the league and one in the Senior Cup) while Neyland had suffered three straight league defeats.

The game was just six minutes old when Pennar took the lead as Nick Willis scored.

However two quick goals from Neyland turned the game on its head.

Mike Chandler levelled for the visitors and just two minutes later Max Bowman-Davies put Neyland ahead.

The action was not over though as Pennar hit back eight minutes before the break when Jack Phillips scored.

Both sides made changes in the second half in a bid to search for the winner but it remained 2-2 until the final whistle.

Neyland were pleased to pick up the point and will now look to start building some momentum and climb away from the bottom two.

On Saturday, January 22, Neyland travel to Monkton Swifts while Pennar are away to Narberth.

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Sport

Vikings see off Monkton

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HAKIN United picked up another win on Saturday (Jan 15) as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-1.

It was a physical encounter with both sides giving their all.

The Vikings took the lead after fourteen minutes as Camron Thomas crossed into the box and Mark Jones headed in to the top corner.

The visitors continued to create chances with Ben Aldred shooting wide while Shane Walsh volleyed over.

They held on to their lead until half time but they scored again on the hour mark.

Leon Luby whipped a cross into the box for Shane Walsh to knock in at the back post.

Monkton pulled a goal back just four minutes later as they broke from defence before the ball was played through for Dylan Davies who smashed an effort in off the underside of the bar.

The Swifts pushed for an equaliser but became susceptible to a counter attack.

With fifteen minutes to go Camron Thomas played the ball up to Ashley Bevan who held the ball before finding Luby who then beat two defenders before firing into the bottom right corner.

On Saturday, January 22, Hakin are at home to Hundleton while Monkton host Neyland.

Monkton Swifts: Taylor Gullam, Chris Richards, Rhodri Davies, Josh Richards, Shaun Donohoe, Declan Carroll, Blake James, Tom Powell, Dylan Davies, Jamie Wilkes, Jason Finnegan. Subs: Gareth Finnegan, Jack Clarke, Martyn Carroll.

Hakin United: Sam Franklin, Jake Merry, Camron Thomas, Jay Power, Mark Jones, Craig Nicholson, Justin Harding, Ben Aldred, Shane Walsh, Leon Luby, Jack Britton. Subs: Ryan Wilson, Laurie Haworth, Ashley Bevan.

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