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Three Nations golds for Croft twins

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YEARS of dedication to a punishing training schedule paid off in style for Crymych’s remarkable 17-year-old Croft twins on Saturday (May 4) when both stood together on top of the Three Nations Championships podium for the first time at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens.

Southpaw Ioan proved king of the 60kg division, having overcome European champ Adam Azim (Pinewood Star) in the semi-finals en route to winning his second gold in the Three Nations, formerly known as the Great Britain championships.

Croft simply proved too good for Scotland’s Robert Hewitt in Saturday’s final and the unanimous points verdict was never in doubt.

Cardigan ABC head coach Guy Croft looked on in pride as Ioan’s twin Garan subsequently overcame Scotland’s Reese Lynch on a split decision in the 64kg final to make it a Three Nations double.

“This was Garan’s first Three Nations gold after being so close so many times,” he said.

“For me this was the culmination of eight years’ hard work, to get the boys on the podium together.”

An old rival of Ioan’s, Azim had beaten the Welsh teen in close bouts on their previous two encounters after really setting the benchmark in the 60kg class for the last three or four years.

The reigning European champion was looking to capture his fourth Three Nations title, only for Ioan to find his range immediately with straight sharp jabs and back hands.

“In the first round Ioan came out as sharp as I’ve ever seen him,” recounted Croft senior. “It was soon clear to me he was in control.

“Adam is usually a lightning-sharp counter puncher, but Ioan was in and out with his own shots without getting caught – the first round was close but I felt Ioan had edged it.

“The second  continued much the same way with Ioan taking more and more control while Adam started getting frustrated and making errors.

“The third saw Ioan completely dominate, landing a string of accurate straight backhands which Adam couldn’t seem to avoid.” The decision went to Ioan on a 4-1 split decision, only the English judge voting against the Cardigan ABC boy.

Following Friday’s semi-final drama, Saturday’s finals proved something of an anti-climax as far as Ioan was concerned as he comfortably secured the gold on a unanimous decision against the outclassed Hewitt.

Then it was the turn of Garan who produced a workmanlike display to edge out Scotland’s Reese Lynch whose awkward, spoiling style made for a messy encounter.

Garan, however, still enjoyed some success by landing the cleaner shots, taking the fight to his opponent.

The twins are now taking a well-earned break prior to moving up in weight. Cardigan ABC club-mate Mikey O’Sullivan competes in the Welsh Schoolboy championships next week.

Cardigan ABC are on the hunt for new members. Training nights in the gym off Maesyrhaf are Tuesdays and Thursdays (7pm-8.30pm).

Sport

Neyland Town council to meet cricket clubs’ Village Cup expenses

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NEYLAND TOWN COUNCIL has agreed to donate £250 to the town’s cricket club as they continue their National Village Cup campaign.

Neyland beat Cresselly in the Dyfed Area final earlier this month to progress to the last 32 of the competition.

This Sunday (Jun 20), they travel to the West Midlands to take on Milford Hall and the town’s mayor has agreed to meet their expenses.

If Neyland can continue their journey in the Village Cup a final at ‘the home of cricket’, Lords awaits in September.

Mayor Simon Hancock said: “As Mayor, in consultation with the clerk, we have agreed to make a donation of £250 to Neyland Cricket Club to help meet their expenses in travelling to Stafford in the West Midlands on Sunday.

“They are down to the final 32 teams left in the Voneus Village Cup originally drawing 350 teams from England, Scotland and Wales.

“The Neyland Cricket team have achieved astonishing success over recent years and Neyland Town Council want to assist them in reaching Lords, ‘the home of cricket’ in September. Good luck for Sunday’s fixture.”

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Crymych cricket club face folding if players don’t come forward

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CRYMYCH Cricket Club has launched an appeal for new players to join the club as it looks to fulfil its fixtures.

The club, founded 40 years ago, plays in Division 4 of the Pembroke County Cricket Club league but has seen several players unable to commit to playing due to family or other reasons.

They also play games in the Ken Morris Cup and in the Tivy Valley League during weekdays.

On their social media, the club has warned that they face folding if they are unable to find new players.

Crymych’s latest fixture on Saturday, June 12, had to be cancelled because they were unable to raise a team.

It meant that there opponents, Llechryd Seconds, were awarded the 20 points as Crymych were unable to fulfil the fixture.

This Saturday (Jun 19), Crymych are scheduled to visit Whitland seconds and the following week (Jun 26) they are scheduled to face Carew thirds on home soil.

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Cresselly see off Pembroke Dock to reach Alec Colley quarters

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CRESSELLY booked their place in the quarter finals of the Alec Colley Cup on Wednesday night (Jun 16) as they beat Pembroke Dock.

The Dock won the toss and elected to field but they saw the home side reach 183-5 in their 20 overs.

Scott Arthur and Mike Venables shared 62 runs for the opening wicket as they batted well together.

Bowyn Clark made the breakthrough for the Dock as he bowled Arthur who had hit a four and two sixes in his score of 26.

Soon after, Rhys Daley trapped Julian Arthur leg before wicket and he also bowled Venables on a score of 32 (three fours, one six) to leave the hosts on 72-3.

However, Simon Cole and Damian Arthur shared an excellent fourth wicket stand worth 101 runs.

Arthur his six fours and a six in his score of 43 from 28 balls but he was caught by Chris Owen off the bowling of John Camani.

Simon Cole hit ten fours in a score of 66 from 40 balls as Cresselly set the Dock an imposing target.

Needing 184 to win, the Dock lost Rhys Daley early on when he was bowled by Morgan Lewis.

Archie Hillier-Wood and Anton John shared 30 runs for the second wicket but it was Lewis again who made the breakthrough as he had John caught by Josh Lewis.

Hillier-Wood and Peter Kingdom shared another 30 runs for the third wicket before Josh Lewis had Kingdom caught by Julian Arthur.

Matthew Lewis then trapped Hillier-Wood leg before on a score of 30 to reduce the Dock to 73-4.

Corey Lewis bowled John Camani before Simon Cole bowled Adam Phillips on a score of 18.

The Dock’s score had been helped along by 25 extras but time began to run out for them and Corey Lewis picked up his second wicket late on to reduce the Dock on 116-7.

It meant that Cresselly picked up the win by 67 runs.

Elsewhere, Herbrandston booked their place in the quarter finals as they beat Llechryd.

Llechryd scored 100-9 in their innings before Herbie passed their target with only two wickets down.

The nights’ other match saw Saundersfoot take on Stackpole.

Stackpole reached a score of 85-7 in their innings before Saundersfoot eased to a 10-wicket win.

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