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Lawrenny reach Harrison Allen final

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LAWRENNY became the first side into the 2019 Harrison Allen Bowl final on Tuesday (Jul 9) as they beat Saundersfoot by five wickets in a thrilling game.

Saundersfoot had knocked out holders Cresselly in the quarter finals to ensure their would be a new name on the trophy this year and they looked to set a good score after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Openers Danny Caine and Nick Cope shared 44 runs for the first wicket.

Lawrenny then made the breakthrough as Cope, who made a score of 25, was caught by Joe Kidney off the bowling of Rob Williams.

Brad McDermott-Jenkins then bowled Caine on a score of 38 that included three fours and a six.

Ryan Morton then bowled Sam Franklin on a score of 19 and he did the same to John Mansbridge as Saundersfoot were reduced to 95-4.

Tom Mansbridge then took control as he hit four sixes and a four in a score of 50.

He had seen James Caine bowled by Kurtis Marsh and the same bowler then had Mansbridge caught to bring his excellent knock to an end.

Marsh then claimed his third wicket as he had Yannic Parker stumped by James Phillips.

Gareth Edwards then hit a six on the final ball to see Saundersfoot finish on 154-7.

Lawrenny got their reply off to a good start as Harry Thomas and Kurtis Marsh shared 56 runs for the first wicket.

Thomas made a score of 21 but he then edged behind to Taran Richards off the bowling of Danny Caine.

Marsh had hit five fours and a six in his score of 38 but he was then bowled by Nick Cope.

Brad McDermott-Jenkins was then caught by Tom Mansbridge off the bowling of Neil Powling.

Cope then struck again as he had James Phillips caught by John Mansbridge as Lawrenny slipped to 88-4.

Joe Kidney and Steve Lewis then shared 43 runs for the fifth wicket to put Lawrenny in touching distance.

When Lewis was caught by Richards off the bowling of Tom Mansbridge, Lawrenny still needed 24 from the final 18 balls.

They got that down to 13 from the final over and it was Kidney who kept his nerve with two runs, a four, another two runs and then a six off the final ball to spark wild scenes.

It meant that Kidney finished not out on 44 with two fours and three sixes and that Lawrenny had reached the Bowl final for the second successive year.

The Harrison Allen Bowl final will take place on Saturday, August 31, in Cresselly.

Lawrenny will play the winners of the second semi-final between Haverfordwest and Whitland which takes place in Carew tomorrow night (Jul 11).

Sport

MCE Team Wales prepares for International Nations Classique in France

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THE MCE Team Wales Classic MX, comprising 27 seasoned motocross riders, is gearing up to compete in the prestigious International Nations Classique race in Ahun, France. The event, scheduled for 16-18 August, will see Team Wales pitted against 13 other international teams, including strong contenders from the USA, Cuba, France, and Switzerland.

The team recently held a successful practice session at the meticulously prepared Meidrim track, thanks to the efforts of Stephen Holmes, Glen Mottram, and their dedicated team. Riders showcased their skills on classic bikes dating from 1956 to 1999, setting the stage for what promises to be an exciting competition.

Adding to the day’s enjoyment, attendees were treated to a superb buffet lunch prepared and served by The Wonderful Bar Hire Company. The 15-piece band ‘Sound Authority’ provided a lively musical backdrop, enhancing the festive atmosphere.

A highlight of the day was the presentation of the team kit by lead sponsor Mark Davies of Mitsui Components Europe. The contributions of all 21 sponsors were duly acknowledged, reflecting the community’s robust support for the team. A special thanks was extended to Peter Anderson, an honorary team member, whose generous donation allowed all riders to enjoy a complimentary drink from the bar.

Team Wales Manager Sean Smith expressed heartfelt gratitude for the hard work and support of key individuals, including Sharon Lewis, David Redfern, Delyth Smith, Brogan, Kolby, Star, Stephen Holmes, Gary Jones, Jane Hill, and photographer Lesley Clarke. The event’s success was also attributed to the tireless support from riders’ families and an army of volunteers.

Smith reflected on the day’s success, stating, “It was just the happiest day with the nicest people,” underscoring the strong sense of community and enthusiasm that propels Team Wales forward as they prepare for the international stage.

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Pembroke County Cricket Club Junior Leagues: Semi-finals confirmed

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THE EXCITEMENT in the Pembroke County Cricket Club Junior Leagues is palpable as the semi-finals for the Under 11’s category have been confirmed after a whirlwind of last-minute matches. The semi-finals will take place on 22nd July, with the eagerly anticipated final set for 7th August at Hook.

In a thrilling draw, the fixtures are as follows: Cresselly Under 11’s (Doves) will face off against Cresselly Under 10’s (Maroons), while St Ishmaels will go head-to-head with Lawrenny. The first-named teams will enjoy home advantage in these crucial matches.

Under 11’s Division:

The recent matches have been a showcase of young talent and competitive spirit. Laugharne faced Lawrenny in a gripping encounter, with Laugharne posting 224 runs before being all out. Lawrenny responded with a strong performance, reaching 227 for 4, thanks to standout contributions from Koby Lewis and Abby Stanley. Lewis scored 13 runs and took 1 wicket for 4 runs, while Stanley added 7 runs and claimed 2 wickets for 10 runs.

Another high-scoring game saw Whitland take on Lamphey. Despite Whitland’s 223 runs, Lamphey emerged victorious with a total of 283 for 7. Lamphey’s A Bendall shone brightly, scoring 25 runs and taking 5 wickets for just 2 runs, supported by strong performances from G Morris and L Midgley.

Hook continued their impressive form with a win over Cresselly Development, scoring 277 for 4 against their opponents’ 256 for 8. Dougie Goronwy and Tom Evans each scored 8 runs, while Oliver Brock contributed significantly with 2 wickets for 5 runs.

In a match against St Ishmaels, Hook fell short despite a valiant effort, scoring 232 for 12 in response to St Ishmaels’ 265 for 7. Maddox Bradshaw’s 12 runs and 4 wickets for 1 run were crucial for St Ishmaels, alongside solid performances from George Devonald and Seb Vickers.

The final Under 11’s match saw a dominant Cresselly side amass 424 runs for 3 wickets against Pembroke’s 151 for 15, cementing their position as a formidable force in the league.

Under 13’s Division:

Llechryd proved too strong for Whitland, with a decisive victory. Llechryd posted 183 for 5 and then bowled out Whitland for a mere 55. A James and F Cartwright were the stars for Llechryd, both contributing significantly with bat and ball.

In another clash, Llanrhian took on Haverfordwest, but despite a solid effort from Llanrhian, they were unable to surpass Haverfordwest’s total of 130 for 6. B Baker’s 25 runs were pivotal for Haverfordwest, while J Phillips gave a commendable all-round performance for Llanrhian.

St Ishmaels triumphed over Neyland in a closely contested match. Luca Orton’s 28 runs and Seb Vickers’ 2 wickets for 20 runs led St Ishmaels to a victory, narrowly defending their total of 100 for 5 against Neyland’s 94 for 4.

Under 15’s Division:

Kilgetty Under 14’s showcased their skills with a comprehensive win over Haverfordwest Under 14’s. Jack Cole’s 35 runs and Taylor Lewis’s 3 wickets for 10 runs were instrumental in Kilgetty’s total of 122 for 6, which proved too much for Haverfordwest, who managed only 60 for 9 in response.

However, in a match against Kilgetty, St Ishmaels’ game was abandoned in the 18th over with the result yet to be confirmed. Prior to the abandonment, M Britton and C Welch had led St Ishmaels to 124 for 3, while L Hall and E Gottwaltz made notable contributions for Kilgetty.

The cut-off dates for the Under 13’s and Under 15’s leagues are 26th July and 31st July, respectively. For more details and league standings, enthusiasts can visit the Pembroke County Cricket Club’s play-cricket website.

As the junior cricket season progresses, anticipation builds for the upcoming matches and the final showdown at Hook. Stay tuned for more updates and results.

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Wales rugby star at centre of controversy over damaged home incident

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A WOMAN whose home was damaged by a group of men, including Wales rugby player Cory Hill, has revealed the “devastating” impact the incident had on her family. Speaking to BBC Wales, “Sara” (not her real name) expressed her shock and disgust when head coach Warren Gatland recently named Hill as Wales captain.

Sara described the harrowing experience of the incident in May 2021, when a group of men, including Hill, mistakenly damaged her home. She recounted hearing a “thunderous banging sound” at her front door, which left her daughter terrified and asking, “Mammy, are people trying to get us?” Sara feared for their lives, believing someone was trying to break in with a sledgehammer.

The incident was resolved through a “community resolution” by South Wales Police, and Hill’s representative later apologised, stating the group had gone to the wrong property. However, the trauma from that night continues to affect Sara and her family, with her eldest daughter still receiving therapy.

In May 2023, Sara met Gatland and Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) director Nigel Walker at the Senedd to share her story. She described Gatland’s reaction as one of shock and sympathy, and she left the meeting with the impression that Hill would not return to the national squad. However, Hill was later included in the Wales squad for the Australian tour and was even named captain for a match against the Queensland Reds.

The decision to appoint Hill as captain sparked outrage, leading Gatland to apologise and Hill to withdraw from the match for “personal reasons”. Gatland admitted he made a mistake, stating, “I probably didn’t appreciate there was going to be some negativity about making that call.”

Sara felt betrayed by the decision, saying it “sullied” the captaincy role and left her “beyond disappointed”. She questioned why the WRU had not contacted her before naming Hill as captain, forcing her to relive her trauma.

Member of the Senedd Heledd Fychan, who arranged the meeting between Sara, Gatland, and Walker, criticised the WRU for its lack of communication. She expressed hope that the WRU would reflect on the situation and make better decisions in the future.

Nigel Walker acknowledged the deep trauma Sara had suffered and admitted that the WRU had made a mistake in naming Hill as captain. He apologised for the added trauma caused by the decision and assured that the WRU is striving to improve its decision-making processes.

Walker also offered support to Sara, including mediation, and expressed regret if she was left with the impression that Hill would not be considered for future selection. He emphasised the WRU’s commitment to learning from this incident to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Hill, who has since withdrawn from the team, expressed his regret over the incident, acknowledging that he made a mistake and apologising for his actions. Despite the controversy, he remains hopeful for the future and is focused on rebuilding his career.

The WRU’s handling of this incident highlights the need for greater sensitivity and awareness in addressing the personal impacts of players’ actions off the field. The organisation has vowed to learn from this experience and ensure that such mistakes are not repeated.

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