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Town take tenth Bowl title in thriller

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HAVERFORDWEST won the Harrison Allen Bowl on Saturday (August 31), after they beat Lawrenny in a thrilling final played in Cresselly.

Overnight and early morning rain had threatened to delay the start of the game but the sterling work of the Cresselly groundsmen ensured the game would start on time.

It was Lawrenny who batted first after Town won the toss and chose to bowl.

Kurtis Marsh and Brad McDermott-Jenkins got Lawrenny going with some fine hitting as the pair shared 93 runs for the first wicket.

Those runs came inside the first ten overs but it was Marsh who departed as he saw his shot caught by Mike Jones giving Simon Holliday his first wicket of the day.

McDermott-Jenkins then reached his half century as he and Harry Thomas continued to pile on the runs, taking Lawrenny past 150.

Brad had smashed his way to a score of 76 but then saw himself bowled by Lee Summons.

Town then began to hit back as Summons bowled James Phillips before Adam James did the same to Ryan Morton and Joe Kidney.

Harry Thomas finished unbeaten on 53 however as Lawrenny’s opening 22 overs came to a close with them on 192-5.

Town knew they would need to bat well if they were to keep the lead down, or even build a lead.

They made a blistering start too, Adam James reaching his half century in just the sixth over.

Lawrenny then made the breakthrough as Brad McDermott-Jenkins caught and bowled Simon Holliday on a score of 10.

James Buckle then took an excellent catch to dismiss Danny Potter and give McDermott-Jenkins his second wicket.

At the start of the ninth over, James smashed three big sixes in a row but then saw himself caught by McDermott-Jenkins on 84 as Marsh picked up the crucial wicket.

Marsh then bowled Dai Davies and McDermott-Jenkins then bowled Dan Field to leave the Town on 96-5.

Lee Summons and Jake Merry looked to rebuild and the pair shared 25 runs for the sixth wicket.

Merry then walked down the pitch to play a shot but missed and he couldn’t get back in time as James Phillips knocked the bails off to give Marsh his third wicket.

Mike Jones was then caught by James Buckle off the bowling of Ryan Morton and Archie Thomas was caught by Morton off the bowling of Rob Williams.

Jack Scriven then edged behind to Phillips and with the penultimate ball, Clive Tucker was run out by Buckle.

That left Summons not out on 25 but Town had been bowled out for 149, giving Lawrenny a lead of 43 at the half-way stage.

Marsh and McDermott-Jenkins began again for Lawrenny as they looked to increase their lead.

However, in the second over, Town got the early wicket they wanted as Tucker bowled McDermott-Jenkins.

Marsh was joined in the middle by Harry Thomas and the pair batted well together taking the lead past 100.

They put on 64 runs for the second wicket but Holliday made the breakthrough as he had Thomas caught by Adam James on a score of 33.

Town then struck again as James Phillips hit the ball to Mike Jones who clung on to give Holliday his second wicket.

Holliday then had another as he had Steve Lewis caught by Adam James and he soon had a fourth as he had Joe Kidney caught by Jake Merry.

That left Lawrenny on 91-5 after 14 overs and their lead was only 134.

Holliday wasn’t finished there either as he then ran out James Buckle who had set off for a run that wasn’t there.

Marsh then reached his half century but then saw Ryan Morton trapped leg before by Adam James on a score of 15.

Marsh made his way to a score of 58 but then missed as he came down the wicket for a shot and was stumped by Scriven.

That left Lawrenny on 130-8 with their lead on 173.

Skeels hit a six but a mix up with Tom Cole saw the latter run out by Archie Thomas.

Thomas then had Rob Williams caught by Jake Merry as Lawrenny were bowled out for 143.

That meant that Town would need 187 to win their tenth Bowl title and they would need to go some too to do it.

James and Holliday did indeed go some as the pair shared 104 runs off the first ten overs with some excellent hitting.

Holliday reached a score of 43 but then saw himself caught and bowled by McDermott-Jenkins.

James had smashed his way to a score of 81 from only 44 balls but he was then caught by Ryan Morton off the bowling of McDermott-Jenkins.

That left the Town on 129-2 but Danny Potter and Archie Thomas shared twenty runs for the third wicket.

Morton bowled Thomas but Danny Potter and Dai Davies continued to put runs on the board as the game went down to the wire.

Potter and Davies both cracked maximums as Town edged closer to a remarkable victory.

Potter finished not out on 37 while Davies hit the winning four to finish not out on 15 and spark scenes of celebrations amongst Town players and supporters.

It was a cracking final and a great advert for Pembrokeshire cricket and Lawrenny will feel desperately unlucky to have missed out two years in a row.

Town captain Danny Potter claimed the Bowl for the third time as Captain and for the tenth time in the club’s history.

Adam James was named man of the match shortly after for his knocks of 86 off 33 in the first innings and 81 off 44 in the second.

News

Wales international Johnny Williams signs new Scarlets contract

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THE SCARLETS said this week that they are delighted to announce that Wales international centre Johnny Williams has signed a new contract with the club.

The 27-year-old joined the Scarlets from Newcastle Falcons in 2020 and after just four appearances earned his first Wales cap, against Georgia in Llanelli.

A powerful-carrying presence in the Scarlets midfield, he has since made 46 appearances, scoring six tries, including a memorable interception in last season’s Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Clermont Auvergne.

He has won seven caps for Wales, featuring at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “Johnny has been a key member of the side in recent years. He’s a player who is a dynamic carrier, is physical with and without the ball, has a good skill set and has an impact on every game he’s involved in.

“He is an important cog in how we look to play and it’s fantastic that he has agreed a new contract with the club. I know the fans will be thrilled with this news and, along with the likes of Eddie James, Joe Roberts and with Macs Page coming through, we have a lot of talent in that midfield pool for the coming years.”

Johnny Williams said: “I am delighted to have signed a new contract. It has been a frustrating season in terms of results, but I am excited by the potential of the squad we are putting together.

“A lot of young boys have put their hands up and we showed during the final few games of the season the kind of rugby we can produce.

“Pre-season will be around before we know it and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in, ready for a big start to next season.”

Johnny is the latest player to recommit to the Scarlets ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, following Tonga lock Sam Lousi, Wales internationals Tom Rogers and Harri O’Connor and back-rowers Dan Davis and Ben Williams.

Scarlets have also strengthened their squad with the addition of hooker Marnus van der Merwe (Toyota Cheetahs), prop Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), full-back Ellis Mee (Nottingham), lock Max Douglas (Toyota Canon Eagles), Wales international prop Henry Thomas (Castres Olympique) and back-three player Blair Murray (Canterbury).

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Osasuna welcomes Haverfordwest County A.F.C.

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THE PRESIDENT of Haverfordwest County AFC, Rob Edwards, visited the Navarrese club to learn more about the work the Club is doing on and off the field

Pamplona (Wednesday, June 19, 2024) – Club Atlético Osasuna welcomed Haverfordwest County A.F.C. president Rob Edwards this morning. During his visit, the president of the Cymru Premier team, the top tier of Welsh football, met with Rojillo president Luis Sabalza to talk about the work Osasuna is doing on and off the field. Later, he visited the Tajonar Sports Complex to learn more about the job done at the academy level. Today’s meeting was the Union of European Clubs Board members’ first meeting.

For the president of the Navarrese club, this type of encounter is essential as it showcases the growth Osasuna is having at a global level. “I think it is crucial because, recently, it seemed as if Osasuna only had relevance in our region and our community. However, Osasuna has gained worldwide notoriety through the Spanish Supercup and the Conference League. It has brought us a ton of joy that many clubs and executives want to come to know Osasuna and the work we do on and off the field and with our academy because it shows that we are not only doing good; we are doing great. Our goal is to make Osasuna known worldwide,” Sabalza said.

Haverfordwest County A.F.C. sees Osasuna as a model club for growth. “We are a small club, and we are looking to grow on and off the pitch, as well as our infrastructure, fan engagement, and community reach. It is always fascinating how bigger clubs can fix these problems… The objectives and solutions are very similar despite the size of the club compared to ours. Many clubs outside the elite European group will have the same challenges. It is great to understand how they overcome them and how they continue to grow and develop,” Edwards mentioned.

It is not only Osasuna’s front office work that caught the attention of the Haverfordwest County A.F.C. chairman but also the club’s work at the academy level. Edwards visited the Tajonar Sports Complex to learn more about the academy. While in Tajonar, he met with Tajonar director Ángel Alcalde and Tajonar technical director Patxi Puñal, who presented him with ‘Método Tajonar,’ the academy’s work method.

“[Osasuna and Haverfordwest County] share the same ethos of bringing through young players to the first team and giving young players a pathway into a career in football. I think the mindset of a club like Osasuna and what we are trying to achieve in Wales at our club is very similar. It’s been really interesting to come and understand how you work with the local community and how you engage to fill up the stadium and create such an amazing atmosphere,” Edwards highlighted.

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Haverfordwest County officials to visit Atlético Osasuna for strategic discussions

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NEXT week, Haverfordwest County A.F.C. chairman Robb Edwards and COO Beccy Nuttall will travel to Spain to visit Club Atlético Osasuna. During their visit, they will engage in high-level discussions with Osasuna’s upper management, focusing on community and fan engagement strategies.

In April, both Haverfordwest County A.F.C. and Club Atlético Osasuna were appointed to the Executive Board of the Union of European Clubs (UEC), an international organisation established in April 2023. The UEC was founded to provide a voice to the 92% of professional football clubs that often go unheard. The Union aims to democratise decision-making processes in European football, ensuring that each club has a vote and that the destiny of the sport is not determined solely by the wealthiest clubs on the continent.

“We look forward to this meeting with Osasuna and hope our collaboration with other clubs continues to grow,” said Edwards. The upcoming visit underscores the commitment of both clubs to fostering stronger ties and working collaboratively to shape the future of European football.

The discussions will likely cover a range of topics, from enhancing fan experiences to developing community outreach programmes, reflecting the shared values and objectives of both clubs within the UEC framework.

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