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Coach Gale blown away as Narberth beat Trebanos

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SOMEONE who has been looking forward to the new rugby season more than most during the post pandemic period at Narberth RFC is Sean Gale, who is Director of Rugby and head coach of the Otters.

He is charged with the responsibility of keeping them in the championship section of the WRU setup which this year has had a Championship Cup Competition introduced into the fixture list by the WRU prior to the normal Championship League delayed start on November 13.

Sean has a wealth of experience as a player with Llanelli and Bridgend, one season at Tenby United and then three years back at Parc-y-Scarlets when the Welsh regions were formulated and he became a professional player with the Scarlets.

“I was made very welcome by the players and especially the supporters at the Lewis Lloyd Ground way back in 2005 and I am still here. It is one of the reasons why I have stayed so long; plus the fact that we have managed to keep doing well, despite some of the so-called bigger clubs having a much bigger budget”.

That Sean should be so involved in rugby was perhaps only natural because his father Norman was a Llanelli player of some repute who played hooker for Wales on 25 occasions, two of them as captain. Then the Gale family had a pub near Stradey Park and Sean made his first team debut for the Scarlets when he was only 18 as he played against Pontardulais in the Welsh Cup.

On Saturday, September 18, he was blown away with the performance his Otters team produced at Trebanos.

Up to that date The OTTERS had remained unbeaten and the week before they had played at The Lewis Lloyd ground in the centre of Narberth Town and beaten Trebanos. So he was expecting a backlash at the rematch on the Trebanos home ground at Pontardawe in the Swansea valley.

At first it looked as though Trebanos were going to rule the day. Within 3 minutes ,on the grey Saturday afternoon with little wind and no sun glare, a quick break on the wing Trebanos scored a try by their outside half which was quickly converted by him. The Otters supporters were stunned. Score Trebanos 7-0.

Not to be outdone at the restart Otters gained possession and Guto Davies crossed the line under the posts leaving the ever reliable Nick Gale, Son of Sean, to convert. Score 7-7.

In the Trebanos 22 metre zone, New blood scrum half, a mere 18 years old George Macdonald, son of former stalwart Chris, was soon to make a rapid break and passed to Jonathan Rogers who claimed a try but unfortunately it was disallowed by the referee.

Moments later another opportunity presented itself when Nick Gale took an advantage  penalty and successfully crossed the bar. Score 7-10.

The otters were now in the ascendency but Trebanos kept up the pressure and were awarded a penalty outside the 22 metre line but the kick drifted to the right of the posts. Another Trebanos penalty kick 4 or 5 metres inside the OTTERS half also drifted to the right.

Twenty minutes into the first half drizzle affected the handling for both sides and unfortunately in the slippery conditions one of the Trebanos props sustained an injury. Trebanos did not have a front row replacement so the game continued with uncontested scrums. After the injury stoppage George Macdonald pounced on the ball passing to Steff Phillips to score, converted by Nick Gale. Score 7-17.

Narberth kept up their relentless pressure and George Macdonald was rewarded with a try to the left of the posts which reliable Nick Gale converted. Half Time Score: 7-24.

The second half continued in a similar vein finishing up with a final score of 12-43. So the OTTERS remain unbeaten this season and having blooded some very promising young players Sean Gale is justly proud of his results.

The outstanding performance from young George MacDonald netted him 4 tries and the award of Man of The Match presented by former Wales International legend and Trebanos supporter Rob Jones.

In the post-match summary Coach Sean Gale commented on his new “diamond” George Macdonald who scored 4 tries and the superb commitment of his other strong team members in the back row – Steff Phillips, Guto Davies, and Richie Rees the Captain. He was also full of praise for Ryan Banner and Rees Williams. In his view the control of the forwards was good and the defensive sets followed the drills so meticulously practiced in all their mid-week training sessions.

No wonder the travelling supporters came home to Narberth in a very merry mood. Narberth travelling supporter Peter John also commented that the Trebanos caterers provided the best beef burgers in the west.

The WRU has published dates for the second round of the WRU Championship Cup but at the time of going to press Team fixture dates/venues are not defined but the first set of games will take place on October 9.

However, the shortened WRU Championship League fixtures are known. The first home game for Narberth is Saturday, November 13, when they will host Neath.

Sport

Ammanford sign Kurtis Marsh from Lawrenny

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LAWRENNY’S Kurtis Marsh will play for Ammanford Cricket Club in the 2022 season after the two clubs agreed a deal.

Marsh was one of Lawrenny’s stand out performers in Division 1 of the Pembrokeshire League this year.

He scored a number of important centuries and fifties as his club just missed out on securing the league title.

In total he scored 1070 runs in 15 innings while his highest score was 140 not out.

He was the Division’s highest scorer by just over 200 runs and was unbeaten in five innings.

On Twitter, Lawrenny Cricket Club said: “Absolutely gutted to lose Kurtis Marsh to Ammanford but he absolutely deserves this opportunity to play at a higher level. An unbelievable player and a top, top bloke. Go and smash it up there Kurt!!”

Marsh will now look forward to testing himself in Division 1 of the South Wales Premier Cricket League.

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Sport

Carew and Hakin earn big wins in West Wales Cup

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CAREW and Hakin United were big winners on Saturday (Oct 9) as they booked their places in round two of the West Wales Cup.

Carew travelled to Neath Premier Division side Cilfrew Rovers and it didn’t take them long to settle as James Hinchcliffe scored in the opening minute.

Cilfrew’s task became ever harder three minutes later as Adam Muskett scored to put his side in a strong position.

Matthew Evans pulled a goal back for the Rovers after 16 minutes but with five to go until half time Carew scored their third through Sam Christopher.

Muskett and Hinchcliffe scored in quick succession in the second half to all but seal the win for the Rooks.

Goals continued to come as Muskett completed his hat trick before Shaun Whitfield, a Dylan Morgan penalty and two from sub Jack Christopher took Carew’s score into double figures.

Muskett then got his fourth of the game to make it 11-1 to Carew.

Hakin also made the trip to Neath to face Division 1 side Resolven and, like Carew, they did not have to wait long for the first goal of the game.

It came from Justin Harding after four minutes and it was soon 2-0 as Jaden Chapman scored.

Ben Aldred then scored two goals in the space of two minutes, both assisted by Ryan Wilson, to effectively win the game for the visitors.

Harding added his second and Hakin’s fifth shortly before half time.

Twenty minutes into the second half, the Vikings added a sixth as sub Laurie Haworth found the back of the net.

Aldred and Chapman added to the scoring before Shane Walsh scored with three minutes to go to seal a 9-0 win.

Kilgetty bowed out of the competition as they were beaten 4-2 by Giants Grave. St Ishmaels were also sent packing after they were beaten 7-3 by CKSV.

Merlins Bridge’s game away at Treboeth was postponed because of a positive covid-19 case amongst one of the Neath teams’ players.

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Sport

Saints go through to round two

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ST Clears booked their place in the second round of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Oct 9) as they beat Llangyfelach 3-0.

The Saints started the game slowly with most of the squad having been at captain Danny Peters’ wedding the day before.

Swansea Senior League Division 2 side Llangyfelach hit the post early on in what was their only real chance of the first half.

The Saints had quite a few chances to take the lead as Steve Thomas hit the bar with a good header from Ben John.

They slowly got on top and and they finally took the lead when the Llangyfelach keeper spilled a corner and Kyran Lewis nodded in from close range.

The second half was tight with more chances coming for the visitors but it was also heated at times with a number of yellow cards shown.

The second goal for the Saints when Nick squire hit a 30 yard effort from outside the box into the top corner, assisted by Martin Thomas.

Shortly before full time, the home side had Michael Matwychuk sent off for an apparent off the ball elbow.

Nick squire scored his second of the game from close range not long after to seal the victory.

The Saints’ reward for their win is a home tie against Felinfoel in the second round.

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