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Otters have strength in depth

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THE Narberth RFC first team remained unbeaten during the WRU Cup and are now waiting for confirmation of the second round play-offs dates and venues. The strength in depth of the OTTERS is due to the commitment of the Coaches and back room staff for all teams not just the first.

The Club believes in nurturing the game and the players from the young sides under 5’s to under 16’s with just as much pride and commitment as that shown for the 1st team.

The results speak for themselves. One of the rising stars, George Macdonald, is only 18 years of age and playing for the 1sts has provided two magnificent performances as scrum half echoing the exploits of his father Chris MacDonald a former player and stalwart for Narberth RFC.

Members will fondly remember Chris – he was educated at Dyffryn Taf School, Whitland where he captained the schools senior side and was

Captain of Narberth RFC Under 15’s. On 27.04.1989 in the Youth Cup Final at Pembroke Chris scored 2 tries from centre position resulting in Narberth 14 Pembroke Dock Quins 10. The RFC club statistician Ken Mathias keeps records of all the teams and he provided the following insight.

He was also a member of the Narberth Youth Team that beat Cardigan 19-13 in the Final of the Youth Cup at Whitland following a replay. Chris was judged to be Player of the Tournament in the 1990 Narberth 7’s Squad that won the Pembs County 7’s tournament at Pembroke Dock Quins.

He made his debut in October 1990 in the Narberth First team in the Heineken League and during that season played 15 league games all of them at centre where he partnered either Peter Nicholas or Gerwyn Reynolds scoring his first league try in November of that year.

In November 1991 he played his first game at scrum half for the first team in the Heineken league and that turned out to be his favourite position in a long and illustrious career. During the season 1994 – 95 Chris joined Swansea RFC for a season and a half before returning to Narberth and he was subsequently elected Narberth First team captain in the season 1998-99. At the turn of the millennium in one season he scored 12 tries in league games.

Narberth RFC became champions of Division 2 and Chris played in 28 League games that season out of a total of 30 and his contribution the club’s promotion success was huge

His prowess in the sport led Chris in 2004-05 to join Llanelli in the Premiership and he scored the winning try in the last few minutes to win the Konica Minolta Cup Final 25 – 24 against Pontypridd. He stayed with them for two seasons before returning to Narberth. He also played for the Scarlets and represented the British Police on numerous occasions including several tours abroad

In April 2007 Chris played his last league game for Narberth and was awarded Man of the Match on merit. In total for the OTTERS Chris Macdonald played in 252 league games scoring 82 league tries and a further 10 in Welsh Cup games. Quite a record and his son George shows enough talent to match or surpass his dad’s achievements. Time will tell.

Under 9’s Charlie evading a Whitland tackler

In the meantime, at the start of the 2021-2022 season, other youngsters in the age group 16-18 are also showing promise in the Narberth RFC Youth Team. In the final game of September they beat Fishguard 20-10 in a pacy match played in good weather conditions on a superb OTTERS pitch. Defensively, many of the young bloods, some only just turned 16, were up against a heftier side of whom many of the opposition players were that bit older and more mature in their physique.

Youth Coach Rob Nicholas commented: “Our young Narberth youth team faced an older and much bigger Fishguard opposition on Saturday. From the outset Fishguard used their large forwards, running hard off the scrum half. After weathering this early onslaught with brave and aggressive tackling the home side started taking the game to the opposition.

Excellent handling and interplay saw them go into half time leading 10-0 with two well taken tries from Owen Llewellyn.

The second half mirrored the first with the visitors continuing to use their massive pack and the home team repulsing them time after time. Narberth continued to move the ball well and scored another excellent try through Yori Morgan.

Fishguard had a late rally but Narberth ran out fully deserved winners 20 points to 10. Outstanding for the young Otters were Yori Morgan, Brad Cramb, Owen Llewellyn, Tom Monk. The three coaches were unanimous in their choice of man of the match Harri Harries.

Not to be outdone the under 9’s age group were out practicing in the last Sunday of September. Ken Morgan went along to see the youngsters training routine involving tackle bags under the supervision of their coaches Andy Cotter, Dave Monan, Tomas Rees and Dylan Hughes.

At the end of the training session they then had a 40 minute session of two 20 minute halves playing against a Whitland team kitted out in their familiar Green and White strip from the neighbouring town.

There was some fast running from both sides but at this level the main aim of the coaches from both sides is to develop speed, awareness of space and passing the ball. The youngsters had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed playing on the 1st Teams pitch.

Youth Team Man of the Match Harri Harries
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Ultra-runner demonstrates to never give up on your dreams

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Rhys O’Mara (Left), Sanna (Centre) and Hollie Thomas (Right)

INSPIRATIONAL speaker Sanna Duthie recently inspired Military and Protective Services learners at the College with her story of running the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in a record breaking 51.5 hours without any sleep, to help raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Former College learner Sanna Duthie, an office manager by day and active runner by night, shared her experience of running the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in record breaking time. Sanna had participated in a few marathons over the years such as Tenby Long Course Weekend, the Gower 50 and the London Marathon.

However, the real adrenaline rush to complete the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was when Sanna competed in a 100 mile race of the coastal path in 2017.

“I realised I wasn’t too bad at that distance and then that’s when I got it in my head about doing the whole thing.”

Running a coastal path isn’t the easiest challenge and Sanna had to be prepared with an extensive training programme running over 300 miles a month equivalent to 10 miles a day. Sanna also had strength and conditioning training at a local gym to ensure her successful recovery.

“Coast running is hard on your muscles and joints and you need to strengthen those in order to not get injured,” said Sanna.

Originally Sanna started to run the entire coastal path in August 2020 but after 63 miles had to abandon the race due to dangerous weather conditions. This only made Sanna more determined and she completed her ultra-run on 8 th May 2021.

Sanna explained the highs and lows of the run, “There were times when I just wanted to quit, and I even started to hallucinate but I used a tactic where rather than focus on the whole run I broke it down into sections – this made things less overwhelming. Close friends and family would join alongside me on different stages of my run, and this motivated me to get to the finish line.”

Protective services learner Rhys O’Mara was thoroughly inspired by Sanna’s story, “I feel like, from the talk, I’m more inspired to go out and push myself to take on bigger and better physical challenges, the talk really showed that you can achieve anything when you dedicate yourself to a task. After College I’m looking to join the RAF as a drone pilot and have a full career in the forces.”

Sanna was the first female to run the entire coastal path and breaking the previous record of 64 hours and 32 minutes and raised an impressive £5,768.14 for charity.

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Sport

Veteran Vikings beaten by Swansea

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HAKIN United Over 40s travelled to the Llandarcy Academy of Sport last Sunday (Nov 28) to play Swansea University.

Hakin took the lead inside 10 minutes as Matthew Price raced clear of the Uni defence before side footing the ball into the bottom corner.

A great start for the Veteran Vikings, but on the half hour mark, two quick goals for the Swansea men turned the game on its head.

A third goal just before half time put Swansea firmly in the drivers seat, but, the Hakin players felt that the goal was offside and that there was a handball in the build-up.

However, despite all of the protests, the goal stood.

Hakin looked far more purposeful in the second half, but they failed to find a goal that was going to get them back in the game.

Hakin are next in action on Sunday, December 12, when Church Village visit the Obs.

Hakin 40s: Jim Payne, Nick Jones, Adam Collins, Ali Davies, Paul Hannon, Marc Devonald, Simon Atyeo, Mark Riley, Paul Jones, Matthew Price, Phil Richards.

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Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League results

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IN the Pembrokeshire Junior Netball leagues on Saturday (Nov 27), there were wins for Sapphires White Under 12s and Pembroke Under 14s.

There was also a win for Fishguard Under 16s as they beat Pembroke 28-24.

Results for Saturday, November 27:

Under 12’s:

Sapphires White 7-4 Chaos Thunder

Players player:

Sapphires: Orla Maulio Martina

Chaos: Annabel Richards

Under 14’s:

Pembroke 23-17 Sapphires White

Players player:

Pembroke: Carys Kenniford

Sapphires: Florence Barker

Under 16’s:

Fishguard 28 v 24 Pembroke

Players player:

Fishguard: Evie Rands

Pembroke: Megan Bowen

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