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2021: Another odd year but sport makes welcome return

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2021 has been another odd year for sport. It started with uncertainty over when competitive sport would resume and has ended with action in full swing.

JD Cymru Premier Football was played before the return of cricket while football and rugby made a welcome return later this year.

With all football suspended bar the JD Cymru Premier, Haverfordwest County carried the flag for the county.

Despite a good season for the Bluebirds there was to be no European football for them as manager Wayne Jones did not have the required licences to lead his team in Europe.

There was though a memorable occasion for long serving captain Sean Pemberton who hung up his boots after his 259th game for the club in May.

Manager Wayne Jones resigned at the beginning of December and Pemberton was given the task of taking over, with former Wales international Jazz Richards by his side.

CRICKET IS BACK

Cricket returned at the beginning of May, well over 600 days since the last game of league cricket was played.

It was a welcome return for all concerned with many taking time to adjust to new rules such as having to sanitise the ball every couple of overs.

LEAGUE AND CUP WINNERS

The Division 1 title race took many twists and turns with Lawrenny pushing Neyland all the way.

In August, Lawrenny beat Neyland to go to the top of the table. The top two then met again in Neyland on the final day of the season but it was Neyland who came out on top to secure the Division 1 title.

Neyland led the way in cup competitions as they reached the semi-finals of the Village Cup and the quarter finals of the Welsh Cup.

Fishguard secured the Division 5 title on their return to league cricket while Llangwm and Pembroke Dock were promoted to Division 1.

Division 4 was won by Llanrhian seconds while their first team were crowned winners of Division 3.

Neyland seconds secured the Alec Colley Cup with a win over Cresselly in the final in August.

Llanrhian won the Alan Brown Cup in July as they beat Stackpole in the final which was played in Whitland.

Lawrenny did not miss out on silverware this year as they wrestled the Duggie Morris Cup from Neyland’s grasp, having beaten them in the quarter finals, by beating Carew in the final.

Narberth were also celebrating after beating Landsker Nomads in the final of the Ken Morris Cup.

In the ladies game, Cresselly were crowned league winners for the first time since 1999 and that made it a double-winning season after also securing the Clive Huxley Cup just a week earlier after they beat Whitland in the final.

HARRISON BOWL FIREWORKS

The Harrison Allen Bowl final took place at the end of August between Carew and Neyland.

Carew were bowled out for 109 in their first innings but what happened next was something special.

Neyland’s Patrick Bellerby hit a stunning 134 not out to guide his side to 241-2, the highest ever total in a bowl final.

It gave them a resounding 132-run lead and all but secured the Bowl for Sean Hannon’s men.

Carew gave it their all and at least made Neyland bat again but the damage had already been done and Neyland knocked off the 23 runs needed to win the Harrison Allen Bowl for a tenth time.

Bellerby’s knock included fifteen fours and nine sixes and came off just 69 balls with a strike rate of 194.20 and made him a worthy recipient of the man of the match award.

In September there was a charity cricket match in Pembroke Dock which raised £7000 for charity.

The money was split between mental health charities and Callum Jones who is recovering from serious injuries.

RUGBY AND FOOTBALL RETURN

It was the return of rugby and football that took centre stage in September. Rugby returned with the new WRU Cup competitions, designed to keep teams local in a bid to prevent the spread of covid-19.

Following the WRU Cups, the league seasons also recommenced in November and so far in the Championship, Narberth have secured four wins from their opening five games.

Whitland and Crymych have both picked up wins in League 1 West while Pembroke are yet to get off the mark.

In League 2 West, Fishguard and Milford are also off the mark while Tenby are also looking for their first win.

Cardigan are the leaders of League 3 West A with St Clears, Lampeter and Haverfordwest completing the top four.

In the football, Goodwick United are the leaders in Division 1 having won ten and drawn one of their 11 games so far.

Clarbeston Road sit second while Hakin are third having played three games less than the two teams above them.

Kilgetty are going well in Division 2 while Camrose are leading the way in Division 3.

It has been an up and down year for sport and with the break coming over the festive period it is time to stay safe and enjoy Christmas.

See you all in 2022.

News

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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Free multi-sports events for 5-7 year-olds in Haverfordwest

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SPORTS mad youngsters aged 5-7 and those looking to try out new sports and activities are invited to free multi-sport sessions in Haverfordwest.

The sessions run from 4.15pm to 5pm every Thursday during term time and are based on the Tennis Courts at Haverfordwest High VC School.

All sessions are free and there are a wide range of activities to try.

The sessions are run by Sport Pembrokeshire Staff and assisted by Young Ambassadors from Haverfordwest High

Local clubs also take part to run sessions and provide information on how to continue with any sport.

Parents/Carers who would like to sign children up for the session are required to complete the online form.

Dan Bellis of Sport Pembrokeshire, said: “It is great to see so many young people enjoying Sport and being physically active.

“The multi-sport sessions are great as they allow youngsters to try out so many different games and activities which really helps them to learn and develop.”

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