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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

Welsh Government Rural Affairs Minister congratulates this year’s award winners

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EVERY nominee for this year’s Lantra Cymru Awards scheme has demonstrated their commitment to lifelong learning and maintaining the highest standards across all areas of working, Welsh Government Minister Lesley Griffiths has said.
The Minister has thanked and congratulated all this year’s award winners as well as the training providers who had nominated them.
The Minister said: “The Lantra Cymru Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the commitment and passion of individuals across Wales. A huge well done to all the nominees, winners and training providers for all of their hard work including to increase efficiency and introduce further innovative ideas into their ways of working.”
Leading Welsh agriculturalist Mr Peter Rees, chair of Lantra Wales, presided over this year’s selection panel, which included Kevin Thomas, Director of Lantra Wales, Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones, founder and Managing Partner of Agri Advisor solicitors and agricultural Health and Safety expert Brian Rees, a former chair of the Wales Farm Safety Partnership and a Farming Connect farm safety mentor.
Mr Rees said that the Lantra Cymru Awards was always one of the highlights of the annual Welsh farming calendar, adding that it was testament to all the industry’s rural stakeholders, including colleges and training providers, that despite the current economic challenges within the industry, they had again identified and nominated many outstanding individuals.
“The Lantra Cymru Awards scheme, now in its 28th year, rewards the lifelong learning achievements of the many workers who, through their significant skills and abilities, contribute not only to farming but to the wider rural agenda in Wales, our rural economy and to the communities where they live and work.
“Each nominee’s clear commitment to continuous professional development and achievements within the environmental and land-based sectors, is doing so much to maintain professional, up to date standards within our industry.
“Each one of them is making a significant contribution, not only within their own particular area of working, but to the sustainability and modernisation of Welsh agriculture long term,” said Mr Rees.
Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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Funding boost on offer for local sports groups

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INVESTING in grassroots and community sport has led to more than £300,000 being accessed by local clubs in 2022 and this year it could be your chance for a share.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Sport Pembrokeshire helped 55 sports clubs receive a share of £335,388 from Sport Wales via the Be Active Wales Fund grants system last year.

In 2023 there are grants available for a variety of schemes or activities including coach education courses, essential items of equipment, new team start-ups and developing ‘on field’ activities.

Examples from last year include a Sea Cadet unit receiving £16,522 to buy a new safety boat as well as powerboat and safety boat courses, a table tennis club that got £700 for two new tables and a local football club accessed a grant of nearly £8,000 for training courses, balls, bibs, cones and goalposts.

Graham Willcocks at Trefloyne Junior Golf Academy, said: “The grant we received from the Be Active Wales Fund got us off to a flying start. We didn’t have much in the bank so it was a massive leap for us when they provided all the equipment we needed to get youngsters starting to play golf.
“With the support of Alan Jones at Sport Pembrokeshire, it was easy, with a straightforward application process and a really fast turnaround. Without that grant we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are today.”

Sports Development Link Officer at Sport Pembrokeshire, Alan Jones added: “We would love to hear from any clubs and sports groups, large or small, to see if we can help access some grant funding to support community sport, and encourage people to get in touch.”  

Any sports clubs interested can find out more about the grants from Sport Pembrokeshire and the Sport Wales websites.

Email sport@pembrokeshire.gov.uk for more information and to tell the team about what your club needs and what you would like to do.

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Wales supporter from Pembrokeshire dies in Qatar during World Cup

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A WALES fan has passed away while following his team with his friends and family at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Kevin Davies, a 62-year-old from Pembrokeshire, has sadly died while in the Middle East with his son and some pals to witness Wales’ first World Cup campaign since 1958.

The Pembrokeshire Herald understands that Mr Davies died of natural causes on Friday but he was not at the stadium to watch Wales’ 2-0 defeat by Iran.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office confirmed it was “supporting the family of a British man who has died in Qatar”.

His family is being offered UK consular assistance.

The Wales Football Supporters’ Group said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Kevin Davies, of Pembrokeshire, who sadly passed away in Doha yesterday.

“The Red Wall are a family and we are here for you.”

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