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Ioan Croft to fight for Gold as Garan gets Bronze

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CRYMYCH’s Ioan Croft will fight for gold in the Commonwealth Games after winning his semi-final on Saturday night (Aug 6).

He came up against Scotland’s Tyler Jolly, who had scored a 20-second knockout in the previous round.

The pair had also met a year ago with Croft gaining the advantage on that occasion.

The first round of their bout was a scrappy affair but was scored in favour of Jolly by way of a 3-2 split.

A good second round followed with Croft getting more success with his punches.

That showed as the judges gave a 4-1 split in the Welshman’s favour.

With the scores level on all but one of the cards it all came down to the final round. Jolly suffered a cut to the head following an accidental clash of heads but was ok to continue with two minutes still to go.

There was another stoppage due to Jolly’s injury but Croft finished well. That saw him earn a 4-1 split decision win.

Ioan’s final will take place on Sunday, August 7, at around 7:45pm.

Earlier in the light Middleweight division, Ioan’s brother Garan fought Northern Irish boxer Aidan Walsh and was beaten 4-1 on points, meaning he would have to settle for a bronze medal.

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Wales suffer Nations League relegation after defeat to Poland

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WALES were relegated from Group A of the Nations League on Sunday night (Sept 25) as they were beaten 1-0 by Poland.

They needed a win to stay in the top tier but, despite plenty of chances, they were unable to recover after going behind midway through the second half.

Gareth Bale started for Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium, after only being used a sub in the defeat to Belgium.

There was an early error from Wayne Hennessey as he recieved the ball but almost let it roll over the line before kicking the ball away.

With just over half an hour gone, Dan James ran towards goal and he could have passed to Brennan Johnson but chose to shoot instead and saw his shot saved. James then got the ball back but his cross was blocked by Szczesny and was cleared.

Shortly before the break there was another chance for Johnson but after he brought the ball down well, he saw his shot deflect wide off Dan James.

The whistle went for half time with the score at 0-0 and Wales knew they would need to come out well at the start of the second half to give themselves a chance of staying in Group A.

Neither side was able to create any real chances at the start of the second period. There were a couple of half chances from free kicks but they came to nothing.

There was a shout for foul on Dan James as he appeared to be elbowed off the ball by the edge of the box but the referee gave a goal kick to Poland.

On 57 minutes though it was the Poles who took the lead. The ball was played to Robert Lewandowski on the edge of the box and his exquisite flick fell into the path of Swiderski who shot under the legs of Hennessey and into the net.

Kieffer Moore was brought on in the aftermath of the goal to give Wales more options up front.

Two minutes later there was a chance for Wales as Brennan Johnson cut inside from the right but his shot was tipped wide the Polish keeper.

With thirteen minutes to go, Dan James sent a cross into the box and it bounced in front of Szczesny forcing him to push the ball wide for a corner.

Sub Ruben Colwill looked to make an impact but his cross was too close to the Polish keeper.

Moore and Colwill both saw shots blocked as five minutes of added time were shown.

Sorba Thomas then sent a cross into the box but Gareth Bale’s powerful header smacked the bar.

In the sixth minute of time added on Wales had a free kick on the edge of the box. Bale whipped it in but no one could get on the end of it and that was the last chance for Wales.

Despite the loss, Wales will still be looking forward to the World Cup, with their first game coming against the USA on November 21.

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Battling Wales beaten by Belgium

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WALES suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Belgium on Thursday night (Sept 22) as their hopes of staying in Group A of the Nations League took a blow.

Belgium dominated for large parts of the first half with Kevin De Bruyne instrumental in much of the play but Wales hit back in the second half.

An early second half goal from Kieffer Moore wasn’t enough as Belgium held on for victory.

It was Kevin De Bruyne who gave Belgium the lead after ten minutes and he had another shot minutes later but saw that effort go over.

There was then a chance for Michy Batshuayi as the ball dropped for him in the box but he blazed a shot high and wide.

De Bruyne was involved again in the 26th minute as he saw a shot fly onto the post. Wayne Hennessey then made a great save to deny Yannick Carrasco on the rebound. The offside flag was raised so it wouldn’t have counted had it gone in.

Dan James then had a chance for Wales but he saw his shot blocked.

A minute later it was Belgium’s turn to attack as Eden Hazard cut in from the left but he curled his shot wide.

Ten minutes before the break Wales won a corner which Dan James floated in but the ball was gathered by Thibaut Courtois.

Wales’ task then got a little harder as De Bruyne crossed into the box for Batshuayi who had an easy tap-in to make it 2-0 to the hosts.

With six minutes to go until the break Wales were given a free kick. Joe Rodon headed back towards goal but his effort was cleared and the headed rebound from Ethan Ampadu was well saved by Courtois.

There was another chance for De Bruyne but his shot was deflected wide by the bottom of Wayne Hennessey’s boot.

The visitors won a corner as half time loomed. It fell to the back of the box for Neco Williams but he saw his shot deflect off team mate Rhys Norrington-Davies.

It meant Wales would face an uphull battle in the second half if they were to get something from the game.

Four minutes into the second half Wales had a route back into the game. Johnson crossed from the right and Kieffer Moore rose highest to power a header home.

Gareth Bale was brought on with half an hour to go and he may have scored but for an intervention from a Belgian defender.

Some good play from Wales then saw them win a corner but Belgium were able to clear.

With thirteen minutes to go, Belgium were given a penalty as Joe Morrell was adjudged to have fouled. Replays showed though that he did get the ball and after consulting the VAR screen the referee overturned his decision.

There was a chance for Brennan Johnson with six minutes to go but he shot wide after being set up by Connor Roberts.

Bale then set up Neco Williams but he saw his curling effort saved by the Belgian keeper. Moments later, Johnson sent a cross into the box but no one could get on the end of it.

There were six minutes added on and in the third of those Belgian boss Roberto Martinez was shown a red card as he looked to delay the game.

Wales searched for a late equaliser but they were unable to find it as Belgium hung on for the win.

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Pembroke suffer last gasp defeat against Brynamman

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A LATE try for Brynamman saw them earn a narrow one-point win over Pembroke in the Division 1 Cup on Saturday (Sept 17).

It was an excellent game with Brynamman getting their first game in a competitive match since before the covid pandemic.

Tries for the visitors came from Andrew Mason, Osian Evans and Craig Jones while Mason added one conversion as did Joe Pike.

Pike and Mason also kicked a penalty each as they did just enough to seal the win.

Pembroke had earlier taken the lead through a try from Looshead Prop Lloyd Davies who scored after a driving lineout. Harry Fletcher added the extras.

Brynamman levelled with their first try of the game but Pembroke soon regained the lead.

Second Row Jordan Cornick touched down and Fletcher again converted to make it 14-7 at half time.

Shortly after the break, Aaron Williams got Pembroke’s third try to make it 19-7.

Brynamman then brought themselves back into the game with a penalty and an unconverted try, making it 19-15.

Pembroke though looked to have won the game when they crossed for their fourth try. A good move which started in their own half resulted in Aaron Williams making a good break before passing to Matthew Price who touched down.

The conversion was missed but with time running out they were now nine points ahead.

However, Brynamman did not give up and a converted try brought them to within two points. A late penalty then put them one point ahead and they held on for the win.

Aaron Williams, Jordan Cornick, Lloyd Davies, Harry Fletcher, Luke Alderwick and Matthew Lewis all stood out for Pembroke.

The next round of cup fixtures is scheduled for October 15. Pembroke are set to travel to Birchgrove while Brynamman host Gorseinon.

Pembroke return to action in League 1 West on Saturday, September 24, as they host Whitland.

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