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Rugby Report

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Crymych1Narberth win nail bitter
Blackwood 28
Narberth 30
THE OTTERS snatched a bonus point victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying moments of their tough game away to Blackwood.
Narberth were behind for large periods of the game, trailing 16-13 at half time. Blackwood scored 13 early unanswered points as Narberth took their time to settle into the fixture.
The Otters scored their first half points in the last 20 minutes of the half, as fly half Ianto Griffiths landed a penalty, and converted Morgan Griffiths’ try, before specialist long-distance kicker Nick Gale stepped up to the kicking tee, and struck a cracking long-range penalty.
The second half began much like the first, with the Otters on the back foot and Blackwood extending their lead to 28-13. If the first 20 minutes of the half belonged to Blackwood, then the final quarter of the game belonged entirely to Narberth, as they upped their intensity and stringed together some beautiful phases to crawl back into a strong position.
Steffan Phillips got the visitors rolling with a well taken try, as the number 8 went on a typical bull-dozering run to touch down, with Ianto Griffiths adding the conversion. Griffiths would then find a space in midfield and used his feet to sneak through the tiring Blackwood defence to score a try of his own.
As the travelling supporters found their voice in dying moments, Narberth dug deep, as the forwards slowly moved their way upfield, before the hero of the day second-row Alex Jenkins, found himself with the ball and crossed the whitewash to record a memorable victory for Narberth.
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Crymych’s second half slip up
Crymych 19
Cwmllynfell 21
CRYMYCH conceeded an 11-point lead to slip to a two point defeat at home to Cwmllynfell due to ill-discipline in the second half.
The first 40 minutes of play belong to the Preseli Men as scrum-half Rhys Davies, back from a stint with Premiership side Llanelli, slotted two penalties before Guto Griffiths continued his try scoring form, touching down in the corner. Griffiths had crossed in the corner earlier, but the try had been disallowed, much to the frustration of the home crowd.
Leading 11-0 at half time, Crymych were looking good for the victory, but so much can happen in 40 minutes of play.
Dyfan Dafydd added an extra penalty for Crymych, however Cwmllynfell dug their heels in and began to muscle their way back into the game. Craig Kelly, Daniel Jones and Luke Battenbow all scored for the visitors.
Crymych did manage a try through Gavin Thomas, but some ill-discipline in the final moments of the game, gifted Cwmllynfell two kickable penalties, which Tristan Lewis happily obliged to convert to give his team an unlikely victory, and leave the Crymych faithful frustrated.
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Whitland wither at home
Whitland 19
Waunarlwydd 37
LEAGUE LEADERS Waunarlwydd were too strong in the second half for the Borderers, as they only trailed by four points at the break.
Aidan Laxton scored Whitland’s only first half try and Nico Setaro struck two penalties. Waunarlwydd secured the bonus point victory in the second half with some outstanding play from the whole 15 players, before Whitland scored a consolation try through Laxton, and Setaro struck his third penalty.
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First win for Blues
Haverfordwest 14
Tumble 9
HAVERFORDWEST finally got their season on track with a hard fought home victory against a difficult Tumble side.
The Blues started the game with great intent as Ryan Banner and Scott Candler crossed the white-wash, as full back Ashley Sutton converted both.
However, these were the only points of the game for Haverfordwest, as they lost their discipline, and Tumble’s Steve Hewitt slotted three penalties for his side. The height of frustration for the Blues came when both Sutton and Adam Williams were sin-binned, but stern defensive work meant their try line remained intact.
Haverfordwest’s Ashley Sutton said after the game: ‘’It was really important to get the first win on Saturday. The boys have worked really hard in pre-season and deserved a few wins in previous weeks, but hopefully now the win on Saturday will kick start their season.’’
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Tenby remain undefeated
Cardigan 7
Tenby United 12
TENBY remain at the top of their division after a hard fought match away to Cardigan.
The drama began in the first half as Cardigan’s Emyr Harries was red-carded, and Tenby scored their opening try through Jack Guerriro, converted by Jonathan Rodgers. The Cardi’s then replied with Dorian Butler touching down, with Iestyn Crompton adding the extras.
The second half was a war of attrition as only Tenby’s Dai Meyrick was able to cross the try line, maintaining Tenby’s unbeaten record.
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Miserable day for Milford
Penybanc 50
Milford Haven 0
MILFORD HAVEN’s season continued down a bad path as they remained scoreless away from home, conceding no fewer than 50 points.
Effort was seen from all Milford players, but a lack of confidence from this season’s results cumulated in another poor performance for the Mariners.
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Fishguard fall short
Laugharne 25
Fishguard & Goodwick 21
THE SEAGULLS fell short in the final moments of play as Laugharne were able to take the lead, and the victory through a converted try.
Simon James again led from the front for Fishguard as he touched down twice, along with centre Mike Jenkins, with scrum half Alun George adding two penalties to the total.
But some missed opportunities to see the game off from Fishguard allowed Laugharne to snatch victory from the Seagulls.

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Quins win hard derby
Pembroke Dock Harlequins 17
Neyland 10
THE QUINS secured their first win of the season with typically brutal contest against Neyland in an entertaining game.
Neyland’s Delme Bateman opened the day’s scoring with a try in the corner, before Gregg Miller slid over for a try. The Quins battled back through Alex Pearce, converted by Adam Cawley. Arian Heath was then able to cross for the Quins, again converted by Cawley.
A final Cawley penalty secured the victory for the Quins, with Neyland picking up a losing bonus point.
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Scarlets lose 100% record
Pontyates 15
Pembroke 3
PEMBROKE lost their first game of the season, as both sides entered this contest undefeated.
In a tight game, neither side gave an inch, but it was the Pontyates kicker who edged his team ahead, as he maintained pressure on the Scarlets.
Lewis Davies scored Pembroke’s only points with a well struck penalty, but it wasn’t enough as Pontyates prevailed.
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Wasps stung away from home
St Clears 41
Llangwm 3
LLANGWM were only able to manage three points away from home as they met a strong St Clears side.
Andrew Brock kicked the three-pointer for the Wasps, but an impressive individual haul of 21 points for St Clears’ Chris Rodenhurst helped his side claim a bonus point victory.
Saints well beaten on the road
Burry Port 80
St Davids 5
TRAVELLING with the bare minimum 15 players, St Davids were always up against it as they faced the promotion favourites Burry Port on their home patch.
Trailing 46-0 at half time, the Saints would be forgiven for imploding, but they refused to lay down, and in the second half, mustered the power to work up-field, with Russell Watkins scoring for the Saints.

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Conservatives in plea for rate reduction ahead of Small Business Saturday

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WELSH CONSERVATIVES have reiterated their calls for Labour ministers to slash business rates for next year as we work to bounce back from the pandemic.

The party’s renewed plea comes as we mark Small Business Saturday tomorrow (Dec 4) which encourages people to shop local.

The annual event, now in its ninth year, saw 15.4 million people across the UK support their local shops, spending a huge £1.1 billion.

Small Business Saturday is a chance to celebrate the fantastic work they do such as creating jobs for local people and supporting our communities.

The Welsh Conservatives believe this year is more important than ever for people to shop in their local small businesses as they work to bounce back from the pandemic.

There are 265,340 micro, small and medium sized businesses across Wales employing nearly 740,000 people and turning over £46 billion a year.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, Paul Davies MS, said: “From corner shops to cafes, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the beating heart of local communities up and down Wales.

“Businesses have taken a huge hit because of the pandemic and with our economy still recovering, it is vital we do all we can to help our traders get back on their feet.

“We can help by shopping local, but Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay can also play their part by matching the UK Government’s pledge to slash business rates by 50% for next year – or even more.

“It is important now more than ever to shop local and help our small businesses bounce back and I hope the Labour government will step up to the plate as well and provide them with much-needed economic support so they can flourish and grow.”

Welsh Liberal Democrats are also calling for aSupport Package for Small Businesses 

Ahead of Small Business Saturday, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for more action to support more small businesses across Wales.

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities and takes place on the first Saturday in December each year. 

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have stated that not enough is being done to support small businesses across Wales given the adverse few years they have just had to face, adapting to post-Brexit trading agreements and coping with the long-lasting fallout of the pandemic.  

Among the measures the party is calling for are: reform of business rates, improved broadband speeds and access, further investment in towns regeneration and a windfall tax on global giants like Amazon.  

Commenting on the calls Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds stated: “Small businesses are the backbone of the Welsh economy. With over 60 per cent of Welsh employment being provided by small and medium businesses, they will be the driving force behind our recovery from the pandemic.  

“It is for this reason, it is absolutely vital they are properly supported over the coming years with real tangible ideas. The Welsh Liberal Democrats would ease the pressure of business rates, invest in public transport, broadband and mobile phone signal, and make sure that big online business pay their fair share. 

“The Labour-Plaid Cymru deal is bereft of ideas to support small businesses and the Conservatives are busy undermining business in London. The Welsh Lib Dems have small businesses and jobs at the top of our agenda.   

“At the forefront is our call the reform of business rates. Business rates represent an enormous on our local shops and enterprises. An analogue tax in a digital age, rates give a competitive advantage towards online retail giants while punishing our local shops that actually employ local people and pay all their taxes.

“If the Labour-Plaid Cymru administration is considering reforming council tax, reforming business rates should also be at the top of their agenda. At a UK Government level we continue to call on the Conservatives to implement a windfall tax on online giants such as Amazon where the funds raised can go into improving high streets across the UK.

“We also want the Government to consider more support for a towns regeneration fund. We are proposing a £500 million towns regeneration fund over the next five years to invest in the physical and digital infrastructure of our towns. In rural regions like my own, digital connectivity is still a major barrier to the success of some small businesses.

“Its also important to recognise the impact that leaving the EU has had on many small businesses across Wales. Increased trading barriers and red tape have left many struggling to continue exports to EU customers, with the costs of increased bureaucracy putting them at a competitive disadvantage compared to companies in Northern Ireland and other EU states. The Welsh Liberal Democrats are continuing to call for an improved trading deal with the EU as well as the return of freedom of movement.

“We can do more to support our small businesses, we just need key players to find the political will to do so.”

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New funding for Pembroke regeneration scheme welcomed

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has said it is proud to announce the success of its bid to the UK Government Levelling Up Fund for its regeneration project at South Quay in Pembroke.

This £4.1million LUF award will enable the Council to develop phase 2 of the South Quay plans.

“The announcement has given us a welcome opportunity for a progress update on phase 1, and to share our plans for phase 2 of the project,” said Rachel Moxey, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration.

As part of its wider regeneration work across Pembrokeshire, the County Council embarked on an ambitious programme earlier this year to redevelop the historic and prominent South Quay site next to Pembroke Castle.

The work involves the restoration and re-use of three dilapidated Grade II listed buildings on the site, as well as enhancing the surrounding environment and improving access between the town centre, castle and the waterfront.

The first phase of work aims to create a new attraction celebrating the town’s legacy as the birthplace of the Tudor dynasty. The second phase will provide a new community hub for social care, continued education and supported employment. Together, the developments will provide a diverse and sustainable mix of new uses in the town.

Phase 1:

The first phase of works is taking place at numbers 4, 5 and 6 Castle Terrace (the road between Pembroke Castle and the junction to Main Street).

The scheme will provide:

  • a new Henry Tudor visitor centre, library and café
  • landscaping of the medieval ‘burgage’ gardens to provide tranquil and restful areas in the historic heart of the town
  • major improvements to the public realm

“We were under no illusions that this was a very complex scheme, and as is often the case with such projects, a number of challenging issues have arisen as the preparatory works continue,” said Steve Jardine, Regeneration Manager.

Issues have included a roof collapse and clearance of contaminated debris, providing additional support to the existing structure and designing for additional demolition works identified during the enabling stage.

Recent work has included providing a protection system to the vaulted medieval cellars of No.4 Castle Terrace and strengthening the property at basement level, to allow for a safer working area within the front third of the building.

The next stage will attempt to make the building safer, in order to allow further investigation and inspection works to finalise the design of the regeneration scheme. This will include the installation of scaffolding to support the front façade during demolition of some of the walls.

A revised timeline will see the remaining demolition and re-build completed by the end of August next year, followed immediately by the start of the construction of the new heritage centre, café and library, with completion planned for early 2024.

In common with many other schemes taking place at the current time, Brexit and the unforeseen impact of Covid have created time and financial implications for the project. The Council is nonetheless committed to staying on track to deliver on the overall scheme as an essential element of its strategy to breathe new life into Pembrokeshire’s towns.

Phase 1 has benefited from Welsh Government ‘Transforming Towns’ funding and investment from Pembrokeshire County Council.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “Repurposing and transforming our key town centres is one of the core elements of our economic development strategy. We are committed to regenerating the South Quay site into an attractive, sustainable and thriving development, of which Pembroke and Pembrokeshire will be very proud.”

Phase 2:

The second phase of development involves the completion of South Quay’s regeneration scheme and is centred on numbers 7 and 8 Northgate Street. It will provide:

  • a community hub over three storeys, including a space for day opportunities , space for digital media, art and heritage craft activities, and learning and skills areas to support independent living for people of all ages
  • environmental enhancements, including the restoration of the buildings, a new sunken garden and improvements to the parking area at South Quay
  • improved access between the Henry Tudor visitor centre and the waterfront

The development would enable the consolidation of adult social care in South Pembrokeshire, providing a modern, better-integrated, community focussed and more sustainable, inclusive day opportunities model in the heart of the town, and yielding savings to the public sector through the closure of existing, poorer quality facilities.

It will also support employment opportunities, which will be integrated within the operation of the new facility.

Jason Bennett, Head of Adult Social Care, said: “This innovative project is representative of our ambition to modernise social care, by offering inclusive services in the heart of our communities, helping people and families remain connected to their local area.”

Cabinet member for Social Care, Cllr Tessa Hodgson said it was ‘fantastic to see this substantial investment in Pembroke’. 

“South Quay is a really innovative scheme designed to benefit all members of the community and is a result of the ambition and drive of Cabinet and the hard work and vision of the regeneration and social care teams at Pembrokeshire County Council,” she said.

Cllr Aaron Carey, County Councillor for Pembroke St Mary South which includes the South Quay site, added: “By introducing an additional offering to the town we can move towards our full potential and offer people, local and visitors alike, reasons to stay in our beautiful town for longer.”

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Extreme pornographic images case to be dealt with at Swansea Crown Court

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A MILFORD HAVEN man who denies three charges of making indecent images of children and of possessing an extreme pornographic image portraying sexual interference with a corpse, has been sent to Crown Court for trial.

Markus Whatling, 38, of Waterloo Square, denies a further charge of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between May 2, 2010 and February 25, 2021.

Whatling was released by Haverfordwest magistrates this week on conditional bail, the condition being that he does not have any unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.

The case was heard on Tuesday.

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