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Harrison Allen Final: Llangwm v Haverfordwest

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THE final of the Harrison Allen Bowl takes place this Saturday, August 27, with two teams battling for the most coveted prize in Pembrokeshire cricket.

As always the game takes place in Cresselly and it sees Llangwm take on Haverfordwest and both sides are confident they can win the big one.

Whoever wins there will be a new name on the trophy after holders Neyland were knocked out in one of the earlier rounds.

Llangwm finished second in the league, their best finish to a Division 1 season since 1969, and they will be looking to make it even more memorable.

Haverfordwest were relegated from Division 1 but they have players who have Harrison Allen final experience and they too are looking to end their season on a positive note.

The only league game between the two saw Llangwm take a comfortable eight-wicket win after bowling Town out for 97. The other game was abandoned because of rain.

It promises to be another exciting encounter with lots of action to look forward too.

Will we see a repeat of last year’s final when Neyland’s Patrick Bellerby cracked 15 fours and nine sixes in an unbeaten score of 134 or will it be a tight game between two good teams?

Haverfordwest were beaten finalists in 2020 but won it in 2019 and in 2016.

Llangwm were beaten finalists in 2013 while their last Harrison Allen final win came in 1993.

A stunning catch helps Llangwm to victory over St Ishmaels

ROUTE TO THE FINAL

Haverfordwest began their route to the final with a 59-run win over Narberth. Haverfordwest scored 159-5 in their innings with Ben Field scoring 80. Will Phillips then took five wickets for Town as they bowled Narberth out for 100.

They were drawn to play Johnston in the second round but as they could not get a team they were forced to concede.

In the quarter finals Haverfordwest played Kilgetty and scored 166-8 batting first. Adam James hit 66 from 33 balls before Dai Davies finished unbeaten on 44.

Archie Thomas claimed a five wicket haul as they bowled Kilgetty out for 131.

In the semi-finals, Town played Herbrandston at St Ishmaels and again batted first, scoring 184-7.

Ben Field scored 64 before Dai Davies again finished unbeaten on 48.

Archie Thomas took three wickets while Kieran O’Connor, Ashley James and Clive Tucker all took two wickets to bowl Herbie out for 84.

Llangwm began their run to the final in the second round after receiving a bye from the first round.

In round 2, they faced St Ishmaels at Pill Parks, scoring 146-9 batting first. Noah Davies and Joe Kiff both made scores of 27.

Steve Mills also scored 16 and then took 4-28 to help Llangwm restrict Tish to 142-6 to win by four runs.

In the quarter finals, Llangwm faced Carew. Carew scored 139-9 as Steve Mills took three wickets while Joe Phillips and Chris Inward both struck twice.

Inward then scored 33, Mills scored 30 and Joe Kiff scored 29 as Llangwm reached their target with five wickets in hand.

In the semi-final, Llangwm scored 198-2 against Lawrenny with Joe Kiff scoring 63. Steve Inward then finished not out on 92 and Mills was unbeaten on 31.

Chris Inward then took three wickets for Llangwm and Steve Mills also struck twice as Lawrenny finished short on 186-7.

Haverfordwest beat Kilgetty in the quarter final

WHAT THE CAPTAINS SAY

Haverfordwest captain Dai Davies said: “The team is feeling good going into the final, we are looking to finish on a high from a disappointing league campaign. Really excited for the day, up for the challenge against a very strong Llangwm side. Played really well in cup cricket this year and looking to produce another solid all round good performance.

“Llangwm are a very strong side, with great depth in there batting order, plenty of bowling options, I feel if they played a consistent side they would have won the league, great achievement to finish runners up.

“They outplayed us in the league game we played, we didn’t have a strong enough side on the day but credit to them they were very professional and won the game comfortably. Only played them at there place as game was rained off at Hwest.

“We feel relaxed going into it, being underdogs we believe will suit us, most of our side have been there and won it before, we feel that for us to come up with the win that our experience of big finals could be vital, we will need to be in the game at halfway stage and play better than them under pressure in the second half. Just hoping for a great day and a competitive game of cricket.”

(We are awaiting comments from Llangwm’s captain)

HIGHLIGHTS

There have been some excellent moments in this year’s competition including Lawrenny’s defeat of Neyland in the first round.

Toby Hayman scored a century for Burton in their first round win over Lamphey while second division Herbrandston made the semi-finals before losing to Haverfordwest.

In the semi-final Steve Inward finished unbeaten on 92 in Llangwm’s score of 198-2. Lawrenny’s Kyle Marsh scored 125 not out in their reply but it wasn’t enough for his side to go through.

Haverfordwest Ben Field scored 64 in their semi-final win and Dai Davies finished unbeaten on 48.

Action from the game between Llangwm and Haverfordwest at Pill Parks

PREDICTIONS

We asked some of the captains from around the county for their predictions for the game.

Pembroke Dock captain Nick Daley said: “I’m just swaying towards llangwm as they are in inform team with top players who have had a great season finishing second in the league. But if Adam James gets going anything can happen and it will be a brilliant final and he could win it on his own. Haverfordwest have been here before and won it but I think it will be Llangwm’s year. Good luck both teams.”

Lawrenny’s Joe Kidney added: “You can never predict a Harrison Allen final but I’ll go for Llangwm as they have a strong bowling attack and will post decent scores in both innings with that batting lineup.”

Cresselly captain Iwan Izzard said: “My money would be on Llangwm. Although Haverfordwest have a couple of big game players with Harrison Allen final experience. I think Llangwm are stronger all around as a team and will pinch a tight game.”

Saundersfoot captain Yannic Parker said: “After playing both teams twice in the season Llangwn’s strength in depth is only rivalled by Cresselly. I see only a comprehensive Llangwn win!”

Burton captain Luke Hayman: “I think Llangwm will win it this year. They have strong batting at the top of the order but I think it’s their depth in the bowling that will be too much for Harverfordwest.”

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Wales 10 – Ireland 34: Clinical Ireland outfox wasteful Wales

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RUGBY is often described as a game of inches, where the tiniest errors significantly affect games’ outcomes. That was the case on Saturday, where Ireland won convincingly by making fewer unforced errors than Wales.

As a contest, the game was all but over in the first 25 minutes. Ireland did nothing flash, nothing extraordinary. They were just better at the basics. It’s what you’d expect when the first-ranked team in the world play the ninth.

Conceding a try after two minutes was a bad start, but again and again thereafter, Wales either coughed the ball up or conceded penalties in clutch positions.

Ireland’s game management showed the confidence of being a settled group under a single coach with a defined game plan. Ireland’s players constantly worked off the ball to close gaps and shut off running lines. The Irish slowed down the Welsh ball and applied pressure with clinical precision. The Irish scrum and lineout gave the visitors’ backline time to play.

Whatever the Welsh game plan was before Wayne Pivac left as the coach (answers on a postcard for that one), on Saturday, Wales showed signs of trying to create a pattern of play based on phase play creating the space to allow Wales’s backs to punch through stretched defensive formations. However, a plan is only as good as its execution. And Wales repeatedly created good positions only to make sometimes desperately disappointing mistakes.

Twice Wales had the throw near the Irish line, and twice Irish forwards picked off the ball. On another occasion, Wales went long at the lineout in their half, only for the ball to land on the Irish side. Add that to a crooked throw in a promising position, and Wales lost momentum at crucial stages.
Ireland stormed into an early lead with their first attack ending with Number Eight Doris smashing his way over from close range. It got worse six minutes later when James Ryan scored with almost a carbon copy play.

Wales’s best chance of the opening quarter came when Irish full-back Hugo Keenan got to a loose ball over the Irish line before Welsh winger Rio Dyer.

Although Biggar got the home side off the mark with a penalty, within minutes, a telegraphed pass ended in the hands of Lowe, who streaked over unopposed for Ireland’s third try.

24-3 down soon became 27-3 following another Sexton penalty following Welsh indiscipline at the breakdown. Realistically, that score ended the game. However, in the half’s dying moments, Wales again applied pressure. Jac Morgan, who had a good game in a losing cause, crossed the Irish line only to be held up by a strong Irish defence.

It looked grim at half-time. Wales had been disorganised and disjointed, while every time the Irish got the ball in the Welsh half, they looked like they would come away with points.

Whatever Warren Gatland said at half-time got the Welsh players’ attention.

Wales came steaming out of the blocks in the second half, looking better organised and less frantic. Good phase play opened a gap in the Irish midfield, and Liam Williams sped through the gap to touch down near the posts, making Biggar’s conversion a formality. Wales continued to work through the phases, and only an uncharacteristically poor pass from Justin Tipuric spoiled a good chance for Rio Dyer to get a clear run at the Irish line.

Wales still tried to keep up the pressure but lacked accuracy at key moments when cooler heads might have produced more. As if that wasn’t bad enough, with fifteen minutes of normal time to go, Liam Williams was – maybe a little unluckily – yellow-carded for making contact with the ducking, bobbing and weaving Jonny Sexton’s head.

The man advantage was all Ireland needed to break Wales’s stranglehold on the match. They kept kicking for space behind the Welsh midfield and used Bundi Aki as a midfield battering ram to keep the Welsh players tied in at the breakdown. With Wales stretched and gaps appearing in the defensive live, Van der Flier had the simplest of tasks to add a fourth try for Ireland.

As the clock ticked down – and with Wales 34-10 down – the Irish pressed for the score that would give them a record win in Cardiff. Wales tried again to break out for a consolation score, more in hope than expectation, and it was all Ireland when the final whistle blew.

Warren Gatland said he was “strangely not that disappointed” after the game.

The Wales coach said: “The things I’m disappointed with are things we can put right: the slow start and giving away needless penalties. When you look at the game we put ourselves in positions we could’ve taken advantage of. We can take away the positives, look at our second half performance and improve on that.”

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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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