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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.

Sport

Narberth hosts Under 8s Rugby festival

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ON a cold Sunday morning (Sept 25) with temperatures barely above 10 degrees and with occasional rain and drizzle to dampen things down, a lively bunch of parents and coaches were entertained by youngsters learning and honing their rugby skills at the Lewis Lloyd ground which is the home of Narberth rugby.

It was a Lovely festival at home for the U8s of Narberth RFC and the young Otters won all their games:

Narberth 6 Llangwm 2
Tries from: 

Joe H x2
Danny E x1
Frankie P x2
Morgan R x1

Narberth 5 St Davids 2
Tries:

Noah L x1
Joe H x2
Danny E x2

Narberth 5 Pembroke 1
Tries:

Noah L x 2
Frankie P x 2
Molly J x1

Narberth 6 Milford 1
Tries:

Noah L x1
Jac M x1
Joe H x 1
Danny E x 2
Arthur P x 1

All the young players, boys and girls in the mixed team, were very pleased to be sporting their new kit, sponsored by RTS Lime Conservation and Tlysau’r Mor.

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Sport

Narberth Athletic seal big win over Emlyn

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THIS was a game of two halves, with Narberth playing at home on a very cold Saturday (Sept 24).

The visitors caused Narberth all sorts of problems at the breakdown in a frustrating first half of 40 minutes, the home team conceded 14 penalties but scored one try through Ryan Scourfield. Half time score 7-3.

After a good half time team talk from coaches Matt Davies and James Merriman, Narberth came out in the second half with a bit more enthusiasm and started to play at their renowned fast-running tempo creating some quick ball for the backs to work off, soon the tries started to come, scoring five tries in a purple ten-minute patch through players Ryan Scourfield, Shane Rossiter, Jordie James and Will (Pop) Davies.

During the second half, with Ryan Scourfield going over for his hat trick, two more tries followed from outside centre Llew Jones and Owain Hughes finishing off a superb display of running rugby.

Llew Jones moves the ball on

Shane Rossiter added four conversions to take the tally over 50 points. The running and linking play of the Narberth backs outclassed the visitors who never managed to breakdown the Narberth defence so they were unable to score any tries throughout the game.

Man of the match was awarded to flanker No 6 Jack Tucker on his first game back after a spell in Tenby.

A large crowd turned out to watch the squad and were well entertained. They enjoyed a social gathering in the clubhouse afterwards to finish the day off.

Sadly, one of the substitutes of the Newcastle Emlyn team, No. 6 Flanker Shaun Hawkins, suffered a leg and groin injury five minutes into the second half so he was taken to Withybush Hospital for a review. Narberth RFC wish him a speedy recovery.

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Sport

Narberth hold on for thrilling win over Bedwas

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NARBERTH travelled to Bedwas on Saturday (Sept 24) and came away with an excellent win at a ground where they hadn’t won for many years.

The young Otters team started well and within minutes a break from the base of a Narberth scrum led to centre Ilan Phillips sprinting in near the posts for a try which was converted by fly half Ianto Griffiths (0-7).

Shortly afterwards swift passing of the ball along the Narberth back line resulted in wing Josh Davies scoring in the corner. The try went unconverted (0-12).

Bedwas got themselves back into the game when the Bedwas scrum half took a quick penalty five metres from the Narberth line and scored under the posts. The Bedwas fly half converted to make the score 7-12.

Both teams attempted to run the ball at every opportunity but defences held firm until the ball unexpectedly popped out of the back of the Bedwas scrum and flanker Tom Powell was on hand to receive a pass and charge downfield. He raced a full 50 yards with no-one able to catch him until he reached the Bedwas try line and scored under the posts. Griffiths converted (7-19).

Then just before the break Bedwas were guilty of holding onto the ball on the ground and Griffiths kicked the penalty to make the half time score 7-22.

In the second half Bedwas came out far more determined and the Otters were forced to defend for long periods close to their try line. Eventually the Bedwas openside flanker raced over to score in the corner. The conversion attempt failed (12-22).

Within minutes Bedwas had scored again when from a lineout on the Narberth 5 metre line a rolling maul enabled the Bedwas hooker to score a try wide out and the conversion attempt was successful (19-22).

The Otters were now under constant pressure and the home crowd were jubilant when a further try was scored in the corner by the Bedwas right wing which was again converted to put the home team in the lead for the first time in the match by 26 points to 22.

However Narberth refused to give up and with ten minutes remaining they managed to score their fourth try when Josh Davies beat his man along the left touchline and passed inside to his supporting scrum half Lewys Gibby who scored the winning try wide out. The conversion attempt failed but the Otters held out for the remaining minutes to win an exciting and enthralling match 26-27.

After the match coach Sean Gale said: “I’m very pleased to come away with a win. We had 7 players in the squad today who were under 23 years of age and as a coaching team we feel we are doing our best to develop the young players in the area which augurs well for the future of the Club.”

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