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Freak goal and double penalty miss costs Bluebirds on Halloween

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2014-10-31 22.26.07-1

Jordan Follows missed two penalties for the Bluebirds

A FREAK goal and two late penalty misses cost the Bluebirds all three points on Friday as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Afan Lido.

Jordan Follows could have settled it for the home side but after his first penalty was saved the referee ordered a re-take for encroachment by the Afan players.

However he sent the second penalty wide to let Afan Lido off the hook.

The visitors also survived the late sending off of Callum Bowden to earn themselves a point.

Rain and wind prior to the match had not made conditions easy at the Bridge Meadow but it was Haverfordwest started the brighter of the two teams.

The closest the home side came was when Chris O’Sullivan saw his free kick fly harmlessly over in the fifth minute.

Afan Lido threatened briefly when Josh Webber cut inside but he saw his shot blocked away for a corner.

The Blues began to dominate and went close when Jordan Follows saw a shot go narrowly wide but just moments later the Bluebirds finally took the lead.

An error at the back let Luke Borelli in and he took the ball round the keeper before shooting low into the net to make it 1-0.

Declan Carroll then chipped the ball through for Follows but the striker could not take it cleanly and the chance was gone.

In keeping with Halloween night, a freak goal then got Afan Lido back in the game.

Ross Hudson spotted keeper Wyn Walters off his line and his audacious attempt from out on the right wing looped all the way in to the net to make it 1-1.

The Blues looked to regain the lead and they almost did five minutes before half time when Follows crossed for Borelli but his low drive was well saved by Lido keeper Rory McCreesh.

The Bluebirds continued to dominate in the second half and they were inches away from taking the lead but after Carroll cut inside his shot whistled just over the bar.

Captain Dale Griffiths and Sean Pemberton both saw headers saved and frustration began to set in for the home side.

Keeper Wyn Walters had to be alert at the other end as the wind almost caught him off guard but he clawed away a free kick before also being tested with another ball into the box.

Then with just over ten minutes to go the Blues were given a penalty when the tricky Carroll was brought down.

Follows stepped up but saw his penalty magnificently saved by McCreesh only for the referee to order a re-take as he had spotted Afan Lido players encroaching into the area.

Callum Bowden was the player penalised by the referee and was shown a yellow card.

However, Follows sent his second spot kick wide of the left post and Afan Lido breathed a sigh of relief.

Bowden then received his second yellow eight minutes from time for a late tackle but he was dismayed at the decision as he was convinced the ball had gone out earlier in the move.

The Blues pushed on but they could not find a winner meaning they would have to settle for a point.

Manager Wayne Jones was disappointed with the result saying: “Everyone here tonight could see we had enough chances to win the game. All credit to them (Afan Lido), I thought they sat back deep and they made it hard for us to break them down.

“At the end of they day it is still another point, we’ve got to be positive, we had plenty of chances, two spot kicks, you’ve got to put them away, but their keeper’s pulled off three really good saves.

“It just wasn’t to be tonight, Halloween hit us hard”.

The Blues will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Ryhader Town in the Welsh League Cup next Saturday.

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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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