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Aber narrowly beaten by Saints

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Aberystwyth Town • 1
The New Saints • 2

ABERYSTWYTH TOWN fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of JD Welsh Premier League Champions The New Saints on a wet and windy Friday night (Oct 27) at Park Avenue.

In what was another spirited performance, Aber deservedly took the lead on 16 minutes after Declan Walker converted Ryan Wade’s cross-come-shot, however the visitors equalised on 41 minutes thanks to Greg Draper. The Saints secured all three points in the second half as John McKenna deflected Jamie Mullan’s cross into his own goal on 48 minutes.

Town started the game in a similar fashion to the way they ended last weekend’s victory at Llandudno, imposing their high-pressing game on the current league champions and passing the ball superbly.

Ashley Young delivered a couple of early set pieces which came to no avail, as Aber battled against the fierce wind throughout the opening stages. The first shot on target came after 11 minutes, when Ryan Brobbel tested Chris Mullock in goal for Aber, but soon after came the opening goal that Town’s play deserved.

A brilliant flowing move started with Ryan Wollacott and Matthew Jones at the back before Ryan Wade picked up the ball in midfield and ran at the Saints defence.

Wade played a neat one-two with Luke Borrelli before firing a cross-come-shot across the penalty area where Declan Walker was on hand to prod home the opening goal for Nev Powell’s men to make it 1-0.

Town continued to press high up the field, with duo Ashley Young and Malcolm Melvin marshalling the midfield excellently.

The Saints struggled to find their usual passing rhythm, but did have a golden opportunity on 29 minutes when Greg Draper dragged his shot wide of the post after being played clean through on goal.

Aber survived another scare on 37 minutes as Matthew Jones cleared off the line from a corner, but the visitors found the equaliser on 41 minutes.

Greg Draper pounced on a loose ball in Aber’s penalty area and after a fine save by Mullock, managed to convert the rebound to make it 1-1 on the stroke of half time.

Aber came out for the second half with the wind at their backs looking to build on an encouraging first half performance, but their confidence took an early blow as The New Saints made it 2-1 on 48 minutes.

Winger Jamie Mullan went on a weaving run down Aber’s right flank before fizzing a low cross across the six-yard box where John McKenna was placed to unfortunately deflect the ball into his own net. The visitors almost added a third goal soon after, as Chris Seargeant sent a free kick towards the top corner only to be denied by a great save by Chris Mullock.

Aber battled their way back into the game and continued to cause problems, with Ryan Wade shooting straight at ‘keeper Paul Harrison and standout youngster Matthew Jones providing excellent width down the left flank.

Striker Craig Hobson was introduced in place of Borrelli on 74 minutes as Town pushed for an equaliser, and on 82 minutes they almost found one as Declan Walker stormed in at the far post only to head John Owen’s cross agonisingly over the crossbar.

Ashley Young again tried his best to create an opening for Town in the dying seconds, as he launched a couple of long throws towards the penalty area, but the visitors stood strong and held out for victory as champions often do.

A slightly cruel result for Nev Powell’s men after what was another encouraging Aber performance in front of the Park Avenue crowd.

Town will be able to take many positives from their performance against the current JD Welsh Premier League champions and only full-time side in the league, and must now carry those positives forwards into Saturday’s (Oct 28) clash away to Prestatyn Town.

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.

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Sport

Exercise Referral Scheme doing more for health intervention than ever before

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A record 35,069 participants attended Exercise Referral classes during 2640 hours of health classes in 2019.

The National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) is an evidence-based health intervention scheme which incorporates physical activity and behavioural change techniques to support referred clients to make lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being.

NERS Ceredigion has seen a dramatic increase in demand over the past year. A coordinator and four full time exercise professionals work to deliver the scheme, delivering 73 classes per week. The age of participants range from 16 years old, with the eldest participant in Ceredigion being 95.

Exercise class options include Gym, Circuit, Postural Stability (seated), Spin Bikes, Aqua Aerobics, Tai Chi and Pilates. Venues include council and community centres in Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, Lampeter, Tregaron, Cardigan and Llandysul.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure, highlighted the benefits of the scheme, “There are many physical, psychological and social benefits to being part of the scheme, including confidence-building, better self-esteem, meeting new people and being generally fitter and healthier. Ceredigion Actif’s highly qualified Health Intervention Team provide opportunities to exercise that are fun, rewarding and that can be incorporated into everyday life.”

NERS Ceredigion targets people with a medical condition through various pathways including generic, cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary, PSI falls, stroke rehabilitation, mental health, cancer and weight management. The 16 week tailored programme of exercise is delivered by a team of specialist Level 4 qualified exercise professionals who guide referred participants towards realising their individual goals.

A participant in Aberystwyth said, “This has been the best thing I have ever done. I have thrived from doing different activities and pushing myself out of my comfort zone which has not only helped my self-esteem but also my depression and everything else including my pain. I have also made new friends which I didn’t even consider would happen and we’re not only being social but we’re having fun too which is a bonus”.

There is ongoing monitoring from the instructors with follow up assessments at 16 weeks as well as on completion at 52 weeks. Long-term ‘maintenance’ options are available post 16 weeks which include the continuation of exercise classes as well as opportunities to join clubs such as walking basketball, walking football, golf sessions and walking rugby.

During 2018-2019 there were 913 referrals to the scheme. To gain access to the scheme, a person needs to be referred by a Health Professional, usually a GP, Practice Nurse or a condition specific Physiotherapist.

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