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Aber slip to second Old Gold defeat

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FOR the second time in a week, Aberystwyth Town were beaten by bottom side Carmarthen Town in the Welsh Premier League.

The Old Gold won 1-0 against the Seasiders on Boxing Day and on New Years Day (Monday, Jan 1), Carmarthen came away with a 2-1 victory to boost their hopes of getting out of the bottom two.

On a blustery Monday afternoon at Park Avenue, a bizarre 66th minute goal from Carmarthen goalkeeper Lee Idzi, followed by a late Liam Griffiths strike were enough to hand the Old Gold all three points, despite a consolation goal by Aber’s Matthew Jones in added time.

The defeat leaves Aber in 10th place in the JD Welsh Premier League and mathematically ends Nev Powell’s side’s hopes of finishing in the league’s top six positions ahead of the second half of the season.

Visitors Carmarthen Town came into the game having won just two of their previous nineteen league games, but buoyed by their Boxing Day victory over the Seasiders.

Nevertheless, it was the hosts who started the game strongest, with the gale force wind at their backs, as Declan Walker fired an early shot straight at Lee Idzi in the Carmarthen goal.

Aber continued to dominate the early stages as Craig Hobson volleyed over the bar before Ashley Young’s in-swinging corner came inches from crossing the goal line.

On 28 minutes, Aber again went close as Walker tried his luck from long range once more, before Jonny Spittle fired an effort wide of the post.

The visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game as the strong winds significantly impacted both teams’ efforts. As half time approached, Luke Borrelli swivelled on the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a shot that was deflected straight into the grateful arms of Idzi, as the first half ended in stalemate.

Aber came out in the second half playing into a stiff breeze, but there appeared to be more urgency in their play.

On 55 minutes, Town created the best chance of the game as Luke Borrelli’s goal bound effort was cleared off the goal line after a scramble inside the penalty area.

Celebrations: Lee Idzi celebrates his goal

However, the turning point in the game came on 66 minutes as Carmarthen took the lead through the most unlikely of scorers.

Goalkeeper Lee Idzi collected the ball inside his penalty area before launching an innocuous clearance downfield, which got caught in the wind and looped over the head of Aber ‘keeper Chris Mullock and into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Nev Powell sensed it was time for changes as he introduced Joe Phillips and Malcolm Melvin to try and create some added goal threat.

On 77 minutes, Aber again went close, as Declan Walker broke free down the right flank before narrowly shooting over the bar.

Aber were becoming increasingly desperate as they searched for an equaliser, and on the stroke of full time Carmarthen delivered the sucker punch goal that finished the game.

Keiran Lewis played in substitute Liam Griffiths who slotted a neat finish past Mullock to make it 2-0.

Town were able to grab a consolation goal before the full time whistle as Matthew Jones tapped in Ryan Wade’s cross at the far post, but it was too little too late for Nev Powell’s side.

The defeat confirms Town’s place in the league’s bottom half for the remainder of the season, as the Seasiders now aim to finish in the lucrative 7th place come the end of the season and the potential for a European play-off game.

Aber must now turn their attentions to their next JD Welsh Premier League fixture, away at Cardiff Metropolitan University on Saturday in a 5:30pm kick off, live on TV in front of the Sgorio cameras.

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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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