THERE were some surprise results in the West Wales Cricket Conference at the weekend as Aberaeron’s game with Tywyn on Sunday (Jun 17) ended in a tie while Talybont beat UWA Commoners on Saturday (Jun 16).
The results mean Aberaeron now lead the table by three points from the Commoners with Aberystwyth close behind in third following their win on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Commoners won the toss and elected to bat and they made a good total of 188-6 from their 40 overs.
Neil Stent departed early having scored 15 but Rakesh Bhatia and James Bryan shared a good stand for the second wicket.
Bryan hit five fours in a knock of 35 but he was caught and bowled by Philip Abraham.
Tim Hughes made 10 before he was caught off the bowling of Angelo Matthews and Jacob Hughes-Pickering added 11 before being stumped by Sojan Varghese off the same bowler.
Josheff Joshi bowled Will Copeland for a duck while Tom Goodman made a late score of 11 for the Commoners.
Bhatia top scored for his side with a knock of 80 which included 11 fours and a six.
Talybont batted well in their reply but lost Angelo Matthews when he was run out by Chris Ward while Sojan Varghese also suffered the same fate.
Philip Abraham was caught by Bhatia off the bowling of Tim Hughes while Josheff Joshi was trapped leg before by Will Copeland.
Ben Harper was the man in form for Talybont as he guided his side over the line with just five balls left to spare.
On Sunday, Aberaeron won the toss and elected to bat against Tywyn but they could only reach 132-8 in their 40 overs.
J Fice was out early on for a duck as he was caught by Ellis Melia off the bowling of James Bradbury-Willis.
The same bowler then had Steff Rees caught by Dylan Williams for a score of 6.
David Grinszpan made 14 but was then caught by Jack Williamson off the bowling of Richard Rees who then also bowled Hywel Rees.
Alexander Pitchford scored 11 but was then caught by Dave Jenkins off the bowling of Bradbury-Willis.
That left Aberaeron on 42-5 but a partnership of 66 took them past a century of runs.
Dave Floyd made 10 before he was caught by Rees off the bowling of Jenkins and Neil Snowdon added 12 before he fell to the same bowler.
Jenkins then claimed his third wicket as he had Daf Floyd caught by Jack Morris for a duck.
Jenkinson and Mark Gleason then saw their side to their total with Jenkinson not out on 37 and Gleason not out on 14.
Niki Williams fell early in Tywyn’s reply as he caught by Floyd off the bowling of Steff Rees.
Bradbury-Willis and Richard Rees batted well together with Rees scoring 19 before he was caught by Snowdon off the bowling of Grinszpan.
Bradbury-Willis scored 23 but he was caught by Pitchford off the bowling of Paul Hughes who also had Jack Morris caught by Snowdon for a score of 9.
Jack Williams also batted well for his knock of 33 but he was stumped by Floyd off the bowling of Snowdon.
Dave Jenkins added 15 before being bowled by Rees and Matthew Maslin was run out as Tywyn’s chances of victory faded.
Ted Hughes kept his nerve however as he scored 4, the last of his runs coming with the very last ball of the game to earn a tie for his side.
The other game on Sunday saw Aberystwyth Firsts beat their Second team.
Aber firsts won the toss but elected to field and that proved to be a good decision as they were bowled out for 144.
Tom Constantine was bowled by Gareth Lewis for a duck and Carwyn Jenkins followed soon after when he was trapped leg before by Rowan Dunbabin.
Dafydd Jones and Owen Keyworth batted well together before Keyworth was caught by Ted Trewella off the bowling of Ceri John for a score of 34.
Jones had made 36 but he was caught by Bryn Morris off the bowling of Dunbabin.
Dunabin also had Anthony Evans caught by Gareth Lewis and he then bowled Alwyn Davies and Steffan Davies.
Ioan Morris scored 18 before he was caught by Zaid Khan and Gareth Lewis bowled Dylan Jenkins for a duck.
Emlyn Mainwearing was also bowled by Kahn for a duck and that left Gwern Penri not out on 20.
In reply, Aber firsts lost Johnny Cordy when he was caught by Dafydd Jones off the bowling of Constantine and Tom Williams when he was bowled by Mainwearing
Ifan Thomas only scored 5 before he was also bowled by Constantine.
Zaid Khan and Ceri John then swung the game in the firsts’ favour with a good partnership which was eventually ended when John was caught by Constantine off the bowling of Penri for a score of 50.
Ted Trewella was out for a duck when he was caught by Carwyn Jenkins off the bowling of Alwyn Davies.
The Seconds could not remove Khan as he finished not out on 63 to help the firsts over the line.
On Saturday (June 23), Aberystwyth are at home as they take on Aberaeron in what could be another crucial match in the race for the title.
On Sunday (June 24), Talybont host Tywyn & District while the UWA Commoners will be looking to bounce back from defeat when they take on Aberystwyth Seconds.
Six Nations finale with Scotland sold out
Wales’ final Guinness Six Nations clash of the 2020 Championship – against Scotland – has sold-out.
The tournament climax for incoming head coach Wayne Pivac on Saturday 14th March, will be played out at a full capacity Principality Stadium in front of a 73,931-strong crowd baying for Welsh success.
Pivac opens his first Six Nations campaign, after taking over the head coach reins from incumbent Wales boss Warren Gatland, in Cardiff against Italy on Saturday 1st February with limited tickets (including U16s tickets at £20) still available for this game.
In all over 200,000 tickets have been sold for Wales’ three home matches in the competition and the round three meeting with France, on Saturday 22nd February, is set to follow Scotland in posting up the sold-out signs in the next few days.
The last time Wales faced the Scots, the Azzurri and Les Blues at home following a Rugby World Cup was the 2016 Six Nations, when all three matches sold-out before a ball was kicked, a factor directly influenced by a successful run in the tournament.
In Pivac’s first game in charge he leads Wales against a Barbarians side which will be led by his predecessor at the helm for Wales, Gatland, at Principality Stadium in November.
The Barbarians match has sold over 40,000 tickets to date, but also still has availability for U16s, at £10, with remaining adult tickets starting at £30.
Remaining tickets for Italy and France in the Six Nations and for the Barbarians game are available now from a Welsh rugby club near you, online at www.wru.wales/tickets, in person at the WRU ticket office or by phone 0844 847 1881 (calls to this number cost 7p per minute plus your company’s access charge) – maximum purchase limits apply.
Principality Stadium Official Hospitality Packages are available for all matches from 02920 822309 or visit www.wru.wales/hospitality, with Premium hospitality available for the Barbarians game and limited availability in The Players’ Lounge for Italy.
The WRU’s offsite hospitality partner Events International also has availability www.eventsinternational.co.uk and official travel packages can be purchased from the WRU’s official travel supplier, Gullivers Sports Travel by visiting www.gulliverstravel.co.uk and some member clubs may also still have tickets.
The WRU strongly advises all supporters to make sure they always ‘buy official’, only tickets bought from official sources (member clubs, official partners or the WRU direct) are guaranteed by the WRU – with tickets sold via unlicensed operators often cancelled and entrance regularly and regretfully refused on void tickets.
FIXTURES ON SALE NOW (includes ticket availability by category):
Wales v Barbarians, Saturday 30th November 2019, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 2.45pm (Double header with Wales Women v Barbarians Women, Kick-off 11.45am) Prices: £10, £20 (both sold-out to adults but £10 concession remains for U16 – with over 40,000, more than half capacity, available) , £30 *AFZ, £40, £50
Wales v Italy, Guinness Six Nations Championship, Saturday 1st February 2020, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 2.15pm. Prices: £30, £50 (both sold-out), £60 *AFZ, £60 (£20 U16), £65 (£20 U16), £75
Wales v France, Guinness Six Nations Championship, Saturday 22nd February 2020, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 4.45pm. Prices: £40, £65 (both sold-out), £90, £90 *AFZ, £95, £105 (sold-out)
Wales v Scotland, Guinness Six Nations Championship, Saturday 14th March 2020, Principality Stadium, Kick-off 2.15pm ALL SOLD-OUT
Wales make two changes for Fiji clash
Wales have made two changes for their third RWC Pool D encounter against Fiji on Wednesday (October 9 KO 18.45 local / 10.45 UK).
Both changes to the starting XV come in the back row with Ross Moriarty and James Davies coming into the side at number eight and openside flanker respectively with Josh Navidi switching to blindside flanker.
The front-five remains the same from Wales’ opening two victories with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis packing down in the front-row with Jake Ball and captain Alun Wyn Jones continuing their partnership in the second-row.
The backline for Wales remains unchanged with Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar named as the half-backs with Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies partnering in the midfield.
Josh Adams, George North and Liam Williams line-up as the back-three.
Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre and Dillon Lewis provide the front-row cover on the bench with Aaron Shingler and Aaron Wainwright completing the forward contingent. Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell and Owen Watkin are named as the backline replacements.
WALES TEAM TO PLAY FIJI ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9
1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (17 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (69 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (45 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (38 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (130 Caps) (CAPT)
6. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (21 Caps)
7. James Davies (Scarlets) (5 Caps)
8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (36 Caps)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (46 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (75 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (16 Caps)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (20 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (78 Caps)
14. George North (Ospreys) (88 Caps)
15. Liam Williams (Saracens) (60 Caps)
16. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (24 Caps)
17. Rhys Carre (Saracens) (1 Cap)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (17 Caps)
19. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (22 Caps)
20. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (14 Caps)
21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (11 Caps)
22. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (15 Caps)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (17 Caps)
35-strong squad named for bumper autumn series
WALES Women head coach Rowland Phillips has named a 35-strong squad for his side’s five matches in November – their biggest autumn series to date. Hooker Carys Phillips will continue to captain the squad which includes 14 uncapped players.
Wales begin the series with three away matches – against Spain, Ireland and Scotland before returning to Wales for the first match against a women’s Crawshay’s team coached by new WRU Council Member Liza Burgess and the first professional female coach in Wales – Rachel Taylor.
That game will take place at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale on Saturday, November 23, and Taylor will also be part of the opposition coaching team a week later for Wales Women’s first match against the Barbarians in the Principality Stadium double header.
Phillips said: “Our focus hasn’t changed. We are already qualified for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup and our key aim is to build a squad of young players with significant experience under their belts.
“This autumn series is a huge opportunity to do that. All players will gain from the experience of travelling away for three testing encounters against Spain, Ireland and Scotland – all of whom still need to qualify for the World Cup. And to be part of two historic encounters in Wales at the end of November against the Crawhshay’s and Barbarians is something we will all look forward to and enjoy.
“We finished the Six Nations on a high with a dramatic win over Scotland and then a pleasing win and performance against Ireland and we want to build on that momentum this season.
“There is excellent quality coming through – that was evident in the regional programme again this summer and some of those players are rewarded with squad places today. We have a responsibility to continue to develop those players, maximise their potential and also manage them well. We will expose them to an international environment and give them game time when ready. The likes of Lauren Smyth, Manon Johnes, Alex Callender and Gwen Crabb all earned their first caps last autumn and have gone on to become key players in the squad. The opportunity is there for others to do the same if they apply themselves.
“We are clear on where we need to develop to become consistently competitive. There’s a better understanding now from players of what is required of an international player in terms of fitness, skill levels, attitude and everything else that goes with being an international rugby player.
“We aren’t looking beyond the first game. Spain are making significant progress and will provide a tough challenge especially on their home turf. We are looking forward to locking horns with our Six Nations adversaries Ireland and Scotland who both have a point to prove and we want to engage as many home fans as possible in our journey and be part of our home matches at Ebbw Vale at Principality Stadium.”
WRU international skills coaches Geraint Lewis and Chris Horsman have joined Rowland Phillips and Gareth Wyatt in the Wales Women coaching set-up and will provide specialised input throughout the autumn campaign.
Phillips welcomed the addition of the former Wales international forwards. “Geraint and Chris are excellent coaches. With their wealth of experience working with young international players, they understand the need to adapt styles and management skills accordingly. It’s hugely encouraging for the women’s programme to become a more integrated part of the WRU performance structure. I know I’ve learned a lot from coaching female athletes and Chris and Geraint have already shown they will add value to the programme.”
Wales Women autumn series squad:
Forwards: (5 uncapped*)
Alex Callender (Scarlets), Gwen Crabb (Ospreys), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Georgia Evans* (Cardiff Blues), Abbie Fleming* (Cardiff Blues), Cerys Hale (Cardiff Blues),
Sioned Harries (Scarlets), Cara Hope (Ospreys), Jordan Hopkins* (Cardiff Blues), Gwenllian Jenkins* (Scarlets), Natalia John (Ospreys), Manon Johnes (Cardiff Blues), Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Bethan Lewis (Scarlets), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Robyn Lock* (Ospreys), Carys Phillips (Ospreys), Gwenllian Pyrs (RGC)
Backs: (9 uncapped*)
Keira Bevan, (Ospreys), Angharad Desmet* (Scarlets), Alecs Donovan (Ospreys), Lleucu George (Scarlets), Courtney Keight* (Ospreys), Kerin Lake (Ospreys), Caitlin Lewis* (Scarlets), Ffion Lewis (Scarlets), Rebekah O’Loughlin* (Cardiff Blues), Kayleigh Powell* (Ospreys), Paige Randall* (Cardiff Blues), Catherine Richards* (Cardiff Blues), Lauren Smyth (Ospreys), Elinor Snowsill Ospreys), Niamh Terry* (Ospreys), Megan Webb* (Cardiff Blues), Robyn Wilkins (Cardiff Blues)
Wales Women fixtures November 2019:
Spain v Wales Women, Estadio Nacional Computense, Madrid, Sunday, November 3, 12.45pm local time
Ireland v Wales Women, The Bowl, UCD, Dublin, Sunday, November 10, 1pm
Scotland v Wales Women, Glasgow, Sunday, November 17, 3pm
Crawshay’s v Wales Women, Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale Saturday, November 23, 2.30pm
Wales Women v Barbarians Saturday, November 30, Principality Stadium 11.45am
Tickets for the Barbarians double-header on sale via wru.wales/tickets
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