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Aberaeron remain top with victory over Commoners

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ABERAERON remain top of the West Wales Cricket Conference as they beat UWA Commoners by 88 runs on Saturday (Jul 21).

The Commoners won the toss and elected to field and they were able to keep Aberaeron’s score down to 183-7 from their 40 overs.

Openers Fice and David Grinszpan shared 56 runs for the first wicket before the breakthrough was made by James Bryan as he had Fice caught by Guy Baron on a score of 29.

Alexander Pitchford scored 10 before being caught by Neil Stent off the bowling of Bryan.

Grinszpan and Steff Rees then added another 40 runs between them before Grinszpan was caught by Ian Lawton off the bowling of Rakesh Bhatia on a score of 47.

Steff Rees was then bowled by Umar Aslam on a score of 21 and Hywel Rees scored 15 before being caught by Baron off the bowling of Aslam.

Ian Lawton had Neil Snowdon caught by Bill Somerfield and Dave Floyd was run out on a score of 17.

That left Simon Mitchell not out on 9 as Aberaeron posted a modest total.

Mitchell then took four wickets as helped bowl the Commoners out for just 95.

Mitchell struck first when he bowled Neil Stent and James Bryan had to retire hurt on a score of 9.

Rakesh Bhatia scored 4 before he was caught by Neil Snowdon off the bowling of Mitchell and he then bowled Ian Lawton and Umar Aslam to finish with excellent figures of 4-9 from his six overs.

Will Copeland scored 15 before being caught by Dave Floyd off the bowling of Steff Rees and Bill Somerfield fell in similar fashion.

Jan Ruzicka scored 13 before he was caught and bowled by Sion Lewis and Chris Ward was caught by Dave Floyd off the bowling of Rees for a duck as the innings came to a close.

Guy Baron finished not out on 24 but it wasn’t enough to prevent a fifth defeat of the season for the Commoners.

TALYBONT kept the pressure on leaders Aberaeron as they beat Aberystwyth Seconds by 129 runs on Saturday (Jul 21).

Talybont won the toss and elected to bat and they posted a good total of 235-6 from their 40 overs. They were then able to bowl Aber Seconds out for just 106 to earn a comfortable win.

Aber edge past Tywyn

ABERYSTWYTH edged to victory over Tywyn and District on Sunday (Jul 22), as they beat them by one wicket.

Tywyn batted first and posted 187-6 from their 40 overs as Ed Iffla top scored with a knock of 60.

Openers Callum Taylor and Richard Rees got Tywyn off to a good start with scores of 24 and 29 respectively before both fell to the bowling of Nigel Salmon.

Salmon also bowled James Bradbury-Willis on a score of 3 before Mark Evans also bowled Matthew Maslin.

Dave Jenkins made a late score of 26 before he was bowled by Sion Meredith and Dylan Williams finished not out on 24 to guide Tywyn to their total.

Aberystwyth lost Robin Varley early on in their reply when he was caught by Ed Iffla off the bowling of Richard Rees for a score of 6.

Dafydd Jones and Sion Meredith kept the score ticking over but Tywyn struck again as Jones was caught and bowled by Jack Mynard on a score of 25.

Mynard also bowled Mark Evans on a score of 5 before Meredith and Sion James shared another good stand.

Meredith scored 55 before he was caught by Callum Taylor off the bowling of Bradbury-Willis and James scored 52 before he was trapped leg before by Ed Hughes.

Tywyn again hit back as Bradbury-Willis had Mel Jones caught by Dave Jenkins on a score of 7 and Jenkins then had Rob Rudge caught by Richard Rees on a score of 1.

Nigel Salmon was run out by Bradbury-Willis for a duck and Antonio Corbiniero also fell without scoring when he was bowled by Jenkins.

That left Aber reeling with nine wickets down but Joel Dixon finished not out on 14 to see Aberystwyth to victory.

On Saturday (Jul 28), UWA Commoners are at home to Talybont.

On Sunday (Jul 29), Aberystwyth play Abersytwyth Seconds while leaders Aberaeron travel to Tywyn and District.

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Sport

Swans grab last gasp play-off spot

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WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).

Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.

The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.

The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.

And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.

The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.

Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.

The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.

But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.

John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.

Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.

Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.

Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.

But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.

However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.

Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.

With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.

Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.

With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.

Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.

However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.

Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.

Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.

They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.

The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.

And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.

Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.

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Sport

Glamorgan launch new kit

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GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.

Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.

Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.

The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.

The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.

Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.

“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.

“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”

Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’

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Wembley trip for Giggs’ men

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CYMRU will travel to Wembley Stadium on Thursday 8 October for a home nations international against England.

Ryan Giggs’ side will return to action this autumn for the first time in 10 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kicking off with the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League campaign. The match against England will be one of two additional international matches scheduled as triple headers in October and November. In keeping with current Government guidelines, this fixture is scheduled to be played behind-closed-doors.

Since their first encounter in 1879, England are Cymru’s second oldest opponents with 102 matches in total producing 14 wins, 21 draws and 67 defeats. Cymru’s last visit to Wembley Stadium was in 2011 for a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier, with Ashley Cole scoring in a 1-0 defeat.

Ryan Giggs’ side will be using this match to prepare for the rescheduled EURO 2020 finals next summer where they hope to return to Wembley, one of the host stadiums, for the latter stages of the tournament.

Looking ahead to the autumn, Cymru are in Nations League Group B4 alongside Bulgaria, Finland and the Republic of Ireland with fixture dates as follows:

Thursday, 3 September – Finland v Cymru (7:45pm)
Sunday, 6 September – Cymru v Bulgaria (2:00pm)
Sunday, 11 October – Republic of Ireland v Cymru (2:00pm)
Wednesday, 14 October – Bulgaria v Cymru (7:45pm)
Sunday, 15 November – Cymru v Republic of Ireland (5:00pm)
Wednesday, 18 November – Cymru v Finland (7:45pm)

All fixtures are scheduled to be played behind-closed-doors for the foreseeable future.

The FAW will continue to adhere to relevant Government guidelines and supporters will be notified should arrangements change and tickets become available.

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