WALES Women captain Carys Phillips believes her side are in the best shape yet to face their Six Nations challenges
“This year’s build-up feels different following a new regional training and playing programme leading into a successful autumn series,” said the 42-times capped front row forward.
“Following that and a Six Nations preparation period including a useful warm-up game against Ireland, I believe we will more competitive than you’ve seen in recent years.
“We have a lot of youngsters in our side. Our backrow has an average age of 19 and they aren’t daunted by the challenges facing them, they just see them as any other game.
“We have France and Italy first up as back to back away games which is a new experience for us. It’s a cliché but we really are just focussing on France to start with ad taking each game one by one. They are an excellent outfit as current champions, and we are expecting a huge crowd in Montpellier. It was a similar scenario two years’ ago in France – it will be a tough challenge away from home but you couldn’t ask for a better experience to kick off the tournament.
“You have to concentrate on playing rugby but you also have to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy it.
“France are a physical side that also like to kick the ball and play a wide game but we’re in a confident place and it’s games like this we need to make further progress as a team.”
Wales’ home games will once again be played at Cardiff Arms Park.
“We are really looking forward to coming back to the Arms Park for Round Three and a huge clash against England.
“Cardiff Arms Park is an excellent place to play, the crowd really got behind us in the autumn which means so much to us as a team.”
Tickets for Wales Women v England (Sunday, Feb 24, 12.30pm) and Ireland (Sunday, March 17, 1.30pm) are on sale now from Cardiff Blues box office online and to personal callers.
On a more disappointing note, Wales Women No 8 Sioned Harries suffered an ankle injury in the side’s Six Nations warm-up against Ireland and after further assessment will undergo an operation ruling her out of the forthcoming tournament.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is not currently planning to replace Harries in the Six Nations squad. He said: “It is obviously a disappointing blow for Sioned and for us as a squad. However, we are a tight knit group with a fair amount of strength in depth, especially in the second and back row. In particular we have a number of very young players who are set to gain a huge amount of international experience and exposure throughout this tournament.”
Bethan Davies and Gwenllian Pyrs were recently involved in a road traffic incident and are recovering from the effects of that before returning to rugby training.
Bow Street celebrate 2018/19 season
AN excellent gathering of players, wives, girlfriends and officials attended the annual Bow Street Football Club dinner at the Marine Hotel in Aberystwyth on May 17, to celebrate the end of the 2018/2019 season.
The season saw both the first and reserve teams consolidate themselves in their respective leagues after indifferent starts. The highlight though was the Under 19 team winning the Mid Wales League Cup and finishing runners up in their league.
All enjoyed a magnificent carvery, and the Chairman, Wyn Lewis thanked the Marine for the superb welcome and warm hospitality.
The Chairman thanked all at the club who had contributed during the season both on and off the field.
He was particularly proud of all the support that the teams had received during the season.
He then announced the first award of the evening – ‘Clubman Of The Year’.
This proved an extremely popular announcement as it was awarded to Richard Lucas, who is stepping down from the first team Management after 5 years.
Richard has contributed fully to the activities of the club for over 20 years as a player, junior coach and coordinator and as part of the senior team management.
Sion Manley and Rhys Evans the Under 19 Managers then introduced the awards for a team which had exceeded all expectations by winning the prestigious League Cup.
The popular management duo of Rhodri Jones and Leighton Reynolds introduced the awards in relation to the Reserve team, and Barry Williams, Richard Lucas and Amlyn Ifans, the First team management, announced the awards relating to the senior team.
The final award of the evening was the Pat Evans Memorial Award, which was given to the ‘Supporters’ Player Of The Year’ – winner being Tomos Wyn Roberts.
The evening, concluded with short speeches from Dylan Roberts on behalf of the sponsors and Allan ‘Baba’ Evans, vice president of the club.
Bow Street FC Firsts
Players player of the year: Matthew Pemberthy & Tom Wyn Roberts
Supporters player of the year: Tom Wyn Roberts
Top Goalscorer: Tomos Williams
Manager’s player of the year: Matthew Pemberthy
Young player of the year: Ryan Evans
Most improved young player: Bradley Walsh
Bow Street Reserves
Managers Player of the Year: Jac Williams
Player of the year: Neil Davies & Shaun Jones
Top goalscorer: Shaun Jones
Top goalscorer: Shaun Jones
Players Player: Siencyn Jones
Managers Player: Harry Turner
Clubman Of The Year: Richard Lucas
Bow Street reveal new Football Festival sponsor
THE prestigious Bow Street FC Junior festival celebrates its 17th anniversary on July 13-14 this year, and the club are delighted to reveal their new event sponsor.
Castell Howell Foods, firmly established as one of the UK’s leading independent food wholesalers, has agreed to sponsor the extremely popular event for the next two years.
Bow Street FC Chairman Wyn Lewis said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Brian Jones and Castell Howell Foods on board as our tournament sponsors.
“Castell Howell are well known for their commitment to community-based activities especially junior sport, and we appreciate the faith they have shown in us by agreeing to become our new partners.
“Brian Jones is a hugely respected figure in Welsh life and having been fortunate to meet him on a few occasions, it is obvious he has a huge passion for supporting youngsters and grass roots organisations.
“Our well-established Junior football festival is now supported by teams from across Wales and we believe that our new partnership demonstrates both its profile and the Club’s values and aspirations.”
Castell Howell’s Managing Director, Brian Jones said: “May I say how delighted, happy and proud we are to be associated with this now very well established, popular and hugely successful Junior Football Festival organised by Bow Street FC.
“We at Castell Howell are big supporters of communities and believe greatly in giving our youngsters opportunities and we are delighted to support this superb event in Bow Street.”
Under 19s retain National League trophy
ABERYSTWYTH Town’s Black and Green Under 19s retained their National League Trophy on Monday night (May 6) at Newtown with a well deserved 2-1 victory over Northern Champions Cefn Druids, thanks to goals from Lee Jenkins (36 mins) and captain Tom Evans, whose 75th minute strike won the match following Lewis George’s injury time equaliser for the Ancients.
Looking to repeat their first of last season by winning the Club’s first ever National League Trophy, Bari Morgan’s team started well with Dylan Benjamin and Tom Evans prominent down the right, and Harri Rowe impressing on the left side.
A number of opportunities were created with Liam Doherty and Niall Coleridge amongst others going close, but then nine minutes before the break Welsh Schools Captain Jenkins rose like a salmon to power home a header and give the Ceredigion side a priceless lead.
Oli Farebrother did brilliantly to deny George in a one on one but then in the third minute of injury time George sneaked in at the back post to equalise, leaving the game in the balance.
In truth Aber had dominated the first half without taking all their opportunities, and that pattern was repeated in the second half with Town’s back four of Rowe, Jenkins, Ryan Evans and Benjamin looking solid, Liam Berner, Carwyn Morgan and the tricky Niall Coleridge controlling the midfield and the front three of Steff Gittins, Doherty and Evans always looking dangerous.
Finally with a quarter hour remaining Evans down the right was played in by Doherty, and he expertly spun his man before blasting the winner low into the corner of the net.
Druids’ Ryan Davies was sent off with eight minutes to go and Aber saw the game out comfortably to ensure another hugely impressive triumph.
Captain Tom Evans received the Trophy amid joyous scenes and Manager Bari Morgan, Assistant Stefano Antoniazzi and Goalkeeping Coach Dave Owen were proud men as their young side celebrated another remarkable triumph.
They have a chance to earn a third Trophy of the season on Friday night at Machynlleth when they face Llanidloes Town in the Central Wales FA Youth Cup Final.
Everyone at the Club congratulates the entire squad on a wonderful achievement, which bodes well for the future of Aberystwyth Town FC and football in Ceredigion.
Photo by Colin Ewart
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