Narberth win nail bitter
THE OTTERS snatched a bonus point victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying moments of their tough game away to Blackwood.
Narberth were behind for large periods of the game, trailing 16-13 at half time. Blackwood scored 13 early unanswered points as Narberth took their time to settle into the fixture.
The Otters scored their first half points in the last 20 minutes of the half, as fly half Ianto Griffiths landed a penalty, and converted Morgan Griffiths’ try, before specialist long-distance kicker Nick Gale stepped up to the kicking tee, and struck a cracking long-range penalty.
The second half began much like the first, with the Otters on the back foot and Blackwood extending their lead to 28-13. If the first 20 minutes of the half belonged to Blackwood, then the final quarter of the game belonged entirely to Narberth, as they upped their intensity and stringed together some beautiful phases to crawl back into a strong position.
Steffan Phillips got the visitors rolling with a well taken try, as the number 8 went on a typical bull-dozering run to touch down, with Ianto Griffiths adding the conversion. Griffiths would then find a space in midfield and used his feet to sneak through the tiring Blackwood defence to score a try of his own.
As the travelling supporters found their voice in dying moments, Narberth dug deep, as the forwards slowly moved their way upfield, before the hero of the day second-row Alex Jenkins, found himself with the ball and crossed the whitewash to record a memorable victory for Narberth.
Crymych’s second half slip up
CRYMYCH conceeded an 11-point lead to slip to a two point defeat at home to Cwmllynfell due to ill-discipline in the second half.
The first 40 minutes of play belong to the Preseli Men as scrum-half Rhys Davies, back from a stint with Premiership side Llanelli, slotted two penalties before Guto Griffiths continued his try scoring form, touching down in the corner. Griffiths had crossed in the corner earlier, but the try had been disallowed, much to the frustration of the home crowd.
Leading 11-0 at half time, Crymych were looking good for the victory, but so much can happen in 40 minutes of play.
Dyfan Dafydd added an extra penalty for Crymych, however Cwmllynfell dug their heels in and began to muscle their way back into the game. Craig Kelly, Daniel Jones and Luke Battenbow all scored for the visitors.
Crymych did manage a try through Gavin Thomas, but some ill-discipline in the final moments of the game, gifted Cwmllynfell two kickable penalties, which Tristan Lewis happily obliged to convert to give his team an unlikely victory, and leave the Crymych faithful frustrated.
Whitland wither at home
LEAGUE LEADERS Waunarlwydd were too strong in the second half for the Borderers, as they only trailed by four points at the break.
Aidan Laxton scored Whitland’s only first half try and Nico Setaro struck two penalties. Waunarlwydd secured the bonus point victory in the second half with some outstanding play from the whole 15 players, before Whitland scored a consolation try through Laxton, and Setaro struck his third penalty.
First win for Blues
HAVERFORDWEST finally got their season on track with a hard fought home victory against a difficult Tumble side.
The Blues started the game with great intent as Ryan Banner and Scott Candler crossed the white-wash, as full back Ashley Sutton converted both.
However, these were the only points of the game for Haverfordwest, as they lost their discipline, and Tumble’s Steve Hewitt slotted three penalties for his side. The height of frustration for the Blues came when both Sutton and Adam Williams were sin-binned, but stern defensive work meant their try line remained intact.
Haverfordwest’s Ashley Sutton said after the game: ‘’It was really important to get the first win on Saturday. The boys have worked really hard in pre-season and deserved a few wins in previous weeks, but hopefully now the win on Saturday will kick start their season.’’
Tenby remain undefeated
Tenby United 12
TENBY remain at the top of their division after a hard fought match away to Cardigan.
The drama began in the first half as Cardigan’s Emyr Harries was red-carded, and Tenby scored their opening try through Jack Guerriro, converted by Jonathan Rodgers. The Cardi’s then replied with Dorian Butler touching down, with Iestyn Crompton adding the extras.
The second half was a war of attrition as only Tenby’s Dai Meyrick was able to cross the try line, maintaining Tenby’s unbeaten record.
Miserable day for Milford
Milford Haven 0
MILFORD HAVEN’s season continued down a bad path as they remained scoreless away from home, conceding no fewer than 50 points.
Effort was seen from all Milford players, but a lack of confidence from this season’s results cumulated in another poor performance for the Mariners.
Fishguard fall short
Fishguard & Goodwick 21
THE SEAGULLS fell short in the final moments of play as Laugharne were able to take the lead, and the victory through a converted try.
Simon James again led from the front for Fishguard as he touched down twice, along with centre Mike Jenkins, with scrum half Alun George adding two penalties to the total.
But some missed opportunities to see the game off from Fishguard allowed Laugharne to snatch victory from the Seagulls.
Quins win hard derby
Pembroke Dock Harlequins 17
THE QUINS secured their first win of the season with typically brutal contest against Neyland in an entertaining game.
Neyland’s Delme Bateman opened the day’s scoring with a try in the corner, before Gregg Miller slid over for a try. The Quins battled back through Alex Pearce, converted by Adam Cawley. Arian Heath was then able to cross for the Quins, again converted by Cawley.
A final Cawley penalty secured the victory for the Quins, with Neyland picking up a losing bonus point.
Scarlets lose 100% record
PEMBROKE lost their first game of the season, as both sides entered this contest undefeated.
In a tight game, neither side gave an inch, but it was the Pontyates kicker who edged his team ahead, as he maintained pressure on the Scarlets.
Lewis Davies scored Pembroke’s only points with a well struck penalty, but it wasn’t enough as Pontyates prevailed.
Wasps stung away from home
St Clears 41
LLANGWM were only able to manage three points away from home as they met a strong St Clears side.
Andrew Brock kicked the three-pointer for the Wasps, but an impressive individual haul of 21 points for St Clears’ Chris Rodenhurst helped his side claim a bonus point victory.
Saints well beaten on the road
Burry Port 80
St Davids 5
TRAVELLING with the bare minimum 15 players, St Davids were always up against it as they faced the promotion favourites Burry Port on their home patch.
Trailing 46-0 at half time, the Saints would be forgiven for imploding, but they refused to lay down, and in the second half, mustered the power to work up-field, with Russell Watkins scoring for the Saints.
Alerts issued ahead of Storm Brian
NATURAL RESOURCE WALES (NRW) is warning people that parts of the Welsh coast could see localised flooding as Storm Brian combines with high tides this evening and tomorrow.
The conditions could cause a storm surge, which in some areas could lead to overtopping of sea defences. Current predictions show that the worst affected areas are likely to be along exposed sections of the west coast of Wales from Southern Gwynedd to Llantwit Major.
High tides in these locations are expected to peak between 6am and 11am tomorrow (Oct 21).
NRW has already issued a number of flood alerts for the west coast, and is likely to issue flood warnings for Aberystwyth and Newgale later today. Further alerts or warnings for other areas will be issued as necessary.
24/7 Emergency response workers from NRW will be out at key areas of the coast over the next couple of day to monitor the high tides and condition of its sea flood defences.
NRW has also contacted its partner agencies such as local councils and the emergency services to ensure that appropriate responses are in place should the need arise.
Richard Hancox, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Conditions across the coastline are likely to be extremely dangerous this weekend and we urge people to stay clear, and avoid visiting the coast during this time.
“We know people are tempted to try and take photos of these storms, but it really isn’t worth putting your life at risk. Sea spray and flood water can knock you off your feet easier than you might think, and the large waves can send debris flying onto shore.
“If anyone is concerned about the risk of flooding to their home, please check to see if flood warnings are available in your area, and visit our website for advice on how best to prepare.”
Flood alerts and flood warnings are updated on the Natural Resources Wales website every 15 minutes.
Information and updates are also available by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. People can also register for free flood warnings either by calling the Floodline number or at NRW’s website.
Major bequests for Aber research
TWO major legacies to support postgraduate research have been announced at Aberystwyth University’s Founders’ Day held in the Old College on October 13.
The University revealed that Eleanor and David James had donated £2m to the institution where they both worked for 35 years, while former student Margaret Wooloff has bequeathed £400,000.
Both bequests will be used to fund postgraduate research at the University, in line with the wishes of the benefactors.
The legacies were announced as part of the University’s now annual Founders’ event, which echoes the celebrations held in the town back in October 1872 when the first students arrived at Old College.
The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “It is extremely fitting that these very special bequests have been the focal point of this year’s Founders’ Day event. They remind us how the University has been supported since its early beginnings by the generosity of the people of Wales and the wider world.
“Eleanor and David James, and Margaret Wooloff all dedicated their lives to the furtherance of knowledge and their valuable contributions to education in Wales will live on in their legacies. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
The Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Aberystwyth University, Louise Jagger, said: “There is a very strong bond between the University and our family of alumni across the world. Eleanor and David James and Margaret Wooloff were all active members of the Old Students’ Association during their lives and we are immensely grateful to them for their support over the years. Their generous legacies will now enable the scholars of the future to pursue their particular fields of expertise and undertake research with impact, which is integral to our mission as a leading University.”
Members of the local community joined staff and students at the Old College to mark Founders’ Day.
The guest speaker at the event was Ceredigion MP Ben Lake who said: “The story of how Aberystwyth University – or the University College of Wales as it was originally called – is one in which we can all take pride as a nation. Driven by the vision of its founders, the dream of establishing a college with University status in Wales was made possible thanks to the generosity of ordinary people. The roots and foundations of the University reflect our values in Wales and it is vitally important that we commemorate and celebrate this very special heritage.
“May I take this opportunity to congratulate Aberystwyth on being named recently as the University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Good University Guide – a well deserved accolade which is testament to the dedication of all its staff.”
In July 2017, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced that it had earmarked £10.5m for ambitious plans to redevelop Old College in time for the University’s 150th anniversary in 2022.
Driving Wales to international skills success
AS SKILLS CHAMPION for Wales, Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion principal Barry Liles is at the forefront of aspiring young people to develop high quality, world-class skills.
The vehicle used to drive this ambition are skills competitions, which are held on a Welsh, UK and international level.
Competitions in Wales begin with regional Welsh Government supported competitions which are events that culminate to find Wales’ top competitors who progress to take part in UKSkills national and WorldSkills international events.
This year, 36 competitors from the UK are competing at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, four of which are from Wales, two of which represent Coleg Sir Gâr, which is an impressive percentage of UK representation. These competitors have undergone a rigorous training process by WorldSkills UK, supported by training providers and employers.
Coleg Sir Gâr students have been selected for Team UK since 2009 when carpentry student Cliff Williams made the team in 2009 competing in WorldSkills Calgary. He was followed by web designer David Bowen who competed for in WorldSkills London, 2011. Carpenter Gareth Jones won gold in EuroSkills in 2012 followed by Simon McCall and Eleni Constantinou who won two silvers at EuroSkills in 2014 for hairdressing and carpentry with Eleni progressing to represent the UK and Coleg Sir Gâr in hairdressing at WorldSkills, Sao Paulo in 2015.
Last year, the college was ranked joint third place in the UK for its medal success in the Skills Show – the UK final, for achieving three golds, one silver and one bronze award. The show, held at Birmingham’s NEC every year, brings together medal winners from all nations to compete and showcase their skills and to hopefully continue their journey to the international arena, representing the UK in Worldskills which brings over 50 competing countries together and is likened to the Olympic games.
Barry Liles, Skills Champion for Wales said: “To have an impact on the economy and raise Wales and UK’s GVA, we must raise the skills of the UK population and we’re trying to do this from a young age and we’re significantly targeting industries that are important to Wales’ economy.
“The anticipated result is hoped to impact on young people and help them raise their ambitions and to find highly skilled work.”
In Wales, to help achieve this ambition, is a Welsh-Government funded project called Inspiring Skills Excellence (ISE), which is providing a supportive infrastructure to enable competitors from Wales to achieve success at national and international level.
“Much of our work is supporting competitors across Wales in their participation, training and mentoring to help them achieve excellence in skills relevant to economic growth and delivering medal winning success at national and international competitions,” said Paul Evans, ISE pan-coordinator for Wales.
“Using state of the art equipment we also engage with schools, providing hands-on and exciting experiences for young people to raise awareness of careers and the pathways available to them.”
Barry Liles added: “Being Skills Champion for Wales is a long-held ambition perhaps because I came from a vocational engineering background, I am very passionate about it.
“Industry skills are vital in our economy and I don’t want Wales to be left behind, in fact in the last seven years we have helped drive the nation forward to being one of the leading and successful nations in UK skills competitions.”
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