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Sport

Evans set for tough battle

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THE MSA BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, taking in rounds in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and so far this season, three different event winners as well as eight different crews have stood on the podium in the opening five rounds. 

Championship leader, Elfyn Evans, in his DMACK British Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5, has already recorded a hat-trick of victories.

The World Rally Championship star has shown his quality, taking the spoils on the Mid Wales Stages, Scottish Rally and Nicky Grist Stages – and comes to the Ulster Rally as the favourite for outright victory.

The Welshman, with Craig Parry sat alongside, won’t have it his own way as the chasing pack will all want to topple the series leader.

Tom Cave has been improving in pace as the campaign has unfolded, having never been out of the top four with James Morgan on the notes. Cave is desperate to take a win in 2016 and will pull out all the stops to beat fellow countryman Evans in his Michelin-shod Fiesta R5.

Swedish sensation Fredrik Ahlin and Norwegian navigator Morten Erik Abrahamsen (Ford Fiesta R5) have had a rollercoaster of a season to date. The Pirelli-backed driver pushed Evans all the way on the opening round before landing his first win on round three, the Pirelli Carlisle Rally two months later. Costly errors on the Circuit of Ireland and the Nicky Grist Stages, along with a mechanical failure on the Scottish, put the Scandinavian in third on the championship points board.

Ahlin is one man who is hoping for the luck of the Irish to help bring him back into the title fight. CA1 Sport teammate David Bogie (Skoda Fabia R5) with Irish co-driver James O’Reilly find themselves seventh in the standings. The Scottish driver has shown blistering pace this season and will want to harness the speed and return to the podium, which he last achieved on the Circuit of Ireland.

In 2016, drivers have elected to play their ‘Jokers’ to double their points. Two drivers yet to play their card are dark horses for rostrum honours. Josh Moffett/ John Rowan (Ford Fiesta R5) won the BRC element on the Circuit of Ireland and Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3 R5), who finished just behind the Fiesta pairing, will want to emulate their success on home ground this weekend.

Watch out too for a whole host of series returnees. Multiple BRC champion Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3 R5) will want a strong BRC finish to show his class. Local stars Marty McCormack and David Moynihan in their Skoda Fabia S2000 held the lead on the Circuit of Ireland, before a heart-wrenching fuel pump failure denied them a home win. A committed driver, McCormack won’t hang around in his Kumho-backed machine.

Matt Edwards and Will Rogers have had a phenomenal season in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 in the BRC2 category, wrapping up the title on the previous round – the Nicky Grist Stages. The pair will be eager to shine on the Ulster as the crew step-up to the BRC1 category, driving a brand-new Ford Fiesta R5.

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News

Success for Ceredigion school rugby teams at Principality Stadium

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RECENTLY some Ceredigion school rugby teams have been competing at a national level at the Road to Principality event held at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

There was a great celebration at Ysgol Bro Teifi on Monday, 25 April following the success of their under-14 girls’ rugby team at a. Following victories in a series of games at regional and national level in recent months, the team had the opportunity to play in the national final at the Principality Stadium against Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Denbighshire.

In front of a crowd of some 150 fans who had travelled to Cardiff to see the game, Bro Teifi managed to win 34 points to 19 in a competitive and fast game. 

Acting Headteacher, Mr Gareth Evans, “At the start of a new term, it was great to be able to celebrate the success of the girls on the rugby field following a run of games where the team was seen subduing Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Plas Mawr, Bishopston and the Rhymney Valley among others. I would like to congratulate the girls on their huge success and thank the training team of Llyr James, Gemma Potter and Stephanie Gough for their work.”

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News

Omicron: Sporting events to be played behind closed doors from Boxing Day

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SPORTING events in Wales will be played behind closed doors from Boxing Day in a bid to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Welsh government said the new measures apply to both indoor and outdoor sporting events, with economy minister Vaughan Gething confirming a £3m “Spectator Sports Fund” will support clubs and venues affected.
The decision comes after a number of postponements affecting Welsh sides in the Football League.

Cardiff City have called off their Boxing Day match against Coventry City due to several Covid cases among their players and staff, while Newport County will no longer face League Two leaders Forest Green.

In the United Rugby Championship, Cardiff Blues are scheduled to play Scarlets at Cardiff Arms Park on Boxing Day, although Ospreys vs Dragons at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea has been called off due to Covid.
“Sporting events over the Christmas period are one of the big highlights of the year,” Gething said.
“Unfortunately, the new Omicron variant is a significant development in the pandemic and could cause a large number of infections.
“We need to do everything we can to protect people’s health and control the spread of this awful virus.
“Throughout the pandemic we have followed scientific and public health advice to keep people safe. The advice is clear – we need to act now in response to the threat of omicron. We are giving people as much notice of these decisions as we can.
“Crowds will come back as soon as possible. We want everyone to be here to enjoy their favourite sports.”

Latest figures show Omicron cases are rising in all parts of Wales, while the overall rate of coronavirus infections is at just under 550 cases per 100,000 people.

Cardiff City have called off their Boxing Day match against Coventry City due to several Covid cases among their players and staff; Ospreys vs Dragons also off in United Rugby Championship; Welsh economy minister says clubs and venues would be supported through a £3m fund.

An EFL spokesperson said: “The EFL notes the disappointing news that fans of Welsh clubs competing in the EFL will be unable to watch their team play live at home over the festive period, but we appreciate there are many factors influencing each administration’s decision.
“Looking forward, the League will continue to work with our broadcast partners and other relevant stakeholders throughout this difficult period as we consider how we can appropriately support our Welsh clubs and their supporters so they can watch their team while matches are played behind closed doors.
“In addition, we will engage with the authorities in Wales to determine what type and or level of financial support they can provide our clubs in Wales whilst they are unable to welcome supporters through the turnstiles.”

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Community

Have your say on how Ceredigion becomes a more physically active county

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Sport

A CONSULTATION is currently underway on how Ceredigion is becoming a more physically active County. 

There is a plan to follow the “Sport & Recreational Activity Strategy 2014-2020” which is being developed, with an opportunity for Ceredigion residents to have their say.

Your feedback will be essential in supporting Ceredigion County Council’s production of a new development plan and in helping determine its priorities from 2022 to 2027. This will ensure that Ceredigion residents have access to quality opportunities to become more active, benefiting their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The new plan will identify how becoming a more active county can contribute to the Council’s Corporate Strategies and the Local Wellbeing Plan.

To ensure that the plan meets the needs of all its residents, the Council would like as many people and organisations as possible to complete the survey. Residents have until 17 October to complete the survey: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/your-council/consultations/physical-activity-development-plan/

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Porth Gofal, Early Intervention, Wellbeing Hubs and Culture said: “The physical and mental health and well-being of Ceredigion’s residents is very important. This is a chance for residents to have their say on how they want to receive sport and physical activities for the years to come. We recognise the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on sport and physical activity in the county and this is an opportunity to let us know how we can build back stronger.”

For further information or if you would like the survey in an alternative format, contact our Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570881 or clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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