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Wales open 6 Nations with emphatic victory over Scotland

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By Jonathan Twigg

WALES defeated Scotland 34-7 on Saturday (Feb 3) at the Principality Stadium with ten Scarlets in the starting line-up, plus former Pontyberem winger Josh Adams, now the Aviva Premiership top scorer for Worcester Warriors.

With the stadium roof closed it encapsulated a cauldron of emotion as the Natwest Six Nations championship got under way, with ten year old chorister Heddwin York, of Blaenavon Male Voice Choir leading the pre match build up. Later on the same day another son of Pontyberem was setting a championship record, with Nigel Owens referring his eighteenth game, at the Stade de France when Ireland came calling.

Winning the toss Scotland’s ‘Scarlet’ John Barclay got Finn Russell to kick off towards the City End and Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones sailed high to secure the ball, all before opposite number Jonny Gray had a barn storming 30 metre gallop and the afternoons tempo was set, with both Adams and fellow winger Steff Evans taking opportunities to run with ball in hand.

Not one person missed the tumultuous opening by perishing in the queues outside the ground, witnessing the opening try after five minutes; scrum half Gareth Davies intercepted a long pass and raced 70 meters towards the River Taf End to score wide out, full back Leigh Halfpenny converted.

Flanker Aaron Shingler set up a scintillating attack from the restart, featuring prop Rob Evans and Evans, who failed to catch a difficult pass from Skipper Jones with the try line at his mercy beneath the posts.

The Wales scrum won a free kick, opted for another scrum, outside half Rhys Patchell nearly reached the promised land before play swung back across the theatre of dreams and Halfpenny converted his own touchdown after 12 minutes.

Dream rugby or a defence coaches’ nightmare? Both sides played exhilarating rugby with ball in hand, as somewhere amongst this fantastic ‘hymn’ that the full house of 74,169 spectators enjoyed, a settling influence was needed.

Centres Hadeligh Parkes and Scott Williams brought that mantra to the ‘Dragons’ play, through their tackling which impacted on the Scarlets ‘front row’ of Evans, hooker Ken Owens and Samson Lee to turn the coal face red.

Having played just 25% of the game in the Scottish half coach Warren Gatland’s side built a more stable platform through phased play, nullifying Scottish momentum and hearts as they won turnover penalties.

Shingler was a key target in the lineout as the ‘Evans’ boys featured in beating despairing tackles. Halftime came and went with Wales driving forward through diminutive scrum half Davies, securing an early penalty which Halfpenny slotted over for three points.

Four Men Aloud had returned to the pitch for half time entertainment but the sweetest battle cry came from Shingler, the Hendy back row man secured a penalty on the halfway line, which the Gorseinon born kicker chalked up with confidence.

Max Boyce couldn’t have written bards to describe the expressive serenading from the stands to match the play, the Scottish talisman Stuart Hogg without influence as his peers made error after error. That ‘mould of solid gold, that once made Barry John’ hasn’t broken after all and the tint upon the flowing locks of Patchell shone as the outside half dictated play with speed, vision, kicks and tricks.

The game entered the final quarter with the Men of Harlech now dominating possession and territory and Patchells dart for the line saw Evans flick the ball to Halfpenny who crossed for his second converted try.

The flower of Scotland had wilted, the closed roof restricting their water of life as new breath revitalised the Dragons lungs, replacement hooker Wyn Jones plunge for the line ruled out by the TMO.

Aled Davies came on for his sixth cap, replacing his Scarlet team mate to feed the scrum and watch as it destroyed the now demoralised visiting pack with such ferocity it set the stadium alarms ringing towards heaven. Man of the match Shingler straightened the line with eight minutes left, Parkes made ground strongly and the flying Evans, back after an enforced lay off was airborne on the touch line to one handily place the ball for the bonus point converted try.

‘Feed me till I want no more’ was the cry from a baying Welsh crowd although Gatland et al were happy to take the Bread from Heaven to Twickenham next week. The ‘Prophet Max’ composed suitable vitriol decades before, to be retold with vigour by the travelling congregation heading to HQ on Saturday (Feb 10).

This game ended 34-7, replacement Pete Horne crossed for the Russell to convert after the Scott’s picked up a consolation score for their endeavours driving around the fringes, the customary handshakes occurred a minute later as Hadleigh put the ball off the Park and Wales took the spoils, bonus point included.

The players had made a statement, to those who had prophesised pre match but more importantly to the ‘Great Redeemer’ whose well-trodden path around Jordon and intrinsic belief in them was justly rewarded.

Sport

Bow Street celebrate 2018/19 season

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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.

Awards:

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

Under 19

Top goalscorer: Shaun Jones

Players Player: Siencyn Jones

Managers Player: Harry Turner

Clubman Of The Year: Richard Lucas

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Bow Street reveal new Football Festival sponsor

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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.”

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Under 19s retain National League trophy

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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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