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Wins for Commoners and Aberaeron

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Commoners thump Aber

ABERYSTWYTH University Commoners proved too strong for Aberystwyth on Saturday (Jun 2), as they came away with a 181-run victory.

Aberystwyth won the toss and elected to field but openers Neil Stent and Rakesh Bhatia shared 43 runs for the first wicket. Bhatia hit two fours and two sixes in a knock of 26 but he was then run out by Titus Mathew.

Stent was joined at the crease by Abhishek Somani and the pair shared an excellent partnership of 173 runs to take the Commoners past 200.

The partnership eventually came to an end when Stent was bowled by Mathew for a score of 85 which included seven fours.

Somani stroked fourteen fours and a six as he made a magnificent century before being caught by J Cordy off the bowling of Ceri John for a score of 105.

That left the Commoners 235-3 and Jacob Hughes-Pickering fell soon after for a score of eight when he was caught by Steffan Davies off the bowling of Aled Lewis as Aber looked to hit back.

Umar Aslam made 10 before he was bowled by Aled Lewis and Tim Hughes was stumped by Rob Rudge off the bowling of John for a score of 5.

Bill Somerfield was caught and bowled by Zaid Khan while Ian Lawton finished not out on 15 (two fours) to help his side to a mammoth total of 273-7.

Aberystwyth knew they faced a tough test if they were to reach their target but they made the worst possible start.

Umar Aslam bowled opener Ceri John for a duck and he then trapped Nigel Salmon leg before for another duck.

Ian Lawton joined in and when he had J Cordy caught by Rakesh Bhatia without scoring, Aber had slipped to 0-3.

Aled Lewis was also caught and bowled by Aslam for a score of 6 as Aber did eventually get off the mark and Ted Trewella was caught by Tim Hughes off the bowling of Lawton for a score of 2, leaving Aber on 13-5.

Mel Jones and Zaid Khan did their best to steady the ship as they shared 45 runs for the sixth wicket. Khan was bowled by Guy Baron for a score of 23 which included four fours.

Baron also bowled Steffan Davies for a duck while Owen Keyworth was bowled by Aiden Reveley for another duck.

Rob Rudge was caught by Bhatia off the bowling of Reveley without scoring and Aber knew they were staring at a heavy defeat.

Mel Jones and Titus Mathew finished not out on 39 and 13 respectively, with six boundaries between them, as Aber finished on 99-9.

 

Aberaeron keep the pressure on

ABERAERON kept the pressure on leaders Aber University Commoners with a 31-run victory over Talybont on Saturday (Jun 2).

Talybont won the toss and elected to field and they did well to restrict Aber to 218 all out.

J Fice fell early on when he was caught by Sojan Varghese off the bowling of Graison John for a score of 4.

David Grinszpan and Chris Strange then shared 65 runs for the second wicket before Strange was bowled by Josheff Joshi for a score of 33 which included five fours and a six.

Grinszpan fell soon after when he was run out having hit four boundaries in a knock of 31.

Steff and Hywel Rees then shared another good partnership of 54 as Aberaeron continued to bat well.

Steff hit three fours in a knock of 27 but was then caught by Varghese off the bowling of Tibby Joseph.

Hywel Rees and Alexander Pitchford then put on 56 runs for the fifth wicket as Aberaeron edged towards 200 runs.

Rees had made an excellent half century with nine fours but was then run out by Phillip Abraham for a score of 52.

Pitchford fell soon after for a score of 26 when he was caught by Joseph off the bowling of John.

Wickets then began to fall at regular intervals as Dave Floyd was caught by Varghese off the bowling of Abraham and he later bowled Paul Hughes.

Graison John had Louis Fice and Mark Gleason bowled as the innings came to a close with Aberaeron all out on 218.

Neil Snowdon had hit two fours and a six in a knock of 20 but he ran out of partners but Aber left the field thinking they should have scored more.

Talybont made a good start in their reply as Ben Harper scored 18 before he was caught by Mark Gleason off the bowling of Hywel Rees.

Rees then trapped Dave Shaun leg before and he also bowled Josheff Joshi. Graison John played well in his knock of 47 but he was caught by Steff Rees off the bowling of Paul Hughes.

Hughes then bowled Philip Abraham for a score of 17 as the game began to slip away from the home side.

Tibby Joseph was run out by Hywel Rees for a score of 2 leaving Talybobnt six down.

Huw Chambers finished not out on 19 and Vinod Mathew not out on 31 but it wasn’t enough to take their side to victory as they finished short on 187-6.

On Saturday (Jun 9), the top two clash as Aberaeron host UWA Commoners. Aberystwyth Seconds are at home as they take on Talybont.

On Sunday (Jun 10), Aberystwyth’s first team are away as they take on Tywyn & District.

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Three summer tests announced for Wales

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WALES will play three summer tests in Cardiff this July as revised international fixtures have been announced.

Wayne Pivac’s side will face Canada (July 3) and back-to-back games against Argentina (July 10 & 17) at Principality Stadium.

These tests replace the scheduled summer tour to Argentina which has had to be cancelled due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty around travel restrictions.

The Pumas will now travel to Cardiff for two tests against the Six Nations Champions.

Wales will kick off their summer campaign on July 3 at home to Canada. The Canucks who are coached by former Wales captains Kingsley Jones and Rob Howley will visit Cardiff for the first time since 2008.

“We are looking forward to this summer, the opportunity it presents, and we are delighted to have three tests confirmed,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“It is disappointing not to have the opportunity to tour Argentina, especially on the back of our 2020 tour to New Zealand being cancelled, but in the current climate it is completely understandable.

“What is important is we have games and as we have said all along, this summer is a huge opportunity for us.   We are delighted and proud to have 10 players selected for the British & Irish Lions, it is reward for all their hard work and we wish them all the best this summer.

“With those players away we always earmarked this summer as an important development opportunity for us.

“It is an opportunity to bring players into this environment, look at them closely and expose them to test match rugby.  It is also an opportunity for current internationals to step-up into further leadership roles, so on both counts it is an important camp for us looking ahead to RWC2023.”

WRU CEO Steve Phillips added: “It is a huge credit to World Rugby that a full schedule of summer international rugby has been achieved against the backdrop of the global pandemic.

“Whilst it is obviously disappointing not to tour, we are delighted in Wales to be hosting Canada and to be able to honour the 2017 San Francisco agreement by hosting the Pumas for back-to-back matches, which will be hugely important to our international player development.

“Wayne has been adamant that his squad needs matches this summer and World Rugby have certainly delivered on that front.

“We are, of course, acutely aware of current restrictions and the ongoing and complex global COVID-19 picture. We will continue to monitor the situation in terms of any potential spectator access, but will remain entirely compliant and vigilant of all restrictions.

“In the current circumstances we are simply delighted to be able to play international rugby and any advance on that will be a bonus.”

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Aber fail to break down ten-man Flint

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ABERYSTWYTH Town and Flint Town United played out a goalless draw on Saturday (May 8).

It could have been much different for Aber, though, as they played against a Flint side who had Ben Amiss sent off in the first half, but they failed to make their advantage count.

With Wales experiencing some unseasonal weather, the Deeside coast was battered by mother-nature in the build-up to the game and full credit must go to the volunteers at the Silkmen for producing an excellent playing surface.

Aber started the game brightly and carved out two great openings in the first five minutes.  Firstly, Louis Bradford volleyed over the bar from close range before some brilliant work down the left from Harry Franklin teed up a cross for Jonathan Evans who’s goal bound header looked to have given the Seasiders the initiative.

However, home stopper Jon Rushton had other ideas, pulling off a sumptuous save down low, pawing the ball away to safety.

After the two quick chances for Aber, Flint settled into the contest and began creating chances of their own.

The home side saw strikes from Alex Jones and Callum Brately fall narrowly wide of the post before creating their best opportunity of the half with 23 minutes having elapsed.

Great play down the right flank saw the ball land to Ross Weaver. His strike, via a deflection from Black and Green defender Ian Kearney forced Connor Roberts into a great stop.

Franklin was causing problems for the Silkmen and Aber’s most likely route towards victory looked to be coming down his wing. He had a glorious opportunity to give Aber the lead but couldn’t keep his effort under the crossbar. He did have the ball in the back of the net but an early flag from the linesman denied him his fourth of the season.

The game’s flashpoint came with just seconds to go until the break. A heavy tackle in midfield from Ben Amiss on Jamie Veale, sparking a 19-man melee in midfield and saw referee Bryn Markham Jones reach for his red card for the Flint Town United striker.

With Aber having a numerical advantage, they enjoyed more of the ball in the second stanza but could only create sporadic chances against a well drilled and organised back line. Mathew Jones saw a strike fall narrowly over the bar whilst Kearney’s header from a corner landed on the roof of the home net.

To their credit, Flint did look to gain a winner of their own and had spells of pressure but like their opponents, they couldn’t break down an organised Seasiders’ defence. The lively Jones for the hosts came closest with his header going wide of the far post.

Gavin Allen introduced Owain Jones and Marc Williams as well as Jamie Reed late on in search of the go ahead goal but despite the addition of additional fire power, there was to be no late drama.

Jon Owen saw a shot well stopped by Rushton whilst Jenkins tried to connect with a Jack Rimmer cross in the final minute but could only make connection with the home keeper, earning himself a yellow card in the process.

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Scarlets convincingly beat Ospreys

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Rainbow Cup • Scarlets 22 – Ospreys 6

SCARLETS delivered a dominant derby performance to claim their first victory of the Rainbow Cup campaign, beating the Ospreys 22-6, at a rain-soaked Parc y Scarlets.

Prop Alex Jeffries scored the only try of the match, with full-back Leigh Halfpenny delivering a typically dead-eyed goal-kicking display in atrocious conditions.

The platform was laid by the Scarlets pack, with skipper Ken Owens, Blade Thomson and Aaron Shingler to the fore; the man of the match Kieran Hardy mixed up his game intelligently, while a much-improved defensive display saw the visitors restricted to just two kicks at goal from fly-half Luke Price.

It was the Ospreys who opened the scoring with a penalty from the boot of Price on two minutes, but the Scarlets responded strongly with Halfpenny levelling on 17 after the visitors were caught offside.

The outstanding Jonathan Davies looked like he made it over the whitewash after bursting through a couple of tackles, but the television match official adjudged the Wales centre had lost the ball as he slid over the whitewash and the score was chalked off.

Nevertheless, the Scarlets continued to boss proceedings.

With the Ospreys falling foul of Scottish referee Ben Blain, Halfpenny added a couple more penalties and an impressive half for the home side was capped when Jeffries crossed two minutes before the interval

A well-worked line-out move saw Davies burst onto a pass from Owens, breaking through a couple of tackles before feeding the tight-head prop on his inside.

Jeffries still had plenty to do but showed a superb turn of pace to race clear 20 metres to the whitewash to touch down against his former side.

That made it 16-3 at half-time with the Scarlets seemingly in firm control.

The visitors, looking for their first PRO14 win at Parc y Scarlets since 2015, did enjoy more of the game in the second period.

Price reduced the arrears with a penalty and it needed some superb defence to keep the Ospreys line-out maul at bay.

Another Halfpenny penalty five minutes from time extended the lead to 22-6 to ensure a comfortable victory and a seasonal double over the Scarlets’ arch-rivals.

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