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Shock results in West Wales Conference

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THERE were more surprise results in the West Wales Conference last weekend as Aberystwyth slipped to defeat against Talybont while UWA Commoners were also beaten by Tywyn and District.

The weekend’s other result saw Aberaeron extend their lead at the top of the table with victory over Aberystwyth Seconds.

On Sunday (Jul 8), Aberystwyth batted first against Talybont and made a good total of 219-7 from their 40 overs.

Aber lost opener Zaid Khan early on when he was caught by Sojan Varghese off the bowling of Philip Abraham for a score of 9 and Nigel Salmon made 8 before being caught by Abraham off the bowling of Josheff Joshi.

Abraham then trapped Ted Trewella leg before and also bowled Johnny Cordy for a duck. Ioan Morris made 10 but he was also bowled by Anish Kuriakose who later bowled Iestyn Evans for a score of 1.

Rhodri Price batted well at the top of the order as he made 69 before being caught by Abraham off the bowling of Dave Barrow.

Rob Rudge and Ifan Thomas then took Aber past 200 runs with the pair finishing unbeaten on scores of 50 and 31 respectively.

Talybont made a steady start in their reply with Dave Barrow scoring 20 before being caught and bowled by Zaid Khan.

Vinod Matthew made 36 before being caught by Iestyn Evans off the bowling of Nigel Salmon. The runs kept flowing as Josheff Joshi made 44 but he was then caught by Rob Rudge off the bowling of Rhodri Price.

Sojan Varghese was run out by Zaid Khan for a score of 1 and Graison John departed on the same score when he fell to the bowling of Salmon.

Anish Kuriakose then made 14 before being trapped leg before by Salmon.

Phil Abraham had been the mainstay of the innings with a score of 62 but he was eventually removed when Zaid Khan dismantled the stumps.

That left Huw Chambers at the crease and he finished not out on 15 to guide Talybont to victory.

Tywyn earn second win despite Bhatia century

Sunday’s other game produced the second shock result of the weekend as Tywyn and District earned just their second win of the season with victory over second placed UWA Commoners.

This game was a real high scoring encounter with Tywyn posting 292-7 from their 40 overs.

Richard Rees was trapped leg before by Guy Baron early on for a score of 21 but an excellent partnership between Callum Taylor and James Bradbury-Willis followed.

Bradbury-Willis hit six fours and a six in a score of 62 but he was then caught by Jacob Hughes-Pickering off the bowling of Rakesh Bhatia.

Runs continued to flow as Ed Iffla hit eight fours in a score of 41 before he was bowled by Umar Aslam.

Taylor made an excellent century with 18 fours and three sixes, scoring 107 before he was caught by Will Copeland off the bowling of Bhatia.

That did not stop the flow of runs as Dave Jenkins hit five fours and a six as he added 52 runs to the total.

The Commoners hit back late on as Bhatia had Jack Williamson caught by Neil Stent and Matthew Maslin caught by Ravi Mander.

They knew they would then need to bat well to reach their target and the made a good start to their reply.

Neil Stent made 16 before being bowled by Richard Rees and Ravi Mander scored 19 before he was caught by Callum Taylor off the bowling of Rees.

Umar Aslam was run out by Rees on a score of 7 as wickets continued to fall.

Rakesh Bhatia made his way to a half century but then saw Jacob Hughes-Pickering caught by Taylor off the bowling of Jenkins for a score of 20.

Will Copeland scored a quickfire 14 with two fours and a six but he was out to the bowling of Jenkins and Richard Lucas was then bowled by Taylor. Guy Baron scored 16 but he was then run out by Taylor.

Bhatia was the undoubted star of the innings as he made his way to remarkable score of 162 with twenty fours and eight sixes. He was then caught by Jack Williamson off the bowling of Taylor.

With that wicket, the Commoners’ hopes faded and they finished all out on 282, just ten runs short of victory.

Aberaeron ease past Seconds

Saturday’s (Jul 7) game was more straightforward as league leaders Aberaeron earned a ten-wicket win over Aber Seconds.

The Seconds won the toss and chose to bat but they were all out for 107 as Hywel Rees and Sion Lewis both took three wickets.

Ted Trewella was the first to fall when he was caught off the bowling of Simon Mitchell for a duck and he also then bowled Jack Page for a duck.

Dafydd Jones and Zaid Khan offered some resistance but both fell victim to Rees who had them caught by Louis Fice and Chris Strange for scores of 18 and 21 respectively.

Rees then claimed his third wicket as he had Alwyn Davies caught by Neil Snowdon for a score of 8.

Steff Rees then joined in on the action as he had Owen Keyworth caught by Mitchell for a score of 11.

Ioan Morris also offered late resistance with a score of 23 but he was then bowled by Sion Lewis. Steffan Davies was then bowled by Paul Hughes and Tomos Williams fell in the same manner to Lewis.

Lewis then had Bryn Morris stumped by Fice as the Seconds’ innings came to a close.

Aberaeron’s openers J Fice and David Grinszpan were then untroubled in their reply as they guided their side to a comfortable win.

Grinszpan was not out on 46 with seven fours while Fice hit ten fours as he finished unbeaten on 52.

On Saturday (Jul 14), two teams that lost last weekend will be in action as Aberystwyth play host to the UWA Commoners.

On Sunday (Jul 15), Talybont face league leaders Aberaeron and Tywyn & District will be looking for another win when they take on Aberystwyth Seconds.

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Sport

Swans grab last gasp play-off spot

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WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).

Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.

The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.

The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.

And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.

The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.

Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.

The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.

But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.

John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.

Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.

Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.

Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.

But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.

However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.

Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.

With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.

Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.

With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.

Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.

However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.

Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.

Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.

They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.

The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.

And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.

Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.

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Glamorgan launch new kit

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GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.

Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.

Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.

The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.

The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.

Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.

“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.

“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”

Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’

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Wembley trip for Giggs’ men

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CYMRU will travel to Wembley Stadium on Thursday 8 October for a home nations international against England.

Ryan Giggs’ side will return to action this autumn for the first time in 10 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kicking off with the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League campaign. The match against England will be one of two additional international matches scheduled as triple headers in October and November. In keeping with current Government guidelines, this fixture is scheduled to be played behind-closed-doors.

Since their first encounter in 1879, England are Cymru’s second oldest opponents with 102 matches in total producing 14 wins, 21 draws and 67 defeats. Cymru’s last visit to Wembley Stadium was in 2011 for a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier, with Ashley Cole scoring in a 1-0 defeat.

Ryan Giggs’ side will be using this match to prepare for the rescheduled EURO 2020 finals next summer where they hope to return to Wembley, one of the host stadiums, for the latter stages of the tournament.

Looking ahead to the autumn, Cymru are in Nations League Group B4 alongside Bulgaria, Finland and the Republic of Ireland with fixture dates as follows:

Thursday, 3 September – Finland v Cymru (7:45pm)
Sunday, 6 September – Cymru v Bulgaria (2:00pm)
Sunday, 11 October – Republic of Ireland v Cymru (2:00pm)
Wednesday, 14 October – Bulgaria v Cymru (7:45pm)
Sunday, 15 November – Cymru v Republic of Ireland (5:00pm)
Wednesday, 18 November – Cymru v Finland (7:45pm)

All fixtures are scheduled to be played behind-closed-doors for the foreseeable future.

The FAW will continue to adhere to relevant Government guidelines and supporters will be notified should arrangements change and tickets become available.

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