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Talybont stun leaders Aberaeron

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HAVING beaten Aberystwyth the previous week, Talybont produced another excellent display as they beat leaders Aberaeron by 24 runs on Sunday (Jul 15).

Talybont won the toss and elected to bat first, making 204-6 from their 30 overs.

They made a steady start with Ben Harper scoring 24 before he was caught by Josh Roper off the bowling of Paul Hughes.

Hughes then trapped Barrow leg before for a duck and he later removed Josheff Joshi who was bowled on a score of 38.

Vinod Matthew added 28 to the score before he was bowled by Sion Lewis and Tibby Joseph scored 20 before being bowled by David Grinszpan.

Philip Abraham was the star of the show for Talybont as he hit 62 before being caught by Fice off the bowling of Lewis.

Sojan Varghese and Matthew Novak then finished unbeaten to take Talybont to their total.

Aberaeron then lost Grinszpan early on in their reply when he was bowled by Abraham on a score of five.

Fice and Chris Strange set Aber on their way with a good stand before Fice was also bowled by Abraham on a score of 26.

Strange hit five fours and two sixes in a score of 38 before he was bowled by Josheff Joshi.

Joshi then had Alexander Pitchford caught for a duck before Barrow bowled Steff Rees for a score of 47 which included two fours and two sixes.

Neil Snowdon hit 32 before he was bowled by Barrow and Josh Roper only scored 7 before being bowled by Tibby Joseph.

Barrow took further wickets of Jenkinson and Paul Hughes while Joseph took the wicket of Louis Fice.

That meant that Aberaeron were all out for 180 and it means Talybont close the gap to leaders to just six points.

Aber Seconds earn first win

Also on Sunday, Aberystwyth Seconds earned their first win of the season as they beat Tywyn and District by six wickets.

Tywyn won the toss and elected to bat but were all out for 126. They lost openers Callum Taylor to the bowling of Emlyn Mainwearing and Richard Rees to the bowling of Jamie Holder as they slipped to 7-2.

James Bradbury-Willis and Jack Morris then added another 25 runs before Morris was bowled by Mainwearing for a score of 25.

Bradbury-Willis then shared another 30 runs with Dave Jenkins before the former was caught by Rob Rudge off the bowling of Holders for a score of 16.

Ed Iffla was bowled by Zaid Khan and Dave Jenkins scored 21 before he was caught by Mainwearing off the bowling of Bryn Morris.

Morris also bowled Matthew Maslin and Zaid Khan also knocked the stumps over to remove Niki Williams.

Ioan Morris took the wicket of Ed Hughes who scored 10 and Titus Mathew bowled Gary Furneaux for a duck to bring the innings to a close.

Sam Williams finished the innings not out on 26 as he ran out of partners.

Aber lost Anthony Burrell early in their reply when he was caught by Niki Williams off the bowling of Richard Rees.

Ioan Morris fell to the same bowler when he was caught by Dave Jenkins for a score of 4, leaving Aber on 26-2.

Robin Varley then shared 45 runs with Iestyn Evans as they edged towards victory. Dave Jenkins broke that partnership when he had Varley caught by Rees on a score of 40.

Jenkins also had Zaid Khan caught by Matthew Maslin but that was as good as it got for Tywyn.

Rob Rudge finished not out on 15 while Iestyn Evans was not out on 48 as Aber reached their target inside 34 overs.

Mathew stars as Aber stun Commoners

On Saturday (Jul 14), 13 Year-old Titus Mathew took the last four Commoners’ wickets in four consecutive deliveries to set Aber on their way to victory.

Mathew’s late show meant the Commoners were all out for 101 and Aber reached that with plenty of time to spare.

Zaid Khan made the breakthrough when he bowled Rakesh Bhatia for a duck and Neil Stent made 11 before he was caught by Ted Trewella off the bowling of Tom Constantine and the Commoners slipped to 32-2.

Ravi Mander then shared 57 runs with Jacob Hughes-Pickering for the third wicket but that was brought to an end when Gareth Lewis had Hughes-Pickering caught by Rob Rudge on a score of 23.

Lewis then bowled Will Copeland and had Richard Lucas caught by Khan for a score of 5 as the Commoners’ innings collapsed.

Mathew then took over as he bowled Jan Ruzicka and Chris Ward and he claimed his hat trick when he had Devon Simmons caught by Rudge.

He wasn’t done there as he took the final wicket to bring the Commoners’ innings to a close.

That left Ravi Mander not out on 53 but it wasn’t enough to stop Aber from taking victory.

Aber did lose Ted Trewella early on when he was caught by Stent off the bowling of Rakesh Bhatia for a duck.

Chris Ward then bowled Dafydd Jones for a score of 5 and Nigel Salmon then hit the ball straight back to Bhatia as the Commoners picked up their third wicket.

However, they were unable to take any more as Zaid Khan finished not out on 40 (7 fours) and Mark Evans finished not out on 45 (6 fours, 1 six) to see Aber over the line.

On Saturday (Jul 21), Talybont are at home to Aberystwyth Seconds while UWA Commoners are at home to Aberaeron.

On Sunday (Jul 22), Aberystwyth are at home as they take on Tywyn and District.

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Scotland and Wales serve up a thriller

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Scotland 24 – Wales 25

NEVER-DAY-DIE Wales fought back from 17-3 down against a quality Scotland team to gain their second win of this year’s Six Nations.

In the first round game, Wales got dragged into a knock-down-drag-out scrap against Ireland which left them with a long injury list and the need to draw extra players into the squad. With so many key players out injured, the side travelled to Murrayfield bearing the weight of fans hopes rather than expectations.

And what a game those fans got!

A Scottish side full of flair and confidence and a Welsh side with pace at the back and renewed physical presence up front served up a heart-stopping thriller in arctic conditions in Edinburgh.

Scotland were on a high after beating England at Twickenham for the first time in 38 years in the last round. Their pack took England to the cleaners in the Calcutta Cup match and the Scots skilful backline looked sharp with ball in hand.

However, a lack of ruthlessness in their opponent’s twenty-two made the English game closer than it should’ve been and the home side were similarly wasteful with their territorial and possession advantages against Wales.

Too many times the Scots got into Wales’ danger zone only to overplay or misplay the advantage.

With markedly less ball and even less territory, Wales were much more ruthless than the hosts at converting presence in the opposition’s twenty-two into points.

Seeking to win their fifth Six Nations game in a row, Darcy Graham scored Scotland’s first try. Gathering a clever chip over the top by scrum-half Ali Price, Graham shook of Leigh Halfpenny’s desperate tackle and scored under the posts.

Scotland’s second try owed something to luck – both good and bad – Stuart Hogg kicked ahead and gave chase. For all the world. Halfpenny looked to have the ball covered only for it to wriggle free on the greasy surface and he went to ground. Hogg, who is the form fullback in the northern hemisphere, gathered the ball and touched down.

At 17-3 down, Wales were under the cosh but still competitive.

A driving maul from a short lineout saw Wales plough their way up-field in a series of short drives to near the Scottish line. The ball worked across the backline before Nick Tompkins fine pass found Louis Rees-Zammitt lurking with try-scoring intent. From close range, the winger made no mistake and scored the try which sent Wales in at the half 17-8 down.

Wales coach Wayne Pivac changed his half-backs on 51 minutes and was rewarded with an immediate return. Another brilliant driving line-out carved deep into the Scottish 22. Swift ball across the three-quarters released Liam Williams, whose sparkling try was converted by Callum Sheedy to bring Wales within two points.

Shortly afterwards came the moment which left Scots feeling aggrieved. As Wyn Jones challenged for the ball at the breakdown, opposite number Zander Fagerson ploughed into the ruck. Leading with his should he made direct contact with the Welsh prop’s head.

The rules on head contact are clear. Fagerson’s illegal attempt at a clear-out was given a straight red.

As former England prop David Flatman explained after the game: “Zander Fagerson’s red card was a red card. Rugby is changing and, as much as it all seems to be about the elite end of the game, the reality is the exact opposite.
“While the elite game is the most visible, it is rightly being used as a vehicle to make safer all those games of rugby that are played on muddy, isolated fields, away from specialist medical care and high definition cameras.

“Red cards like Fagerson’s are literally designed to make children safer on Sunday mornings.”

To add insult to injury, Wales’ capitalised on their one-man advantage with Wyn Jones touching down after more good close driving work by the Welsh forwards near the Scottish line.

Back came Scotland. Spurning two easy shots at goal, they created space for the ever-dangerous Stuart Hogg to turn on the pace and score a try, which Russell’s touchline conversion made into a four-point lead.

A moment of individual skill by Louis Rees-Zammitt was the standout moment of Wales’ performance. Travelling at full pelt, the Gloucester flyer latched on to Willy Halaholo’s perfectly weighted pass. Without breaking stride, the winger chipped it over the Scottish defence, outpaced Stuart Hogg (no mean feat) and gathered his own kick in Murrayfield’s deep in goal area to touch down.

Still Scotland came again and deep into stoppage time worked the ball to Scotland’s giant winger, Duhan van der Merwe. For all the world, it looked as though the last play of the match would see Welsh hearts broken at Murrayfield. Scrambling back, Owen Watkin produced the perfect tap tackle. With the clock in the red zone, Wales made no mistake in kicking the ball dead to seal the win.

Wales’ bold replacement of both half backs made near the start of the second half, galvanised the Welsh midfield at the expense of kicking reliability. If Wales bring Josh Adams back into the side against England and move Liam Williams to full-back, it is almost certain that Dan Biggar will start at outside half. Callum Sheedy, for all his skill with ball-in-hand, remains too fallible from the tee to be Wales’ frontline kicker.

Apart from an early misfire, Wales’ lineout was vastly improved. After an initial long throw went straight to Scottish hands, hooker Ken Owens and his callers kept it simple. Wales’ forward drives from the lineouts were a significant game-changer for the Welsh pack. The tactic gave Wales’ backs room by sucking in the Scottish defence.

It’s England for the Triple Crown next for Wales and, while England have been unconvincing so far, a Welsh win would still be an upset result. England have power and pace. If they can add precision to the mix, they will take some stopping.

Head coach Wayne Pivac commented: “It’s a very pleasing start, but I think it was evident to everyone that it wasn’t the complete performance.

“At 17-3 down, it wasn’t going to script but the players regathered their thoughts, the leadership on the field was good, and we came away with that score before half time.

“That was vital for us going into the changing room. The players reacted very well after half time, the replacements made an impact, and it was very nice to get the result at the end.”

On Louis Rees-Zammit, Wayne Pivac said: “He was exciting with the ball, wasn’t he? He took his opportunities very well. He’s still got work to do on his game without the ball, and that’s the exciting thing.

“He’s going to be a very exciting player for us going forward.”
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones added: “We’re well aware there are massive improvements to make.

“You can’t give a team two tries, but I’m pleased with the resilience, character and pride in the jersey we’re still showing. What you’re seeing as well is a product of the experimentation from the Autumn Nations Cup and the hurt we took.

“Irrelevant of the advantage, I’d like to think we were in the ascendancy before the card.

“We’re aware England had a good win and are back on track. We’ll be back in Cardiff, so we’ll regroup and improve on the parts we need to.”

Alun Wyn Jones added: “Louis has been playing well for Gloucester in the Premiership. I’d heard a lot about him and seen a lot of highlights of him. Hopefully, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“I don’t want to heap the pressure on him, I want him to continue in a similar vein.”

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New format for Women’s Six Nations

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The Women’s Six Nations will take place in April in a new and condensed format, while the Under 20’s Six Nations will take place in June and July in the same format as planned but over a condensed, three week period, Six Nations Rugby Limited announced today.

The Women’s Six Nations will be similar to the Autumn Nations Cup in format, with two pools of three and a Grand Final weekend. Wales Women have been placed in Pool A with France and Ireland, travelling to France on the weekend of April 3 before hosting Ireland on the weekend of April 10. Every nation will play a play-off match on the weekend of April 24 against the opposing ranked team from the other Pool – 1 v 1, 2 v 2 and 3 v 3. The detailed fixture dates, venues and kick off times will be announced in due course. The World Rugby U20 Championship has been cancelled for 2021.

Wales Women head coach Warren Abrahams welcomed the announcement of fixtures. “We’re really grateful to the work everyone has done to get us to this position and have some competitive fixtures to look forward to. We’ve all overcome different challenges to get here and the uncertainty has been the toughest part so this news is pretty exciting. France and Ireland are great fixtures to work towards and will provide an opportunity to measure ourselves with the Rugby World Cup coming up in September. It’s very welcome news for women’s rugby in the northern hemisphere.”

Wales U20 head coach Gareth Williams added, “It’s great to learn the rearranged dates for our Six Nations campaign.

“The disruption over the last 12 months is well documented, therefore having these fixtures to look forward to as a development tool for us is exciting and critical. We are now able to adapt our key work with developing players in partnership with the regions, and the summer will give an invaluable period of competition to test that development.”

Ben Morel, CEO of Six Nations Rugby commented, “We are delighted to make this announcement today and confirm new plans for our Women’s and U20s championships. The promotion and development of rugby at all levels is a key strategic priority for Six Nations. We see huge opportunity for growth in the women’s game in particular and feel it will benefit hugely from having its own specific window and being firmly placed in the limelight.”

“Our priority has always been to deliver two outstanding tournaments but equally ensuring both competitions can be played safely, taking every consideration for player welfare. A significant challenge we faced in rescheduling the Women’s tournament was the limited available window due to World Cup Qualifiers, domestic leagues, rest periods and World Cup preparations for qualified teams. Following consultation with our unions and federations as well as other key stakeholders, it was agreed that April would be the best window in which to stage the championship.

“The U20 Six Nations Championship is also a hugely important competition in terms of player development and for those representing their country at this level it is a major milestone in any career. We look forward to announcing fixture details for the U20’s in due course.”

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Cardigan Golf Club Ladies Section raise funds for RNLI

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EVERY year the Ladies Section at Cardigan Golf Club hold a competition dedicated to the RNLI, and this year they raised a magnificent £122 from donations made by the lady members.

Accepting the cheque on behalf of the RNLI was New Quay RNLI Station Mechanic Bernie Davies, “We would like to thank all the lady members of Cardigan Golf Club who donated to the RNLI. Their generosity is very much appreciated and enables our volunteers to continue saving lives at sea.”

Pam Perry the Lady Captain at Cardigan Golf Club added, “We were thrilled to raise over a £100 with our annual golf competition especially in difficult times.”

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