ABERAERON remain top of the West Wales Cricket Conference as they beat UWA Commoners by 88 runs on Saturday (Jul 21).
The Commoners won the toss and elected to field and they were able to keep Aberaeron’s score down to 183-7 from their 40 overs.
Openers Fice and David Grinszpan shared 56 runs for the first wicket before the breakthrough was made by James Bryan as he had Fice caught by Guy Baron on a score of 29.
Alexander Pitchford scored 10 before being caught by Neil Stent off the bowling of Bryan.
Grinszpan and Steff Rees then added another 40 runs between them before Grinszpan was caught by Ian Lawton off the bowling of Rakesh Bhatia on a score of 47.
Steff Rees was then bowled by Umar Aslam on a score of 21 and Hywel Rees scored 15 before being caught by Baron off the bowling of Aslam.
Ian Lawton had Neil Snowdon caught by Bill Somerfield and Dave Floyd was run out on a score of 17.
That left Simon Mitchell not out on 9 as Aberaeron posted a modest total.
Mitchell then took four wickets as helped bowl the Commoners out for just 95.
Mitchell struck first when he bowled Neil Stent and James Bryan had to retire hurt on a score of 9.
Rakesh Bhatia scored 4 before he was caught by Neil Snowdon off the bowling of Mitchell and he then bowled Ian Lawton and Umar Aslam to finish with excellent figures of 4-9 from his six overs.
Will Copeland scored 15 before being caught by Dave Floyd off the bowling of Steff Rees and Bill Somerfield fell in similar fashion.
Jan Ruzicka scored 13 before he was caught and bowled by Sion Lewis and Chris Ward was caught by Dave Floyd off the bowling of Rees for a duck as the innings came to a close.
Guy Baron finished not out on 24 but it wasn’t enough to prevent a fifth defeat of the season for the Commoners.
TALYBONT kept the pressure on leaders Aberaeron as they beat Aberystwyth Seconds by 129 runs on Saturday (Jul 21).
Talybont won the toss and elected to bat and they posted a good total of 235-6 from their 40 overs. They were then able to bowl Aber Seconds out for just 106 to earn a comfortable win.
Aber edge past Tywyn
ABERYSTWYTH edged to victory over Tywyn and District on Sunday (Jul 22), as they beat them by one wicket.
Tywyn batted first and posted 187-6 from their 40 overs as Ed Iffla top scored with a knock of 60.
Openers Callum Taylor and Richard Rees got Tywyn off to a good start with scores of 24 and 29 respectively before both fell to the bowling of Nigel Salmon.
Salmon also bowled James Bradbury-Willis on a score of 3 before Mark Evans also bowled Matthew Maslin.
Dave Jenkins made a late score of 26 before he was bowled by Sion Meredith and Dylan Williams finished not out on 24 to guide Tywyn to their total.
Aberystwyth lost Robin Varley early on in their reply when he was caught by Ed Iffla off the bowling of Richard Rees for a score of 6.
Dafydd Jones and Sion Meredith kept the score ticking over but Tywyn struck again as Jones was caught and bowled by Jack Mynard on a score of 25.
Mynard also bowled Mark Evans on a score of 5 before Meredith and Sion James shared another good stand.
Meredith scored 55 before he was caught by Callum Taylor off the bowling of Bradbury-Willis and James scored 52 before he was trapped leg before by Ed Hughes.
Tywyn again hit back as Bradbury-Willis had Mel Jones caught by Dave Jenkins on a score of 7 and Jenkins then had Rob Rudge caught by Richard Rees on a score of 1.
Nigel Salmon was run out by Bradbury-Willis for a duck and Antonio Corbiniero also fell without scoring when he was bowled by Jenkins.
That left Aber reeling with nine wickets down but Joel Dixon finished not out on 14 to see Aberystwyth to victory.
On Saturday (Jul 28), UWA Commoners are at home to Talybont.
On Sunday (Jul 29), Aberystwyth play Abersytwyth Seconds while leaders Aberaeron travel to Tywyn and District.
Scotland and Wales serve up a thriller
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.”
New format for Women’s Six Nations
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.”
Cardigan Golf Club Ladies Section raise funds for RNLI
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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