Sunday, 26 April 2015

Tregaron Three West C Champions


Tregaron skipper Gethin Jones receives the SSE SWALEC Division 3 West C championship trophy from WRU Director Anthony John.
"We are all absolutely delighted by the team's success and everyone is looking forward to playing in Division 2 West next season," said Tregaron secretary, Delyth Morgan.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

WELSHMAN MORRIS IMPRESSES DURING CRUCIAL GP3 TEST IN BARCELONA

Status Grand Prix driver Seb Morris sees himself as a “dark horse” ahead of the opening round of the GP3 Series season in Barcelona next month, following a consistently competitive maiden outing at the Spanish track this week – where the Welshman notably topped the times on the first afternoon.
 
Getting the latest chapter in his rapidly accelerating racing career off to an impressive start, the Tag Heuer, Serge DeNimes and Oxford Vaughan brand ambassador has enjoyed a series of strong tests during the last month or so and continued in that vein during the final two day pre-season outing.
 
Arriving at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday, 22nd April, the 19-year-old from Marford initially familiarised himself with the track before working on a good balance with his car throughout the first morning. Seb then laid down a strong marker in the afternoon by topping the timesheets.
 
Focusing on qualifying performance in today’s first session, Seb ended the run little more than 0.3 seconds shy of the top three as he continued to rack-up important mileage ahead of his competitive debut on the FIA Formula One World Championship support package just over a fortnight from now.
 
Turning attention to race set-up on the final afternoon, the MSA Team UK and FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy member delivered consistent pace during two full distance race simulations to conclude a very productive pre-season in a positive frame of mind.
 
“It’s been a good couple of days and it was obviously nice to be quickest yesterday afternoon”, he reflected, “This morning we were only 0.3 seconds outside the top three in the qualifying simulations, so that’s all positive, and then we didn’t go for times this afternoon as we focused on two full race runs.
 
“I’m fairly confident for the first race weekend, there’s no pressure on me – I’m a bit of a dark horse really. I’ve still got a lot to learn with the Pirelli tyres and the set-ups, but I’d like to try and break into the top 10 in qualifying and then build from there. The atmosphere in the team is good, everyone is working well together, so I can’t wait to be back in Barcelona for the first race.”
 
Rounds one and two of the GP3 Series season will take place over the weekend 9th/10th May at the Circuit de Catalunya. Following free practice on Friday, 8th May, qualifying will take place at 08.45 (UK time) on Saturday, 9th May, with round one of the season getting underway at 16.20 (UK time).
 
On Sunday, 10th May, round two will begin at 08.25 (UK time) – both races will be screened live on Sky Sports F1 with live timing at http://marc-orme.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=39d82f3c8fc78c72f4fbaf5ac&id=914040b7c3&e=ed4afa51ce

Friday, 24 April 2015

WORTHINGTON RUGBY UNION MID DISTRICT CUP

The Worthington Mid District rugby final will be played at Sardis Road, Pontypridd on Wednesday, May 20.
 
Merthyr have qualified after a 49-21 they dispatched Nelson at Y Parc, Abercynon and await the winners of the Bargoed v Penallta semi-final, which will be played on Wednesday, April 29 at Virginia Park, Caerphilly.
 
Meanwhile, Caerphilly themselves have qualified for the Worthington Mid District Bowl final at Abercwmboi on Friday, May 15, after defeating Tylorstown in a thrilling encounter by 35-22.
 
In the Bowl final, the Cheesemen do not yet know their opponents as the game between Brecon and Porth Harlequins will be played at Abercwmboi on Thursday, April 30.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

WEEKEND OF CHAMPIONS – FIVE TEAMS CROWNED WINNERS OF SWALEC LEAGUES

Five teams were celebrating being crowned champions in the SSE SWALEC Rugby Leagues and were all presented with their trophies on Saturday 18 April. 

Despite losing at home to Penarth, Brecon RFC were presented with their SSE SWALEC Division 2 East Central trophy following the match. They clinched the title last weekend when then beat Pontyclun 22-18 away from home.


Undefeated Llanidloes RFC have sealed promotion after winning the Division 3 North title. The club took the spoils in a one-sided 97-8 victory against Holyhead RFC to expand their lead at the top of the league to 12 points over their nearest rivals Llangollen.


Former Pontypool player Chris Macey led his hometown club Caerleon RFC to the SSE SWALEC Division 3 East A league in his first season back at the club as captain. The Gwent team picked up another crowd-pleasing 72-6 victory, this time against Rhymney RFC, in front of their home supporters.


Meanwhile, Pontyberem RFC became champions of the SSE SWALEC Division 3 West A trophy after a 65-3 victory against rock-bottom Cefneithin RFC. Pontyberem won all but one of their 18 league games played this season and secured an impressive 82 points.



Finally, Fishguard & Goodwick RFC passed the 100 point mark against bottom club Pembroke Dock Harlequins on the day they also lifted the SSE SWALEC Division 3 West B trophy. Their league win was sealed in a rampant 108-16 victory.


WRU Chairman Gareth Davies said: “Congratulations to the five teams on a fantastic achievement. They have all consistently played good quality rugby throughout the season, losing very few games and definitely deserved to win. I wish them well in their new division next season.”

SSE SWALEC is the national community partner of the Welsh Rugby Union and sponsors both the SSE SWALEC Leagues and SSE SWALEC Cup, Plate and Bowl competitions.

Colin Banks, Acting Head of Sponsorship at SSE SWALEC, added: “Our strong partnership with the WRU and its clubs goes back a number of years and we’re very pleased to be doing more for grassroots rugby in Wales through our sponsorship of the SSE SWALEC Leagues. It has been another strong season for Welsh rugby as a whole and we have seen some impressive performances at club level. Many congratulations to the new champions on claiming their respective titles.”

Ystrad clinch Silver Ball final spot


Maesteg 13 Ystrad Rhondda 25
(at the Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon)

In an oustanding match that saw 80 minutes of first-class action. Ystrad Rhondda survived second-half pressure by Maesteg to go into the Silver Ball final against Penallta that will be played at Aberavon on Saturday, May 23 (2.30pm).
Both clubs must be applauded for the way they played and though Ystrad Rhondda scored 4-1 on tries, the gulf was certainly not that wide.
Powerful right wing Gerwyn Davies was the Ystrad danger-man, but the experience of David Gratton at full back made him clearly the man of the match.
Maesteg also had their runners with Lawrence Howley spraying out the passes and Sam Griffiths running splendidly, first at centre, then at wing, while both scrum halves - Jay Harris and Kieron John - were lively.
Up front Maesteg's young Cameron O'Sullivan is certainly a find, while Scott Hicks started at No 8 and then switched to centre effectively and veteran replacements Rob Hill and Karl Hocking stood out.
Ystrad also had a good, mobile pack with Nathan Hughes and Matthew Llewellyn excelling.
A wonderful try in the seventh minute saw Davies score and though Rhys Truelove missed the conversion and a penalty he did convert Matthew Llewellyn's try for a 12-0 lead.
The wily Gratton scored the third try after only 27 minutes but Maesteg clawed their way back and full back Ed Howley struck two fine penalties before the interval when Ystrad Rhondda led 17-6.
A Truelove penalty opened the second half and amazingly it was an hour before Maesteg scored a try after several near misses.
The experienced Hocking made a run and his wonderful pass opened the way for lock Mark Hillier-Rees to streak away and Ed Howley converted.
It looked as if Maesteg must pull level but win Davies collected on halfway and raced away to just make the corner for the try that settled the Ystrad Rhondda victory.
Scorers.
Ystrad Rhondda - Tries: G Davies 2, M Llewellyn, D Gratton. Con: R Truelove. Pen: R Truelove.
Maesteg - Try: M Hillier-Rees. Con: E Howley. Pens: E Howley 2.


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Rhiwbina's John Humphreys receives AWS Award

Photo courtesy of Fido Pics

I  recently had the pleasure of presenting Rhiwbina's John Humphreys with the All Wales Sport Special Recognition Award, congratulations John! Next stop on the awards tour is Ystradgynlais this Saturday April 25.

Football brings Cardiff communities together

Forget the Six Nations and the FA Cup final, the sporting event of the season is the Cardiff Cohesion Community Cup (CCCC’15), to be held at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on April 30 2015.  
Yemeni players celebrate their victory 
The community initiative, created by local community organisation, the Horn Development Association (HDA) and supported by South Wales Police, has brought together six Cardiff-based black and minority ethnic (BME) communities to battle it out in a series of football matches for the opportunity to play against a team of local community police officers and ex professional footballers. 
The objective of the CCCC’15 tournament is to encourage stronger relationships and build closer communities amongst key ethnic minority groups across the city. 
Gareth Evans, Deputy to the Local Policing Inspector, South Wales Police said: “A sporting occasion such as this provides a great opportunity for us to interact with local BME communities and forge good relations with them. Furthermore it also serves to enhance the wider community cohesion by bringing together a number of differing nationalities who will compete on friendly terms on the field of play.”

A number of local businesses and charities, including Brace’s Bread and Sported are working with the HDA and South Wales Police in supporting CCCC’15, with the goal of showing cultural clashes the red card. 
Scott Richardson, Brace’s Bread, said; “Brace’s Bread prides itself on working in the heart of the community, therefore this project is a match made in heaven. The Semi Finals were very exciting and we are anticipating that the final match on the 30th of April will be even more so. Each team has put their all into the tournament and we want the people of Cardiff to come along on the day and show their support.”
Richard Thomas, Wales Manager at Sport for Development charity, Sported, said: “What’s so fantastic about the Cardiff Community Cohesion Cup is that it celebrates the city’s diversity. Few things can break down social and cultural barriers as well as sport, so the fact that this competition will bring together young people of different nationalities is going to be brilliant to see. It’s a great initiative and one that Sported is proud to support.”
Teams from the Yemeni and Kurdish community competed in the Cohesion Cup finals on April 14 with Yemeni taking the title with a 6-1 win. They will now play in the super cup at the Millennium Stadium against a team of ex-professional footballers which include Lee Trundle, Derek Brazil, Lee Jarman, Damon Searle and Roger Gibbins and key members of the South Wales Police.
Mohamed Molibany of HDA, said: “As part of HDA’s everyday role, we offer support and create opportunities for people from BME groups across Cardiff to better their lives - this event is just one of these ways and the sense of community spirit amongst the players has been tremendous.”
To find out more about CCCC’15 and how to get free tickets to the final at the Millennium Stadium, like Cardiff Community Cohesion Cup on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cardiffcommunitycohesioncup.
And if you are a local business interested in helping fund the event, visit www.spacehive.com/cardiffcommunitycohesioncup

Glynneath capture Worthington Neath and District (H G Lewis) Cup

WORTHINGTON NEATH AND DISTRICT CUP FINAL
 
GLYNNEATH 53 BRITON FERRY 16
Report by Howard Evans
 
An outstanding game of rugby saw Glynneath pull clear in the final quarter to capture the Worthington Neath and District (H G Lewis) Cup for the fourth year in succession.

Glynneath celebrate Cup success 

It not only produced thrilling running and tackling by both Glynneath and their game opponents Briton Ferry, but saw two Glynneath players stand out as future stars.

Scrum half Shaun Tennant  scored 28 points and 20-years-old centre Lewis Cox ran in two outstanding tries, while Ferry’s Jonathan Davies, playing on his home pitch, scored all his side’s 16 points.

Cox, a flanker, but playing in the centre, looks to have the makings of a splendid player and was given the Man of the Match award. 

He said: “I have only just returned to rugby after having being in the Ospreys under-16s but then giving the game up. I really am a forward but I enjoyed myself in the backs today.”

Man of the Match Lewis Cox in action

The game was full of strong running, rucking and tackling with referee Harvey Smith (Neath) splendid in the way he held control, while Briton Ferry never gave in, despite suffering several injuries, though the power of the Glynneath pack finally told.

Tennant showed his fine kicking prowess as early as the second  minute with a huge penalty, but  Davies levelled before a mighty Glynneath drive saw fly half Matthew Llewellyn score and Tennant convert.

Back came Ferry as Davies intercepted and ran in for a try that he goaled and then added a penalty as the home side led 13-10.

Before the interval, Tennant kicked a penalty and converted an outstanding solo try by Cox for a 20-13 lead.

Despite Glynneath winning the second half by 33-3, it was not totally one-sided with lock Bobby Jones and No 8 Matthew C.Davies in fine form for the winners and No 8 Chris Burgess and prop Adam Robinson standing out for Ferry.

Tries followed by Davies, Tennant , lively centre Dylan Parks, Tennant again and Cox, with the latter having another disallowed. Tennant  converted four  with Jonathan Davies placing a penalty for Briton Ferry.

Tina Tew, escorted by Wales District officials,  presented the cup to the hard-working Glynneath captain, flanker Matthew Davies (not the try-scorer), who had just failed to get on the scoreboard himself.

This is the first of several competitions sponsored by Worthington in South Wales and the West of England.

Scorers.
Glynneath – Tries: S Tennant 2, L Cox 2, M C Davies, D Parks, M Llewellyn. Cons: S Tennant 6. Pens: S Tennant 2. 
Briton Ferry – Try: J Davies. Con: J Davies. Pens: J Davies 3.

WORTHINGTON RUGBY UNION -EAST DISTRICT CUP FINAL

The Worthington East District rugby final will be played between Dinas Powys and St Peter’s at the Glamorgan Wanderers ground on Wednesday, May 6.

Dinas Powys gained a hard-earned 18-6 win over Pontyclun in one semi-final as Nathan Williams (2) and James Wiltshire scored tries and Gavin Cooper kicked a penalty against two early penalties from Pontyclun. 

St Peter’s ran clear against Barry in nthe other semi-final  though Danny Ryan touched down for Barry and Einan Scott kicked three penalty goals.

The ‘Rocks’, coached by former Wales back Mark Ring and skippered by former Cardiff lock Kris Barry, will now come up against Dinas Powys coach John Dunleavy, who is a former St Peter’s player.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Gowerton clinch Two West title

GOWERTON RFC WINS SWALEC DIVISION 2 TITLE TO SECURE PROMOTION
Gowerton RFC has lifted the SSE SWALEC Division 2 West trophy at home, celebrating its place at the top of the league.

The Gowerton league win was sealed on Saturday 11 April in a 9-7 victory against Penlan RFC, sealing the club’s third promotion in three years. The team has risen through the ranks of the SWALEC League from Division 5 after another successful season. The match was hard fought with Gowerton notching up three penalties against a penalty try to Penlan who missed two further penalties.

The club has now carried off the title with 93 points to date, making them unreachable by Llanelli Wanderers who remain second in the table. Gowerton has won all but one of their league games played this season so far. With two matches remaining, they are currently unbeaten at home for three years.

Gowerton Club Captain, Tom Gronow, aged 34, said: “A lot of hard work has gone in to making this season a success. The boys and the club have done themselves proud. We were in the bottom league for years and now we’re doing so well, I’m very proud of the boys and everyone behind the scenes. The support from the village has been fantastic. Lots of former players and people in the community turned up to watch us – including my father John who was captain back in 1972 so he was really happy for us too. We’re looking forward to the future. We take every match as it comes and our quietly confident that we’ll do okay but we do our talking on the field.”

But it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the club, who were forced to replace outside half Robert John after he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament halfway through the season. Luckily, the team were able to replace him with two younger players who stepped up from the youth side and helped bring the side to victory. 

Gowerton Club Secretary Richard Jenkins said: “We have three sets of brothers all playing for us including Craig and Rhys Thomas, Ben and Jonny Rees and twins Robert and Gareth John - so we’re definitely a close-knit club. The majority of the current team have progressed from the youth division which goes to show that the club structure is working for us.”

The club’s success has been attributed to its strong youth section which is made of up 200 players including an U7s side. The U15s and U16s will both compete in the Ospreys Cup Final later this month.




WRU Board Member Brian Fowler, who presented the SSE SWALEC Division 2 West trophy, said: “Gowerton has done fantastically well this season. They have a strong youth side that has come through over the past two to three years and it’s great to see the club being promoted yet again. A well-deserved promotion which is the culmination of the efforts put in by all the players this season.”

SSE SWALEC is the national community partner of the Welsh Rugby Union and sponsors both the SSE SWALEC Leagues and SSE SWALEC Cup, Plate and Bowl competitions. 
Colin Banks, Acting Head of Sponsorship at SSE SWALEC, added: “Our strong partnership with the WRU and its clubs goes back a number of years and we’re very pleased to be doing more for grassroots rugby in Wales through our sponsorship of the SSE SWALEC Leagues. It has been another strong season for Welsh rugby as a whole and we have seen some impressive performances at club level. Many congratulations to Gowerton on claiming the title.”

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Swansea Beach Soccer festival 2015 is alive and kicking

Calling Swansea Beach Soccer Festival teams old and new!Calling all local Community Groups and Charities!

Registration is now open for the May 17th event, if you wish to register your team or community group.
Get involved in any - or many shapes or forms, at this not-for-profit community Festival on Swansea Beach, Sunday May 17th - or in the pre-festival Race Night in Swansea Yacht and Sub-Aqua Club on Friday May 1st.

ARE YOU ...OR DO YOU KNOW A COMMUNITY SPIRITED:

*   SOCCER TEAM - OF ANY ABILITY!?

*   WALKING FOOTBALL TEAM - OF ADULTS & OVER 13'S?

*   A LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUP OR CHARITY?

*   A CHOIR OR BAND?

*   A SINGER/DANCER/CIRCUS ACT/DANCE TROUPE/CARNIVAL PERFORMER?

*   BEACH AND/OR OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP?

*   LOVER OF SWANSEA BEACH AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES?

*   A POTENTIAL OR EXISTING SPONSOR OR VOLUNTEER?

......or any number of the above?!?..........

THEN PLEASE LET THE SWANSEA BEACH SOCCER FESTIVAL ORGANISERS KNOW ABOUT YOU:

- on 07941981426

- email sbsf2015@outlook.com<mailto:sbsf2015@outlook.com>

www.swanseabeachsoccerfestival.uk<http://www.swanseabeachsoccerfestival.uk/>

EVENTBRITE PAGES:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/swansea-beach-soccer-festival-2015-sunday-may-17-tickets-16192539321
AND
http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fundraising-racenight-friday-may-1st-15-for-sbsf-2015-tickets-16194094974?aff=es2


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Perfect podium prepares Pryce for Portugal

Welsh rally star Osian Pryce is ready to take on the world following a stunning podium finish at Rally North Wales – despite some of the worst and wettest conditions in the event’s history.
 

The 22-year-old Citroen DS 3 R3T driver was competing on the Welsh event in preparation for next month’s Rally of Portugal, where he begins his rookie year in WRC3.
 
Despite running in conditions which played firmly into the hands of his four-wheel drive rivals, Pryce and co-driver Dale Furniss stunned their opposition in the mid-Wales forests last weekend. They were only beaten by more powerful, four-wheel drive machinery – and only missed out on second place by two seconds.
 
In biblical terms, Pryce’s effort was similar to that of David when he met Goliath all those years ago.
 
Pryce arrived at the start of the six-stage event on the back of a shortened test at Sweet Lamb last week. A transmission glitch halted the car after just a handful of runs around the stage.
 
Pryce’s last rally outing came with a heroic effort on November’s Wales Rally GB, where he ran second in WRC2 for much of his debut in world’s rallying’s second tier. His last outing in the DS 3 was on the Isle of Man in September; his last time in the car on gravel was the Scottish Rally almost 10 months ago.
 
Despite that lack of match practice in the DS 3, Pryce was on exceptional form in the horrendously wet and foggy conditions.
 
His time through the opening test was spoiled when he was limited to just 40mph for the final two miles after a turbo pipe came loose.
 
From then on, Pryce was flying, setting second fastest time through the Big Ray stage and third quickest in Dyfi Main which followed. The multiple British Rally Championship event winner was just seven seconds slower than the fastest four-wheel drive car in SS2 and an incredible five down in SS3.
 
Pryce spent the day working with Autosport Technology – the team running the DS 3 this season – to fine-tune settings for his next event, the Rally of Portugal.
 
Much as he wanted to win, the best gaugue of Pryce’s true pace was against the next best DS 3 R3T… he won that battle by three minutes.
 
The Rally of Portugal represents the next big step in Osian’s career as he steps up from domestic competition to take on the world in the WRC3 series.
 
Osian said: “There were some quality four-wheel drive cars on the entry list, so winning Rally North Wales was pretty much impossible. Looking at the onboard from stage one, we dropped 25 seconds when the pipe came off, so that cost us second place. Much as it would have been nice to win, the priority was to get back into the groove driving the DS 3 R3T. We drove a Ford Fiesta R5 on Rally GB and that’s quite a different car to the Citroen.
 
“Even though we didn’t have much time in the car at the pre-event test, it was enough for me to feel comfortable with it. And, as soon as the event itself started, it was like we’d never been away. The car ran perfectly throughout the rally and Dale and I were really happy with the way everything went. Except for the weather, which was unbelievable. The wipers couldn’t clear the screen quick enough, it just didn’t stop all day.
 
“I was really happy with the times through the Dyfi stage, given the amount of water around the place. We were within five seconds of fastest – and we’d have given at least two of those away on the startline. Once we were up and running in Dyfi, we were flat out everywhere.
 
“The DS 3 has undergone a significant evolution since we were last in it on the Isle of Man and it was great to have this chance to find out what the car can do with the improvements to the engine.
 
“It’s now a case of counting the days until Portugal…”