Thursday, 26 June 2014

Four Welsh Students selected for Rugby League tour of Ghana

Four Rugby League players from Welsh universities have been chosen to represent the Great Britain Pioneers Student side on the tour to Ghana next week.

The players leave on the weekend, arriving on Monday and will be in the West African nation for two weeks.

Callum Williamson and Sean Pattimore will represent Swansea University, George McNulty-Shaw is from Aberystwyth while Benjamin Chipperfield attends and plays for Bangor.

The Pioneers were formed in 2005 and encompass students from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with the aim of aiding fledgling nations.

They made their inaugural tour to Estonia and have since visited the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, Norway, Kazakhstan, Greece and Poland.

Squad members are ambassadors for their university and sport, selection criteria considering not only their ability to play the game to a high standard but a proven track record in undertaking rugby league development activity.

While in Ghana, the squad will play three matches against the Ghana All Stars and two facing the national side while also running coaching clinics in schools, running touch rugby tournaments – including one on the beach, meeting the local press and taking part in cultural activities and visits.

GRL Development Manager Sylvester Wellington commented: “This tour has been two years in the planning. We have heard and read about the Pioneers and how they are helping countries to develop rugby league and we feel this is a big opportunity for Ghana to showcase what we have been doing and how fast the sport has grown here.”

“The players and management of Ghana RL are looking forward to it because it will help in making so many more people aware about the sport.”

He added: “We also know this will open the way for us in terms of sponsorships and making some of our players known outside Africa, there is some terrific talent here.”

The tourists, who have been helped in their preparations by the sport’s official charity, Rugby League Cares, will be managed by Steve Curtis, Sports Development Manager at the University of Hull.

He said: “The SRL GB Pioneers tour to Ghana is an exciting new challenge for us. The RLEF have done some great work out there and we want to help build on it and spread the word about rugby league.”

“We have a busy itinerary and all the players and staff are looking forward to leaving tools to help grow the sport there.”

FITNESS BOOST FOR SCARLETS

Scarlets have received a boost ahead of the new season with a number of key squad players likely to return to action in time for the 2014-15 campaign after surgery and long-term injuries.
Wales internationals Rhys Priestland and Emyr Phillips and 44 times capped Scottish international John Barclay are all expected to return to full fitness in time for the start of the 2014-15 PRO12 season in September after receiving treatment towards the end of last season.

As the squad returns to Parc y Scarlets for pre-season training Scarlets Head of Medical Andrew Walker gives an update on the player injuries.

Flanker John Barclay is six weeks post elected surgery on his shoulder with strengthening work underway and going well. Barclay is back running and is expected to participate fully in pre-season training with the squad from early August and is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2014-15 season.

Hooker Emyr Phillips needed shoulder surgery after an injury sustained in the region's home victory over Zebre in April. Phillips will return to full pre-season training next week.

Centre Adam Warren underwent elected shoulder surgery and returns to full pre-season training next week.

Scarlets Head of Medical Andrew Walker said: "Both Emyr and Adam have progressed really well and have built up great strength during their rehabilitation. They will both remain non-contact until we're happy that they're ready. John is also doing particularly well and we expect him to return for the start of the season.”

Outside half Rhys Priestland required surgery on a knee injury sustained in Scarlets' last game of the season against Cardiff Blues.

Walker added: "Rhys is now five weeks post operation and he's already back on the bike. He's increasing strength around his knee and also increasing calf strength due to his previous Achilles injury. We will look to run Rhys in two weeks time and expect him fit for the start of the season.”

Second row George Earle returned to pre-season training last week from summer break and was experiencing some discomfort in his ankle.

Walker went on to say: "George came back in last week and was still experiencing some discomfort from an injury sustained towards the back end of the season. He has a ruptured tendon in his ankle and underwent elected surgery on Tuesday.

"He's expected to be out for 8-10 weeks but will be fit for the start of the 2014-15 season.

Centre Scott Williams will return to full contact training towards the end of July following an extended summer recovery programme but is also expected to make a return for the start of the season.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

TNS put six past Cefn

The New Saints beat Cefn Druids by six goals to one in a friendly match at Park Hall Stadium last night.

The Saints opened the scoring in the 36th minute thanks to Sam Finley. The TNS number eight was able to beat Dave Roberts from a free kick despite the tight angle.

A minute later and Scott Quigley doubled The Saints’ advantage. The powerful winger cut in on his right foot and fired in from 12 yards out.

The third goal of the game came in the 42nd minute after Matty Williams found space on the edge of the box. The former Notts County forward found the bottom corner of Roberts’ goal with an excellent left footed strike.

Six minutes into the second half, Kai Edwards made it four nil to Craig Harrison’s side. The defender was left unmarked at the  back post and slotted in from two yards out.

The visitors pulled a goal back a minute after the hour mark. The Druids number 15 found the bottom corner from just inside the box to reduce the deficit.

However, substitute Jamie Mullan headed in a fifth goal with only ten minutes left. The winger was picked out by fellow substitute Simon Spender and made no mistake from two yards out.

In what turned out to be the last kick of the game, substitute Ryan Fraughan expertly found the top corner to ensure a six one victory.

Full time: TNS 6-1 Cefn Druids.

The New Saints – Chris Mullock, Scott Ruscoe, Phil Baker, Kai Edwards, Chris Marriott, Sam Finley, Ryan Kershaw, Scott Quigley, Matty Williams, Levi Fernandez (trialist) and Greg Draper.

Cefn Druids – Dave Roberts, Peter Hoy, Ian Edmunds, Robbie James, Chris Rimmer, Tom Donegan, Peter Doran, Chris King, Jason Carey, Alan Bull and Josh McAuley.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

TNS draw Slovak Champs in Euro qualifier

The New Saints have been drawn against SK Slovan Bratislava in the UEFA Champions League Second Qualifying Round.

The Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League Champions will take on the Slovakian Champions after being drawn with them in yesterday’s UEFA Champions League draw.

The first leg will be played at the Pasienky Stadium on either the 16th or 17th of July and the New Saints confirmed that the second leg match again SK Slovan Bratislava will take place on Tuesday the 22nd of July.

The match between the Welsh Champions and the Slovak Champions will be played at Rhyl’s Corbett Sports Stadium and will kick off at 19:30pm.

Tickets will be priced at £20.00, however, tickets can be purchased for only £10.00 by either club members or season ticket holders.

Meanwhile, the Europa League draw sees both Bangor City and Airbus UK drawing UEFA competition debutants in Stjarnan from Iceland and FK Haugesund from Norway respectively.

Aberystwyth Town will face Northern Ireland-based Derry City, who play in the Southern Ireland League. The first game will be at Brandywell on July the 3rd with the return leg at Park Avenue on the 10th.

Airbus UK Broughton and Bangor City are both due to play at the Bookpeople Stadium - home of Bangor City and it has been confirmed that the Wingmakers will host Haugesund on the 3rd of July while the Citizens will welcome their Icelandic opponents on the 10th.

If Bangor City can progress from their first qualifying round, they will face Scottish Premier League side Motherwell.


Aberystwyth Town would face FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Belarus and Airbus would face a difficult trip to FK Sarajevo.

2014-15 British & Irish Cup fixtures

Following confirmation of the new structure, the 2014-15 British & Irish Cup fixtures are today unveiled.

Played across five pools, each with four teams, the English, Irish and Welsh clubs making up this year's British & Irish Cup will begin the new season campaign during the second weekend of October (10/11/12).

Drawn in Pool 5, current title holder Leinster 'A' will travel to Brickfields, facing Championship side Plymouth Albion. The Irishmen are the only team to have successfully defended their title, securing a win over Leeds Carnegie at Donnybrook in May to retain the trophy after claiming it for the first time in 2012-13.

A local derby awaits 2013-14 runners-up Leeds Carnegie as they host Rotherham Titans at Headingley. While both sides were knocked out of the Championship play-offs, each impressed across the board last season. James Lowes' men showed commitment to playing with ball in hand, scoring 91 tries in the process while Rotherham captivated Championship followers, progressing to the knock-out stages for the first time following a 7th place finish in the previous season.

The Welsh participants in the British & Irish Cup will be based on regional play-offs at the start of the season, with final positions in last season's Principality Premiership giving teams Home field advantage. Pontypridd represented the Welsh contingent in last year's knock-out stages, narrowly losing out to eventual winners Leinster 'A' in a thrilling encounter at Sardis Road.

After discussion among all four Unions, four Principality Premiership teams will continue to represent Wales in the competition, joining the 12 clubs of the Greene King IPA Championship as well as four provincial teams from Ireland. Due to changes in the competition dates, Scottish clubs will not participate in the 2014-15 competition meaning that season's competition will move from 24 teams to 20, playing in five pools of four.

2014-15 British & Irish Cup structure:

Teams
* 12 Greene King IPA Championship clubs
* 4 Welsh Principality Premiership clubs
* 4 Irish provinces – Connacht, Munster, Leinster 'A' and Ulster Ravens

Pool Stages
*Taking place on 11, 18, 25 October, 29 November and 6, 13 December 2014
* 5 pools of 4 playing home and away
* 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 bonus point for a) scoring 4 or more tries and/or b) losing by 7 points or less

Quarter finals
Taking place on 24 January 2015
* Top side in each pool progress to knockout stage, plus three best runners-up
* 8 quarter-finalists ranked with teams ranked 1-4 having home advantage

Semi-finals and final
* Four winning quarter finalists progress to semi -final draw which takes place on weekend of 13/14/15 March 2015
* Winning semi-finalists progress to final to take place on weekend of 3/4/5 April 2015

Pools
Pool 1: London Scottish, Wales 2, Bristol Rugby, Connacht
Pool 2: Rotherham Titans, Leeds Carnegie, Ulster Ravens, Wales 4
Pool 3: Worcester Warriors, Nottingham Rugby, Moseley, Munster 'A'
Pool 4: Wales 1, Cornish Pirates, Doncaster Knights, Bedford Blues
Pool 5: Leinster 'A', Plymouth Albion, Wales 3, Jersey RFC

British & Irish Cup fixtures

Round 1 – 10/11/12 October

Pool 1
Wales 2 v London Scottish
Bristol Rugby v Connacht

Pool 2
Leeds Carnegie v Rotherham Titans
Wales 4 v Ulster Ravens

Pool 3
Nottingham Rugby v Worcester Warriors
Munster 'A' v Moseley

Pool 4
Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues
Wales 1 v Doncaster Knights

Pool 5
Plymouth Albion v Leinster 'A'
Jersey RFC v Wales 3

Round 2 – 17/18/19 October 
Pool 1
London Scottish v Bristol Rugby
Connacht v Wales 2

Pool 2
Rotherham v Wales 4
Ulster Ravens v Leeds Carnegie

Pool 3
Worcester Warriors v Munster 'A'
Moseley v Nottingham Rugby

Pool 4
Bedford Blues v Wales 1
Doncaster Knights v Cornish Pirates

Pool 5
Leinster 'A' v Jersey RFC
Wales 3 v Plymouth Albion

Round 3 – 24/25/26 October
Pool 1
Connacht v London Scottish
Bristol Rugby v Wales 2

Pool 2
Rotherham Titans v Ulster Ravens
Leeds Carnegie v Wales 4

Pool 3
Moseley v Worcester Warriors
Nottingham Rugby v Munster 'A'

Pool 4
Doncaster Knights v Bedford Blues
Cornish Pirates v Wales 1

Pool 5
Wales 3 v Leinster 'A'
Plymouth Albion v Jersey RFC

Round 4 – 28/29/30 November
Pool 1
London Scottish v Connacht
Bristol Rugby v Wales 2

Pool 2
Rotherham Titans v Ulster Ravens
Wales 4 v Leeds Carnegie

Pool 3
Worcester Warriors v Moseley
Munster 'A' v Nottingham Rugby

Pool 4
Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights
Wales 1 v Cornish Pirates

Pool 5
Leinster 'A' v Wales 3
Jersey RFC v Plymouth Albion

Round 5 – 5/6/7 December
Pool 1
Wales 2 v Connacht
Bristol Rugby v London Scottish

Pool 2
Leeds Carnegie v Ulster Ravens
Wales 3 v Rotherham Titans

Pool 3
Nottingham Rugby v Moseley
Munster 'A' v Worcester Warriors

Pool 4
Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights
Wales 1 v Bedford Blues

Pool 5
Plymouth Albion v Wales 3
Jersey RFC v Leinster 'A'

Round 6 - 12/13/14 December
Pool 1
London Scottish v Wales 2
Connacht v Bristol Rugby

Pool 2
Rotherham Titans v Leeds Carnegie
Ulster v Wales 4

Pool 3
Worcester Warriors v Nottingham Rugby
Moseley v Munster 'A'

Pool 4
Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates
Doncaster Knights v Wales 1

Pool 5
Leinster 'A' v Plymouth Albion
Wales 3 v Jersey RFC

Quarter-finals: 23/24/25 January
Semi-finals: 13/14/15 March
Final: 3/4/5 April

ROMIDA NORTH WALES CRICKET LEAGUE – HOT AT THE TOP

The Premier League’s outstanding fixture this weekend is undoubtedly the top of the table clash between league leaders Menai Bridge and 8 times champions Llandudno.

Menai Bridge have built on their performance of last season – finishing runners-up to the imperious Llandudno team - and are posting a determined  challenge for The Seasiders’ crown.   They remain undefeated this season, putting together some impressive performances and winning games with wickets to spare.

A welcome addition to the Menai Bridge club has been the signing of overseas recruit – 23 year old Australian all-rounder Kaine Harmsworth .  Harmsworth has represented New South Wales at Under 17 and 19 level and played first grade cricket for Sydney-based Western Suburbs CC, a former club of Australian captain Michael Clarke.  A mountain of a man, Harmsworth is averaging just shy of 80 runs per innings and his economic medium-fast seam bowling has been responsible for 17 wickets thus far.

Harmsworth - a Cricket Australia Level One Coach – has certainly made an impact at the club – Team captain, Robbie James said, ‘Kaine has proved a real asset both on and off the field, he brings with him an air of professionalism’.

The Bridge will no doubt face their sternest challenge of the season in Llandudno who will be looking to bridge the points gap between themselves and the Menai boys. 

The Seasiders (their early-season hiccup against St Asaph now a distant memory) are themselves in top form and have a wealth of talent at their disposal.  The ever-reliable Jordan Kane is once again excelling with the willow and has already reached a half century on 4 occasions this season averaging a touch under 60 runs per innings.  Jack Rimmington’s bowling continues to impress -  his career-best 6-14 against Llanwrst including a hat-trick - being one of the highlights of the season so far.  At this rate of knots Rimmington looks well on his way to surpassing his season best total of 61 wickets.

Both teams will be playing their strongest teams and are looking forward to a competitive match.  So the stage is set for a humdinger of a game.


Let’s hope the weather is kind to make the most of Llandudno’s excellent pitch.

THORNLEY AND LEE GREEN REPRESENT GB ROWING AT WORLD CUP II

Wrexham’s Vicky Thornley and Cardiff’s Zak Lee Green both represented the GB Rowing Team at the World Cup II in Aiguebelette, France over the weekend.

Thornley partnered fellow Leander teammate Frances Houghton in the women’s double sculls at the World Cup II. Houghton and Thornley are the tallest women in the GB team and each has had a different career path with a mix of sculling and sweep for Start graduate Vicky and an Olympic medal winning history of sculling for Houghton.

This crew is yet to find its mojo at this level but has all the ingredients to do so. Today they were fifth in a race won by Australia. They could not hold onto the tails of the early pace-makers.

At halfway they were holding fourth and challenging for third before dropping back as the final sprint moved away.

Lee Green, 23, raced in Sunday’s early morning B finals session in the lightweight men’s single scull. He paced his race to move up to third with 350m to go, pushing past the home country's entrant. The race was won by Paul O'Donovan of Ireland and David Afandiyev of Azerbaijan was second.

Performance Director Sir David Tanner said: "Our rowers have really stepped up for the finals day as they did at the European Championships. There were some really impressive medals showing how savvy our team is when it comes to top level racing.

"We've had some stand-out performances from our top rowers and some real steps from some of our new talent. Overall it's been a great weekend and a fantastic venue in France".

Bridgend's Evans handed development contract

The Ospreys have announced that Bridgend flanker Lloyd Evans has signed a development contract with the region.

Openside Evans has been handed the deal after impressing with Bridgend Ravens in the Principality Premiership, before stepping up to feature for the region in last season's LV=Cup campaign.

Having missed out on selection for the region at age-grade level, the 23-year old has come through the ranks of club rugby, starting with Bridgend Athletic before moving on to the Ravens where he has played 32 times. 

It's a pathway to regional rugby that the young player believes has helped him:

"I've really enjoyed playing in the Premiership. I have learnt a lot over the last three seasons and it has brought me on to play better rugby. The experience I've had has definitely helped me.

"I wasn't successful at the time in getting to play age grade rugby for the Ospreys but that inspired me to work hard to improve. Playing in a senior environment, I've really learnt the trade and come on a lot."


Having shone with the Ravens in the Principality, Lloyd's hard work and determination was rewarded when the chance came for him to step up and play in the LV=Cup for the region last season. He impressed after coming off the bench away to Exeter Chiefs and the Bridgend boy was the first choice to start when the Ospreys took on Sale Sharks at his home ground, the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field, a week later.

"I thought it was going to be a really big step up but when I came into training prior to the LV=Cup games last season the team were absolutely amazing and really guided me along the way” he added.

"Players like Duncan Jones and Joe Bearman helped so much with anything I needed like learning the line out calls.

"I'm really excited to have actually now signed for the Ospreys especially as they are my home region. Training and playing with guys of the calibre there is here is an amazing opportunity for me. I'm looking forward to knuckling down, getting into preseason, especially when the international boys come back, and just getting the chance to learn from all the players.


Andy Lloyd, Recruitment and Retention Manager, commented on the signing:

"Lloyd has come through the club system in the Bridgend area and he's another player that joins us after earning his stripes in the Premiership. He's very quick and athletic with the potential to become an outstanding rugby player.

"We saw what he can do when he played for us in the LV=Cup, where he put in two really strong performances. It's going to be great for him to have a full pre-season under his belt, with strength, conditioning and speed work. We see him as a player with a bright future ahead of him and it's great to have another young player from within the region joining the squad.

"We have invested heavily in our development pathway to ensure that there are avenues for players to progress to regional level whatever their background and whether they are early or late developers. Players like Lloyd, who miss out on age-grade selection, are aware that if they knuckle down and keep working hard to develop on and off the field, then there is still a route for them to follow. If you perform consistently at Premiership level we are watching closely and you will get your chance.”

Sunday, 22 June 2014

South West Wales Cricket: Weekend Review

After a mixed start to the season weather wise the longest day of the year saw cricketers drenched in glorious sunshine up and down the country.

In the Thomas Carroll South Wales Cricket Association, Ammanford continue to rule the roost. With the second and third placed teams drawing, the pacemakers capitalised to move 28 points clear at the top after they clinically dispatched Gowerton by nine wickets.

Gowerton won the toss and elected to bat but that was as good as it got for the Swansea outfit, as they were skittled for 148 on a good wicket. Matthew Roberts was the destroyer in chief as he tore apart the Gowerton order, bagging six wickets.

Ammanford quickly chased down the runs required in the 19th over as they carded 149-1. Player/Coach Alun Evans smashed an unbeaten 77 while Rhys Culley also knocked an undefeated half century 52.

Meanwhile, Maesteg Celtic’s good start to the season continued as they inflicted Skewen’s fourth loss with a 61 run victory.

Elsewhere, Clydach eased to a seven wicket triumph at Aberdare while Dafen thumped Ynystawe by nine wickets.

At the top of Division Two, Briton Ferry Steel are the new leaders after they recorded a thumping 163 run triumph over Llanelli, while rivals Cowbridge could only draw at Bronwydd.

It remains tight at the top of Division Three with only a single point separating leaders Cimla and second place Drefach after they both notched up wins over Baglan and Merthyr Tydfil respectively.

Finally, in Division Four pacemakers Felinfoel cruised to an eight wicket win over hosts Dyffryn.

Dyffryn were skittled for just 77 with Jonathan Evans taking four wickets and Anthony Mathias bagging 3-30 for Foel. The visitors easily chased down the runs required with Rhys Harris top scoring on 42.

Moving west, in the Nicholas Insurance Pembrokeshire County League defending champions Neyland tightened their grip at the summit of Division One as they saw off title rivals Haverfordwest with a nail biting one wicket victory.

Haverfordwest were put in and posted 169-9 off their allotted 45 overs, Simon Holiday top scored on 67 in a 43 over stint while AJ Ravu (33) and Danny Potter (17) both contributed useful knocks. Leg Spinner Andrew Miller was the most lethal in attack for the hosts taking 4-32 while Nathan Banner picked up 3-42.

In response Neyland looked like they were heading towards their second defeat of the season when they found themselves 111-9 in the 32nd over but a superb last wicket stand between Banner (42n/o) and Sean Hannon (15n/o) saw the leaders home to their sixth win of the season.

The result sees Neyland move 33 points clear at the summit with Cresselly their nearest challengers after they comfortably saw off Saundersfoot by six wickets.

At the top of Division Two leaders Johnston continue to dominate as they claimed their sixth win of the season thumping Hook by 101 runs.

Aberystwyth maintained their unbeaten start to the West Wales Conference as the pacemakers thrashed Talybont Rachels by 170 runs. 

The highfliers elected to bat and carded 256-8, Adam Carvell (63) and Robert Rudge (54n/o) were the top scorers.

The Rachels in response were skittled for just 86 with Graham Bird the most potent in attack, taking 3-20. 

Elsewhere, Aberaeron recorded a five wicket victory over Talybont Villagers and UWA Commoners saw off Tregaron by 100 runs.

NANTYGLO RFC CELEBRATE SWALEC DIVISION 4 EAST TITLE

Nantyglo RFC have celebrated their SWALEC Division 4 East title by lifting the trophy for the first time yesterday (Saturday 21st June). 

Mal Beynon of the WRU presented the trophy, which was hard earned via a difficult win against Cwmbran RFC back in MayThe team clawed back from a half time score of 7 - 12 to take home a convincing 18 -12 victory.
This is the second successive title win for the side, and has enabled them to reach their highest ever position in the leagues. The team, who have now been playing together for two seasons, say they have become almost like family, with team manager Paul Cooper alongside coaches Jason Williams, Jason Cook and Nigel Meek bringing out the best in the players, week on week.
 Nick Philppen has enjoyed a memorable first campaign as Club Captain. Philppen said: “Cwmbran was a tough match to end the season. We went into it very confident we’d win it but in the end we were clinging for our lives and had to hold on to come through. To be honest we had the hairdryer treatment at half time and going out during the second half we put some phases together, got points on the board and we came through with a win. It was a great win in fairness to the boys.
 “There’s no doubt it will be a tough league next year with a lot of local derbies – every team has to fight for their lives. Hopefully we can keep attracting the local supporters to come out and join us week in week out as they have done this season. The crowd makes such a difference for us. The support for the club has grown even more this year and the community have really rallied around us.”
 Head coach Jason Williams said: “A massive influence on our achievements this year is the togetherness at the club – we’ve got friends playing together, they drink together, they party together. They know each other inside out. They’ve all gone through school together and have grown up with each other and they’ve wanted to come down and train in all kinds of weather and play every Saturday because it’s very social.

“Looking ahead to next season we’ll be playing at a higher level coming from grassroots rugby and a lot of teams in the next division warrant a lot of respect. They won’t be easy places to go and win. Questions are going to be asked of the management, the coaches and the players next season for us to step up against our new opponents and deliver. We’ve been unbeaten on this ground for two years and the boys won’t want to lose that winning mentality at home. If we can make it a fortress next year with our supporters coming out to support us then we’ve got a great chance.”

WRU Board Member Mal Beynon said: “Nantyglo RFC are a progressive club who have and are continuing to do a lot for rugby in Gwent. They’ve been a successful club over the years with a tremendous hard-working committee backing them all the way and since joining the Welsh Rugby Union two years ago, they have led by example and clinched successive titles. I wish them the very best for next season’s endeavours.”

GORSEINON CLAIM SWALEC DIVISION 3 WEST TITLE IN FIRST LEAGUE WIN FOR 52 YEARS

Gorseinon RFC have celebrated their SWALEC Division 3 West title by lifting the trophy for the first time on Friday 20 June, at their annual awards dinner. 



They secured their first SWALEC league title win in 52 years after a hard-fought game of two halves against Haverfordwest at the end of April, clawing back from a half time score of 6-3 to take home a 34-11 victory.

It’s been fantastic season in general for the club, who recently had 11 youth players enter the senior setup. The youth side however, are also playing well as a team, having reached the final of the Welsh Youth Cup but unfortunately falling at the last hurdle and losing to Carmarthen Athletic at the Millennium Stadium. They also won their league marking a double success for the club.

Gorseinon’s Club Captain24 year old Sean Haycock, received a special mention at the dinner on Friday evening and scooped an awards double, picking up both the Players Player of the Season and Player of the Season awards for his efforts throughout the league campaign.

Another notable contribution to the club’s league success came from lightning-fast Wing/Full Back Sam Evans, who scored the most points for his team. Over the course of the season he secured eight tries, 30 conversions and 27 penalties – claiming a total of 181 points for the club.
 
Sean Haycock, Gorseinon Club Captain, said: “It’s a very proud moment for the club for us to have achieved the league this year having not one a league title for 52 years. The fact that we are all Gorseinon boys, friends who do everything together and who have all come through from the junior section of the club, has made the difference for us. Because of this they are willing to give that little bit extra when it comes to it.”
 
Head Coach Marcus Thomas said: “There’s no clich├ęs you can use to describe the feeling we had after winning on the last day of the season – it all boiled down to that fixture for us. We needed a bonus point win to secure the league and we went from losing at half time to winning by five tries.
 
He continued: “That feeling is something I have never experienced before and hopefully will again, but if I never do it was good enough.”
 
Assistant Coach Darren Wilcox, who has captained the senior side a record eight times, added: “It’s been a committed, hard season and everyone has played for each other. It’s great for Gorseinon itself and it’s also my greatest memory of 15 years involved in senior rugby.”  
 
WRU Board Member Brian Fowler said: “A big congratulations to Gorseinon RFC, they have been excellent over the course of the season with a young team. Many of their players have come through from the club’s youth team, which is great to see as it’s all about developing your own talent these days. The club has an excellent structure and continuity and it breeds spirit and success.”

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Brett Chatwin new Rhiwbina 1st XV Captain‏

In his fourth year with the club, Squirrels’ flier Brett Chatwin has been appointed club captain for next season. 
 
Chatwin raced over for two tries in the exciting Swalec Plate Final against Merthyr, to give the Ironmen a real scare, and has been in outstanding form for the Squirrels in their rise to Division One status. 



Chatwin, who hails from Coventry and played for England Schools at the 16 age group, is part of the new set-up at Rhiwbina, who also welcome their experienced and respected former player Gareth MCarthy to their coaching team for next season alongside long-serving Gareth Lintern and Jared Lougher.