FOLLOWING the disappointment of the Carmarthenshire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships being called off three weeks ago due to bad weather, there was some better news a few days later as the Brianne Secondary Schools got their cross country league campaign underway at Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in Whitland.
Open to those in years 7, 8, 9 and 10, the seven schools represented in this league feature Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, Ammanford, Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth, Cefneithin, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Llandeilo, Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Carmarthen, Queen Elizabeth School, Carmarthen, Ysgol Dyffryn Taf, Whitland and Llandovery College.
303 youngsters took part across six races beginning with the year 7 athletes competing at secondary level for the first time through to the year 8 and the combined year 9 and 10 boys and girls events.
Frances Mackie (QE High) was the first clear winner of the new season taking the year 7 girls win. She was followed in second by Erin Morgan (Bro Myrddin) before a closer finish between Ffion Evans (Dyffryn Taf), Nel Davies (Maes Y Gwendraeth) and Mali Garland (Maes Y Gwendraeth).
It was more of the same in the year 7 boys where Bro Myrddin’s Ifan Bowen stretched away to take victory ahead of Harry Billingham (Dyffryn Taf). QE High, Bro Myrddin and Bro Dinefwr filled third, fourth and fifth thanks to Rory Gravelle, Tomos Lewis and Jake Lynock.
After coming first and second last year, Amy Greatrick (QE High) and Keira Carmody (Dyffryn Taf) stepped up to Year 8 distances but the result turned out to be the same as they got off to a good start. Club Sprinters Sophia-Reid Thomas (Bro Myrddin) and Jessica Lee (Dyffryn Taf) were the next two in with Gwenllian Llwyd (Bro Myrddin) completing the top five.
It was a Queen Elizabeth double in race three and four as Jack Thomas was another to continue his fine form from 2017. His training partners and Bro Myrddint trio Rogan Cox, Steffan Davies and Zach Elvy were second, third and fifth. Sion Davies (Dyffryn Aman) occupied fourth spot.
The Year 9 and 10 Girls’ opening race was won by Llandovery College’ Kasia Cook. Maes Y Gwendraeth’s Tanwen Moon and Clara James crossed second and third, whilst fourth position went to Sara Price (Bro Dinefwr) and Amber McIsaac (QE High) fifth.
Carmarthen Harriers’ distance runners Dafydd Jones, Liam Edwards, Frank Morgan ran side by side throughout as they picked up full points for Bro Myrddin to secure joint first. Joining them in the Y9/10 leading pack were Scott Price (Bro Dinefwr) and Ioan Cressey-Rodgers (Bro Myrddin).
Looking ahead to the second league fixture, it will be held at Ysgol Bro Myrddin’s sports field on Tuesday, October 23, starting at 1pm.
Llandeilo and Ammanford will be the other venues in November and January, where the 2018/19 school champions will be confirmed.
More signings as Cwm build squad
FOLLOWING on from announcing their three new signings last week Cwmamman United have announced a further six this week.
Nathan Davies, who has captained the Carmarthenshire League Select side, joins from Bwlch Rangers while Rob Morgans joins having played with Haverfordwest County and Goodwick United previously.
They also announced the signing of four tremendously talented young players in Oliver Diamond, Korey Palmer, Stevie Evans and Joe Lewis.
“We are really pleased to have these boys on board as we are not only strengthening our first team squad with some really talented players ” said Ryan Stephens, First Team Manager, “but we are also building for the future.”
Ammanford romp to friendly win
AMMANFORD romped away in a goal fest in this pre season friendly beating their plucky opponents Pontarddulais by ten goals to nil on Friday (Jul 12).
Ammanford Manager Gruffydd Harrison will be pleased with his teams workout and even more excited with his forward line finishing prowess.
There were hat tricks for Gavin Jones who showed excellent pace and new signing Tristan Jenkins along with goals from Lee Trundle, Bruno Forkouh, Mathew Fisher and Craig Frater.
Ammanford have another friendly this Friday (Jul 19) when they take on Ynysygerwn.
After that they travel to Pontardawe Town on Tuesday (Jul 23) before a trip to Welsh Premier League neighbours Carmarthen Town on Saturday (Jul 27).
Carmarthenshire cyclist heading to Mont Blanc
WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE in full swing and the World’s best doing battle against each other, there is another big cycling event taking place within the French Alps.
The Tour du Mont Blanc claims to be the Worlds toughest road cycling event and Llangadog based cyclist, Matthew Page will be lining up and attempting to complete the arduous route.
The event is a non-stop, circumnavigation around the alpine peak of Mont Blanc, starting in France alpine resort of Les Saisies and heads through Switzerland and Italy before returning to finish back in Les Saisies.
Covering a total of 330km (205 miles) with 8300 vertical metres (27,300 feet) of climbing it is roughly the equivalent to tackling two of the toughest Tour de France stages, back to back without stopping and takes in well known alpine passes including the Grand Saint Bernard, Petit Saint Bernard, Cormet de Roseland and Col de la Forclaz.
Matthew is a former professional Mountain Biker, who competed internationally and specialised in 24hr solo competitions and also Carmarthenshire Sports Personality winner. Now a cycle event organiser and cycling media journalist he organises major off-road events within the county including Battle on the Beach, Gritfest and in November 2019 will be organising a round of the British Cycling cyclocross national series within Pembrey Country Park.
With less than 50% of starters likely to finish, Matthew is understandably apprehensive about the challenge: “This will undoubtedly be one of the hardest days I will ever encounter on the bike and despite having done 24hr events previously, the extra challenges the Tour du Mont Blanc brings, including lack of a support crew, route navigation, logistics and uncertain weather especially at higher altitudes. The event has been a major focus for me this year and I am looking forward to the challenge”.
The event takes place on Saturday July 20, with the fastest riders expected to finish in under 12 hours.
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