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First half blitz sets up Hendy win

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HENDY kicked their 2019 off to a perfect start as they thumped Tenby United 28-66 at Heywood Lane on Saturday (Jan 5).

The win is their third in a row and sees them stay fourth in League 1 West with just four points separating them from second placed Llangennech.

On the other hand, despite taking the lead early on, Tenby succumbed to their eleventh defeat of the season and remain bottom of the table.

With only a minute on the clock Tenby were on the attack and when the ball broke loose, Jack Parkinson kicked the ball before catching and going on to touch down. Lloyd Thomas then added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Try: Hendy score their first of the game

However, Hendy were soon level as a Tenby knocked the ball on giving Hendy the chance to kick to touch. From the resulting lineout a maul was set up and Hendy pushed themselves over with Iwan Mayze credited with the try. Rhydian Morris kicked the conversion to level the scores.

Three minutes later the visitors were in the lead as Ifan Beynon took a quick tap penalty in his own 22 before sprinting the rest of the field to score the try. Morris then added the simple extras.

They soon had their third try as Beynon picked the ball up from a maul and faked a pass to create a gap which he sped through to score his second try of the game. Morris then added the extras from out wide and Hendy led 7-21.

Tenby looked to get themselves back in the game but a knock on saw their attack come to an end. Hendy kicked to touch but the home side won the resulting line out and attacked again only for a forward kick to go into touch.

The visitors went in search of their fourth try and they thought they had it but the referee called play back for a forward pass.

They weren’t to be denied their bonus point, however, as with 25 minutes gone, another maul was set up and this time Aled Thomas was credited with the try. Morris added the extras.

Hendy continued to pile the pressure on and after another Tenby foul they kicked to touch 5 metres out. Morris stepped up but his conversion went just over the post and the score stayed at 7-33.

On the half hour mark Tenby responded as Jack Broadhurst scored a try under the posts which Lloyd converted with ease.

Another knock on by Tenby gave Hendy the chance to come forward again with Thomas making a good run before he was held up.

Five minutes before half time Hendy scored sixth try as Tom Havard broke into the try zone before running on to touch down under the post to give Morris another simple conversion.

There was still time for a seventh try as Hendy passed the ball out to the right and Dyfan Williams finished off an excellent move. Morris added the extras again and Hendy led 14-47 when the half time whistle went.

Whatever was said to the Tenby team at half time seemed to work as they started the second half like they had the first. After a high tackle from Hendy, the home side took a quick tap penalty and after another Hendy foul they had a penalty which they kicked to touch.

From the lineout Tenby pushed their way over with Moritz Neuman touching the ball down. Lloyd then added the extras to bring Tenby back into it at 21-47.

Hendy were then penalised for holding on in their own half and Tenby were given a scrum. Tenby came forward but were then also penalised for holding on and the chance was gone.

They were made to pay for that as Havard scored his second try of the game. This time Morris sent the conversion wide.

Hendy were keen to add more points and after a series of infringements at the scrum by Tenby the referee marched under the posts to award a penalty try and give the visitors a 21-59 lead.

Tenby looked to respond again but a knock on by Parkinson gave possession back to the visitors.

With just under fifteen minutes to go Hendy scored their tenth try as Beynon kicked the ball forward and Jake Newman ran on to touch the ball down before Morris added the extras.

The home side did earn a bonus point for their fourth try late on from one of the best moves of the game. Lloyd spotted a gap which he ran into before passing to Parkinson who in turn found Jack Tucker who touched down under the posts. Lloyd then added the extras to make it 28-66.

Tenby face another tough trip on Saturday (Jan 12) as they go to third placed Gowerton knowing they need to start picking up some victories.

Hendy will look for their fourth straight win on Saturday as they host Whitland who are also looking for points to secure their League 1 West place.

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Sport

Cwm’s good run halted by leaders

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CWMAMMAN United saw their recent good run of form halted on Saturday (Mar 16) as they returned from the Kymco Stadium in Bridgend pointless after a battling display against unbeaten league leaders Penybont who came out 2-0 winners.

In strong wind and rain Cwmamman took time to settle to the 4G pitch and conceded an early goal after 5 minutes when a free header from a corner left Chris Curtis in goal with no chance.

With the wind against them Penybont were keeping the ball on the floor and were controlling possession while Cwm tried to soak up the pressure and catch them on the break through releasing their wingers Ashley Curtis and Ryan Hurlow.

It felt like a long day at the office as Cwm’s midfield fought hard to get a foothold with Ross Morgan, Ryan Thomas and Colin Harris battling hard as the pressure mounted.

On 27 Minutes Penybont were denied a second goal after the effort was ruled off side. Curtis was again called into action and produced a great low save after a snap shot. Cwmamman were slowly getting into the game and a great header on by Chris Allen freed Ashley Curtis but he fired over the bar.

Just before half time Penybont were awarded a controversial penalty but a great save by Curtis kept the score at 1-0 to the hosts at the break.

Cwmamman were now playing against a very strong wind in the second period and Gareth Howarth and Declan John at the centre of Cwm’s defence were required to be error free while Penybont’s wing backs were also putting a lot of pressure on Calem Rees and Ashley Johns at full back.

However, it was still only a one goal deficit and Cwm felt they were still in the game. On 55 minutes Cwmamman had their best chance when Ryan Hurlow found Ryan Thomas who’s shot went narrowly passed the post.

Penybont were then handed a second goal again from a corner when the assistant referee flagged to indicate that the ball had crossed the line much to the surprise of everyone on the ground, including the home fans.

This goal secured the game for the hosts and deflated Cwmamman United who had given their all.

Cwmamman kept plugging away though and nearly pulled a goal back late on through another Ryan Thomas effort.

Cwmamman United have no fixture on Saturday (Mar 23), whilst the reserves are away to FC Nedd.

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Tour of Britain nominated for top award

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THE OVO Energy Tour of Britain has been nominated for a prestigious Sporting Event of the Year award.

The hugely successful cycle race has been shortlisted as a finalist at the Event Production Awards 2019, which take place in London this month.

The Grand Depart took place at Pembrey Country Park on Sunday, September 2 with Stage One of the race travelling north through Carmarthenshire en-route to the stage finish in Newport.

The Tour of Britain is one of eight nominees in the Sporting Event of the Year category and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Hammersmith on Thursday, March 14.

The awards recognise and celebrate the hard work and achievements of key contractors, agencies and production teams within the outdoor and live events industry.

Thousands of people lined the route through Carmarthenshire to cheer on the professional riders which included world-class cyclists Geraint Thomas – fresh from his epic Tour de France victory – and Chris Froome; and communities really got into the spirt of the race with various activities and events held and by creating impressive pieces of land art.

Live televised coverage, post-race highlights and national media coverage put Carmarthenshire in the spotlight as a world-class visitor destination and host of major sporting events.

It is estimated that in just that weekend alone, the county benefitted from an economic boost of £800,000 not to mention the long-term impact.

Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said: “This nomination is testament to the hard work of all involved to put on what is the biggest cycling race in the UK calendar.

“I wish the OVO Energy Tour of Britain team the best of luck; this award reflects the tremendous success of the event and I would like to think that we in Carmarthenshire played a small part in that.

“It is our aspiration to become the Cycling Hub of Wales and I think we have certainly proven ourselves as a first-class venue for major events.”

Talks are ongoing to build on the success of the Tour of Britain and bring more elite events to the county in the future.

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Phillips: We’ve got a big match in us

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WALES Women head coach Rowland Phillips believes his side can raise their game for their final Women’s Six Nations Test, against Ireland on Sunday (Cardiff Arms Park, 1.30).

Phillips has made two changes to the starting line-up with Elinor Snowsill starting at 10 and Alisha Butchers slotting back into the back row at blindside flanker.

Phillips said, “We want to capitalise on the confidence we’ve gained from the win over Scotland.

“We’ve shown a huge amount of character throughout this tournament – to hold Italy out at the end of that game and to come back from behind to win in Scotland showed remarkable attitude – and skill for such a young side.

“Despite that, I don’t feel we have shown how good a side we are and we’d like to do that on Sunday.

“Ireland are in a similar place as us. They played well against France last weekend. They have a strong back row and players who can make a difference. We certainly won’t be under-estimating them.

“However, we want to focus on ourselves, show what we can do with the ball and produce a better all-round performance. There’s a big game in us and hopefully we can showcase that on Sunday.”

Alisha Butchers, who earns her first start in the tournament since the opening round, is looking forward to some home comforts.

“Being at home lifts us girls massively. We’ve only had one home game this year and although England were tough opposition, we lifted our performance for our home support.

“Travelling away isn’t always accessible for our families so having them there boosts us. I love having my mum and dad and my brothers and sisters there, I can’t wait. There’s very much a family feel ethos and hopefully we can produce an entertaining game.”

“Last week’s game was really exciting and a good stepping stone for us. Moving forward I think we need to stick to our game plan, carry on working on our physicality and keep building as a team.

“Our performance was good last weekend but it can an still be better. We can use the confidence and momentum created by that victory to up our game and also spread the ball a bit more.”

Alisha is now working as a Hub Officer at Y Pant and Bryn Celynnog schools in the Pontypridd area, increasing the range of opportunities for girls to engage with rugby.

“I love it. I’ve already seen a huge increase in the number of girls playing the game and that inspires me – the thought that I’m having an impact on the next generation. They are both brilliant schools and we are getting 40 or more girls training now which is fantastic.

“Traditional 15 a side full-contact rugby isn’t for everyone so we make sure there are different formats and different opportunities all girls to enjoy taking part. A lot of them enjoyed the Rookie Rugby events we held recently, some play touch rugby, others enjoy crash mat rugby which is an introduction to contact or full contact rugby for the more established players who are keen.

“Hopefully a few of the girls – and boys – from the schools will come and support us on Sunday and bring their parents along to see what our game is all about. A few of the girls have role models within the squad, some are inspired by our captain Carys Phillips so I’ve promised they can have some photos after the match.”

Tickets available to print at home from www.cardiffblues.com/tickets and from 10am Sunday at the WRU shop, Westgate Street.

Wales Women V Ireland (Sunday, March 17, 1.30pm, Cardiff Arms Park):

Lauren Smyth (Ospreys); Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets), Hannah Jones (Scarlets), Lleucu George (Scarlets), Jess Kavanagh (RGC); Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Bears), Keira Bevan (Ospreys); Caryl Thomas (Dragons), Carys Phillips (capt, Ospreys), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Gwen Crabb (Ospreys), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Bethan Lewis (Dragons) Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys)

Replacements:

Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Cara Hope (Ospreys), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Alex Callender (Scarlets), Manon Johnes (Cardiff Blues), Ffion Lewis (Scarlets), Robyn Wilkins (Blues), Lisa Neumann (RGC)

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