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Mike hangs up his boots

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Last game: Mike Phillips played his last game for the Sale Sharks

AFTER a professional career spanning 14 years, Mike Phillips brought his time as a rugby player to a close as he played his final game for his team, Sale Sharks.

After 99 international caps, 10 international tries, 2 Lions’ tours and 3 Grand Slams, the time has come for Mike to hang up his boots.

On Saturday night (May 20) S4C will be showing an hour-long documentary entitled Mike Phillips: Y Gêm Olaf, offering a unique glimpse into the last 24 hours of the former Wales and Lions scrum-half’s career.

The AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester was the location for his final farewell, and despite helping his side to a memorable win over Bath, the day proved to be a bittersweet occasion for Wales’ most-capped scrum half.

Mike said: “It was a very emotional day and it went by quite quickly. My family and friends came up to watch me and it was great. The game went well too so I was very happy with how the day went.

“My body’s been telling me for I while to stop and now is the right time. I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do; I’ve played for Wales and the Lions. I’ve had a great send off by the Sale Sharks and I’m very happy with that. But now I’m looking forward to the future.”

The farmer’s son from Bancyfelin has enjoyed a colourful career and has the subject of headlines on the front pages of newspapers as well as the back. But what aspects of his life as one of Wales’ finest and best loved sports stars will he miss the most in retirement?

“Rugby players have a very privileged lifestyle and it’s something that I’m sure I’ll miss,” added Mike.

“The laughs and the craic you have every day in training and as part of the team. You go to work every day but it doesn’t really feel like work. Of course you work hard but you have a lot of fun and you go to the training pitch and matches with your friends.

“But it has been very intense over the years. The seasons are so long and every summer I was away on tour to a different part of the world. I won’t miss the tough training sessions. You have to push yourself to the limit every day and I’ve been doing it for years. Now I’m looking forward to relaxing and enjoying my life.”

At 34 years of age and looking for a ‘regular’ job, which direction will Mike’s career take him in the future – to the modelling world perhaps?

“No, I don’t think so, not at all. I’m speaking to a lot of people about the options I have. I’d definitely like to stay in the game in some capacity. I’m sure I’ll be doing a bit of coaching and work with the media, but there’s no concrete plan in place yet. The first thing I’m going to do is relax and spend some time with my family and friends.”

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Mumbles win well against Ammanford seconds

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AMMANFORD seconds suffered a heavy 125 run defeat at the hands of Mumbles at Marespool.

Winning the toss, Ammanford invited Mumbles to bat first, and a terrific 188 run partnership for the second wicket, featuring Ben Jones (94) and Stuart Seaton (77), helped the home team to a healthy 221 for 4 in 45 overs.

Several Ammanford batsmen got into double figures but none were able to stay long enough to make any impression on the run chase. Eirian Morgan top-scored with 25, but the Ammanford innings finished disappointingly on 96 all out.

Gethin Morgan and Phil Roche each took three wickets for Mumbles.

Thirds beaten by Landore

Ammanford thirds travelled to Landore only to lose their match by 50 runs.

Ammanford skipper Carl Griffiths put Landore in to bat, and the home team scored 148 for 9. Landore
skipper Terry Summerfield top-scored with 33.

Ammanford’s Tom Davies was chief wicket-taker with 4 for 38.

Despite a solid 30 from opener and man-of-the-match Tom Davies, Ammanford failed to get anywhere near the required target and folded their innings on 98 inside 34 overs.

The defeat dropped them out of the top half of division six on the SWCA.

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Cwmamman United Juniors host end of season event

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CWMAMMAN United juniors held their end of season event at Clwb Godre’r Mynydd Ddu Glanamman.

As they celebrated throughout the day with their different age groups from Under 6 to Under 14 it looked as if almost every child in the Cwm had attended at some point.

The Juniors section at the club has grown to around 150 children over the last couple of years and with a dedicated and enthusiastic group of committee, coaches and volunteers behind them the club is excitedly anticipating further growth.

A fantastic time was had by all with all age groups proudly having their moment in the sun.

Robert Griffiths the Clubs Junior Chairman said: “I have to thank all our fantastic people at the club that get the kids out playing whether sorting games, coaching, fund raising or organising events such as our club parties and awards such as these.

“We continiue to grow and if your child would like to be part of a safe, healthy and fun environment they are most welcome here.”

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Depleted Ammanford beaten by seven wickets

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A DEPLETED Ammanford lost by seven wickets to Bridgend Town in a rain affected match at windswept Newbridge Fields on Satuday (Jun 25).

With the start delayed by over an hour because of rain, the match was reduced to 39 overs before a ball was bowled, and the toss immediately became the crucial factor in deciding the game’s outcome.

Bridgend won it and, predictably enough, put Ammanford in to bat.

The writing was on the wall as the visitors lost two wickets for 9 runs on an unpredictable wicket which was one of the first bowler-friendly tracks encountered this season.

Only four batters reached double figures as wickets fell at regular intervals. Top scorer was 14 year old wicket-keeper Gruffudd Owen (19no) who took the game to the visitors and looked capable of scoring many more had he not run out of partners.

Ammanford were all out for 90 inside 30 overs.

Tea was taken early as more heavy rain swept across Newbridge Fields, but unfortunately for Ammanford the sun made a reappearance and play eventually resumed.

The Bridgend batters did not have it all their own way, quickly losing both openers to opening bowler Owen Davies.

Davies removed a further wicket in a good spell of 3 for 15, but Thomas Cogbill (43no) and Luke Humphries (18) saw Bridgend safely home without further trouble inside 24 overs.

Next week, Ammanford welcome second placed Swansea to the Park, the memory of their 700+ run clash at St Helen’s still fresh in their minds.

Thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run

Ammanford thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run in a rain adjusted match at the Rec.

Batting first, Ammanford reached 132 all out, thanks mainly to their captain Carl Griffiths (41) and Dafydd Wyn Jones (21).

Rain meant that Pontardawe’s reply was restricted to just 16 overs, during which they had to score 53 runs.

They came very close, but two wickets each from Oliver Pallot and Iwan Matthews interrupted their progress and they fell short by a single run, finishing on 51 for 5.

The victory moved Ammanford into the top half of SWCA’s Division 6.

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