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Judgement day returns

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JUDGEMENT Day is back at Principality Stadium for 2020 – the Guinness PRO14 double-header will see Wales’ Rugby World Cup heroes collide in Cardiff in regional colours on Saturday, April 18, it was confirmed this week.

The Ospreys take on the Dragons at 3pm and Scarlets welcome the Cardiff Blues at 5.15pm as the two teams from the West play host for the first time in the eight year history of the event.

JDVIII sees both Ospreys and Scarlets nominated as the ‘home side’ in the climactic, potentially season-defining, clashes for the first time – meaning their players transfer to the more commonly used international dressing rooms on the ‘tunnel’ side of the Stadium.

Last year the Welsh Rugby Union and regions moved to secure the future of Judgement Day, agreeing a new partnership until 2022 which ensures all four entities benefit directly financially from the agreement, where previously only the home teams gained from ticket income.

All four now play a home game at Principality Stadium as part of Judgement Day in alternate seasons and 80% of the ticket profits for the event are split between the two nominated home sides, with the two away teams receiving 20%.

‘Home’ season ticket holders, so Ospreys and Scarlets fans, gain free entry but must still confirm attendance to reserve their seats with their relevant ticket office by the set deadline of 25th October.

General prices will be £25 middle tier (£10 U16s concession) and £15 for both lower and upper tier adult tickets (including Alcohol Free Zone), although supporters are advised to look-out for offers of £10 adults and £5 U16 which will accompany the official on sale date, likely to be in early November.

“Judgement Day is not only a showpiece event for the Guinness PRO14, but it is also an annual celebration of the domestic game in Wales,” said WRU chairman Gareth Davies.

“Set against the backdrop of Wales’ World Cup campaign in Japan, not to mention the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and whatever twists and turns that may hold for the international side, JDVIII is the chance for our star players to compete on home soil in regional colours.

“The event showcases the best of Welsh rugby at one venue and is always fascinating. Arriving as it does in Round 17 of the league campaign, when all four teams should still have play-off spots to play for, it has the potential to be even bigger and better this year.”

Judgement Day regularly attracts crowds well in excess of 50,000, with the record attendance for the event – and any PRO14 game – standing at 68,262 set in 2016.

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Cup wins for Ammanford teams

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AMMANFORD reached the next round of the SWCA T20 Knockout Cup by beating Carmarthen Wanderers by 6 wickets with 2 overs to spare.

Wanderers batted first and reached 91 for 9, thanks mainly to Tom Davies (37) and Iestyn Scourfield (23).

For Ammanford, Matthew Fisher picked up 3 for 17 while Owen Davies and Callum Croft bagged a couple each.

Ammanford took just 18 overs to overhaul the Carmarthen total for the loss of four wickets.

Josef Davies top-scored with 35, helped by Rhodri Davies (16) and Matthew Fisher (22no).

Ammanford’s third XI defeated Llanelli seconds by 82 runs in the SWCA Intermediate Cup at the Park on Sunday.

Batting first, Ammanford scored a creditable 144 for 7 from their 20 overs.

Steffan Wyn Williams top-scored with 41, whilst other contributions came from David Lumb (21) Sam Potter (17) and Neville Pritchard (29no).

Llanelli could only manage 62 for 6 in reply, Sam Potter picking up two wickets for 10 runs.

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Ammanford lose again to Newport but seconds win

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AMMANFORD slipped to the bottom of Premier One with a 20 run defeat to Newport in another high-scoring match at the Park.

Ammanford skipper Alun Evans looked to have made the right decision when he invited Newport to bat and promptly took the wicket of opener Morgan Bevans with the score on 1.

That was as far as their luck went, though. The next wicket didn’t fall for another 130 runs as Michael Clayden (58) and Callum Taylor (93) made the most of a friendly batting track.

A further setback for the home team took the shape of Mujahid Ilyas who blasted a rapid 68 which included 6 sixes.

Newport closed on a forbidding 277 for 5.

Forbidding, but not impossible.

Ammanford got off to their best start for several seasons as Alun Evans (73) and Matthew Fisher took the opening stand to 185.

When Fisher fell for a terrific 112, Ammanford still needed 90 runs at ten an over, and despite a quickfire unbeaten 41 from Dan Roberts, couldn’t make up the rate.

When Evans was dismissed for 73, that signalled the end of Ammanford’s challenge and they fell short of their target by 20 runs.

Ammanford have now scored 516 runs in their last two matches without a win.

Next week they face another tough trip as they travel to league leaders St Fagans.

Ammanford second XI

AMMANFORD seconds recorded their first win of the season with a well-earned victory at Gorseinon.

Put in to bat, Ammanford scored 204 for 6. Openers Adam Lyons (44) and Callum Croft (58) gave them a great start while number three Fin Jeffries chipped in with 22.

Gorseinon could only manage 179 in reply, opener Jamie Hill being their top scorer with 48.

Fin Jeffries turned in a good bowling performance with 4 for 38, supported by Iestyn Jones and Jac Davies with a couple each.

The victory enabled Ammanford to leap-frog Gorseinon off the foot of the table.

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Ammanford well beaten by Port Talbot

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AMMANFORD slipped closer to the foot of Premier One with a high-scoring defeat to Port Talbot Town at The New Mansel.

Ammanford were put in to bat on a glorious afternoon and made hay while the sun shone with an opening partnership of 61 between Matthew Fisher and Alun Evans.

When Fisher departed for 40, Daniel Evans took over and his partnership with his skipper took the score to 155 before Roberts was caught on 49.

When Evans fell for an anchoring 86, the Davies brothers, Rhodri (28no) and Rhys (22no) saw out the Ammanford innings, taking their total to a formidable 259 for 4.

Formidable it may have been, but Port Talbot’s batsmen were up to the challenge.

Glamorgan’s Nick Selman led the charge before he was dismissed by Fisher for 47.

The main partnership of 123, however, came between Joseph Voke (84) and Matthew Thompson (74no).

There were still three overs remaining when Port Talbot cruised past the Ammanford total for the loss of 3 wickets.

Things won’t get much easier for Ammanford next week when Newport visit the Park.

Ammanford seconds v Ynystawe

Ammanford seconds continued their miserable sequence of defeats with a 4 wicket loss to Ynystawe at the Park.

A promising start from Eirian Morgan (13) and David Lumb (17) preceded a middle order collapse which was rescued by a terrific individual performance from captain Jamie Evans, whose 76 helped Ammanford reach 167 all out.

Ynystawe’s middle order by contrast kept the scoreboard ticking over, an undefeated partnership between Rowan Evans (31no) and Arun Maurya (26no) taking them past Ammanford’s total with four wickets and 16 overs to spare.

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