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WRU aims to boost local leagues

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Martyn Phillips: Seeking to improve public engagement with rugby

Martyn Phillips: Seeking to improve public engagement with rugby

A LANDMARK review aimed at boosting the profiles of the Principality Premiership and Championship division has been launched by the Welsh Rugby Union.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage more people to engage with the leagues, which are pivotal levels of the game in Wales.

An initial meeting involving representatives from the clubs along with broadcasters and WRU officials has been hosted at the Millennium Stadium to outline the initiative.

WRU Group Chief Executive, Martyn Phillips, the CEO of Pro Rugby Wales, Mark Davies and WRU Chairman, Gareth Davies attended along with club representatives and senior broadcaster stakeholders from BBC Cymru Wales and S4C.

The meeting, chaired by the WRU CEO, explored the current strengths of the leagues and how Welsh rugby can operate strategically to showcase the standards of rugby being delivered at these levels across Wales.

Delegates who attended agreed that both leagues deliver an exciting brand of rugby with genuinely competitive games mainly featuring evenly matched teams.

The leagues are recognised as the breeding grounds for talent where supporters can watch the future stars emerging into the senior game.

All the clubs involved exist at the heart of local communities and enjoy the support of a passionate fan base and strong armies of stalwart volunteers.

Martyn Phillips said: “We want to work together to ensure we are seizing every opportunity to create interest in these important leagues. We are determined that we dig into these issues and come up with solutions which we must then deliver in order to make a difference. The process has now begun and we want this to become an ongoing dialogue as we explore ideas together.

“At our first meeting we looked at the strengths of the leagues and then talked openly about specific areas of improvement which we have to face up to.

“We were delighted by the level of engagement from the clubs and it was particularly gratifying to have input from the Regions through Mark Davies and the broadcasters who are pivotal to this process.

“We have to work together at all levels to get the very best out of the game for all our players, coaches, administrators, volunteers and supporters.

“At the meeting we all made it clear we have to do more than talk about issues and the focus must be on identifying ways of improving what is already a strong level of our game.”

He explained the WRU investment effort would build up the digital capability so that the WRU, Regions and clubs can connect regularly to build an online community including players, supporters, volunteers, referees and coaches.

The ultimate aim is for more fans to support rugby at the Regions, the Principality Premiership, the SSE SWALEC Championship and the other national leagues in preference to other entertainment options.

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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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