Some of Wales’ most promising athletics talent will be competing against the best young stars from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland at an international match in Swansea on Wednesday night. Wales Under-20s and Wales Schools will take on three England regional U-20 teams along with Scotland U-20s at Swansea University Athletics Stadium. Among those selected for the Wales Under-20s is James Tomlinson, who recently represented Great Britain in the discus at the World Junior Championships in Finland.
A one-man, one-night-only, show takes place this Friday at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon, when Nicky Grist takes to the stage to talk about his career as one of the world’s top rally navigators. He’s often been told that he should write a book about his career, but in reality running Nicky Grist Motorsports and supporting British rallying doesn’t even give him enough time to accept all the after dinner speaking engagements he’s invited to do – so getting Grist to sit down and recall some of his famous rallying stories is a rare thing indeed! But on Friday (27 July), starting at 19.30, rally fans will have Grist’s undivided attention when he regales some of his incredible, funny and spectacular high-speed memories of co-driving for the likes of Dave Metcalfe, Malcolm Wilson, Mikael Ericsson, Armin Schwarz, Juha Kankkunen and Colin McRae.
Wales Under 18 head coach Lee Ible is hoping the second half fightback against tournament favourites Scotland by his side at the EuroHockey Youth Championships II in Cardiff will be the catalyst for some big wins in their upcoming games. Wales trailed by three goals a minute into the second half against the accomplished Scots at Sophia Gardens, but hit back brilliantly with two goals from senior cap Rhys Bradshaw and another from Miles Margetson to secure a priceless point on their opening night.
Rugby, football and boxing are the sports synonymous with the Rhondda Valley, but netball’s progress has often been denied through lack of opportunity. Not any more. Graham Thomas reports on a rousing Rhondda success story. The Celtic Dragons may have had their fires doused after another season of struggle in the Vitality Netball Superleague, but something is stirring in the sport at Welsh grass roots level. Nestled high in the Rhondda Valley at Gelli is the beating heart of Rhondda Netball where mass participation has become a crusade and the long-term vision has echoes of a previous effort to re-shape the sporting landscape.
David Pruett thought he’d played his last game of American Football two years ago but an unexpected turn of events on Sunday saw him lead the South Wales Warriors to their first divisional title since 2007. The officially retired quarterback, and one-time head coach of the Llanharan-based side, was on the sideline, without having even put on his shoulder pads, just in case he should be needed in the crunch clash with the Torbay Trojans to decide the winner of the British American Football League (BAFA) Division Two South West title. The emergency call came midway in the second quarter at the Dairy Field when starting QB Dean Jackson limped out after injuring his knee while adding the two-point conversion to Warren Coombes’ 70-yard punt return that had put the home side two touchdowns ahead following a nervy opening quarter.
England won their 12th Student Home Nations title after beating Wales 36-8 in Pontypridd on Sunday. The Saes only needed a draw to clinch the title, with Wales, who were confined to third place following the defeat, needing a 45-point win.
“I’m never going to hear the end of this,” joked Melvyn Evans, although there was only pride in his voice as he recalled being beaten, fairly and squarely, by his son Meirion on the Carryduff Folklift Down Rally in Northern Ireland. Evans junior celebrated his 23rd birthday with a faultless drive in The Scan Station-backed Ford Fiesta R5, as the Lampeter driver mastered the big jumps and twists of the County Down roads to finish a magnificent fifth overall. Co-driven by Jonathan Jackson, Evans was only beaten by three local drivers and a more powerful Mini World Rally Car. “I think it’s fair to say that we've waited a long time for that one,” said Evans. “It’s been an awesome day on the Down Rally, finishing fifth overall and third R5 car. Thanks to everyone who made it happen and still believe in us! It’s nice to finally deliver a result that we always knew we were capable of, on only my second event in an R5 car.”
The odds may be shortening on Geraint Thomas managing, arguably, the greatest Welsh sporting achievement of all time, but the man himself in not getting carried away. Sticking to the script – and despite a healthy lead with two-thirds of the race gone – Thomas still insists team orders will prevail when it comes to stopping rivals upsetting Team Sky's Tour de France victory plans. With a 1min 39sec lead on four-time champion Chris Froome, Cardiff born-and-bred Thomas is in prime position to add a maiden Tour de France victory to a growing collection of titles from the road and the track.
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