Once Wales’ most capped rugby player, most prolific tryscorer and most decorated captain, Ieuan Evans was the wide man who always held centre stage. Now, he’s seeking to be at the hub of events in a different role – as a member of the Welsh Rugby Union’s council. Graham Thomas hears why. When Ieuan Evans lifted the 1994 Five Nations trophy as Wales captain, he wore the look of a man who knew the truth. His team had won the title, but they had just been beaten by England at Twickenham – a Grand Slam opportunity had been lost – and the skipper’s instinct was to reflect the mixed emotions he felt inside rather than dance to the tune of TV producers who wanted joyous celebration.
Melissa Courtney-Bryant came within a whisker of setting a new 1500m personal best on her first outdoor outing of 2020 on Tuesday night. The Welsh 3,000 and 5,000m record holder was in imperious form as she overcame a high quality field at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland. Courtney-Bryant produced a masterclass in front running before breaking the tape in a new meeting and stadium record of 4:03.69.
Mark Williams has jumped to the defence of snooker’s young brigade and called Ronnie O’Sullivan “disrespectful” for his criticisms of their standards. Wales’ former world champion saw his pursuit of a third title ended by O’Sullivan on Tuesday when the five-time champion won their quarter-final 13-10 at the Crucible. It was a clash between two of the game’s ageing legends with Williams now 45 and O’Sullivan 44. But it was a contest given more spice by O’Sullivan’s comments that levels of performance among the younger generation was so low that he would, “have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50.”
Port Talbot Ladies head coach Hayley Williams admits there was a fair degree of apprehension before her players went back to training this month. After all, it had been a long time since the Welsh Premier Women’s League squad members had last got together for their twice weekly sessions. But thanks to a grant of just over £1,000 from the Be Active Wales Fund, the players are now back on the grass – although having to get used to new conditions and demands imposed by coronavirus restrictions.
Dan Jervis went to swimming’s world championships last year and failed to cope with the anxiety of expectation. Now, after lockdown and time spent out of the pool, he tells Graham Thomas he will be a calmer man heading towards next year’s Olympic Games. Dan Jervis is glad to be back in the pool, but the Olympic hopeful admits lockdown has altered his outlook to training, swimming, and even life itself. The Commonwealth Games silver medal winner from 2018 is part of the small group of 11 elite Welsh swimmers currently back in the water in Newport.
The draws have been made, the maps have been checked, and now Welsh football clubs are preparing for their summer stint in the sun. Matthew Burgess says the cards – as usual – are not stacked in the Welsh clubs’ favour, but one-game shoot-outs might yet enable the likes of Connah’s Quay and Barry Town United to make their mark. Anticipating how Welsh clubs will fare in European competitions is generally a difficult summer task at the best times, yet the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on Welsh football only serves to muddy the waters further. In football's new normal, all qualifying rounds are to be decided over one game and ties could be hosted at neutral venues - or determined without a ball even being played - should Covid restrictions dictate.
Alun Wyn Jones may be poised to become the most capped rugby player in history – but his first plan is to impress his new boss. The Wales captain is scheduled to pass Richie McCaw’s mark of 148 international caps this autumn, but his more immediate aim is to show new Ospreys coach Toby Booth the true meaning of staying power. Jones has been involved in his 18th senior pre-season routine with the Ospreys in recent days, but his first since Booth became head coach and the former London Irish chief says: “He’s at the start of his career for me.
Cymru Premier clubs Connah's Quay and Barry Town have learnt the identity of their respective European opponents later this month. Connah's Quay will face FK Sarajevo at home in what will be the Nomads' first ever UEFA Champions League qualifying tie, while Barry Town have been handed an away draw to Faroe Islanders RSI Runavík in the UEFA Europa League.
BetVictor Southern League
Andy Beattie is returning to Merthyr Tydfil along with Kevin Rogers, Peter Jones and Chris Holvey. The quartet will attend a Merthyr Town Legends Night at The MetCoaches Stadium on Friday, March 20 and there is sure to be a lot of talk about that magical night under the lights at Penydarren Park... Read More
Wrexham and Merthyr Town were both left without matches when their scheduled fixtures were postponed. The Dragons were due to play Torquay United at home, while the Martyrs were preparing to welcome Dorchester Town at MetCoaches Stadium. Both fixtures were called off because of waterlogged pitches, courtesy of Storm Denis. Wrexham and Torquay... Read More
It’s been a difficult season for player-manager Gavin Williams and his Merthyr Town team this season, but they are showing there is plenty of character and spirit at the MetCoaches Stadium. Money for the player budget is tight, although the club is financially stable, and rival teams are able to splash... Read More
Gosport Borough 2, Merthyr Town 2 Scottish striker Matthew Paterson rocked Merthyr Town with an injury time goal for Gosport Borough at Privett Park. The Martyrs were leading 2-1, thanks to goals by Lee Lucas and Owain Jones, when Dunfermline-born Paterson struck to snatch victory away from the Welsh club. Rudy Plummer put... Read More
Merthyr Town 2, Farnborough Town 0 Former Wales under-21 international Owain Jones believes Merthyr Town can launch a big push to qualify for the BetVictor Southern League play-offs. The Martyrs are 12th in Premier South, 13 points behind Taunton Town in fifth place and have games in hand on most of the... Read More
Merthyr Town are teaming up with Championship club Cardiff City in a new youth partnership. The Martyrs and the Bluebirds join forces on Friday when Merthyr will become an advanced development centre for Cardiff’s youth academy. Development sessions will run concurrently with existing training sessions at The MetCoaches Stadium. Merthyr Tydfil-born Cameron Coxe,... Read More