With cricket finally back – and the West Indies playing England in the first Test of the summer in Southampton – it seems a good time to remember Ammanford’s Caribbean king, Linton Lewis. Owen Morgan tells the tale of one of Welsh cricket’s most remarkable success stories. The names trip easily off the tongue. They are pronounced as if spoken by someone born and bred in the area. Myddynfych . . . Pantyffynnon . . . Tirydail. They are place names that would not come naturally to anyone unfamiliar with the Carmarthenshire town of Ammanford.
Aled Thomas has called on the Welsh Rugby Union to invest more in their sevens programme - rather than go for the money saving option of amalgamating with England and Scotland. All three Unions are looking at ways of cutting costs at the moment and one of the latest ideas is to combine the three sevens teams into one GB team to play on the World Sevens Series circuit. Team GB already plays at the Olympic Games every four years. But Thomas, who famously helped Wales to win the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens title in Dubai, believes reducing the opportunities for young players to develop on the circuit could be counter-productive.
“Fight Island” sounds as if it could be William Golding’s follow-up to Lord of the Flies, or something out of a Bond movie, but’s actually the next incarnation of UFC. Not only that, but the pandemic-busting event – held in Abu Dhabi - is going to feature Welsh fighters John ‘The Welsh wrecking Machine’ Phillips, Jack Shore and Brett Johns. Chris Saunders sets the scene. As we step out of the gloom into a brave new post-coronavirus world, it’s becoming clear that some sporting institutions are transitioning better than others. Watching football in empty stadiums is jarring and unnatural and we haven’t even tried to play rugby without the roar of the crowd.
Cardiff City have been warned that Fulham’s armoury will be fully stocked tonight with 31-goal Aleksandar Mitrovic waiting to be launched in their direction. The Serbian striker is set to return from a three-match suspension to face the Bluebirds at Craven Cottage, where any slip-up could result in Neil Harris’s side tumbling out of the play-off spots by the end of the weekend. Mitrovic has scored 23 Championship goals already this season, plus eight more for Serbia, and will provide a tough challenge to a Cardiff side that conceded three goals at home to Blackburn Rovers in defeat on Tuesday.
World boxing champion Lauren Price was ready to realise her ambition of reaching an Olympic Games when the coronavirus swept in to scupper her plans in March. The 26-year-old from Newport was less than 24 hours away from fighting for her place in Tokyo at a qualifying tournament in London before organisers determined it too risky for the tournament to continue. Instead of basking in the glory of another momentous moment in her career, Price headed for lockdown in her flat near the GB training base in Sheffield, with team-mate Kariss Artingstall for company.
Steve Cooper has backed Rhian Brewster to remain the man for the big occasion after he started the comeback that saw his side move to within collar-breathing distance of play-off rivals Cardiff City. On-loan Liverpool forward Brewster scored his eighth goal in 16 games since joining on loan from Liverpool in January as the Swans beat Birmingham City 3-1 at St Andrew's. It meant back-to-back victories for Cooper’s side for the first time since December as they moved to within a point of sixth-placed Cardiff with four games remaining. The teams now have identical goal difference.
Women’s team sports must not be left behind in the return to action and recovery from Covid-19, a leading Welsh sports administrator has warned. Chris Jenkins, chief executive of Commonwealth Games Wales and a member of the committee liaising with Welsh Government on the staged return of elite performers, insists the planning is in place to ensure there is no long-term gender gap. Former Olympic champion Denise Lewis is one of many voices to have spoken of concern that women’s sport risks being marginalised during the current pandemic.
Wales Golf will be able to crown champions this year, with elite amateur events set to go ahead with safety measures in place. There will be men’s and ladies Welsh Amateur champions for 2020 despite the coronavirus crisis, as well as junior and age group champions. The Ladies Open Seniors is still scheduled to go ahead on the original date in September.
Wales international Harriet Lockley, aged 15, will be playing in her first pro event and mixing with the likes of 2018 Ladies British Open champion Georgia Hall and fellow Solheim Cup player Charlie Hull. It will also be making history as the first ladies professional event to be held at Open Championship venue Royal St George’s on the Kent coast.
Nia Jones has an instant solution to whenever the lockdown blues threaten to bring her down – she gets her kit on. The Wales netball captain has admitted she can find motivation a tricky problem when training alone during lockdown. Like the rest of the Worcester-based Severn Stars squad, Jones... Read More
The Celtic Dragons began their Vitality Netball Superleague campaign with an agonizing, but encouraging 44-43 defeat to Surrey Storm at the weekend. But despite a huge turnaround in players, former Dragon Suzy Drane tells Graham Thomas she feels optimistic about this season. The Celtic Dragons can overcome the loss of... Read More
Wales’ most successful netball coach of recent times, Melissa Hyndman, and national team skipper Nia Jones are set to be re-united next season – in England. Hyndman will be back in charge of a Netball Superleague club next season after being unveiled as the new head coach at Severn Stars.... Read More
Nia Jones has revealed the pain of heavy defeat sparked Wales to their comeback victory over Malawi on Saturday. The Wales vice-captain led her team to a gutsy 52-47 win at the Viola Arena in Cardiff just 24 hours after back-to-back defeats to South Africa. The first of those was... Read More
Dai Sport has grown some . . . Balls! The Podcast, featuring: Beth Fisher, ex-Wales international hockey player, now broadcast journalist. And Nia Jones, former Wales international footballer, now Wales and Celtic Dragons netballer. Between them they have 3 International honours, 2 fiery opinions and not a pair of balls between them. In this... Read More
Beth Fisher, an ex-Welsh international hockey player... Read More