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Whitland undone by Aber

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League 1 West

Aberystwyth 31

Whitland 2 6

Paul Stubbs: Bursting through the tackles to score his try

Paul Stubbs: Bursting through the tackles to score his try

BEFORE kick-off, both teams stood for a minute’s silence in memory of Emrys Thomas, who unfortunately died recently in Spain.

Emrys had given a sterling service to the club over many years and among other duties had managed some of the most successful youth teams to represent Aberystwyth.

Many of those players went on to play senior rugby for Aberystwyth with distinction, notably his sons Barrie and Byron.

Aber started the game promisingly by pushing Whitland off their scrum and quickly moving the ball to the right, but this promising attack was well defended.

Whitland worked the ball upfield and from an overthrown Aber lineout in their own 22, eventually number 8, Jack Mason, scored from close range.

The try was converted Nico Sertaro. Although slightly against the run of play, Aber were not deterred and came back strongly.

Another Whitland scrum in their own 22 was demolished and one long pass found Rhodri Richards, who streaked through to score. The try was converted by Llyr Thomas to make the score 7-7.

The game ebbed and flowed when, after some uncharacteristic poor defending, Aber let centre Connor Edwards through to score wide out on the right.

Aber took the game to Whitland and due to some inaccuracy in maintaining possession and some wrong options being taken, a number of promising attacks came to naught.

Whitland were contributing greatly in making this a very entertaining game. From one of their very few visits to the Aber 22, they scored their third try when Connor Edwards burst through to score near the posts, and the conversion was kicked by Nico Sertaro.

Aber again went on the attack and were awarded a penalty on the Whitland 22. Paul Stubbs took matters in his own hands and burst through a number of tackles to score a brilliant individual try to make the half time score 12-19.

Aber started the second half full of intent but unfortunately, after a very good 40m run by James Plumbridge, they were unable to retain the ball and continue the attack.

Whitland came back strongly and hit the post with a penalty which Aber managed to clear.

A Whitland centre was then yellow carded for playing the ball in an off-side position.

Aber opted for a scrum and skipper Lee Evans, with a strong run from the base of the scrum, burst over the line to score. The try was converted by Llyr Thomas to level the score at 19-19.

Whitland then picked up another yellow card for a high tackle and, from this point, Aber began to dominate proceedings.

They moved the ball to the narrow side of a ruck and with some well-timed accurate passes among the backs, they worked full-back Sion Summers free to score near the posts. Llyr Thomas converted to make the score 26-19.

Aber continued to attack strongly and, from open play, influential outside-half Mathew Hughes powered over after a classic outside break to score in the corner, to make the score 31-19.

The last 10 minutes of the game belonged to Whitland as they strived for a second bonus point. They achieved it when from the last move of the game substitute Ben Kirk went over for a try converted by Nico Sertaro to make the final score 31-26.

Both teams should be congratulated for contributing to a very entertaining and competitive game edged by Aberystwyth due in no small part to their excellent scrum and their superior fitness.

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash

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A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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New Year – new start – for two seals released back into the wild

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Two grey seal pups have been returned to the wild for the New Year following months of RSPCA rehabilitation.

They were released at Port Eynon, Gower, Swansea, on 3 January as the sun rose – just days into 2021 – by  RSPCA animal rescue officer Ellie West and RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben – who caught the beautiful event on camera. One seal had been originally rescued from Abereiddy in Pembrokeshire – the other from Trevone in Cornwall. They were both found in distress, underweight and with injuries.

Ellie said: “This was such a lovely release – to see them both enter the sea happily where they belong with the sun rising in the distance was just glorious. It was a lovely way to start the new year.”

The seals had been transferred to the Welsh coast from RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Hastings the previous day and had spent the night at the RSPCA Llys Nini Branch seal unit.

“These two pups – nicknamed BB8 and Luke Skywaker – have been in the fantastic care of RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre who have given them the best rehabilitation over the past few months. It’s always fantastic to hear when they have put on the appropriate weight and can be released back into the wild,” added Ellie.

Ellie had been involved in the initial care of the seal rescued from Abereiddy Beach back in October.

“He was a weaned pup that had pretty much moulted out all his baby white lanugo coat, so he was fully weaned, but he was found quite underweight, lethargic and had the snotty face of a sickly pup,” she said. “He also had a lump on the top of his neck.

“He was reported to myself and Keith and we asked Welsh Marine Life Rescue (WMLR) to attend who very kindly collected him and cared for him for a few days until we were able to transfer him to the wildlife centre.

“Once again we want to thank WMLR for all their assistance, expertise and all their hard work this past season. We could not do what we do without them.”

At RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre the seal had the lump removed under anaesthetic by the vet team.

The second seal from Cornwall came into RSPCA care in November and weighed just 16.3kg. The seal had suffered a few small wounds and was a bit wheezy, with centre staff treating him for lungworm and administering antibiotics. When he left the centre the seal – who was named Luke Skywalker – weighed a healthy 40kg.

Before release, the seals were given identification tags in their hind flippers for ID purposes. The RSPCA often receives good feedback from sightings – and the scientific results received reveal that seals that go on from rehabilitation survive in the wild.

The RSPCA advises that if members of the public spot a seal on a beach that they think might need help, the best thing is to observe them from a distance and do not approach them.

Seals are wild animals and have a nasty bite. Never try to return a seal to water yourself, as you may put yourselves and the seal at risk by doing this. It is also advised they keep dogs away from any seal and keep them on leads on beaches that have seal colonies too.

It’s not unusual for a seal pup to be alone, as seal mums leave their pups very early on in life. So if the seal pup looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress, it should firstly be monitored from a safe distance for 24 hours.

If you see a pup whose mother hasn’t returned within 24 hours, is on a busy public beach, or if you think the seal may be sick or injured, please stay at a safe distance and call the RSPCA’s advice and cruelty line on 0300 1234 999. An unhealthy seal pup looks thin (but not bony) with a visible neck, like a dog.

There is more information on the RSPCA website about what to do if you see a seal or pup on the beach alone.

If you have an animal welfare concern or find an animal in distress please call 0300 1234 999.

This winter, the RSPCA expects to rescue thousands of animals from neglect, cruelty and suffering. Already this Christmas we received more than 44,000 calls to our cruelty line but the calls to our rescue line are not stopping so neither will we. To help our rescue teams continue to reach the animals who desperately need us this winter, visit www.rspca.org.uk/xmas and Join the Winter Rescue #JoinTheRescue

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Community Midwife home for Christmas after 85 day battle with COVID-19

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SHARON GEGGUS, a community midwife from Llanelli is home for the holidays after a three month battle with coronavirus.
Sharon began to feel unwell in September, experiencing shortness of breath and a high temperature.
As these symptoms persisted and her condition began to worsen, she was admitted to Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli on 16 September, with a temperature of 41°C.During her stay, she credits the support of her family and the staff at Prince Philip Hospital for helping her get through the ordeal. Speaking of her experience in hospital, Sharon says: “I was sedated for about five weeks, but I was told that the staff were playing music for me. They had contacted my family to find out what my favourite songs were, and they would play those.
“It was really hard but the hardest times I didn’t really know about – my family were the people going through it. I can’t stress how well the staff looked after me. I used the iPads provided through the hospital to keep in contact with my family and the staff would also help me phone and communicate with my family.  
“The ITU staff and the staff on Ward 9 where I went for rehabilitation were amazing. I’m a community midwife myself and I would obviously treat someone how I wanted to be treated – but they really went above and beyond.
They would sit and chat with me when I was feeling down and they made sure I was in contact with my family all the time, even letting me hang up pictures of my family on my wall.”
Sharon was clapped out of the hospital on 10 December, 85 days after being admitted. Even though she is home, the road to recovery isn’t over.
She says: “There’s still a long way to go but I’m getting there. I can get around using a walking frame and only need oxygen when I’m really moving about. It’s so nice to be home, I think you just sort of relax a bit and move around more and just feel better for being back with your family.”
Reflecting on her experience, Sharon offered this advice to others with COVID-19: “Keep in touch with your family as much as you possibly can, it’s what got me through. I wouldn’t really know what else to say, just keep positive and keep in touch with your loved ones, that’s what really helps.”
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