450 MILES, 20 cyclists and one iconic venue – the scene was set against a dramatic thundery skyline for the start of the final Toon to Town challenge!
The Toon to Town Challenge was the brainchild of Giles Evans. In 2010 Giles decided to organise a charity ride from Newcastle, or ‘Toon’ to Llanelli, his hometown. This morning, Monday the 6th of July, 2015, a group of 20 cyclists set off from Parc y Scarlets on Toon To Town’s final journey.
The solo maiden ride was planned after Giles lost a good family friend to cancer. The 420 miles were completed over a 5-day period raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
During the same year Tim Mayland had completed a 350-mile charity cycle ride through France in aid of Help for Heroes, called the Big Battlefield Bike Ride.
Both Giles and Tim swapped tales and formulated a plan for 2011. This saw a change of route and a total of 5 riders completed the challenge. Each challenge ended at Parc y Scarlets with funds raised for the Ray Gravell & Friends Charitable Trust.
The challenges developed, getting increasingly more difficult, and the group expanded through the interest generated by the previous rides.
More than £82,000 has been raised for charity since the maiden ride back in 2010 and the group hope to reach the final target of £100,000 to help support great causes.
The week’s 450-mile route took the riders from Llanelli to Hereford on the first day. Day two was from Hereford to Nottingham. Nottingham to York was the challenge on day three. Day four was York to Scotch Corner with a visit to the Help For Heroes Phoenix House in Catterick and the final day saw the riders go from Scotch Corner to Bedlington.
The group’s focus is to raise funds for their two nominated charities for 2015, The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Help For Heroes. In addition to this, Matthew Williams will be raising money for the Stroke Association, Nick Doughty is supporting the Pituitary Foundation and Steve Holt is riding to raise funds for the Alzheimers Society.
If you would like to donate to help any of the group’s charities you can, by visiting: http://www.toon2town. co.uk/ttt_2014_donate.html
Scarlets make five changes for European quarter-final
Johnny Williams and Sione Kalamafoni have been handed their Scarlets’ European debuts for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol (8.15pm UK time).
Both summer signings are included in a side showing five changes to the line-up that took the field against the Dragons in the Scarlets last match of the Guinness PRO14 season.
Wales and British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny returns to face his former side, linking up with Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans in an all-international back three.
Williams and Steff Hughes continue their midfield combination, while Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has recovered from injury to partner Dan Jones at half-back.
Skipper Ken Owens, Wyn Jones and Samson Lee pack down in the front row and behind them Tongan international Sam Lousi starts at lock alongside Jake Ball.
In a reshuffled back-row, the PRO14’s turnover king Josh Macleod gets the nod at openside; Kalamafoni, who featured for Leicester Tigers in the pool stages of the tournament, wears the No. 8 jersey and Scotland international Blade Thomson has recovered from an Achilles issue to start at blindside.
On the bench, Ryan Elias, Phil Price and Javan Sebastian provide front-row cover with Lewis Rawlins and James Davies the other forward replacements. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Tyler Morgan cover the backs. Morgan is set to make his first Scarlets appearance since joining from the Dragons.
The Scarlets and Toulon faced each other twice during the pool stages. A last-gasp converted try grabbed a 17-16 victory for the French side in November. The three-times European champions then claimed a crucial 27-15 win at Parc y Scarlets in January to ensure they topped the group.
Head coach Glenn Delaney said: “It is a final for us. If you win three finals in a row you win a trophy. We are that far away from achieving the objective we all set out upon 12 to 13 months ago. It would be lovely to finish it off the right way. Whenever you get the opportunity to play for a trophy you have got to be very respectful and take it deadly serious, which is exactly what our boys have been doing.”
Scarlets team v RC Toulon (Saturday, September 19, 2020; kick-off 8.15pm UK)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (capt), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.
Reps: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Tyler Morgan.
Unavailable because of injury
Rob Evans (neck), Rhys Patchell (calf), Liam Williams (foot), Daf Hughes (knee), Steff Thomas (knee), Alex Jeffries (elbow), Tomi Lewis (knee), Aaron Shingler.
Pembrey Country Park to host one of first post-lockdown events
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Pembrey Country Park has been chosen to host one of the first outdoor sports events in Wales since the Covid-19 lockdown.
Welsh Government has given the go ahead for three trial sport and culture events as part of its continued easing of restrictions.
Pembrey Country Park will host a duathlon on Sunday, September 6, with a limited number of competitors, although there will be no spectators.
The event will be monitored and will help inform Welsh Government policy on future sporting events as the country continues its recovery from Covid-19.
The council is working with Welsh Triathlon to ensure athletes can compete safely, with strict risk assessments and protocols being put into place.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We’re delighted to host this trial event here in Carmarthenshire, and hope this signals a return of more sporting events in the future. Our teams are working alongside Welsh Government and Welsh Triathlon to ensure that the event is safe and secure whilst providing an exciting and challenging duathlon course for competitors.”
Trundle and Robinson are back for another season with Ammanford AFC
Ammanford AFC are pleased to announce that the Ex Swans legends Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson are back for a second season with the club
The pair helped Ammanford AFC to achieve a respectable seventh place finish in the JD Cymru South league last season.
The Supporters of Ammanford will welcome the news and will be hoping that they can go and watch their team once clearance has been given.
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