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H. T. Morgan – A fine innings

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Cricketer Howard Morgan: Passed away on Monday

THE LLANELLI cricket community has been saddened with the news of the sudden passing of Dafen Cricket Club’s Howard Morgan. Howard passed away at his home in Llanelli on Monday, January 16. He was a former captain, committeeman, chairman and life member who was actively involved in the club for more than 40 years.

Howard was captain of Dafen’s 1st X1 for a total of 11 seasons during his playing days. He was captain of championship sides in the 1964, 1967 and 1974 seasons. He was an inspirational leader and was chosen as captain of the South Wales League touring side during the league’s first tour of Australia in 1977-8.

He later became chairman of the club for seven years and was awarded the accolade of life membership of the club. Howard was also an umpire of the South Wales Cricket Association following his playing days.

Howard Thomas Morgan didn’t just play cricket, he lived and breathed cricket. The young boy born at 6 Christopher Street, Tyisha, Llanelli had a fine career ahead of him in football and for that matter any number of sports, such was his natural ability. He started school at St Paul’s Infants School, followed by Bigyn Junior School and then to what is affectionately known locally as ‘The Academy’ – Stebonheath Secondary Modern School for boys. Stebonheath was a place where boys became men quickly. The masters were all male teachers, many of whom were excellent sportsmen in their own right. A cold and bare gymnasium, cross country runs, rugby, football and cricket, played with gusto, were played competitively against the other secondary schools. This is where Howard would have honed his skills and his love of sport.

His daughter, Lisa, gave The Herald some background on Howard’s life. She said: “My father could have had a career in football but he injured his knee. He then opted to play cricket and he was spotted by Glamorgan but he chose to invest his time in his family.

“He was always interested in sport and went to see the Swans from age nine. He was the longest-serving captain of the Dafen first team. He worked at Thomas and Clement and Margam Steelworks. He was an only child but his home was always full of children. He moved to Dafen because his best friend, Peter Davies, was playing there. He met my mother through Peter and they married in the 1950s. Peter went on to play for Arsenal.”

Howard’s first experience of cricket at Dafen was when his father would take him to Dafen Park during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Clearly, watching the likes of Gwyn Treharne, Rhidwyn Daniel and Bernard James left a positive impression on the young man from Tyisha and he set his mind on playing cricket for Dafen.

Lisa said: “Dad was offered a contract with Glamorgan but he didn’t take it up because of having me as a baby and needing to earn a living. They soon had twin boys and his commitment to us outweighed his commitment to sport. As a family man he was kind, generous and would help anyone. He could talk to anyone and charm them. To Neil, David and myself he was our dad and we loved him dearly. He went as he wanted to go: not in any pain and not after a prolonged illness.”

The funeral took place at Llanelli Crematorium on Thursday (Jan 26).

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Scarlets make five changes for European quarter-final

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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.

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Pembrey Country Park to host one of first post-lockdown events

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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.”

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Trundle and Robinson are back for another season with Ammanford AFC

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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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