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Trostre boxers shine at the Diplomat

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Scott Hansford: Won on debut

Scott Hansford: Won on debut

BOXERS from Trostre ABC were among those who competed in a sensational, action packed night of amateur boxing at the Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli as part of a fundraiser for the Robert Dickie Charitable Trust on Friday (May 6).

In a well-conducted tournament, which drew boxers and clubs from as far afield as Blaenau Ffestiniog, Cardiff and Brecon, as well as more local boxers from Swansea, Gorseinon, Carmarthen, Port Talbot and Ammanford. Host club Trostre ABC had three boys in action.

The first Trostre boxer on show was 12-yr-old Alfie Lloyd; back in action after 12 months out with a shoulder injury, he faced Shane Millar of Port Talbot.

At the first bell Lloyd came out brightly, landing a couple of sharp jabs. Millar was, however, boxing neatly and was able to block or deflect many of Lloyd’s follow up punches.

The Trostre boxer threw a lot of punches, but few were getting through Shane’s tight defence in what was a fairly even first round.

In the second, the Llanelli youngster came out more purposefully and kept his punches straighter to get through Shane’s guard.

Alfie had started to use his slight height advantage, with the referee giving Millar a standing count, halfway through the round, but Shane kept himself well in the fight with some good counters. The second round to Lloyd.

The third developed into a crowdpleasing final round with Alfie the busier, though Millar was able to counter many of Lloyd’s attacks with some classy body punching.

It was Alfie’s turn to be given a standing count, from a Millar right hand. Another round where both boys showed good skills.

On the basis of his second round, a unanimous points win for Alfie Lloyd.

Mid-way through the evening 18-yr-old Sylwek Urbanski of Trostre ABC came up against 22-yr-old Grant Vine from the DJ Boxing Club, Llansamlet, Swansea. Both weighed 69kilos. Vine came out, bouncing around the ring with his hands hanging, loosely and wide, at hip-level.

Urbanski appeared a little surprised at Vine’s tactics but settled down to land some well-timed jabs. Despite his unusual stance, Vine was able to throw fast clusters of punches from both hands. Sylwek was able to block most but a few scoring shots got through. A close round shaded by Urbanski, on the basis of cleaner punches.

The second round saw Vine up the pace, flailing away at the Llanelli boxer, and achieving some success. Sylwek was boxing more steadily and landing the odd clean jab. His followup right cross, though sometimes on target, was often avoided by Vine as he ducked low.

The final round saw re-doubled effort from both boys, with many more punches thrown, and missed. However there were enough connecting to make the bout one of the best of the night, as far as the appreciative audience was concerned.

A points win for Vine, probably on the basis of a busier last round.

The tenth bout of the night saw two first-timers enter the ring at 78kilos. 26-yr-old Scott Hanford of Trostre ABC v. 24-yr-old Steve Davies of Brecon ABC.

Scott came out with the traditional high-held guard of the Trostre boxing club, and was able to score with fast left jabs. Davies appeared to try to take out Hanford with every punch he threw, but the effort made his blows more predictable and were mostly fended.

A good first round for Scott, and in the second he started to follow up his good jabs, with straight rights to head and body.

Davies continued to attack with all he had, and had the occasional success. However, the effort and tension behind every punch saw Davies begin to tire. Despite trailing on points, Davies showed grim determination, carrying on as before, with powerful jabs and hooks from both hands.

Hanford used intelligent foot movement to frustrate the Brecon boxer’s efforts and moved back into range with good jabs and occasional rights.

The end of an excellent contest saw Scott Hanford as the unanimous winner, but Steve Davies was competitive enough to warrant an early rematch.

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Davies to captain Scarlets for 2021/22 season

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WALES international and British & Irish Lion Jonathan ‘Fox’ Davies will captain the Scarlets for the 2021-22 season.

Former Ysgol Dyffryn Taf pupil Davies has played 170 matches for the Scarlets since making his debut in 2006 and is one of the most decorated centres in international rugby having won 91 caps for Wales and represented the Lions in the Test series in Australia 2013 and New Zealand in 2017.

It will be his second stint wearing the Scarlets armband having been a co-captain along with Rob McCusker in 2013.

‘Foxy’ takes the reins from hooker Ken Owens who led the Scarlets for a record-equalling seven successive seasons.

“Jon is one of the most respected players in the game, someone with a huge amount of experience at all levels,” said Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel

“He has been a leader amongst our group for a number of years now and certainly since I have been here his leadership qualities have been there for all to see, on and off the training field.

“Foxy is the ultimate professional – when he speaks people listen. The way he conducts himself is an example to every player in the squad.

“He has been a big part of this club for a long time; he has grown up in the region, played his junior rugby here and it is clear that wearing the Scarlets jersey means a huge amount to him.”

Paying tribute to Davies’s predecessor Owens, Peel added: “Ken has been a fantastic leader for us over the last seven years and will continue to have a huge part to play in the leadership of this group.”

Davies, who captained Wales during the recent summer internationals in Cardiff, said: “It is a massive honour to be handed the Scarlets captaincy, you only have to look at the captain’s board to see so many great players and icons of the game who have led the club.

“I am fortunate that there will be a strong leadership group around me – British & Irish Lions and experienced Wales internationals who have enjoyed success at domestic and Test level. Those players also know there is a hard-working, driven group of youngsters pushing them for the jersey. There is a really exciting mix to the squad.”

Davies added: “Winning the PRO12 title with the Scarlets four years ago remains one of the highlights of my career and there is a real ambition and hunger among the players and coaching group to reach those levels again.

“There has been a good buzz about pre-season, the boys have worked really hard and we’re all looking forward to the start of the new URC season in Edinburgh on Saturday.

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Scarlets appoint Phil John as Academy coach

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FORMER prop Phil John is back at the Scarlets having been appointed to the role of Academy skills coach.

John made 330 Scarlets appearances over 17 seasons and holds the record for the most Scarlets matches played in the regional era.

Since hanging up his playing boots following his final game against Glasgow in 2016, he has worked with the RGC 1404 Academy and alongside another ex-Scarlet Mark Jones with the Premiership team in North Wales.

He also has experience coaching with the Llanelli RFC Premiership side and as an assistant to Danny Wilson for the Scarlets.

John, who started out on a rugby apprenticeship scheme at Stradey Park, replaces Emyr Phillips who becomes the Scarlets transition coach overseeing the academy players who are training with the senior side.

“It’s good to be back at Parc y Scarlets and I’m looking forward to working with a talented group of young players who have bright futures in the game,” said John.

“When you look at the players who were in the Academy five years ago when I was here, they are now starting week in week out for the Scarlets, it is great to see the journeys they have been on.

“The Scarlets Academy has a proud tradition of being a production line for the senior side and I’m excited by this opportunity to help make sure that continues.”

Scarlets Development Pathway Manager Kevin George added: “For us, this appointment was about getting the balance right in the coaching group with Emyr having been promoted to oversee the transition players.

“We had a lot of interest in the post and Phil, with his experience working with academies and the commitment he gave to North Wales, came out very strongly. We are delighted to have him on board to help nurture the next generation of Scarlets.”

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Five-star Felinfoel sink Tumble

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FELINFOEL kept up their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday (Sept 18) as they beat Tumble 5-2 at the King George playing fields in Division 1 of the Carmarthenshire football league.

However, they didn’t have it all their own way as Tumble took the lead after five minutes through Matthew James.

Foel kept plugging away and were rewarded when Chris James hit a 25-yard shot that was fumbled over the line by the keeper to make it 1-1.

Some good passing football then put Sam Ashford through on goal to put the ball past the keeper and make it 2-1 to the home side.

They weren’t done there as Chris James made it 3-1 with a great header.

In the second half, both sides were looking to score again but it was Foel who got their fourth when Mathew Ellis supplied top goal scorer Jordan Badman with the pass to make it 4-1.

Five minutes later the roles were reversed when Badman played in Mathew Ellis to make it 5-1.

To Tumble’s credit they kept plugging away and were rewarded with a goal two minutes from time as James scored his second of the game.

It was a great strike from James but it mattered little as Foel came away with the 5-2 win and their unbeaten record still intact.

On Saturday (Sept 25), Felinfoel are at hoem again as they host Bancffosfelen, kick off at 2pm.

Tumble are also in action as they travel to Llangennech.

Photo by Darren Harries

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