PORTSPORT ARCHIVE 2009-2014

 

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WILLIAMS EJECTS WORLD NUMBER ONE

 

Feb 26 2014 - Mark Williams knocked world number one Neil Robertson out of the Welsh Open 4-3 today to go through to the fourth round. Williams fought back from a 2-1 deficit winning the deciding frame with a break of 48. "Any victory is good, but over the world number one is even better," he said.

 

PAGETT SET TO FACE MAGUIRE

 

Feb 25 - Andrew Pagett delighted home fans as he came from 3-2 down to beat Northern Ireland's Gerard Greene 4-3 and progress to the third round of the Welsh Open in Newport. Pagett will face title holder Stephen Maguire, who came back from 3-1 down to beat Sam Baird 4-3. Judd Trump beat Jamie Burnett 4-1. Barry Pinches plays Ronnie O'Sullivan in this evening's session at Newport Centre starting at 7.

 

O'SULLIVAN ON HIS WAY WITH WIN

 

Feb 19 - Ronnie O'Sullivan began his Welsh Open campaign in Newport with a 4-1 victory over Mitchell Travis. Other winners included Matthew Stevens, Ali Carter, Stephen Maguire and local player Andrew Pagett.

 

TRAVIS FACES O'SULLIVAN IN SNOOKER OPENING ROUND

 

Feb 13 -  Amateur Mitchell Travis faces a tough opening round of the Welsh Open snooker at Newport Centre. The Sheffield youngster faces O’Sullivan, a five-time world champion, in the first round of the £300,000 world ranking event on Wednesday, February 19.

He told The Sheffield Star: “It is a dream come true for me to play Ronnie [O’Sullivan]. He is the one player I have always wanted to play."

RIVERFRONT MARATHON OFFER

Feb 7 - The Riverfront Theatre will open for spectators of the Admiral Newport city half marathon which takes place on Sunday 2 March. The venue will be open from 8am – 12pm and there will be a special offer in the café for runners and race supporters. Speaking about the event, Newport City Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, said: “The Admiral Newport city half marathon is a great fundraising event and I would like to wish those taking part the best of luck with the race and also with their fundraising efforts.

“For those not running but supporting, The Riverfront Theatre is ideally positioned on the race course and will be open and serving refreshments.”

The Newport Centre café will also be open for refreshments.

The race will start at 9am from Rodney Parade. More than 900 runners are anticipated to participate in the 13-mile race.

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson

PARALYMPIAN INSPIRES STUDENTS

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson spoke about her career success and encouraged young people to stand up for themselves in a talk delivered at the University of South Wales this week, 21st January. The 11 Paralympic gold medal winner told an audience of 100 people about her struggle with nerves before races and the stigma surrounding disabilities as part of the Teachers’ and Advisors’ conference 2014.

She gave the talk for the group of secondary school teachers and careers advisors at the Engage.Inspire.Progress conference which was hold over two days at the University’s City campus in Newport. She began her presentation with a phrase from her Welsh speaking Grandfather which she said has helped inspire her. She said, “He use to say, Aim high, even if you hit a cabbage. It’s about a goal and a dream. What’s the worst that can happen? In me sports career I lost more races that I won.”

Speaking about her childhood she said, “For my parents it was really difficult at the time I became paralysed because of people’s views of me. My parents treated me as an individual but others said I would never get a job, never go to university or ever be married.” In her role in the House of Lords, Baroness Grey-Thompson has been campaigning for schools to recognise PE as a core subject.

SUCCESS FOR STOREY

 

Dec 2 - Dame Sarah Storey marked her return to competitive action with an impressive performance at the Newport International Para-Cycling Cup at the Velodrome on Saturday. She claimed victory over her rival Jennifer Schuble of America in the three kilometre pursuit.
 

MAINDEE SPORTS VOLUNTEER NOMINATED

 

Nov 30 - Maindee sports volunteer Nazrul Islam, (Naz as he is more commonly known) has been shortlisted for the Wales Sports Young Volunteer of the Year award. Naz has been shortlisted as a result of the volunteer work he has been doing for the past six years and his dedication and commitment specifically within the Maindee area of Newport.

He has been volunteering with the Newport Sport Development team since 2008 were he first engaged with community provision and quickly progressed onto his SLUK level one award in Sports Leadership. Naz volunteers his time delivering a range of sports including football, cricket and boxing and combines his volunteering with studying full time at the University of South Wales Caerleon for a BSc Hons in sports coaching.

VELODROME CELEBRATES ITS ANNIVERSARY

 

Nov 10 - To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Wales National Velodrome, the Newport International Paracycling Cup will be held at the venue later this month. The event will be held from 29 November until 1 December and is anticipated to attract some of the world’s top paracyclists from around the world.

The evening sessions (Friday 29 November 7pm – 10pm, Saturday 30 November 7pm – 10pm and Sunday 1 December 3pm – 7pm) are ticketed and tickets have to be booked in advance. Prices are £5 for adults and £2.50 for juniors. Speaking about the event, Newport City Council cabinet member, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, said: “Newport’s Veldorome is approaching its tenth anniversary and in that time has seen the World’s top cyclists train at the venue including the London 2012 gold medal winning track cycling team.

CYCLE SPEEDWAY SUCCESS

Oct 30 - Newport Cycle Speedway Team completed a highly successful season in 2013 winning the both Division 1 and Division 2 of the South and South Wales League and also taking the Gold Cup title. In the regional individual event Jacob Soper finished third in the senior event and won the under 16 title both at Exeter.

 

PILL BASEBALL WIN

 

Oct 25 - Pill Harriers won the First Division of the Welsh Baseball League, the second rank of the competition, edging out St Michael's Old Boys. Gareth Cueto of Pill was the sport's most promising player of the year.

 

UNBEATEN TEAMS CLASH IN CYCLE SPEEDWAY

 

July 7 - Unbeaten teams Newport and Poole go head to head at Newport Cycle Speedway this afternoon at 2. Newport are unbeaten in seven meetings in the South West League. Newport are spearheaded by Aaron Hughes and Jack Harold and have already beaten Oxford and Horspath as part of their winning run.

July 7 update - Newport won the match 92-87

 

TWO PORT PLAYERS IN WALES A BASEBALL SIDE

 

July 2 - Two Newport players have made the Wales A baseball side to play England in Liverpool on July 13. Number 1 Greg Lyons (St Michaels) and 3 Luke Lewis (St Michaels) join 9 Cardiff based players in the side. On Saturday at 3pm Pill Harriers take on St. Michaels at Coronation Park.

 

NEWPORT CC MID-TABLE DESPITE DEFEAT

July 2 - Sully leading batsman Ryan Sylvester compiled a seventh league century during a drawn game last weekend with Newport at Spytty Park. Despite the draw Newport sit comfortably in mid table in the Premier League. Sylvester contributed 104, adding 160 runs for the second wicket with Morgan Hodges (57). For Newport Hassan (36) and Collins (32) helped the home side to 222-8.

BASHAM'S BELT UP FOR AUCTION

 

Jun 29 - A Newport boxing champion's Lonsdale Belt - the first at his weight to be won outright - has been put up for auction. Johnny Basham was British welterweight champion for three years running from 1914 to 1916. The belt failed to reach its reserve price of £30,000 at Bonham's in Chester and remains unsold.

 

Should it stay in Newport? Read this

 

TEST CRICKET TEAMS TO USE NEWPORT AS TRAINING BASE

 

May 29 - Newport Cricket Club officials met recently with representatives of ECB and Glamorgan CCC to rubber stamp practice arrangements, for five of the leading Test Match playing countries to use the facilities at Newport, in their build up to the ICC Trophy, which takes place throughout June. England, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will all use the club's facilities in a hectic 3 week period throughout the ICC Champion's Trophy Competition. Newport Cricket Club chairman Paul Morris, commented 'It will be the biggest few weeks in the Club's recent history, to think that the best cricketers in the world will be using our ground and facilities, spread over a 3 week period is stunning news!  It's going to be a great occasion for our many playing members and supporters, while the impact on our Junior players is going to be huge!'

 

WOFFINDEN IN NEWPORT ON CHARITY RIDE

 

May 29 - British speedway superstar Tai Woffinden met fans in Newport on his way from Wolverhampton to Cardiff as part of a charity cycle ride in aid of cancer research. He undertook the ride to raise awareness and much needed funds for Cancer Research UK in memory of his dad, former speedway rider Rob Woffinden who died in 2010. Woffinden has already raised £16,000 – with supporters donating money along the way.

 

JENKINS TO COACH ROGERSTONE

 

May 18 - Former Welsh international Garin Jenkins is to coach Rogerstone RFC in 2013-14.

 

PLATINI OPENS FOOTBALL CENTRE

 

April 29  - UEFA football chief Michel Platini flew into Wales today to launch Dragon Park, the new Wales national football development centre. Dragon Park, situated at Newport International Sports Village, will become the national epicentre for developing future generations of top players and coaches.

Facilities at the venue comprise three pitches, two premium grade grass pitches and one third generation (3G) artificial pitch and a state-of-the-art headquarters building providing changing rooms, training recovery zone and an administrative base for the Welsh Football Trust (WFT).

The near £5million first phase of Dragon Park has been funded with investment including more than £2million from UEFA, £750,000 each from both the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Sport Wales, and around £400,000 through FIFA programmes.  Newport City Council has made a significant contribution by providing 125 year leases for the development of the project on its land.

The key aim of the centre is to improve the standard of football at all levels in Wales, particularly for men’s age-group and youth squads, women’s national and age-group teams and national disability squads. It will also be home to referees’ training and be used by foreign academies and training for visiting professional clubs.

The hope is there will be further investment at Dragon Park to boost the current £30m infrastructure at Newport International Sports Village. To mark the opening, a ceremony involving Wales national team coach Chris Coleman and former players including Ian Rush and Neville Southall was held at the Newport venue.

HALF MARATHON A RUNAWAY SUCCESS

Mar 10 - Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Newport City Councils cabinet member for leisure and culture, has congratulated St Davids Foundation Hospice Care on the success of last weekends City of Newport half-marathon.

It is clear from the many comments I have seen and heard that this event was an outstanding success. I would like to congratulate St Davids and all those who worked so hard including officers from Newport City Council to make sure it went so smoothly. We are lucky to have an organisation like St Davids in Newport which carries out such amazing work in the city. We were happy to be able to offer practical support for the half-marathon and I know people are already looking forward to next years event in March 2014.

 Emma Saysell, chief executive of St Davids Foundation Hospice Care, said: St David's Hospice Care is extremely grateful to all those people and organisations, including Newport City Council, that worked so well together in supporting the first every City of Newport half marathon and thus ensuring that it was such a tremendous event. "We're already planning for the 2014 half marathon and also for future events in the city. We look forward to building on the relationships we have with existing supporters and are hopeful that we will be able to forge new ones, to help guarantee the success, in years to come, of what, for us,  will be an extremely  important fund raiser for St David's Hospice Care."

Officers from Newport City Council assisted in a variety of ways from checking the route on a number of occasions and ensuring participants would face no obstacles for example by obtaining keys for kissing gates and clearing brambles. They also made sure that everything necessary was in place at Newport International Sports Village for the start and end of the race and staff helped to hand out bags to participants as they crossed the finishing line.

MAGUIRE WINS OPEN

Feb 19 - Stephen Maguire won the final frame against Stuart Bingham to edge a dramatic Welsh Open final 9-8 at the Newport Centre.

The Scot held his nerve with a break of 82 to seal the deciding frame and claim his first ranking event title since 2008.

 

NEW SNOOKER SPONSOR

 

Feb 5 - World Snooker has announced BetVictor as the new title sponsor of next week's Welsh Open. The BetVictor Welsh Open will run from February 11-17 at the Newport Centre and will feature leading players including world number one Mark Selby, John Higgins, Judd Trump, defending champion Ding Junhui and Welsh wizards Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens. The BBC Wales-televised tournament is one of snooker’s longest standing world ranking events, ever-present on the calendar since 1992.

 

AWARD FOR CYCLING COACH

Nov 16 - Neil Smith, founder of Newport Velo Youth Cycling Club, was named the performance development coach of the year in last night’s Sports Wales coach of the year awards.

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, cabinet member for leisure, congratulated Neil on his success on behalf of the city council. “We are very proud of Neil, and all he has achieved, and this award will top off what has been an amazing year for him. He coaches Mark Colbourne, one of the stars of the 2012 London Paralympics, and he was chosen to carry the flame on the final leg of its journey before the opening ceremony on 29 August...Neil is a champion of disability sport and devotes many hours to developing, training and mentoring athletes and he has coached not one, but two cyclists to world champion status.

Neil coaches a squad of disabled riders, including upcoming juniors who are likely to represent their country in Rio 2016, at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport. World champion cyclist Jody Cundy was the first to benefit from Neil’s excellent coaching as he made the transition from Paralympic swimmer to cyclist.

CYCLE SPEEDWAY SUCCESS

 

Nov 9 - Newport lifted this year’s Cycle Speedway South West Gold Cup for the league’s top three teams after beating Exeter by two points at Exeter’s track, a young Poole team battled hard but were down on strength on the day.

Home team Exeter were missing Reed and Stone with Newport without Harrold and Lewis, so it was an even looking meeting on paper and this is what happened with The welsh team securing victory with a Davies/ Evans maximum heat win in the penultimate race which started great scenes in the welsh third of the pits.

Result ; Newport 100: Nicky Evans 17, Ollie Sidwick 17, Chris Davies 17, Mark Carmiichael 13, Jacob Soper 13, Colin Simmons 13, Becky Davies 7, Joe Sidwick 3.Exeter 98: Aaron Herbert 18, Dave Murphy 15,Andy Collett 15, Dave Hooper 15, Craig Nethercott 12, Andrew Yard 10, Dan Winchester 8, Rob Geach 5. Poole 70: Leyton Glover 16, Aaron Smith 13, Alex Lane 9, Nial Instone 8. Sam Lane 7, Shane Hanmer 7, Jay Briggs 7, Callum Smith 3.

 

MARATHON SUCCESS IN NEWPORT

Nov 2 - The weather held up, the runners turned out and passers by cheered as the first Newport Marathon run by Diabetes UK Cymru hit the trail on October 28. At least forty runners lined up for the half and full marathon events whose backdrop included some of Newport’s most famous landmarks - Newport Castle, the Fourteen Locks, the Transporter Bridge, the new University, the Riverfront Theatre and the River Usk.

One runner, Lynn Williams (53) came all the way from Australia for the marathon. Brought up in Blackwood, he settled in Oz in 1998 and works as a software support engineer in Sydney. “When I heard Diabetes UK Cymru were organising the Newport Marathon, I decided to combine running it with a trip home to see my mum, who is 82 and now lives in Usk,” said former triathlete Lynn.

Another runner, Lesley Parratt,53, a classroom assistant from Gaer, Newport, was inspired to take on the half marathon by her son Simon who has lost ten stone in weight since March. Honours for the fastest times went to Hywel Davies of Rugby (pictured left) at 2.55.24, followed by Thomas Cooling of Monmouth at 3.09.49 and Ben Gallagher of Newport at 3.34.34 for the full race. First woman across the line was Phlippa Sampson of Swansea at 4.04.08.

 

CYCLE SPEEDWAY TEAM MAKE FINAL

 

Oct 27 - Newport secured a place for themselves in the Cycle Speedway South West Gold Cup final on November 4th when they beat Horspath Hammers by 102-78 at the Velodrome. They finished in 3rd place in the Division 1 table. Their Elite stars Mark Carmichael and Jack Harrold (pictured in action left) led the score chart. Newport face Poole and Exeter in the final to be held at Exeter's Cofton Road venue, start 2pm.

NEWPORT 102: Jack Harrold 16 Mark Carmichael 15 Oli Sidwick 14 Joe Lewis 13 Dean Bonnici 13 Ryan Evans 133 Jacob Soper 10 Chris Davies 8 / HORSPATH 78: Zac Payne 20 Mike Burgess 19 Lee Clarke 12 Paul Gibbs 11George Horsley 6 Pete Horsley 6 Pete Payne 4

 

SKATE PARK OPEN

 

Sep 21 - Newport City Stakepark has been officially opened today (Friday) by Newport’s Mayor Cllr John Guy.

Located at Tredegar Park, the new and improved skatepark boasts some of the best facilities in the UK and all for free. Newport City Council set up and involved over 30 young people as part of a skatepark user group, when making decisions about the future facility. It was designed and built by Acrete Skateparks and the user group helped choose the company, the design and its new features which include a main clamshell bowl section, street section, peanut bowl (pool), and bike jump.

A successful grant application to Sport Wales means that the park will also be floodlit and will operate between the hours of 9am and 9pm throughout the year. Cabinet member for leisure and culture, Cllr Debbie Wilcox, said: “The opening of the city’s new skatepark has been eagerly awaited and I know that youngsters are really looking forward to trying out the new facilities it offers.”

UK TAE KWON CHAMPIONSHIPS DO AT THE VELODROME

 

Sep 6 - On Monday Sep 10 the UK Tae Kwon Do Championships take place at the Velodrome. Incorporating the British Tag Team Championships. This competition is open to all Tae Kwon Do groups and associations without predjudice and features fair and impartial judging. Over 25 associations will be attending including teams from India, Norway, Ethiopia and Poland. 9.00am - 6.00pm, £5.00, at the Wales National Velodrome.

 

FREDDIE GETS A SILVER

 

Aug 12 - Freddie Evans, the 21-year-old Newport welterweight took silver after losing 9-17 to Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan in the final. But while Evans says he will take some time to decide his future, he admits the lure of Rio 2016 is strong. "I'm still young - I'm only 21 - so I think in four years' time I'd still be only young then," Evans said.

 

'We all love Fred here' - BBC film at the Picton Arms in Pill as regulars watch his fight

 

TEAM GB CYCLING PRAISE VELODROME

 

Aug 10 - Team GB's cycling team have been uniform of their praise of Newport's velodrome when commenting on the secrets of their Olympic success. For the third Olympics running the facility has been the training base for our cycling team. Six-times gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy is among those who have praised the importance of facilities, such as at Newport, for the team's success.

For three days during training, the velodrome invited the public to watch Team GB for free.And from the tweets posted by six times gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy they were a hit. Hoy said "there were more people than at the nationals" and said they had "never had a full house at training before".

"We were watching world records being blown away. The team pursuits knocked three seconds off the world record," Steve Ward, Newport council's leisure boss told the BBC.

EVANS IN FINAL

 

Aug 10 - Freddie Evans beat world champion Taras Shelestyuk from Ukraine by 11-10 to book his place in the Olympic welterweight boxing final on Sunday. He told the Press Association ""To beat the world champion is unbelievable. Every time I come in here the crowd gets louder and louder. In every round I'm boxing I can hear the crowd chanting my name and gives me that extra bit of a lift."

 

EVANS THROUGH TO LAST EIGHT

 

Aug 4  - Welterweight Freddie Evans, based in Newport, is through to the last eight in the boxing at the London Olympics. Evans beat fourth-seeded Egidijus Kavaliauskas of Lithuania 11-7 in the afternoon session. Evans told ESPN "I've never experienced anything like it before. The crowd's support really gives you a bit of a boost. ... They're all top lads here, but I'm confident that I can come back again and keep doing it." Evans known as Furious Freddie, is based at the St. Joseph's club in Pill under the guidance of Tony Borg. He face Custio Clayton in the quarter finals.

 

  P Bat P Bowl P Pts
Cardiff CC 12 26 39 145
Ammanford CC 12 35 33 141
Sully Centurions CC 12 37 34 140
Port Talbot Town CC 12 34 28 135
Mumbles CC 12 30 28 127
Ynysygerwn CC 12 27 35 122
Pontarddulais CC 12 24 29 121
Bridgend Town CC 12 21 28 119
Newport CC, 12 28 28 106
Usk CC 12 29 24 93

 

NEWPORT CRICKET CLUB SUFFER WASHOUT

Jul 15 - Desperate to get their season back on track Newport suffered at the hands of the weather on Saturday. Their match with Sully was abandoned. Newport remain in the relegation places in the South Wales Cricket League (left).

Their upcoming fixtures are as follows - Bridgend (A) July 21, Ammanford (H) July 28, Ynysgerwn (A) Aug 4, Cardiff (A) Aug 11.

Michael Clayden heads the team's batting averages on 43 including a top score of 115 against Ynysgerwn. Imran Hassan is on 37.78. Harry Powell is top of the bowling with 18 wickets at an average of 15 including 6 for 27 against Bridgend.

 

 

BOXING CLASH FOR CENTRE

 

July 2 - Gary Buckland will be out again at Newport Centre on July 21. The 26-year-old will meet Albanian Ibrar Riyaz, who has won only four of his 40 fights and is without a victory since April 2010. Also on the bill are Newport’s Justyn Hugh and Pontypool’s Jeff Evans, who will contest the Welsh light-heavyweight title. St Josephs’ Frankie Borg takes on Danny Butler for the British Masters light-heavyweight title.

 

NEWPORT IS THE BASE FOR UK OLYMPIC CYCLISTS

 

June 16 - The Team GB track cycling team will exclusively use Newport velodrome for their final preparation training camp for London 2012. Team GB previously used Newport velodrome for their Olympic preparations for Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.This latest announcement builds on Newport’s growing reputation as a sporting city with international standard facilities.

The team will arrive in Newport around two weeks before London 2012 for what will be their last intensive training session before the Games begin. Dave Brailsford, British Cycling’s Performance Director, said: “We’re looking forward to Newport and what will be our final preparations for the road to London 2012. The velodrome has been a training camp for the GB Team for the past two Olympic Games and, as a world class facility, will ensure the team is in the best possible shape. I want to thank Newport City Council and everyone involved for hosting us.”

As one of only three such facilities in the UK, the velodrome has helped develop the talents of Olympians Nicole Cooke and Julian Winn, and World Champion track cyclist Geraint Thomas.The velodrome provides first class training facilities for cyclists and boasts a 250m international standard cycling track (the same size as Manchester and the Olympic Park), indoor sports arena, sports science facilities and a 4m-wide closed road circuit to the exterior. It has previously hosted the European cycling championships and other national cycling events.

GOLFER RECOGNISED BY MUSLIM FOUNDATION

 

June 8 - A professional golfer from Newport has been recognised for her role as a successful Muslim woman in sport. Sahra Hassan, 24, has been named UK sportswoman of the year by the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation at Wembley Stadium.

The night honoured female role models from the Muslim community who have made sport more accessible.

Hassan, told the BBC: "I didn't expect to win, I hadn't even prepared a speech." Hassan was presented with her award by FA chairman David Bernstein at the ceremony in early May. She is currently ranked 30th in the world and hopes to break America. "I'll see how I go in Europe but I want to base myself in America and join the LPGA tour," she said.

SKATE PARK CLOSES

June 8 - Newport’s skatepark closes this weekend as users look forward to the opening of a much improved and exciting new facility at Tredegar Park. The old skatepark is closing because of the development of the Wales National Football Centre in Newport.

The new skatepark is being designed and built by Acrete Skateparks, with a user group of young people being involved throughout; helping to choose the company, design, and its new features which include a bowl section, street section, peanut bowl, and bike jump.The intention was to open and close the skateparks in the same period, but due to adverse weather conditions, delays have been unavoidable.

The user group have been very supportive and understood the potential delays from the start of the project, agreeing with Acrete that the priority has to be the concrete finishes which cannot be completed in inclement weather conditions. It is expected that the new skatepark will open towards the end of July.

JAIDEE WINS OPEN

 

June 4 - Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee hung on to take victory at the Wales Open in Celtic Manor, Newport, as Ross Fisher's challenge faded after he was penalised for slow play.

Fisher was one shot off the lead when he was adjudged to have taken too long over shots on the 11th and 14th holes. He was given a one-stroke penalty and eventually finished tied for sixth, two shots behind Jaidee's six under par.

 

VIRTUAL GOLF CENTRE

 

June 4 - City planners are being asked to approve a virtual golf centre in the Leeway industrial Centre. Called 'Golf Sensations' the centre will offer the opportunity to play a round of golf or train using virtual reality technology, striking the shot as if you were on a golf course.

 

FISHER LEADS OPEN

 

June 2 - Ross Fisher returned to form on Friday with a five-under total of 66 to open up a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Wales Open. The Englishman has suffered a dip in form since helping Europe to Ryder Cup glory in 2010, and has missed the cut in his last two tournaments. But he was in no danger of that fate on Friday as he hit six birdies to move ahead of compatriot Lee Slattery.

"Hopefully this will be the start of a big summer for me," he told the BBC "Last year was disappointing and so far this year, nothing has really happened."

 

CITY STUDENT WINS CYCLING GOLD

Apr 26 - Sports Coaching student Anton Aro is celebrating winning gold at the BUCS Cycling Track Championships. The 22-year-old, who is also a member of the Sport Performance Unit at the University, took home the top prize in the Men’s Kilo race at the Championships, which were held in the Wales National Velodrome at Newport International Sports Village.

Anton, who is in his third year of study, beat 18 other cyclists to the finish line, completing the race in an impressive time of 1 minute 7 seconds – a personal best. He also won a silver medal in the Men’s Pursuit with another personal best time of 4 minutes 45 seconds. He said: “The BUCS Cycling Track Championships were a great start for my racing season. The race schedule was very tight, so I’m delighted with the times I achieved – and of course, very happy to bring home two medals.”

George Rose, part of the Sports team at the University and a fellow competitive cyclist, added: “This is fantastic news. I’m glad to see all of Anton’s hard work paying off.” The hard work and competing continues for Anton over the coming months, with his time trialling season starting just a week after his success at the BUCS Championships.
 

 

 

SELBY SET TO TOP THE BILL

 

Apr 4 - Lee Selby is set to defend his British and Commonwealth Featherwight Title at Newport Centre on May 25. The 25 year old from Barry trains with Tony Borg at the St. Joseph's Boxing Club in Pill. An opponent will be named shortly.

 

WORK BEGINS ON NATIONAL FOOTBALL CENTRE

 

Mar 15 - The FAW and Welsh Football Trust held a press conference at the Newport Velodrome today to celebrate their recent UEFA Grassroots Charter success and to cut the first turf for the National Football Centre.

UEFA’s Grass Roots Charter was introduced in 2005 to support and encourage member associations to nurture the grassroots game. Wales became Charter members with one star in 2006, followed by a further four stars in 2009. Now, in 2012, Wales has been awarded its sixth star by UEFA’s Executive Committee. Wales is one of only ten Associations to achieve six stars under the Charter.

The press were also invited to witness the cutting of the first turf for the new National Football Centre by FAW President Phil Pritchard. Also present were Jonathan Ford, FAW Chief Executive, Chris Coleman, Wales National Team Manager, Neil Ward, Chief Executive of the Welsh Football Trust, Osian Roberts, FAW Technical Director and Matthew Evans, Leader of Newport City Council. Chris Coleman said that he himself, as a player coming up through the ranks, would have benefited from such a facility. He and future Welsh Managers will be in a stronger position than their predecessors in monitoring young Welsh talent coming through.

Technical Director Osian Roberts said that “in order to produce the best coaches and players you need the best facilities, and this will certainly be provided by this development”.

Four state-of-the-art new pitches, one a top-grade artificial surface, will be laid on land behind the Velodrome on the site of an existing artificial pitch near the swimming pool and at Newport County's Spytty Park ground. A headquarters for the Welsh Football Trust, the game's development body, with analysis suites, sports science laboratories and coach education facilities is also planned
More than 70 potential locations Wales-wide had been examined by the FAW and the trust, but Newport's International Sports Village topped the 12-strong shortlist because of its already impressive array of sporting facilities, its potential to support further such development, and ease of access.

MAESTRO WOWS SNOOKER FANS

 

Feb 13 - Veteran Steve Davis put on a vintage display to knock out third-seed Ali Carter in round one of the Welsh Open at Newport Centre. The 54-year-old's performance included two century clearances as he edged out world number 11 Carter 4-3. "When it goes right it's lovely," said world number 43 Davis. "My aim is to keep my ranking lower than my age and see how long I can keep that going,"  Bristol's Judd Trump, Nottingham's Michael Holt and China's Ding Junhui all progressed with 4-0 victories. But it was the performance of six-time world champion Davis, who is ranked 43rd in the world, that stole the headlines.

 

Scores and match schedule here

 

CHALLENGER UP FOR FIGHT

 

Sep 28 - Liverpool's Derry Mathews plans to shock boxing by beating European lightweight champion Gavin Rees in Newport on 1 October. Mathews, 28, who came out of retirement in 2010, knows he is the underdog against former WBA World Champion Rees. "Out of 100 people maybe 10 might say I'll win the fight," he told the BBC. Matthews stopped Stephen Jennings in the sixth round in a British Masters lightweight title meeting in Liverpool in July. "Gavin is on the hunt for a World title shot and Derry will be a real test after coming off a series of impressive wins," said fight promoter Eddie Hearn.

The former WBA light-welterweight champion is the clear favourite, but he says no unnecessary risks will be taken against a fighter who has won four times in 2011 since coming out of retirement. "People say it's a formality and I'm hot favourite with the bookies, but he's a good opponent," Rees said. "He's had a couple of good wins lately but if it goes past six rounds I want to show everybody I don't get tired after six rounds - that was just a weight issue.I want to look good in winning."

NEWPORT CC SAFE

 

Aug 29 - Newport guaranteed their safety in the Swalec Premier League with a six-wicket success at Sully, scoring 208-4 in reply to 203.

 

MALPAS WIN BASEBALL CUP

 

Aug 20 - Malpas Ladies RFC surprisingly won Baseball's final competition of the season, the Classic Cup seeing off favourites Rumney at Llandaff Fields.

 

NEWPORT BEAT CARDIFF IN TIGHT BATTLE

 

Aug 15 - Newport Cricket Club went some way to saving their place in the South Wales Premier League by beating Cardiff at Spytty Park on Saturday. Newport won the toss asking Cardiff to bat. They were bowled out for 186. The home side slumped to 134-7 but recovered to 181-9. Their ten wicket batsmen Gareth Thomas and Harry Powell saw them home in a tense finish. The latest table is here.

 

FIRST CITY MARATHON PLANNED

 

Aug 14 - Newport will host its first Marathon on Sunday, 30th October 2011. This new and challenging event will take runners past some of Newport’s iconic landmarks; Newport Castle, the beautiful canal routes including the Fourteen Locks, the Transporter Bridge, new University, the Riverfront Theatre and along the River Usk.

Entries are now available for the 2011 event at http://www.newportmarathon.org.uk/?page_id=2

The official nominated charities for the 2011 event are Dyslecsia Cymru/Dyslexia Wales, Cerebra, Multiple Sclerosis, Mencap, Diabetes UK Cymru, Snap Cymru, St. Davids Foundation Hospice Care and Cystic Fibrosis.

SKYRIDE NEWPORT STARTS

 

Aug 7 - SkyRide, the national campaign to get one million people riding their bikes, starts in Newport this weekend. The first ride, the Tour De Wetlands, starts from the Wetlands today at 10am.

Sky Ride Local rides are fun, friendly and free community bike rides that help you get out and explore your local area. They’re led by a British Cycling trained ride leader who can provide support and give you a few tips, whatever your age or ability.

Rides vary in levels, from beginners to more experienced cyclists, so you can pick a level to suit your skills and enjoyment. Whatever level you choose, you'll be riding on safe routes, with your ride leaders. And if you haven't dusted off your bike for a while, they'll happily check it over for you. Visit www.goskyride.com and sign up to take part, whatever your ability. Newport has 28 rides taking place in August, September and October.

MAJOR BOUT FOR NEWPORT CENTRE

 

Aug 3 - Derry Mathews’s shot at a European title has been arranged for Saturday, October 1. The lightweight star, who last Saturday stopped fellow Liverpudlian Stephen Jennings in their British Masters title bout at the Greenbank Sports Academy, will take on champion Gavin Rees at the Newport Centre.

The 31-year-old Welsh fighter, a former WBA world light-welterweight champion, had been due to face Mathews at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff last month. But he was forced to pull out of his title defence after damaging a tendon in his left hand while sparring.

TOP CYCLISTS CHOOSE NEWPORT

 

July 31 - Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic track cycling teams are likely to be among several countries using Wales for their pre-Games training camps. Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton are set to use Newport's Velodrome instead of Manchester.

British Cycling, who used Newport ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics and Beijing in 2008, have chosen to return again. Team GB won eight gold, four silver and two bronze in Beijing. The paralympians collected a further 19 golds in Beijing out of the 20 they won overall.

COUNCIL FUNDING BID FOR WALES OPEN SNOOKER

 

July 21 - A three year investment of £50k by the City Council is being offered to World Snooker to secure the Wales Open Snooker competition in Newport Centre until 2015.

The benefits accrued to Newport of supporting the event include:

Cllr Bill Langsford (Labour, Malpas) criticised the financial support from the Council "Whilst the Wales Open is good to have in Newport, this amounts to £50000 over a three year period. Whilst this may be a drop in the ocean of a £235M budget, I am sure that, in these times when it is anticipated that Newport will be losing £13M in RSG from Welsh Government, this amount of money could be spent on more desirable things in Newport. Why don't the hotels sponsor this event as they are gaining the most?

 

McGoldrick presented with medal by Welsh Heritage Minister Huw Lewis.

MCGOLDRICK GETS HIS GOLD

Jun 14 - Newport  bantamweight Sean McGoldrick has been awarded the gold medal stripped from disqualified Sri Lankan Manju Wanniarachchi at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the organisers announced Monday. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said the opportunity for Wanniarachchi to appeal against his exclusion after a positive drug test in Delhi had lapsed without the athlete taking any further action. "The decision comes following the removal of Manju Wanniarachchi from the results after the Sri Lankan boxer was found guilty of an anti-doping violation at the Delhi Games," it said in a statement.

"McGoldrick, who, at 18, was the youngest member of Wales' boxing team and lost the 56kg weight-division final on count back, now takes the gold," CGF said. The silver medal has been awarded to Tirafalo Seoko from Botswana, who lost to Wanniarachchi at the semi-finals.

 

WALTERS IS UK GIRLS CHAMP

 

Jun 13 - Jamielea Walters from the East Newport club emerged victorious in the UK Girls under 13 Cycle Speedway championship at her club in Llanmartin. Team mate Sophie Thomas was fourth. In the Boys competition Adam Phillips of Astley and Tyldesley was the winner, Ethan Greenslade of East Newport was fourth.

 

NOREN WINS WALES OPEN

 

Jun 5 - Alex Noren kept his composure at Celtic Manor in Newport to clinch the Wales Open crown. The steady Swede sealed his second European Tour title by two shots from Frenchman Gregory Bourdy and Dane Anders Hansen.

 

 

HIGH SCORING DRAW AT SPYTTY

 

May 1 - Newport took part in a high scoring draw at Spytty Park yesterday in the South Wales Cricket League. They racked up 386-3 against Ynysgerwn with opener Cameron Herring top-scoring with 95 runs. Their opponents also used up their 50 overs to finish with 306-6.

 

NEWPORT SCHOOLS WIN WELSH RUGBY CUP

 

Apr 10 - Newport Schools U15s ended their season in style, ending in an unbeaten run since late October with Victory in the Morgan Griffiths Welsh Cup at St. Helens with a 26-12 victory over Pontypridd Schools.  The result concluded an unbeaten run which included impressive victories over Pontypool, Pembrokeshire, Bridgend, The Vale of Glamorgan and last years’ victors Swansea, conceding only two tries in the process. The squad will meet for one last time over Easter as they will be the Welsh representation in the Louis Tfota Trophy at Laguenne where they face local opposition as well as Murrayfield and Lansdowne.

Newport 26-12 Pontypridd Tries: Harrison Keddie, Lee Connor Blamire (2), Ryan Wilson Conversions: Ben Snell (3)Squad M. Aulsbrook ( G. Harris), R. Wilson (B. Davies), T. Morgan, C. Ayling (J. Hussey), L Connor-Blamire, B. Snell, E. Smith (R. Connick); H. Fry (K. Hunt), K Greenway – capt (Z. Pitt), K. Bale, H. Keddie (F. Hussain), J. Davies, P. Knight (K. Raubenheimer), S. Casey (G. Goom), B. Constant (N. Davies)

HIGGINS WINS

 

Feb 21 - John Higgins swept to victory 9-6 in the Welsh Open final against Stephen Maguire at Newport Centre.

 

SCOTS MAKE FINAL

 

Feb 20 - Stephen Maguire and John Higgins made the Welsh Open at Newport Centre an all Scots affair as they won their semi finals yesterday. Maguire beat Mark Selby 6-5 while Higgins outplayed Ali Carter, winning 6-2.

 

SEMI FINAL TIME AT SNOOKER

 

Feb 19 - World number two Mark Williams was beaten in the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open in Newport yesterday by Stephen Maguire, and there were also wins for Mark Selby, Ali Carter and John Higgins, the latter against Matthew Stevens.

Mark Williams (Wal) 3-5 Stephen Maguire (Sco)

Mark Selby (Eng) 5-3 Graeme Dott (Sco)

Ali Carter (Eng) 5-2 Ding Junhui (Chn)

John Higgins (Sco) 5-3 Matthew Stevens (Wal)

Semi final draw - Higgins v Carter, Maguire v SElby

CENTRE TO HOST ROLLER DERBY CLASH

Jan 5 - Newport Centre will be the venue for the first Welsh public roller derby match when the Tiger Bay Brawlers take on an English team next month. It will be the first league game for the Cardiff-based team when they face the Bristol Harbour Harlots at 7pm on 15 January, 2011. Women’s flat track roller derby is a full contact sport which has been growing in popularity in recent years. Tickets for the Star Check: First Contact bout cost £7 from www.tigerbaybrawlers.com or £9 on the door. Half-time entertainment and after show party are included in the price.

There is a brilliant explanation of the rules of this fascinating sport here http://www.londonrollergirls.com/whats-roller-derby

PIE MAGNATE IN GOLF COURSE PLAN

 

Dec 27 - Some of the green belt between Cardiff and Newport could become a golf course if proposals from businessman Stan Thomas receive approval from Newport City Council. According to Wales Online the

'ambitious' project on around 250 acres of land he owns at Michaelston-y-Fedw would see the building of a new championship standard 18-hole course, as well as three par three courses and a 26,000 sq ft clubhouse.

The course and clubhouse have been designed by Cardiff architects Holder Mathias. The clubhouse would be similar in scale to the clubhouse at the Celtic Manor’s 2010 course.Part of the proposed course, running alongside the M4, comes under the unitary authority area of Cardiff. However, the majority is in the Newport unitary authority area to which an application will be lodged.

Mr Thomas lives in Jersey but made his fortune by developing a business retailing pies. He also has a significant stake-holding in TBI, the owners of the struggling Cardiff airport.

 

COUNTY / McGOLDRICK HONOURED

 

Dec 8 - Blue Square Bet South champions Newport County were named Team of the Year in the BBC Sports Awards awards ceremony at Celtic Manor. Nineteen year old Sean McGoldrick's achievement of reaching the bantamweight final at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi was also recognised as the Newport boxer won the Carwyn James Junior Sportsman of the Year. County manager Dean Holdsworth was pleased his side were rewarded for success in two different divisions. he told the Argus: “Last season was incredible and one we will never forget. We managed to break several records in reaching 103 points.” McGoldrick could yet receive a gold medal after his 31-year-old opponent failed a drugs test. The appeals process is now under way.

 

BOXER GOES FOR GOLD

Oct 12 - Sean McGoldrick will fight for Wales' second 2010 Commonwealth Games gold in Wednesday's bantamweight final against Manju Wanniarachchi in Delhi. The Sri Lankan beat Tirafalo Seoko after the referee stopped the fight while McGoldrick defeated Louis Julie on points to set-up a thrilling finale. Now McGoldrick hopes to emulate 400m hurdler Dai Greene and strike gold. City sprinter Christian Malcolm won bronze in the 200 metres final. McGoldrick narrowly lost the final.

MCGOLDRICK GUARANTEED BRONZE

 

Oct 10 - 18-year-old Sean McGoldrick from Newport guaranteed Wales' first boxing medal of the Games with an impressive bantamweight quarter-final win over Northern Ireland's Tyrone McCullagh. McCullagh started the bout as favourite after bagging a European bronze medal on his senior debut this year but it was McGoldrick who looked sharper on his way to a 4-2 success.

 

EUROPE HANG ON FOR RYDER CUP VICTORY

 

Oct 4 - Graeme McDowell held his nerve in the final singles match as Europe clung on to their overnight lead to beat United States 14½-13½ to regain the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor in Newport in front of 25,000 fans. Trailing 9½-6½ going into the delayed finale, the Americans fought back superbly to take the match to the wire.

Rickie Fowler won the last three holes to snatch an unlikely half with Edoardo Molinari, leaving Europe relying on McDowell to beat Hunter Mahan. The Northern Irishman birdied the 16th before sealing victory at the 17th.

MORE RAIN DELAYS AS EUROPE SEIZE THE INITIATIVE

 

Oct 3 - Europe will take a 9½-6½ lead into the Ryder Cup singles after painting the leaderboard blue on Sunday at Celtic Manor. After waiting more than five hours for play to get under way following another downpour in Newport, Colin Montgomerie's side maintained their dominance of the third series of matches.

They led in all six overnight, although with none of the matches yet on the back nine, turning those leads into points was by no means a foregone conclusion. Yet Europe managed to win five of the six matches, overhauling the United States' 6-4 lead after the second series and setting them firmly on course to regain the trophy when the play heads into an uprecedented Monday finish.

EUROPE RALLIES AFTER US TAKE LEAD

 

Oct 2 - Lee Westwood and Luke Donald set the tone as Europe made a storming fightback in the unfinished third session of the weather-hit Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor on Saturday, leading in all six matches.

Trailing holders the United States 6-4 after the rain-delayed foursomes were completed earlier, Europe rallied superbly in the two foursomes and four fourballs when play was halted in fading light.

Britons Westwood and Donald, in the top foursomes encounter, were four up on American heavyweights Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker after nine holes. Woods and Stricker had won their first two matches of the week but, with the world No. 1 struggling for form on Saturday afternoon, the Americans were four over par with their own ball.

 

WOODS NAMED IN RYDER TEAM

 

Sept 6 - Tiger Woods is back in America's side for their defence of the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport on October 1-3. The world number one, needing a wild card for the first time after failing to win a tournament all season, was named by captain Corey Pavin today along with Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler. They join the eight who had already qualified on points - Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and cup newcomers Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson.

 

NEWPORT CC NARROWLY MISS OUT ON SECOND SPOT

 

August 30 - Newport Cricket Club missed out on the runners-up spot by the narrowest of margins in the Swalec Premier League despite a convincing victory over Port Talbot Town at Spytty Park.

Port Talbot Town elected to bat first and were in trouble from the start and only scored 131 all out. Gareth Thomas bowled unchanged to return 12-3-22-3 for Newport. Newport got the runs but losing five wickets meant that Newport took 20 points from the match and not a maximum of 22, gifting second place to Pontarddulais.

CITY TO HOST WORLD CRAZY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

August 22 - In the year when the Ryder Cup comes to Newport, the city will also host the first ever Welsh Open Crazy Golf Championship. It will be held on Friday 3 September from 6.00-8.30pm, is open to 50 teams of two representing local workplaces. The crazy golf course will also be open daily from 11am until 6pm for the general public to hit the greens. Big Splash organisers have also set up this special tournament, aimed at local businesses who will compete to win the first ever Welsh Open Crazy Golf trophy.

The Championship will be played on the world’s finest portable crazy golf course which is coming to the city as part of The Big Splash festival from Saturday August 28 – Sunday 5 September. The Big Splash will take place on the banks of the River Usk and the area surrounding The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre.

The nine-hole course, built by the newly established Crazy Golf Company, will be situated by the River Usk in central Newport, opposite The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre. It includes over £10,000 worth of astro turf, and holes created by top-notch designers including a scaled-down copy of a hole from the Celtic Manor Ryder Cup course. Other challenges on the course include the Amazing Green Pinball Machine, Heartbreak Hill, Duck of Doom, Pot the Pink and The Devil’s Saucepan.

BREW BACK FOR DRAGONS

 

August 4 - One-cap Wales three-quarter Nathan Brew has returned to Newport Gwent Dragons from Neath on a one-year contract. Brew, still only 28, spent seven years at Rodney Parade with Newport then the Dragons before leaving in 2007.

The centre or wing joined the Scarlets but moved to Bristol the following year then joined up with Neath last summer. "I am ecstatic to be back here, if I am honest ever since I left the Dragons I have regretted it," said Brew, who joins younger brother Aled in Newport.

CHRISTIAN MALCOLM CLAIMS SILVER

July 30 - Christian Malcolm rolled back the years this evening to take a silver medal in the 200 metres final at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. But the 31 year old from Somerton narrowly missed out on a gold medal.

Malcolm led off the bend into the home straight in Barcelona's Olympic Stadium and looked like holding off the fast-finishing Christophe Lemaitre on his inside.

But a desperate lunge at the line saw Lemaitre clock 20.37 seconds to snatch the gold medal, with Malcolm a mere hundredth of a second behind in a season's best of 20.38.

RYDER CUP EXHIBITION ARRIVES IN PORT

July 29 - A Ryder Cup Heritage Exhibition, illustrating the rich history of one of the most compelling events in world sport, is now on display in Newport until 19 August 2010, as the build-up to the 38th Ryder Cup gathers pace.

The Ryder Cup began in 1927 as a match between the professionals of Great Britain and the United States and since then it has evolved to include the finest golfers from across Europe and the USA. The Heritage Exhibition will tell the story of the event from its humble beginnings to the present day, when it will arrive at Newport's Celtic Manor Resort from 1-3 October. The fascinating and unique collection of Ryder Cup memorabilia, including signed programmes, team gifts and golf equipment is on display at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport's city centre. Councillor Matthew Evans, Leader of Newport City Council, said: "This is a great opportunity for people to get up close and personal with The Ryder Cup. The history of the event and how it made its way to Newport will make for a fascinating exhibition that is part of the Newport Festival taking place across the city in celebration of 2010."

CITY CELEBRATES NEW SPORT

July 27 - For more than 250 young people across the city, Newport was all about ‘New Sport’ last weekend as they took part in the first ever Newport Community Games, a free youth sport event held as part of official celebrations marking two years until the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games start.

Teams were cheered on by British 100m sprint star Tyrone Edgar, former 800m Commonwealth Champion Diane Modahl and Welsh rugby star James Hook. Organised by Newport City Council’s sports development team, in partnership with national youth sports development charity StreetGames, the Newport Community Games was sponsored by Sport Wales and saw teams descend on venues including the Wales National Velodrome and Active Living Centre to take part in a number of free tournaments and taster sessions in various sports including futsal, athletics, table tennis and dodgeball.

ANOTHER CARDIFF REJECT FOR DRAGS

 

July 15 - Robin Sowden Taylor has joined the Newport Gwent Dragons as part of the July sale underway at Cardiff Blues.

 

MORGAN OPTS FOR DRAGONS

 

July 9 - Scott Morgan has joined Newport Gwent Dragons in a two-year deal. Morgan was released by Cardiff Blues earlier this week and despite interest from English and French clubs, opted for a move to Rodney Parade. The 31-year-old, can play in the back and second rows.

 

DRAGONS TO FACE IRISH

 

July 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons will face London Irish on August 21 in a pre-season friendly at Rodney Parade.

 

BASEBALL VICTORY FOR WALES

 

July 5 - Wales emerged victorious from the International Baseball clash against England in Tredegar Park on Saturday. England made 41 runs in their first innings and 60 in their second. Wales made 90 in their first innings before making the 13 needed to win.

 

NEWPORT BEAT PORT TALBOT

 

June 29 - Newport Cricket Club won at Port Talbot Town in their latest South Wales Cricket League clash. Port Talbot elected to bat and scored 230 for 7 off 50 overs including 50 from Dean Cox. Newport openers Michael Clayden and Gary Wood were in outstanding amassing 194 before Wood was out for 78. Partner Clayden scored 109 off 140 balls in a brilliant knock. Imran Hussain and Nathan Millichip scored the remaining runs with five overs to spare.

 

CARDIFF PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY

 

June 23 - Cardiff Blues will take on Newport Gwent Dragons in a pre-season match on Friday 27 August.  The fixture will also double as a testimonial match for veteran open-side flanker Martyn Williams and raise money for selected charities. Williams, who has made more than 100 appearances for the Blues, says that he is "honoured" by the testimonial.

 

NEWPORT CC MAINTAIN STRONG START

 

June 23 - Newport Cricket Club maintained their strong start to the South Wales Cricket League with a winning draw against Usk. The result puts Newport in third place behind Sully and Pontarddulais. Batting first Newport scored 213 all out dominated by an outstanding 122 off 123 balls by Nathan Millichip. Usk were pegged back to 187 for 8 by some good bowling including 4 for 41 from Imran Hussan.

 

ELLIS MARK TWO JOINS DRAGONS

 

June 15 - The Newport Gwent Dragons have recruited Wales-qualified Arthur Ellis, the Wasps and England Under-20 hooker following his brother Hugo from London to Newport. "I wanted to sort things out before the IRB Junior World Championships [in Argentina] so I could focus properly on things here," said 20-year-old Ellis. "I signed for Newport Gwent Dragons just before I came out, which I'm really excited about." Danny Wilson has also joined the Dragons from London Welsh , as an assistant coach.

 

ELLIS JOINS DRAGONS

 

June 14 - Newport Gwent Dragons will be bringing another Welshman home with their signing of back row forward Hugo Ellis from London Wasps. Ellis played for Wales Under 16 before crossing the river and representing England at Under 18, 19 and 20 level.

Now the young number 8 is returning to Wales with an eye on the Welsh jersey as well as a chance to turn out in Dragons colours. "It’s a boost for the region to have a player of Hugo’s potential joining us at the Dragons,” said Dragons Rugby Manager Robert Beale. “His arrival is in keeping with our desire to repatriate Welsh players to the region and continuing to build on our squad of young talented players.

NGDs SIGN UP CANADIAN

June 10 - Canada fullback Matt Evans will be giving a boost to the Newport Gwent Dragons back line next season as he joins the team at Rodney Parade on a 1 year contract. The international back, who is also at ease in the number 10 shirt will be coming to the region after finishing his duties with Canada in the Churchill Cup. “Matt is an exciting young player and he will be a valued member of our squad,” said Dragons Rugby Manager Robert Beale. (the press release from the Dragons refers to them as the Men Of Gwent rather than Newport Gwent Dragons)

DRAGONS IN DRAW OF ULTIMATE DEATH

 

June 8 - Newport Gwent Dragons reward for their better than average season is a group that they struggle to stay alive in as they face up to next year's Heineken Cup. They will play champions Toulouse, Glasgow Warriors and London Wasps.

The full Heineken Cup draw - Pool 1: Cardiff Blues, Northampton Saints, Edinburgh, Castres Olympique Pool 2: Leinster, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Saracens, Racing Metro 92 Pool 3: Munster, Ospreys, London Irish, Toulon Pool 4: Biarritz, Bath, Ulster, Aironi Rugby Pool 5: Leicester, Scarlets, Perpignan, Benetton Treviso Pool 6: Toulouse, London Wasps, Glasgow Warriors, Newport Dragons

OPEN FUTURE IN DOUBT

 

June 7 - The future of the Wales Open has been thrown into doubt after Sir Terry Matthews, the owner of Celtic Manor, refused to commit to the tournament on a long-term basis. The 2010 Ryder Cup venue's contract with the European Tour to stage the event is due for renewal in 2014 but Matthews, who has spent approximately £100m on redeveloping the Newport hotel to host the biennial event between Europe and the United States, is unsure whether the course will continue to host Wales' only professional golf competition past the end of the current contract.

"I don't know if 2014 will be the last Wales Open, we'll have to look at it but our commitment is until 2014," Matthews told BBC Sport. "We've had 11 years of this so far and I think we have probably reached our peak with the Ryder Cup coming here. How do you go up from there?

McDOWELL WINS OPEN

 

June 6 - Ireland's Graeme McDowell landed his fifth European Tour title after a storming final round 63 was good enough to secure the Wales Open at Celtic Manor in Newport. The 30-year-old started the day four off the overnight lead held by Marcel Siem. Siem ran up a quadruple bogey seven at the par three third when he clumsily found water twice. It effectively ended his chances of winning. McDowell covered the front nine in 30 strokes with no less than six birdies at the TwentyTen Ryder Cup course. The situation improved with birdies at 10 and 11 to get to 15 under 206. He remained composed to par the last seven holes and ensure the three shot margin between himself and home favourite Rhys Davies.

 

SIEM ON COURSE FOR SURPRISE WIN

 

June 5 - Germany's Marcel Siem is on course to claim a surprise victory at the Wales Open after taking a three-shot lead going into Sunday's final round at Celtic Manor in Newport. The 29-year-old has never played a major and his only previous European Tour victory came six years ago, but he turned in a superb round on Saturday to move ahead of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

 

SIEM AND DOHT MOVE IN TO OPEN LEAD

 

June 4 - Germany's Marcel Siem and Australia's Andrew Doht are tied for the lead at 6 under after the second round of the Wales Open at Celtic Manor. Siem had seven birdies in a 4-under 67, while Doht shot a 70. Denmark's Thomas Bjorn was a shot behind the co-leaders after a 68.

 

WOOD LEADS OPEN

June 3 - Chris Wood led the Wales Open after shooting a record-equalling 6-under 65 in the Wales Open over the Ryder Cup course at Celtic Manor on Thursday.

However, although Wood lives just 30 kilometres from the course just over the English border in Bristol, his six-birdie and bogey-free round failed to attract local support. That was concentrated on Welshmen Bradley Dredge (left) and Rhys Davies, with the golfing public in Wales desperate to see one of their own qualify for the European Ryder Cup team in October.

After a poor season in which he has managed only one top-five finish, at the Qatar Masters in January, Dredge has much work to do to fulfil those wishes.

He made a good start in his home championship with a 66 to share second place with Andrew Doht, the Australian winner of this year's Avantha Masters in India.

HARRIES REPLACES WILLIAMS ON NZ TOUR

 

June 1 - Newport Gwent Dragon wing Will Harries is replacing Shane Williams on the Wales tour of New Zealand. Williams is out with a shoulder injury. The tour has tests scheduled for Dunedin (19 June) and Hamilton (26 June).

June 3 update - Gavin Thomas is set to join the tour following the withdrawal of Andy Powell.

 

RYDER CUP CAPTAIN TO READ POTTER AND SIGN DRAGON!

 

May 27 - Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie will make a special appearance in Newport’s city centre on Tuesday June 1. With just four months until the start of The Ryder Cup, Colin will visit the Museum, Library and Art Gallery situated on John Frost Square in Newport’s city centre at 12 noon. He will visit the children’s library where he will read an extract from his favourite children’s book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Following Colin’s reading, library staff will share lots of other exciting stories plus there will be a special Harry Potter competition.

Leader of Newport City Council, Cllr Matthew Evans, said: “2010 is an important year for Newport and its residents and we are looking forward to welcoming Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain, Colin Montgomerie, to the city on Tuesday. I am sure many youngsters are looking forward to meeting and hearing Colin. I really appreciate the fact that Colin has found time in his busy schedule to visit the city ahead of the tournament in October.”

Before leaving Newport, Colin will sign a specially created golf-themed SuperDragon in the foyer of the Museum, Library and Art Gallery. The SuperDragons project is part of the Newport Festival 2010 – a year-long celebration of the city with numerous events and activities designed to get people feeling good about the city.

OPEN DAY AT NISV

 

May 25 - Newport International Sports Village (NISV) is offering members of the public the chance to experience its facilities at a free open day on Sunday May 30 between 11am and 4pm. Take a dip in the pool, try snorkelling, tennis, table tennis, badminton, cricket, athletics, badminton, judo, netball and many more. Or why not check out the gym or various aerobics classes?

There is the chance to visit the Velodrome, which is one of just two of its kind in the UK and was the chosen venue for the Great Britain Cycling Team’s training for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Visitors can also take a tour of Newport County’s football stadium, meet the players and take part in fun and activities for all the family. And, there is the opportunity to win fantastic prizes – including 12 months gym membership, free hire of tennis courts, free family swim and tickets for Tredegar House.

BASKETBALL HONOURS FOR CITY YOUNGSTERS

 

May 24 - Newport Gwent academy basketball club has only been running for just over a year but is already seeing the fruits of its labour with five junior members representing Wales at three different age groups.

Josh Smith and Darian Smith have represented Wales at U18 level while Tomas Davis-Parfitt and Nick Rothwell have both played for Wales U16s. Nick is also part of the Great Britain Development squad. Liam Jones has represented Wales at U15 level. The growing success of the basketball programme in Newport is mainly due to the dedication of a small number of volunteers who support and deliver coaching sessions. A further contributing factor to the growing success and increased participation is the excellent facilities at Newport City Council’s Active Living Centre which is where the club is based.

JONES JOINS DRAGONS

 

May 20 - Worcester and Wales fly-half Matthew Jones has completed his move to Newport Gwent Dragons. The 26-year-old will compete with Jason Tovey for the outside half jersey at Rodney Parade, with Japan international James Arlidge set to depart in the summer. Worcester were relegated from the Guinness Premiership.

 

RYDER CUP ROAD SHOWS

 

May 19 - If you want to know more about The Ryder Cup then make sure you visit a roadshow event. Members of Newport City Council will be on hand to answer your questions and queries and you will be able to find out more about the regeneration work that is happening in the city, how The Ryder Cup will affect you and the specially designed Ryder Cup curriculum and the Newport Festival. Events are planned at the Ringland Community Centre and the Newport Centre on May 25 and June 1 respectively. The road shows start at 5.30pm and will run until 7.30pm. There will be a presentation at 5.30pm followed by an opportunity for informal questions and answers as well as the chance to view the Newport 2010 promotional DVD.

 

HARRINGTON MISSES WALES OPEN

 

May 18 - Padraig Harrington has withdrawn from next month's Celtic Manor Wales Open (June 4 - 6) to undergo keyhole surgery on his knee. The three-time major champion will play this week's PGA Championship at Wentworth before having the procedure which will keep him out for two weeks.

 

JENKINS STEPS DOWN AS CHIEF EXEC

May 12 - The Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed that Gethin Jenkins, the region’s Chief Executive, will be leaving at the end of June to take up a new post outside of rugby as Chief Executive at Cardiff City FC. Mr Jenkins, who started as the Dragons Commercial Director and then later took over as the Chief Executive, has implemented an infrastructure that will enable the club to continue to grow and develop into the future. The Chairman Martyn Hazell said on behalf of the Directors: “We would like to thank Gethin for his hard work and dedication to the Dragons and Newport RFC over the past six years. He has been part of an organisation that has developed strong foundations and grown along sustainable lines during that period. We are confident that we can build on this legacy and continue to grow especially as we hope to announce new development plans imminently.”

Jenkins said: "As someone who grew up watching the Bluebirds from the Bob Bank, I am delighted to be joining Cardiff City. There are fantastic opportunities for this club over the next few years and I am looking forward to working with the directors, players and staff to build on what has already been established both from a business and sport perspective."

DUO TO LEAVE DRAGONS

 

May 11 - New Zealanders James Arlidge and Grant Webb are both set to leave Newport after two years at the Dragons, BBC Wales has stated. Japan international fly-half Arlidge has scored 259 points in 40 games at Rodney Parade. Matthew Jones could arrive to provide the fly-half cover to Jason Tovey. The Dragons have been linked with the Worcester and Wales 10, as well as Cardiff Blues back-five forwards Scott Morgan and Robin Sowden-Taylor.

 

DIABETES TECHNOLOGY HELPS ATHLETE BID FOR OLYMPIC GOLD

Diabetes is one of the biggest health risks in the UK, affecting 2.6 million people – but a student at the University of Wales, Newport is beating the condition after becoming one of the first athletes in the UK to be fitted with a special insulin pump to help her fulfil her ambition of winning Olympic gold – and has already sprinted to silver medal success.
Melanie Stephenson was laid low by diabetes for several months but recently made a remarkable come-back to win a silver medal at the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) championships, achieving a personal best of 24.60 in the 200 metres. Now she has her sights set on competing in the Commonwealth Games later this year and then hopes to be selected for the 2012 Olympics.“I feel this is a huge personal achievement as I’ve been out of sport for months because of my diabetes,” said 21-year-old fashion design student who took up running to keep fit when she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 13. Melanie’s problems began in March 2009 when she found she had become insulin resistant after having up to 10 injections a day. She had to stop all her athletics training as she was too ill to continue.

BUCKLAND BEATEN DESPITE BRAVE EFFORT

 

May 8 - John Murray added the vacant European lightweight title to his British crown by stopping Gary Buckland in the 11th round in Widnes last night. Underdog Buckland, from Newport in south Wales, battled bravely but was outmatched. A flurry of shots caught the bleeding and bruised Buckland late in the 11th and the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

 

DRAGONS DRUBBED

 

May 8 - A depleted Newport Gwent Dragons team stepped aside to allow the Ospreys a home play off in the final rounds of the Magners League. The Ospreys scored five tries in their 42-10 victory, the Dragons only one courtesy of scrum half Wayne Evans.

 

BUCKLAND READY TO UPSET THE ODDS

May 6 - Newport's Gary Buckland says he is ready to upset Manchester's John Murray in Friday's clash for the European and British lightweight titles in Widnes. "I know I am the underdog, but I am ready to surprise a few people," Buckland told the South Wales Argus. "This is the culmination of three years hard work," added Buckland, bidding to be Newport's first European champion since Dick Richardson in 1962.

DONS SCRUM HALF JOINS NGDs

 

May 5 - Newport Gwent Dragons have signed Nicky Griffiths from English Division One side Doncaster. Scrum-half Griffiths, 25, arrived at Doncaster via Cornish Pirates, Pertemps Bees, Worcester the Ospreys and was also been a member of the Wales Under 19 and Under 21 squads during his junior days.

 

CARDIFF OVERPOWER NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS

 

Apr 23 - It is a familiar tale. A Newport based team, plucky and inventive, loses to a Cardiff side wh also benefit from any lucky breaks available. A fortuitous bounce of the ball after 50 minutes left Martyn Thomas, the NGDs full back languishing and Ceri Sweeney eased through to score a try to put Cardiff in front. From that point on the capital city side demonstrated to much power for the Dragons, using the ability available off the bench to pin the home side back. A second try followed for Evans after a break by Halfpenny. Within minutes an 8-6 home advantage became a 20-8 lead for Cardiff. A determined effort at the end brought a couple of penalties and a well deserved bonus point for the Dragons. But the latter part of the match was marred by a serious ankle injury to Martyn Thomas. Tom Willis and his opposite number Rhys Thomas were sin-binned late on for fighting.

The Dragons started brightly with a fine try from Ben Castle after a flowing move on 20 minutes. But ultimately Cardiff were too strong for them. Attendance - 8108.

 

McDONALD HEADS SOUTH

 

Apr 23 - Hoani MacDonald will join the Melbourne Rebels Super 15 side in the summer. He will join Engkand fly-half Danny Cipriani, Wales No.8 Gareth Delve, All Black Greg Somerville plus Wallabies and Waratahs hooker Adam Freier and Queensland Reds tight-head prop Laurie Weeks.

 

EMPHATIC WIN FOR BUOYANT DRAGONS

 

Apr 18 - Newport Gwent Dragons beat Edinburgh in emphatic fashion at Rodney Parade this evening. The 49-28 victory secured a European Cup spot next season and kept alive their slim hopes of a Magners League play off. Will Harries scored an outstanding hat trick and was a constant threat to the Edinburgh defence. Edinburgh looked to have a significant advantage in the first half as NGD prop Gustafsson was sin binned and the Scots secured a penalty try to take the lead. However, they were unable to contain the fluency of the Newport based region's off loading game. Attendance - 7500.

 

DUO SIGN UP

 

Apr 15 - Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed that Tom Willis and Gavin Thomas have agreed two year contract extensions to stay with the Region until May 2012.

All Black Tom Willis has been the Dragons captain for the past two seasons after joining from Super 14 team, the Chiefs playing 41 times from the Dragons so far. Speaking on the extension Tom said, "I am delighted to have signed a contract extension".

 

DRAGONS CALL FOR COMMERCIAL MANAGER

 

Apr 13 - Newport Gwent Dragons are looking to appoint a Commercial Manager to oversee the commercial operation in "order to develop revenue opportunities for both the team, Rodney Parade Stadium and planned redevelopment." Closing date for applications is Friday 7 May!

 

GLASGOW TOO STRONG FOR DRAGONS

 

Apr 4 - Newport Gwent Dragons were second best to a Glasgow side at Firhill this afternoon. The Dragons came away from Glasgow with no reward and a 27-19 defeat. The home side managed three tries via Stortoni, Van der Merwe and Shaw. Dan Parks added four penalties. For the NGDs Will Harries came up with a try from a tap penalty taken by Wayne Evans and a conversion and four penalties from Jason Tovey. The latter again was in fine form and was unlucky to miss one long range penalty which rebounded off the square uprights used at Firhill. In the back row both Coombs and Faletau performed creditably but Glasgow's forwards had dominance particularly in the set piece. However, the Dragons remain well placed for a Heineken Cup spot (ten points ahead of Llanelli Scarlets with three games to play) and can claim their place with a bonus point victory over Edinburgh next weekend.

 

OSPREYS FAIL TO ACT OVER PHILLIPS

Mar 30 - The Ospreys have decided that Mike Phillips will not face disciplinary action for an incident during their 28-20 loss at Newport last week. The Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half allegedly swore at the Rodney Parade crowd after being jeered. "We've spoken with Mike and that matter's been dealt with and I'm sure we'll see a more constructive Mike at the weekend," coach Sean Holley said. "It's quite a difficult crowd at Rodney Parade, it acts as a 16th man."

LYDIATE OUT FOR REST OF SEASON

 

Mar 29 - Newport Gwent Dragons and Wales flanker Dan Lydiate will miss the rest of the club season with an ankle injury. The youngster came off after 32 minutes of the Dragons' 28-20 win over Ospreys on Saturday with ligament damage. He faces a race against time to be fit for Wales' 5 June Test against South Africa and the tour of New Zealand.

 

NGDs STORM TO WIN OVER OSPREYS

 

Jason Tovey was man of the match together with Wayne Evans

Mar 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons stormed to an impressive win over the Ospreys at Rodney Parade last night. Backed by a vibrant crowd the Newport based region raced in to a early lead after Will Harries gathered a neat chip from the outstanding Jason Tovey. Tovey added two penalties. The Ospreys responded with a penalty from Biggar and reduced the deficit when James Hook cart-wheeled through weak tackles to score for the Ospreys 10 minutes before half time. The Dragons struck a hammer ball just before the interval when Matthew Watkins ran between two front row forwards and then side stepped Lee Byrne for a fine converted try. The star-studded Ospreys were unable to make any headway in the second half and it was the NGD's who extended their lead when hard working wing Aled Brew took a neat pass from the excellent Wayne Evans to outstrip the defence and score with a leaping salmon routine. A late try from Walker and conversion from Hook reduced the margin to 28-20. The only sour note was an ankle injury for Dan Lydiate but he was ably replaced by Newport captain Andrew Coombes. Attendance - 6221.

 

Mar 23 - Newport Gwent Dragons have signed an agreement to move the majority of the region's training to Newport High School. In a move that addresses many of the region's concerns regarding training facilities, the Dragons will also be able to develop greater links with the local community. It is hoped that the deal will help raise the profile of rugby at the school and in the local area, as well as giving local pupils the opportunity to rub shoulders with professional sportsmen as role models.

Newport High School, which is in the final stages of a major redevelopment, boasts some fantastic sports facilities, including 2 football and 2 rugby pitches, a full-size Astroturf, hard court surfaces, an indoor gym and an indoor 25 metre swimming pool.

The school have also made office facilities available for the region so that analysis sessions and team meetings can take place on site. "This is a very important step forward for the Dragons," said Rugby Manager Robert Beale. "We have lived a very nomadic existence up until now and to have resolved our training facilities issues at the same time as gaining closer links with the local community is a great position to be in. DW Sports Fitness will continue to play a vital role in our rehabilitation programmes and our partnerships with both DW and the Sports Village remain strong and crucial to our strength and conditioning plans, but to have a training base within the region is a very important breakthrough."

 

DRAGONS BEATEN IN CONNACHT

 

Mar 17 - In a hugely disappointing result Newport Gwent Dragons were convincingly beaten by Connacht in Galway this evening. Connacht's Ian Keatley won the fly-half battle as the Magners League's basement side picked up a much-needed 16-3 win over the NGD's. Keatley kicked three penalties and converted Fionn Carr's first-half try to extend Connacht's impressive unbeaten home run, which stretches back to September, and dent the Dragons' play-off hopes. The under-strength Dragons were restricted to a first-half penalty from Jason Tovey. Attendance - 2000.

 

NEXT WORLD FOOTBALL ANNUAL MEETING IN NEWPORT

 

Mar 7 - The 125th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will take place at Celtic Manor, Newport between March 4-6 2011.

Ever since it was founded in the 19th century, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has played a vital role in international football. It acts as the guardian of the Laws of the Game and is responsible for studying, modifying and overseeing any changes to it. Since its foundation in 1904, FIFA, as football's world governing body, sought to team up with IFAB. Four representatives from FIFA and one each from England, N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales meet at an Annual General Meeting where they set out to identify, study and accept or reject possible alterations to the Laws.

At this year's meeting in Zurich held over the last few days the International FA Board voted against continuing any further experiments with goal-line technology and effectively ended any chance of video replays coming into the game.

 

STIRRING WIN FOR DRAGONS

 

Mar 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons pulled off their best win of the season against a strong Munster side at Rodney Parade this evening. The Dragons inspired by a brilliant display from fly half Jason Tovey won by 31-22. The Newport based region opened the scoring with a blistering run from Aled Brew after a beautifully timed wide pass by Tovey. Munster hit back with a penalty try before the NGDs extended their lead through two Tovey penalties. At the start of the second half a forward drive was followed by try for Harries near the posts. Flanker O'Donnell narrowed the margin after a flowing move from Munster before another break out from the Dragons led for a try out wide for Martyn Thomas. With the score at 31-15 Munster prop Buckley crashed over for a late converted try.

 

NEWPORT SQUASH CLUB LOSE TO DUFFIELD

 

Mar 4 - Newport Squash Club continued their difficult season in the British Squash Premier League with a 1-4 home defeat to Duffield. The night's only victory was a 3-1 win by Greg Tippings over Chris Fuller. Newport are one place off the bottom of the league with one match to play away to Pontefract.

 

HARRIES AND JONES SIGN UP FOR NGDs

Mar 2 - Dragons and Wales hooker Steve Jones has committed to another two years in Newport, keeping him at Rodney Parade until June 2012. The Neath born hooker played for UWIC and Neath before joining the NGDs at the inception of regional rugby and has proven a great servant to the club with both his reliable set-piece and dynamic work in the loose. In addition, Wales Sevens wing Will Harries has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal. Harries joined the Rodney Parade outfit last summer and has impressed enough to be offered an extended stay.

ALL-SQUARE AT RAVENHILL

 

Feb 19 - Newport Gwent Dragons battled to a deserved 22-all draw against Ulster at Ravenhill this evening. The Newport based region superbly led by Luke Charteris scored one try through hooker Steve Jones early in the second half to tie the score up. The impeccable Jason Tovey converted to put the NGDs 19-17 ahead. Ulster hit back with an unconverted try from Danielli to move in to a 22-19 lead. Tovey took the opportunity from a rare Dragons attack to slot an excellent drop goal to level the scores. Despite much intent from Ulster backed by a partisan crowd they could not break through the Dragons' defence. Earlier in the match Wallace scored a try for Ulster, Humphries added four penalties, Tovey also scored four penalties for the NGDs.

 

FUSSELL JOINS OSPREYS

 

Feb 9 - Newport Gwent Dragons wing Richard Fussell will join the Ospreys in the summer after his contract expires. The 25-year old has agreed a two-year deal that will keep him at the Ospreys until the end of the 2011-12 season.

 

LV CUP WIN FOR DRAGONS

 

Feb 7 - Newport Gwent Dragons pulled off a fine win in the LV Cup by beating English title pretenders Saracens 23-22 at Vicarage Road. Winger Will Harries was the outstanding player for the Dragons picking up a brace of tries, his second a brilliant solo effort from fifty metres out. Fly half Jason Tovey weighed in with a fine kicking display, scoring thirteen points including a late, decisive, drop goal.

 

SIGN UP FOR THE NEWPORT MILE!

Feb 2 - Newport International Sports Village will host the Sport Relief Mile on Sunday 21 March and residents are being urged to sign up for the fundraising event. Sport Relief is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events and the Sport Relief Mile is open to anyone regardless of ability or age. Participants can choose how far they want to go from one mile, three miles or six miles and the distance can be completed at a walk, jog or run.

Starting at the Velodrome at the Newport International Sports in Spytty at 10am, participants will need to sign up online before the event where they will automatically be set up with a Sport Relief giving page which can be emailed to friends and family to collect sponsorship.Sport Relief is a biennial charity event and has been running since 2002. At the heart of the campaign is the Sport Relief Mile. The charity encourages people to get together, get active and raise cash which will be used to change people’s lives both in the UK and overseas.To sign up for the Sport Relief Mile challenge visit www.sportrelief.com/the-mile/newport-mile.

HIGGINS WINS TITLE

 

Feb 1 - John Higgins claimed his 21st ranking tournament by beating Ali Carter 9-4 to win the Welsh Open in Newport. The 34-year-old beat great rival Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-final and kept up his good form by racing to a 5-0 lead in the field , and led 6-2 going into the evening session after breaks of 95, 101, 137 and 81.

Carter, the defending champion, matched the Scot over the next four frames but, at 8-4, Higgins then compiled a break of 76 to take the title for the second time - having first won it in 2000. The three-time World Champion looks set to take over the number one ranking spot from O'Sullivan in the coming weeks and he was understandably happy with the way things had gone in Newport. "I was delighted with the way I played for the first five frames," he said. "That was the best I'd ever felt really. I was just properly zoned in. It's hard to win any tournament these days with the quality of players around but I'm over the moon about winning the Welsh Open for a second time. The crowd here are one of the best. The Newport Centre is a great arena to play in."

 

NGDs HAMMER OSPREYS

 

Jan 29 - A remarkable kicking display by Jason Tovey contributed to a comfortable 40-19 LV Cup victory for Newport Gwent Dragons over the Neath-Swansea region, the Ospreys, at Rodney Parade this evening. Tovey kicked nine out of nine on his way to a personal tally of 25 points from seven penalties and two conversions. The Dragons built up a substantial half time advantage (26-14) including early first half tries by lock Adam Jones and skipper Ashley Smith. Even a Paul Turner half time team talk did not dampen the home sides spirits as they maintained their advantage despite a try from Tom Prydie. Aled Brew scored from a late flurry of activity from the Dragons. Attendance 6172.

 

O'SULLIVAN THROUGH

 

Jan 28 - Ronnie O'Sullivan took less than hour to dispose of Jamie Cope 5-0 in the Welsh Open on his way to the last eight. Matthew Stevens hit two century breaks but still tumbled out of his home tournament at the hands of Mark Allen by 5-2. Defending champion Ali Carter made it past Neil Robertson without too much trouble, dispatching the Australian 5-2. Carter will now face Ryan Day after the Welshman's 5-3 victory over Stephen Hendry. Stephen Maguire beat Barry Hawkins 5-1.

 

COPE TO FACE O'SULLIVAN

Jan 27 - Jamie Cope beat Ding Junhui 5-3 in the Welsh Open to set up a clash with world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan in the last 16. World number 15 Mark Williams also went through, 5-2 winner over Fergal O'Brien. Graeme Dott beat Joe Perry 5-3.

RONNIE ROCKETS THROUGH

Jan 26 - Ronnie O'Sullivan enjoyed a comfortable passage to the second round of the totesport.com Welsh Open as he dismissed Stuart Bingham with a 5-1 score-line at Newport Centre. The Rocket barely needed to get out of first gear as he eased past former practice partner Bingham to book a last 16 clash with Ding Junhui or Jamie Cope on Thursday afternoon. Matthew Stevens beat World Number 3 Shaun Murphy with a 5-4 win claiming the decider from 0-51 with a 75 clearance.

 

GLAWS OVERPOWER DRAGS

 

Jan 23 - A powerful second half performance from Gloucester gave them a comfortable 32-23 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The English side overturned a six point deficit for a bonus point victory having scored four tries via a hat trick from Akapusi Qera (3) and a penalty try. "All in all, we made too many errors," Dragons head coach Paul Turner told Sky Sports. It is the Dragons sixth successive defeat. Attendance - 5653.

 

TITLE SPONSOR FOR SNOOKER EVENT

 

Jan 21 - World Snooker has announced Totesport.com is the new title sponsor of the 2010 Welsh Open, which takes place at the Newport Centre, 25th-31st January. The Welsh Open, a ranking event since 1992, attracts the greatest players in the World.  Former Welsh Open champions include Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and last year’s winner Ali Carter. The new agreement will initially be for one year and the event will be known as the Totesport.com Welsh Open.  The tournament will be  broadcast on BBC Wales, Eurosport as well CCTV (China), Now TV (Hong Kong) and Showtime Arabia. Barry Hearn, who took over as Chairman of World Snooker last month, said: “This is a further boost for snooker and it proves we are definitely moving in the right direction for our sport. Having Totesport.com, one of the biggest betting brands in the World, sponsor the Welsh Open demonstrates the appeal of snooker."

 

DRAGONS LOSE BASEMENT BATTLE

 

Jan 15 - Glasgow moved off the bottom of Pool 2 on Friday with an entertaining 29-25 Heineken Cup win over the Newport Gwent Dragons at Firhill. The Dragons made it five defeats in a row suffering the loss of two early tries to Dewey and Beattie before Sidoli scored their first. Glasgow extended their lead to 18-5 thanks to Jackson and Gregor penalty scores. Harris scored a try for the Dragons and then Gomer Davies snatched another but two further penalties by Jackson kept the home side 24-19 at the break. The Dragons nudged in to a one point lead thanks to Shaun Connor and James Arlidge but more loose play allowed Fergus Thomson to gather a kick to saunter down the touchline for Glasgow's winning score with fifteen minutes to go.

 

RYDER CUP PRACTICE TICKETS AVAILABLE

 

Jan 11 - Golf enthusiasts will be afforded an unprecedented opportunity to experience the anticipation and excitement of the build-up to the 2010 Ryder Cup in Newport later this year by buying Practice Day tickets. From next Monday (January 18), anyone applying through the official ticket Website, www.rydercup.com/tickets will be able to book their places at The Ryder Cup by purchasing up to eight tickets per application for the three Practice Days at The Celtic Manor Resort on September 28, 29 and 30.

 

ARTHUR FIGHT DELAYED

Jan 8 - Jamie Arthur's challenge for Martin Lindsay's British featherweight title at the Newport Centre has been delayed. Former amateur star Arthur, 30, had hoped that the fight would be staged on 5 February. But the clash with undefeated Belfast man Lindsay, 27, is now provisionally scheduled for Wednesday, 17 March, St. Patrick's Day. "It's going to take longer to stage the fight than I hoped, but the fact it's in Newport more than makes up for it," Arthur told the South Wales Argus.

MOTORPOINT CONTINUE SPONSORSHIP DEAL

Jan 8 - Car supermarket group Motorpoint has agreed a two-year, six-figure extension to its sponsorship of the Newport Gwent Dragons. The company will continue to be the title shirt sponsor until the end of the 2012 season. As part of the agreement, the family stand at Rodney Parade will also be renamed The Motorpoint Family Stand.

CONNACHT GAME OFF

 

Jan 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons away game in Connacht this weekend has been postponed owing to the severe weather. Gerry Kelly, Connacht chief executive, told the Irish Times that all options were considered, including moving the game to an afternoon start on Saturday plus looking at other venues. “The Dragons were due to fly from Luton to Galway on Thursday but they told us they would have difficulty getting to the airport, especially following the overnight deterioration of the weather in the UK, and even then there would be no guarantee that flights would be operating,” said Kelly “Taking all factors into account and following discussions with the Dragons, which we have been having daily since the weekend, it was felt the best decision was to call-off the game at this stage. We discussed the matter with the Magners League and the difficulty our supporters might have trying to get to the venue was also a factor,” he said. The pitch at the Sportsground has been covered from last Thursday and since then heaters and another cover have been applied.

 

DRAGONS SIGN UP QUARTET

 

Jan 5 - Newport Gwent Dragons have re-signed four players on two-year deals to keep them at Rodney Parade until the end of the 2012 season. Wales Sevens World Cup-winner Aled Brew, Wayne Evans, Martyn Thomas and Tom Riley have all agreed new contracts with the region.

 

DRAGONS FAIL TO SHOW UP AS SCARLETS SNEAK WIN

 

Dec 31 - When it mattered Newport Gwent Dragons failed to show up for their clash with Llanelli Scarlets at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The West Walians can count themselves lucky that despite a poor display by them the Dragons were even worse. The Scarlets' clear advantage in the centre of midfield ultimately was the difference between the two sides. Jonathon Davies and Sean Lamont exposed the Dragons' defence on a number of occasions with Matthew Watkins particularly vulnerable. Watkins missed a tackle on Davies who passed to Rhys Priestland to score the only try of the game in the first half. Other than that it was an even battle with the kickers exchanging penalties or field goals but with little or no creative play from either side. Rhys Priestland put the Scarlets five points ahead with a fine key from the touchline with fifteen minutes to play. As it to confirm the point about creativity the Dragons battered away for over five minutes right at the end in an attempt to cross the Scarlets line with in excess of thirty phases of play in which they moved the Scarlets defence little more than eight metres. Unfortunately, they were held up over the Llanelli line and Pontyberem referee Nigel Owens had no hesitation in blowing his whistle for no-side. It was a pulsating end to a drab encounter, in a far from intimidating atmosphere (remember when Llanelli did not like to come to Rodney Parade?). Newport Gwent Dragons 9 Llanelli Scarlets 14.

 

CHARVIS IS NEW FORWARD COACH

 

Dec 30 - As Leigh Jones bids farewell to Newport Gwent Dragons on his way to Hong Kong Colin Charvis replaces him as forwards coach in the New Year. “Colin has done an excellent job as Defence Coach this season,” said Dragons Rugby Manager Robert Beale. “This role is a very important part of Colin’s development and fits in with this organisation’s aim to develop and promote from within. Taking over the Forwards Coach role until the end of the season will give Colin a great opportunity to establish himself as a coach of the future. I am sure that the respect he has earned in the game will serve him well in embarking on his coaching career.

 

DRAGONS HAMMERED IN GAME OF TWO HALVES

 

Dec 28 - Newport Gwent Dragons flattered to deceive against Cardiff Blues this evening. They turned in a fighting first half display and gained an impressive 13-3 lead including an excellent try from Aled Brew. But in the second half they fell apart conceding five tries as their defence crumbled and Cardiff picked up their intensity. With fifteen minutes played of the second half they were already ten points adrift of Cardiff. Cardiff's tries came from Bradley Davies, Mustoe, Rees, Shanklin and Tom James. The crowd was 15,210 although there looked much less than that in the ground. Final score - Cardiff 42 Newport Gwent Dragons 13.

 

DRAGONS FILL SCRUM HALF GAP

 

Dec 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons have signed former Wales under-20 scrum-half Gareth Williams from Harlequins to alleviate their scrum-half injury crisis. The 21-year-old from Neath is to join the Newport based team on loan as the region's three senior scrum-halves are injured. Wayne Evans could be out for up to six weeks with a knee problem while Danny Lee and Alex Walker are also injured. Williams will be a replacement in today's derby against the Cardiff Blues.

 

TURNER CONTRACT EXTENDED

 

Dec 23 - Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Paul Turner has agreed a two-year contract extension with the Magners League team. His new deal runs until May 2012. Turner said: "I am delighted the board have shown every confidence in my ability to continue to move the region forward. He added: "This is an important time of year for us, and me as head coach in regards to retention and recruitment of players for the forthcoming seasons".

 

BIARRITZ OUTCLASS DRAGONS AGAIN

 

Dec 19 - In a match played at Parc y Scarlets due to a frostbound Rodney Parade Newport Gwent Dragons were no match for Biarritz. The French side put themselves in pole position in Pool Two with an emphatic 26-8 victory. The Dragons started brightly with a try by Fussell but the match was dominated by a fine individual performance from Biarritz scrum half Dimitri Yachvilli. The scrum half had a personal tally of twenty three points including two excellent tries, Damian Traille also added a drop goal. The Dragons were distinctly lacklustre and have now conceded 75 points in two matches against Biarritz.

 

CRUSADERS HEAD TO WREXHAM

Dec 15 - Crusaders have confirmed their move from south Wales to the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. The old Celtic Crusaders club have been taken over by Wrexham Football Club and will play 11 of their 13 home matches at the Racecourse Ground, including the opening fixture against defending champions Leeds on January 28.

"North Wales has been starved of major sporting success for too many years and we are confident we can achieve that success in Super League with Crusaders RL," said Wrexham chief executive Paul Retout. "Bringing Super League to Wrexham is akin to bringing Premiership football to Wales. Crusaders RL really puts Wrexham on the map. It's great news for the town, for Wales and for rugby league." Plans to move the club from Bridgend to Newport were scrapped when new investment failed to materialise and owner Leighton Samuel agreed to cut his losses by transferring the club to the Wrexham consortium.

BIARRITZ BLITZ NGDs

Dec 13 - Biarritz Olympique were too hot for the Newport Gwent Dragons in today's Heineken Cup clash  at Parc des Sports Augilera. The French side, currently eighth in the Top 14 were a class above their opponents. Indiscipline from the Dragons marked the first half with both Gustaffson and Webb yellow carded as the onslaught came from the home side. An early penalty try was followed by two Yachvili penalties. James Arlidge scored two penalties for the Dragons before a further spell of pressure from Biarritz. Yachvili added a further penalty before scoring himself, his try swiftly followed by an interception try from Ngwenya. At half time it was 30-6. The second half saw full back Ian Balshaw claim a brace of tries in the first twelve minutes to secure the bonus point for Biarritz. Tom Riley crashed over for a try after the Dragons gained a brief spell of possession with sub Bearman at the helm. Biarritz had the last word with Valentine Courrent scoring and converting a try minutes before the final whistle to make the final score 49-13.

HASKINS CLAIMS TITLE

Dec 12 - Lee Haskins added the Commonwealth super-flyweight title to his British belt after beating Don Broadhurst in a scrappy points win in Newport last night. The judges scored the contest 117-113, 116-113, 116-113 all in Haskins' favour as he took away Broadhurst's Commonwealth strap.

Two of Britain's Beijing Olympic medallists also had fights in Newport, with David Price and Tony Jeffries both first round winners against below-par opponents. Giant heavyweight Price just took 33 seconds and one punch to floor a frightened Dmitrijs Basovs, and it was only marginally harder for Jeffries as he finished off Latvian Anrejs Tolstihs in two minutes 17 seconds. Jamie Arthur warmed-up for his British featherweight title shot with an unconvincing points victory over Mickey Coveney. The 29-year-old won 59-56 on points in their six-round bout.

DRAGONS DRUB LEINSTER

Dec 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons drubbed Leinster in a convincing 30 points to 14 victory at Rodney Parade this evening. The Newport based region took an early lead with a simple handling movement for an Aled Brew try to begin an excellent first half charge. Fly half James Arlidge showed great presence of mind to forego a kick at goal to skirt for a try in the corner against an unsuspecting Leinster defence. An excellent flowing move soon afterwards led to a fine try for scrum half Wayne Evans. They wrapped up the bonus point with Fussell scoring out wide after a superb miss pass from Arlidge. Having secured the bonus point the Dragons maintained their adventurous approach but were only able to add a couple of penalties in the second half. Depleted Leinster (minus their Irish squad players) grabbed a late try through Keogh. Attendance - 5437.

CITY CLUB WINS TRIATHLON AWARD

Dec 3 - Newport and East Wales Triathlon Club (NEWT) is celebrating after being named the Welsh Triathlon Club of the Year 2009 through the British Triathlon and Home Nations Volunteer Award scheme.The club was only established four years ago, but in that short time has grown, and now boasts over 40 athletes who attend up to four weekly sessions run by volunteer coaches in swimming, running and cycling.

In the last 12 months, the club has run a number of events and held six events between April and September of this year, including the Blaenavon Triathlon, the longest standing triathlon race in the UK, and had its biggest ever entry field. NEWT has worked with Newport City Council to access funding opportunities and facilities. The club shares facilities with Newport Harriers running club and City of Newport Swimming Club. The last four years has seen the club gain funding from the Sports Council Community Chest and Welsh Assembly Government free swim initiative which has been used to support athletes with new training equipment, events to compete in and coach and volunteer education.

DOUBT CAST OVER CRUSADERS MOVE TO NEWPORT

 

Nov 30 - The Rugby Football League have acknowledged "time is pressing" for Welsh club Crusaders to resolve the uncertainty over where they will play next year, according to the Press Association.

So far Crusaders have confirmed only that their first home match of the 2010 engage Super League season will be played in Wrexham. Crusaders left Bridgend at the end of last season for a new base at Newport but as yet are unsure when they will be able to use the city's Rodney Parade ground.

The RFL have promised to make a full statement in due course. Nobody at the club was available for comment on Monday afternoon. The situation is an unsatisfactory one for the competition and supporters given that the 2010 fixtures were published a fortnight ago. Playing more games in Wrexham might also cause consternation with some clubs in the game's traditional heartland, particularly those that lost out on a Super League licence to Crusaders. One of the factors in Crusaders' favour when they won a 2009-11 licence was their isolated location in south Wales - but Wrexham is just 32 miles from Widnes, one of the unfortunate clubs last time. Crusaders are not, however, in breach of their licence by moving location.

BROADHURST READY FOR NEWPORT BOUT

 

Nov 25 - Birmingham super-flyweight Don Broadhurst is confident he can beat British champion Lee Haskins in Newport on 11 December. Broadhurst, 25, is also putting his Commonwealth belt on the line as he protects his unbeaten record. "I talk the talk and I walk the walk - he's nowhere near the calibre of some of the lads I've boxed internationally for England," he told the BBC. "I'm ready for this fight - I've been calling Lee Haskins out." The domestic dust-up is being dubbed 'the battle of the little big men'. Southpaw Haskins, who comes from Bristol, claimed the British belt with a unanimous points win over Andy Bell last November and has won 19 of his 21 contests as a professional. However he is likely to start as the underdog against Broadhurst, who has an unbeaten 11-fight record. The fight will be featured live on Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports HD 1 from 8pm on 11 December.

 

LYDIATE ON THE BENCH FOR WALES

 

Nov 18 - Dan Lydiate is named among the replacements and the Newport Gwent Dragons back-row will win his first Wales cap if he comes off the bench against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

"Dan has impressed in training, we have selected a small squad and he is the only one who has not been involved so far," Coach Warren Gatland stated "So we felt it was important for his development that he gets the opportunity to win his first cap and put what he has learnt into practice." Luke Charteris is again selected in the second row.

MALCOLM LOSES LOTTERY FUNDING

 

Nov 15 - 200m runner Christian Malcolm have had his lottery funding withdrawn by UK Athletics. Malcolm, 30, who finished fifth in the Olympic 200m final in 2004 and again in 2008. The funding programme, which runs annually from December to November, is split into two levels of funding - Podium and Development - each with strict criteria and standards which must be met in selection and maintained with the support of UKA staff.

“Will I have to sign on the dole? I might have to,” said Malcolm, speaking for the first time about the loss of funding to Wales Online “Let’s just say there won’t be a Christmas in my house this year.But I want to do stuff for the kids in Newport and have a little academy, not just a sprint academy, but for kids to develop their own talents.” The top-tier “podium” funding package that Malcolm was on is worth around £24,000, half of which is cash and the other half services such as physios.

He added “The first thing is I want to do is go on.I have three years left in me and I want to go on to the 2012 Olympics.”

LEICESTER OVERCOME DRAGONS

 

Nov 14 - Newport Gwent Dragons put in a spirited effort but were eventually overcome by a stronger Leicester side in the LV=Cup at Welford Road this afternoon. The Tigers were a point behind at half time as they struggled to contain the brighter Dragons backs. Two first half tries from Tovey and Brew gave the Newport based region a 12-11 lead. But a try from Anthony Allen following a Ben Youngs break and a penalty try for a collapsed scrummage near the NGD line put Leicester in to a 23-15 lead midway through the second half. An interception try from Rhodri Gomer Davies brought the scoreline back to 23-20 before Toby Flood struck two late penalties to make it 29-20.

 

SQUASH SIDE STRUGGLE

 

Nov 11 - Newport Squash team continue to struggle in the British Premier League they followed up their 4-1 defeat at Nottingham with a 5-0 defeat away to Derbyshire side Duffield. The details are as follows -

 

 

GOLF FANS WARNED TO BEWARE OF TICKET SCAMS

 

Nov 9 - Organisers of The Ryder Cup today issued a warning to all golf fans to be vigilant of unscrupulous agents offering forged or invalid entrance tickets for next year’s contest at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The 2010 Ryder Cup between Europe and the United States is being staged on October 1-3 next year with Photo ID tickets introduced for the first time.

Richard Hills, The European Ryder Cup Director, said: “We need to make it clear to anyone intending to be at The 2010 Ryder Cup that they are strongly advised to purchase tickets through the official channel. Failure to comply with this warning could lead to fans being seriously overcharged for tickets which are simply not valid and unnecessary disappointment as those unwitting fans are turned away. We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from members of the public who have paid for Ryder Cup tickets and hospitality through unofficial sources. In all cases the sums involved have been far in excess of the face value of the tickets and it would appear that the seller is unable to absolutely guarantee entry into the event.”

TOP SNOOKER RETURNS TO CITY IN JANUARY

Nov 9 - Defending champion Ali Carter is looking forward to reviving happy memories when snooker’s Welsh Open comes back to the Newport Centre from 25-31 January 2010. Some of the world’s best players, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Stephen Hendry, Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and local players Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens will be competing for the trophy in the world-ranking event. For tickets call 01633 656 757.

DRAGONS TAKE THE WIND OUT OF SALE

 

Nov 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons pulled off a comfortable win over Sale at Rodney Parade this evening. The 20-9 victory included tries from Shaun Connor and (late in the second half) from scrum half Danny Lee. Attendance - 5659.

 

CRUSADERS REBRAND

 

Nov 2 - Celtic Crusaders will be re-branded as Crusaders Rugby League to coincide with their move to Newport for 2010. Formed as Celtic Crusaders in 2005, the club has also changed their logo to the Prince of Wales feathers on a St David's cross background. Chief executive Mike Turner said: "We've been working hard on building a club that represents Wales and not just one area. We're looking to the future."
 

NARROW WIN FOR DRAGONS

 

Nov 1 - Newport Gwent Dragons clung on to beat Edinburgh 9-8 at a rain-swept Murrayfield this evening. In an undistinguished match affected by the appalling conditions James Arlidge gave the Newport based region a 9-0 advantage with three first half penalties. Edinburgh hit back hard in the second half but met resilient defence from the Dragons. Phil Godman slotted a penalty to reduce the margin to 9-3 before sustained pressure brought a try after 67 minutes for wing Andrew Turnbull. Crucially, Godman missed the conversion and the Dragons held on for a narrow victory.

 

LYDIATE NAMED IN WALES SQUAD

Oct 26 - Flanker Dan Lydiate has been named in Wales' 29-man squad for the upcoming autumn internationals. The Newport-Gwent Dragons forward is the only uncapped player selected by Warren Gatland for the games against New Zealand, Samoa, Argentina and Australia.Ospreys flanker Ryan Jones retains the captaincy, the other Dragons player in the squad is Luke Charteris.

DRAGONS BEATEN IN LLANELLI

 

Oct 23 - Newport Gwent Dragons went down 18-3 to the Scarlets in Llanelli tonight. In a drab and disappointing affair the Newport based region managed one Arlidge penalty as against six for home fly half Rhys Priestland.

 

 

EVANGELOU JOINS CALZAGHE CAMP FOR NEWPORT

 

Oct 21 - London-born Cypriot Chris Evangelou will make his debut for Calzaghe Promotions on the card of their latest event in Newport on 20 November. The 23-year-old light-welterweight, who only started boxing competitively as an amateur at the age of 18, has represented Cyprus and also narrowly missed out on a place at last year's Beijing Olympics.

Evangelou's talent was spotted by the Calzaghe camp after watching his fights on YouTube and it was the lure of one of his idols that made him decide to come to Wales. "I went to the Los Angeles Wildcard boxing club at the end of July under the coaching of Jesse Reid and Freddy Roach who trained me for a month," he told the BBC.

NEWPORT SQUASH CLUB LOSE HOME MATCH

Oct 21 - Newport Squash Club lost their second Premier League fixture this time at home by 4 to 1 against Chapel Allerton.

DRAGONS HOLD OFF GLASGOW

 

Oct 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons held off Glasgow by 22-14 to confirm a brighter start to this year's Heineken Cup campaign. The Dragons captain Adam Rhys Jones, Luke Charteris and Martyn Thomas scored three first half tries as the Dragons stretched in to a 22-7 lead, Johnnie Beattie got a try for Glasgow. A score from Kevin Tkachuk converted by Dan Parks brought Glasgow within range late on but they were unable to press home a number of opportunities.

 

NOBLE TAKES OVER AT CELTIC CRUSADERS

 

Oct 14 - Brian Noble has promised to pull together a 'competitive' team at Celtic Crusaders despite lagging behind the other engage Super League teams in terms of recruitment. The former Wigan boss was confirmed as the new head coach at their new base at Rodney Parade in Newport with Jon Sharp named as first team coach and Iestyn Harris as his assistant. Noble revealed that despite his past achievements in the game he still retains the passion and ambition to turn the Crusaders into a successful club. "I'm very confident that two, maybe three years down the track, we'll have a very stable Super League entity in South Wales which is what the game of rugby league needs," he added.

According to the Guardian newspaper Noble has already drawn up a shopping list of targets, having inherited 10 contracted players at the Crusaders. Among the list of possible new recruits are understood to be the Hull FC half-back or hooker Tommy Lee and Wakefield's New Zealand forward Frank Winterstein, both of whom were allowed to leave their respective clubs at the end of the season. Two more free agents, the former Hull FC props Paul King and Jamie Thackray have also been linked with the Welsh club.

LEIGH JONES HEADS FOR HONG KONG

 

Oct 13 - Newport Gwent Dragons Leigh Jones has revealed his intention to head east. Jones will leave Newport in the New Year to become Coach Development Manager for Hong Kong Rugby although the timing of his departure is yet to be confirmed. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with both Newport and the Dragons,” said Jones “I have been offered an opportunity to further my career and am grateful to the region for their understanding in allowing me to pursue this option." Jones has been at the Dragons since the inception of regional rugby, also having coached Newport RFC to a premiership title in 2003/4.

 

GLOUCESTER SQUEEZE PAST NGDs

 

Oct 9 - Gloucester squeezed past Newport Gwent Dragons last night at Kingsholm last night with Nicky Robinson scoring a late penalty to secure a 19-17 victory. Gloucester, depleted by a number of injuries and suspensions, continued their inconsistent form and were threatened by the Dragons for long periods but ultimately indiscipline from the Newport based region allowed the west country giants home. After a 24th minute converted try for the Cherry and Whites from Akapusi Qera, James Arlidge went over for the Dragons and converted his score. Joe Bearman skipped clear after 29 minutes to touchdown, converted by Arlidge for a 14-7 half time advantage. Robinson put Gloucester in the lead with three penalties up to the 55th minute. Arlidge put the Dragons back in front with a penalty on the hour before Robinson's late score gave Gloucester the win. Attendance - 11,846.

 

NEWPORT LOSE FIRST MATCH

 

Oct 8 - Newport lost their first Premier Squash League match going down 4-1 to a powerful Esporta Oxford side. Leading players Sutherland and Frankcomb were both beaten.

 

NEWPORT SQUASH TEAM ENTERS THE BIG LEAGUE

Oct 4 - Newport Squash Team will enter the big time on Tuesday when they take their place in the 12-team Premier Squash League. Newport, based at Rodney Parade, begin their maiden league campaign away to Esporta Oxford.

Led by Australian Aaron Frankcomb and including New Zealander Campbell Grayson the team will feature three Welsh players including Newport born and bred Rob Sutherland , left foreground, ranked 71 in the World.

The first home tie commences at 7pm on Tuesday 20th October against Chapel Allerton from Derbyshire, with other fixtures against Nottingham, Oxford, Duffield and Pontefract. If Newport finish in the top two they progress to the semi-finals in April against the top finishing clubs from the Southern division consisting of mainly Home Counties based sides.

Anyone interested in learning more about the club, the game of squash or the up and coming league programmes should either contact the Club Professional, Greg Tippings on 07824 660035 or browse the club website on www.newportsquashclub.org.uk for more information.

 

DRAGONS SLIP PAST CONNACHT

 

Oct 3 - In damp and windy conditions at Rodney Parade Newport Gwent Dragons continued their solid home form this evening with a 23-10 win over traditional fellow strugglers Connacht. The Dragons led 13-10 at half time, James Harris scoring a close range try, Arlidge converting and scoring a penalty. Mia Nikora, the Connacht outside half scored all their points including a converted try and a penalty on the stroke of time. The Dragons had only a slight edge in an evenly contested match and were flattered by the winning margin mostly attributable to late Joe Bearman try. Connor converted adding to his penalty earlier in the second half. Attendance 5,331.

 

CASTLE CROCKED UNTIL NEW YEAR

 

Sep 29 - Dragons' New Zealand prop Ben Castle is unlikely to play until the new year.  According to reports Castle will be out for three months following an operation on his bicep, torn in his only appearance for the Newport - based region at Coventry.

 

MUNSTER TOO STRONG FOR NGD's

 

Sep 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons put up stout resistance for the first forty minutes at Munster's Musgrave Park this evening. At the interval a penalty apiece left a shared score-line. But Munster found some form in the second half with four tries (three from Nick Williams, one from Doug Howlett) to finish with a 27-3 advantage.

 

SMITH SIGNS EXTENSION DEAL

 

Sep 25 - Centre Ashley Smith has put pen to paper on a new three-year deal with the Newport Gwent Dragons. The 22-year-old Newportonian will captain the Magners League side against Munster on Saturday. He said: "There is a real buzz around Rodney Parade and it is a good place to be. I am confident that my future lies here with the Dragons."

 

DRAGONS BEAT GLASGOW

 

Sept 18 - Newport Gwent Dragons gained a bonus point victory over Glasgow winning 30-19 at Rodney Parade tonight with tries from Arlidge, Smith, Tovey and Brew. Arlidge added two conversions and Tovey two penalties as the Newport-based region pulled off a fine win.

 

LEINSTER SEE OFF DRAGONS

 

Sept 12 - Newport Gwent Dragons put up stern resistance but were ultimately second best to Leinster 23-14 at the Dublin Showground. The 15,145 crowd had to wait over 50 minutes for their first and only try D'Arcy setting Nacewa free to score. Sexton added four penalties, Berne a penalty and a drop goal. Martyn Thomas scored a late try for the Dragons, Arlidge added a drop goal and two penalties.

 

DRAGONS WIN OPENER

 

Sept 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons made an emphatic start to their new season with a 23-6 win over Ulster in the Magners League. A 4,566 Rodney Parade crowd saw the Newport-based region score three tries through Aled Brew, Richard Fussell and Ashley Smith. Jason Tovey added a conversion with James Arlidge scoring two penalties.

 

DRAGONS WIN FINAL PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY

 

Aug 29 - Newport Gwent Dragons beat Coventry 29-8 at the Butts Park Arena in their final pre-season friendly last night. The English Championship side dominated first half territory and had the edge in the scrummage but turned round 10-3 down, Adam Jones and Will Harries scoring the Dragons tries. Following a raft of changes at half time it was the Dragons who gained the upper hand with tries from Brew, Hall and Fussell. Coventry scored a late consolation try through lock Louis McGowan.

 

IMPRESSIVE SUPPORT FOR RETURN OF RUGBY LEAGUE TO NEWPORT

 

Fireworks greet the arrival of the Celtic Crusaders tonight at Rodney Parade

Aug 22 - Predictably the mighty Leeds Rhinos cruised to a 68-nil victory over Celtic Crusaders in the Super League at Rodney Parade. The result was nailed on as soon as Crusaders were left bereft of six of their Aussies, now deported due to visa irregularities. Their locally based replacements were no match for the superstars in the champions ranks. The Rhinos took no time to find their feet and ran in a total of thirteen tries in a match of exhibition standard. With the likes of Maguire, Burrow, Peacock, Hall and Webb in their side it is unlikely there will be a better rugby side at Rodney Parade in the coming nine months.

Perhaps as impressive, a crowd of 5597 was at the old stadium to see the return of rugby league. The passionate gathering included a significant majority supporting Leeds who no doubt will bring much needed income to Rodney Parade and to the city of Newport over the weekend.

 

 

LATE TRY SEALS IT FOR DRAGONS

 

August 22 - A late try from Will Harries secured victory for Newport Gwent Dragons in their friendly with Worcester last night. The 16-10 scoreline flattered the home side in a keenly contested match. The try was converted by Shaun Connor who made matters safe with a long distance penalty in injury time. The Dragons earlier points, two penalties, came from James Arlidge. Willie Walker, playing at fly half, scored all Worcester's points (a converted try and a penalty). Attendance - 3235.

 

FOOTBALL CAMP OFFER

August 19 - Newport Centre is offering buy one get one free places on football camp and trampolining from now until the end of the school holidays. Simply quote ‘Newport Centre offer’ when booking and bring a friend for free! Please note both bookings will need to be made at the same time. This offer is available for football camps on August 20, 25 and 27. Camp runs from 10am until 3pm and costs £10.75 (plus a discount of 25 per cent if booked and paid for at least 24 hours in advance). Trampolining takes place on August 24 and 28 from 2pm until 3pm and costs £2.15. For more information call 01633 656757 or visit www.newport.gov.uk/leisure.

RUGBY LEAGUE PLAYERS DEPORTED BEFORE NEWPORT MATCH

 

August 18 - Six Celtic Crusaders players are to be deported after immigration officials ruled they breached visa regulations according to the BBC. The UK Border Agency says visas used to bring the Australians to the Bridgend-based Super League side were invalid. Captain Jace van Dijk, top try-scorer Tony Duggan and star player Damien Quinn are among the banished players. The Crusaders said they had co-operated with the UK Border Agency and would abide by its ruling. A UK Border Agency statement read: "As the result of an intelligence-led investigation into possible immigration offences among players at Celtic Crusaders, we can confirm that six Australian nationals have been served with papers confirming that they are illegally present in the UK."

Crusaders chief executive Mike Turner said: "Celtic Crusaders have co-operated fully with the UK Border Agency's investigation and we will abide by their findings. This situation does however provide us with an ideal opportunity to give some Welsh youngsters valuable first team action for our final three games of the season, starting this Saturday when we play Leeds Rhinos in Newport."

CARDIFF BEAT NEWPORT IN CRICKET TITLE BATTLE

 

August 10 - Newport and Cardiff fought out a title decider in the Thomas, Carroll South Wales Cricket League on Saturday. Cardiff were 202 all out in 49 overs at the Diamond Ground in Cardiff. Newport with eight wickets down and requiring seven off the last over lost their last two wickets in dramatic fashion to finish six runs short.

 

WATKINS JOINS DRAGONS

August 3 - As expected Newport Gwent Dragons have moved quickly to fill the gap left by Rory Sidey by signing Wales centre Matthew Watkins from Gloucester on a two-year deal. Watkins, who began his professional career at Newport before moving to the Scarlets and then Gloucester, will replace the Waratahs-bound Sidey. And the 19 times capped Watkins can't wait to return to Newport. "I'm really pleased to be coming back to Rodney Parade," said Watkins "I'm a local lad and after seven years of playing away from here, I'm looking forward to coming home". Watkins, 30, started 19 times for Gloucester last season, coming off the bench on three occasions and scoring two tries. He has 18 international caps – his last appearance was back in 2006.

SIDEY 'LEAVING DRAGONS'

 

August 1 - New South Wales Waratahs claim they have signed Newport Gwent Dragons Australian centre Rory Sidey. The 23-year-old signed a two-year deal at the Rodney Parade club last summer but is now set to leave the Dragons. Sidey has not taken part in Dragons pre-season training and Waratahs coach Chris Hickey says he has signed a two-year contract for the Super 14 club. "He is coming to us with some good experience and good performances in the Heineken Cup," said Hickey. Sidey has disappointed scored only two tries in 18 appearances during his season at the Dragons. He looks set to return to his native Australia and join the high-flying Waratahs. This story is not new, however, Hickey revealed that he was talking to Sidey on July 28 on the Fox Sports website. The Waratahs had been seeking replacements in their backline following the shock departures of Timana Tahu and Lote Tuqiri.

 

CRUSADERS SET FOR NEWPORT MOVE

 

Aug 1 - Celtic Crusaders are hoping to sign a deal by the end of next week to make Newport Gwent Dragons’ Rodney Parade ground their new home from 2010.  

The Crusaders actually play their first ever match in Newport on Saturday 22nd August this year when they take on Super League champions Leeds Rhinos in what was originally to be an “on the road” match. Now it looks like that this will be their first game in a new home. The Welsh side were one of five engage Super League clubs who last week received a letter stating that their present stadiums were not up to Super League standard and that their place in the competition is in jeopardy should they not move or have a new ground built.  Crusaders’ chief executive Mike Turner spoke on Sky Sports’ Boots ‘n’ All programme and outlined the plans. “We’re negotiating with them [Newport] at the moment,” his said. “Hopefully within the next 10 days we’ll have a contract signed and we’ll be moving to Newport.”

 

RYDER CUP TICKET DEADLINE LOOMS

July 27 - Only a few days remain for golf fans to sign up for one of the hottest tickets in sport – The Ryder Cup – as the ballot for the initial ticket offer for next year’s eagerly-awaited contest at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales closes at midnight this Friday, July 31 (BST). Anyone wishing to secure tickets which best match their specific requirements for The 2010 Ryder Cup, and to get ahead of the game in relation to booking accommodation, is advised to register for this initial ticket offer.

Alongside the Olympic Games, the football World Cup and the Wimbledon tennis championships, the Ryder Cup stimulates the sporting passions like no other event in world golf.

Golf enthusiasts wishing to be part of the unmatchable Ryder Cup atmosphere can still sign-up for the computerised random lottery on www.rydercup.com/tickets with the draw taking place early next month. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will then be notified of the result by e-mail. A second batch of tickets will be made available by the same ballot system, starting on a date to be announced next month and running through the winter of 2009, with the results of that random lottery being announced in the Spring of 2010. Tickets for The 2010 Ryder Cup, to be played on The Twenty Ten Course from October 1-3, range in price from £30 on the Tuesday and Wednesday Practice Days to £130 on Sunday - and Season Tickets for Two Days, Four Days and Six Days ranging from £140 to £430.

BUCKLAND SEALS IT BY A POINT

 

July 25 - Gary Buckland got a single point decision over Henry Castle to earn his chance to challenge for the British Lightweight title. Referee Richie Davies scored the official eliminator at Newport Centre 96-95 in favour of the Cardiff boxer. Buckland trains out of Newport's St. Joseph's Boxing Club. Veteran Newport boxer Paul Samuels came up short against 21 year old prospect Danny Butler by a score of 98-94 for the vacant British Masters middleweight crown. The two bouts were part of a highly entertaining and well supported seven fight card put together by Ricky Hatton Promotions.

 

LUSCOMBE RETIRES

 

July 24 - Former Newport rugby star Hal Luscombe has retired from professional rugby. The former Wales international moved from Harlequins to Worcester last summer on a two-year deal. The South African born centre-cum-wing, who won 16 caps for his adopted country, moves on to pursue what the Worcester club describes as ‘different ambitions’.

He first came to Britain seven years ago when he signed for Newport as an 18 year old after being brought over by Tony Brown, the former Newport and Dragons benefactor. His Newport debut was in the 59-5 win against Uruguay in front of 8500 on 18 November 2001. His Newport RFC record  was: 2001/2-2003/4 : 25 appearances / 3tries. When he signed for Harlequins in 2004 Luscombe stated : "I've been at Rodney Parade for the past seven years and have played under six different coaches in that time. I've loved playing for Newport and the Dragons...my decision might have been different had Tony Brown still been there."

The first four rounds of Heineken Cup's fixtures have been announced. Newport Gwent Dragons play in the opening televised fixture at Gloucester on October 9 (kick off 8pm). Thereafter, October 16 they play Glasgow at home  (kick off 7.30pm), December 13 they play Biarittz away (kick off 1.45pm), December they play Biarritz at home (kick off 8pm, televised live on Sky).

CALZAGHE GOES IN TO BOXING PROMOTION

 

July 21 - At a Press conference today at Celtic Manor in Newport a joint venture was announced between Joe Calzaghe Enterprises Ltd. and Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group, as both companies entered the boxing promotions arena. Calzaghe Promotions, which aims to become a heavyweight promotions company not just in the UK but throughout Europe, will hold its first fight bill at Newport Leisure Centre on 21 August 2009 with its 'The Boys are Back in Town' promotion featuring three of Calzaghe Promotions' contracted fighters, Gavin Rees, Bradley Pryce and Tony Docherty.

Calzaghe Promotions has also reached an agreement with Enzo Calzaghe and Newbridge Boxing Club for Enzo Calzaghe to train and manage its contracted boxers. Joe Calzaghe said of his new venture: "Calzaghe Promotions is dedicated to providing boxers with the right opportunities, to be managed professionally and caringly and to provide training that allows them to reach their full potential.."
 

 

NEWPORT CC WIN AT CROESYCEILIOG

 

July 20 - Newport comfortably won at Croesyceiliog in the Thomas, Carroll South Wales Cricket League. Newport scored 270 -5 after being put in to bat first. Clayden scored 85. The home side were dismissed for 151. Ryan Aingworth took 4-34.

 

TWO WEEKS REMAINING TO SIGN UP FOR RYDER CUP TICKETS

July 17 - Golf fans still have two weeks to sign up for Ryder Cup tickets for the event at Celtic Manor, Newport between October 1 and 3 2010. The publicity states "The Ryder Cup ticket is now recognised as one of the hottest in sports – on a par with the Olympics, the football World Cup and Wimbledon – and golf fans have only two weeks remaining until July 31 to ‘sign-up’ for the initial ballot for 2010. Full details on how to apply are available on www.rydercup.com/tickets and the computerised random lottery draw will take place in August".

DRAGONS FIXTURES OUT

July 14 - Newport Gwent Dragons will take on Ulster at Rodney Parade in the opening match of the new Magners League season on September 4. Paul Turner's men then face a difficult trip to Heineken Cup champions Leinster before a home match against Scottish side Glasgow. This season's competition will see the season end with a play-off between the top four teams, with the final being held on the weekend of May 28.

NEWPORT LEGEND GETS CRUSADERS HONOUR

Jul 11 - Newport, Wales and Great Britain dual-code legend David Watkins has been appointed as president of Super League strugglers Celtic Crusaders. Watkins, the only player to have captained both the British and Irish Lions and the Great Britain rugby league team, replaces Jonathan Davies, who has stepped down from the role he has held for the past two and a half years because of his commitments with the BBC.

Watkins said: "I'm delighted to be the new president of Celtic Crusaders. I've enjoyed watching them since their inception and I'm now pleased to be officially involved." He added: "I really want this to be huge success. Celtic Crusaders are now a fully-professional outfit, they have the right backing, the right press and hopefully soon we will get the right sort of results too."

Watkins scored 1,241 goals and 2,907 points for Salford in a 12-year career that included a record haul of 221 goals in the 1972-73 season. He won six caps for Great Britain and captained Wales in the 1975 World Cup. He helped create the Cardiff City Blue Dragons side in 1981 and, on his return to rugby union, was appointed Newport's team manager in 1992. Watkins eventually became Newport's chairman and is currently president of the Newport Gwent Dragons. Davies said: "David is a fantastic choice for the new president and I wish him all the best in the role." The Crusaders have been recently linked with a move to Rodney Parade.

CELTIC CRUSADERS CONSIDER MOVE TO NEWPORT

July 6 - According to reports the Celtic Crusaders rugby league side are considering a move to play at Rodney Parade in Newport while they have a new stadium built in Bridgend. The current Brewery Field stadium is unsuitable for Super League.

"We're planning for 2010 whether in Bridgend or Newport, we will be in Super League," chief executive Mike Turner told BBC Sport Wales. The Crusaders, Super League's bottom club with just two wins in their first season, are already due to play one of their 'home' Super League games in Newport when they take on Leeds Rhinos on Saturday, 22 August. Wales' first professional rugby league side have a "good working relationship" with the Newport Gwent Dragons rugby union region, who play at the Rodney Parade stadium. "We are looking at all of our options," said Turner "We are a business and we have to what is best for our business and make sure it is financially the best deal for ourselves."

The Crusaders' plan, which has been submitted to the local council, is to build a new 15,000-capacity stadium just outside Bridgend on the Island Farm development. Crusaders fans may fear a move to Newport means an end to their ambitious new stadium plans.

DRAGONS FACE HUGE TASK IN ANGLO-WELSH CUP

July 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons will face Sale, Leicester, Ospreys and Saracens in this season's restructured Anglo Welsh Cup. The newly structured competition will see the 12 Guinness Premiership clubs and four Welsh Regions play over four weekends, followed by the semi-finals and finals. Each team will be guaranteed two home and two away inter-pool fixtures, with the top teams from each pool qualifying for the knockout stages. Terry Burwell, Rugby Football Union Tournaments and Competitions Director, said: "We are delighted that together with Premier Rugby Ltd and the Welsh Rugby Union we have come up with a structure that will not only help players, coaches and officials develop but also provides more revenue potential for the Guinness Premiership clubs and the Welsh regions. "We have a committed broadcaster in Sky Sports for the next five years and, together with PRL and the WRU, are actively seeking a title sponsor."

Fixtures - Nov 7 - Sale (home), Nov 14 Leicester (away), Jan 30 Ospreys (home), Feb 6 Saracens (away) Semi final - March 13 Final - March 20
 

COVENTRY TO FACE DRAGONS

 

Jul 4 - Coventry, former giants of English rugby, will face Newport Gwent Dragons in a friendly at the Butts Park Arena on August 28. The Dragons are likely to face former prop David Maddocks, who has rejoined the West Midlands outfit.

Newport Gwent Dragons have completed the signing of the former Wales flanker Gavin Thomas from the Llanelli Scarlets.The 31-year-old is expected to replace Richard Parks who has been forced to quit the game because of shoulder trouble. Thomas has recovered from the Achilles injury that forced him to miss most of last season.

DRAGONS HOLD ON TO TOVEY

 

Jul 1 - Newport Gwent Dragons’ back line has been reinforced for next season with the signing of fullback Will Harries and the two-year contract extension agreed with Jason Tovey.

Rising Welsh star Tovey’s new two-year extension with the Dragons will see him remain at Rodney Parade until 2012. The 20-year-old fly half stormed into the Dragons side last season, playing 19 games and bagging 66 points for the Newport based region. Newport-born Tovey joins Aaron Coundley, Lewis Evans and Hugh Gustafson in signing extensions as the Dragons continue to build for the new season.

 

“Jason showed last season his future potential and maturity as a player,” said perennial Dragons Head Coach Paul Turner. “He is one of the rising stars of Welsh rugby and we are delighted to have secured his services for a further two seasons."
 

RAS DE CYMRU KICKS OFF NEXT WEEK

Jun 23 - The five-day Ras de Cymru, one of Britain’s biggest stage races for lower category riders, kicks off in Newport and Monmouthshire on Wednesday, July 1. Nicole Cooke and Emma Pooley used last year’s race as a springboard for Olympic success, showing what a tough workout the Ras is. The 81-strong field can breathe a collective sigh of relief that Pooley is not entered, so there will be no repeat of the Cervelo pro ripping the field apart on the mountainous final stage. Sadly, there are no women entered for 2009, the fifth edition of the event.

The 2008 Ras was won by South African Tim Carter, who had the good fortune to be called into the Great Britain women’s team. The six-stage event is based at the University of Wales campus in Caerleon and sponsored by Newport & South East Wales Business Tourism. Racing starts on Wednesday, July 1, with a short individual time trial in Llangybi.

STAGES / Stage 1 – Wednesday, July 1, prologue TT
4 miles, Llangybi-Caerleon-Llanhennock

Stage 2 – Thursday, July 2, road race
53 miles, Abergavenny-Usk-Devauden-Mitcheltroy-Raglan-Abergavenny

Stage 3 – Thursday, July 2, team TT
15 miles, Abergavenny-Raglan-Abergavenny

Stage 4 – Friday, July 3, road race
59 miles, Caerleon-Usk-Raglan-Abergavenny-Usk

Stage 5 – Saturday, Jul 4, road race
68 miles, Storey Arms-Brecon-Dyfennog-Brecon-Dyfennog

Stage 6 – Sunday, July 5, road race
56 miles, Abergavenny-Brecon-Talybont-Llangynidr

CRUSADERS SPREAD THE RUGBY LEAGUE GOSPEL IN CITY SCHOOLS

 

Jun 18 - Celtic Crusaders are visiting schools in Newport until the end of the school year to teach children how to play rugby league. The Super League club, who won at home for the first time last Saturday when they beat the mighty Wigan Warriors at the Brewery Field in Bridgend are playing a home engage Super League game "on the road" in Newport on Saturday 22nd August when Leeds Rhinos are the visitors to Rodney Parade. And they want the children of Newport and the surrounding areas to be part of things and are planning to hold a large rugby league coaching session for youngsters at Rodney Parade in the afternoon of the big match before the main event starts at 6pm. Kevin Ellis and the players will be in Newport for two or three days a week throughout this month in schools such as St Patrick's, Langstone, Pentrepoeth and Marshfield Primary schools, just four of the many schools that the Crusaders have been in talking about rugby league and teaching it to the children.

"We show videos of Celtic Crusaders and Super League to the children, then we go out into their games lessons and teach them the elements of the game," said Kevin Ellis. "We're getting a fantastic reaction from the children, it's amazing how many of them come down from Newport to watch us anyway but having us on their doorstep will mean that they will bring all their friends and make it a day to remember. When you grow up in Newport and play rugby, every child will want to play or train at Rodney Parade. Now we're giving them a chance to do just that." Celtic Crusaders' community development officer Matt Pritchard said: "Working with Newport Gwent Dragons has been great. The development team their have really welcomed us and given the younger kids in Newport a chance to play a new sport."

 

FORMER NEWPORT STAR BECOMES DRAGONS COACH

 

Jun 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons have brought in a new backs coach, signing Darren Edwards from Harlequins on a two-year deal. The 35-year-old has been coaching at Quins since he retired from playing in 2008, and is also part of the Wales Under-18 coaching team. Edwards began his senior playing career with Saracens in 1996 and joined Newport in 2000, playing 21 times. "I feel I can have a positive impact at Rodney Parade," he said “After 13 years in professional rugby with 12 of it in England it is a great opportunity to return to welsh rugby. I feel I can have a positive impact at Rodney Parade through my experiences of playing and coaching at the top level in the Guinness Premiership. I enjoyed my season with Newport in 2000-2001 with one of my stand out memories playing against Bath in the Heineken Cup on a Friday night at Rodney Parade with an electric atmosphere. It is a great place to play where the fans and their support make a difference to the players on the pitch."

 

NEWPORT CC BEAT PENARTH

 

June 15 - Newport had a fine win at Penarth in the Premier Division of the Thomas, Carroll South Wales Cricket League on Saturday. Electing to bat first Penarth struggled to 188-8 at the close. For Newport Kyle Tudge took 4 for 38. Newport comfortably knocked off the runs winning by six wickets with Gary Wood scoring 52. Newport are currently fourth, well in contention for the title.

 

POWER BACK IN WELSH JERSEY BUT ENGLAND ARE VICTORIOUS

 

June 15 - East Newport Cycle Speedway star Neil Power was back in a Welsh jersey for the first time in many years. Unfortunately, Wales suffered a heavy defeat in the four team home  international held in Edinburgh. Power last raced for Wales in 1991 but returned to the Sport back in 2008. His never say die attitude had resulted in a well deserved return to the Welsh side. Unfortunately, he managed just five points in an event dominated by the English team. Wales were pipped by Ireland to third place.

 

DRAGONS FACE TOUGH HEINEKEN CUP

 

June 8 - Let's face it, any Heineken Cup group will prove daunting for Newport Gwent Dragons. In this year's competition they face Gloucester, Biarritz and Glasgow. Could have been worse. Newport Gwent Dragons centre Marc Stcherbina has been forced to retire after suffering a neck injury. The Australian sustained the injury in the Dragons' 26-7 Heineken Cup loss in Toulouse on December 6th. Stcherbina had a successful operation in France, but the seriousness of the injury means he will not be able to return to the game.

TITANS GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS

 

June 8 - Newport Titans got back to winning ways after a hard fought 46-32 win over Dinefwr Sharks at Duffryn High School on Saturday. Scott Bessant scored a hat-trick of tries. The Titans playing record so far this season is 16th May v Blue Bulls (home) lost 4-22, 23rd May v Wild Boars (away) won 40-24, 30th May v Bulldogs (away) lost 20-74.

 

HUDAHL SPRINGS OPEN SURPRISE

June 7 - Denmark's Jeppe Huldahl, without a top ten finish in his career and ranked a lowly 377th, emerged as the surprise winner of the Wales Open on Sunday.

The unheralded 26-year-old from Copenhagen captured his first ever Tour win in his sixth season as a professional with a final round four-under par 67 for a nine under par total of 275. The winner's prize money of £300,000 was almost 30 times more than his previous biggest cheque on the circuit.

"It feels amazing," Huldahl said. "I couldn't feel my hands the last three holes." Second was Swede Niclas Fasth who finished on eight under, with Ryder Cup partner, Spaniard Ignacio Garrido, third on seven under after double-bogeying at the 16th.

RAIN DELAYS WALES OPEN

June 6 - Rain delayed the start of day three of the Wales Open. Torrential downpours left parts of the course waterlogged and play only restarted at 1pm. Ignacio Garrido (Spain), Nick Dougherty and Jeppe Huldahl (Denmark) lead the field on five under, a number of golfers have yet to be completed rounds including Scot Richie Ramsay, who resumed with a one-shot lead, but was through 12 when play stopped and back on four under.

QUARTET SHARE LEAD AT WALES OPEN

June 4 - Thomas Bjorn, Nick Dougherty, David Frost and Alan McLean each fired rounds of five-under 66 on Thursday to share the opening-round lead of the Wales Open. Pablo Larrazabal aced the seventh hole en route to a four-under 67. He is tied for fifth place with Taco Remkes and Fabrizio Zanotti at the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, the host of the 2010 Ryder Cup. Both captains for that event 16 months from now teed it up Thursday. Colin Montgomerie, the leader of the European side, posted a two-under 69 and is tied for 19th place. American captain Corey Pavin only managed a one-over 72 and is in a group that shares 62nd.

SIDOLI SIGNS FOR NGDs

June 4 - Wales lock Robert Sidoli has joined Newport Gwent Dragons from relegated Premiership side Bristol. The 29-year-old joined as youngsters James Harris and Alex Walker extended their Dragons contracts. Sidoli has won 42 caps for Wales since making his Test debut against South Africa in 2002 and started every match in the 2005 Grand Slam-winning season. "The Dragons offer a high level of rugby and I'm looking forward to pre-season training," said Sidoli. He previously had stints with Pontypridd, Celtic Warriors and Cardiff Blues.

Pavin wants players at Ryder Cup course before 2010 event

June 3 - U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin wants his players to find time to play the 2010 Course at Celtic Manor before they arrive to defend the trophy in October next year. In a joint press conference with his European counterpart Colin Montgomerie, Pavin said he would be asking potential team players either to take part in next year's Wales Open on the 2010 Course that will be used for the Ryder Cup or to find time to take a look around the time of the British Open. Pavin, on his first trip to Newport, is playing the Wales Open this week, but next year it could be a problem because it falls two weeks before the U.S. Open in California at Pebble Beach. "It is obviously a little different for us, but what I'm going to do is ask my players who come over for The Open Championship, either before or after, to try to get a couple practice rounds here," Pavin said. "I certainly would like my potential players to see the course once or twice before Ryder Cup week."

DRAGONS GO THROUGH

May 31 - Newport Gwent Dragons comfortably earned the 24th and final Heineken Cup place for next season with a 42-17 play-off win at Calvisano. The Italian club led through an early Gerard Fraser penalty, but the most of the scoring and creativity came through from the Newport based region. Richard Fussell, Luke Charteris, Ashley Smith and Adam Black scored first-half tries to which Gonzalo Garcia replied. Rory Sidey and Black crossed after the break, Valerio Bernabo replying. James Arlidge kicked 12 Dragons points.

Idiotic comment from a journalist Gareth Rhys Owen (who's he?) on the BBC website commenting in a typically condescending and ill informed manner on the match "Calvisano - for all their heart and vigour - again confirmed the plight of Italian club rugby. They have shipped more than 150 points in three fixtures against Welsh opposition this season. Friday's 42-17 loss had an official attendance figure of 2,000 and a reliance on foreign imports in key positions. Those new Italian regions can't come quickly enough. " Yeah, right. As if regional rugby has not been typified by an influx of foreign imports in to Welsh rugby. Gareth / Rhys / Owen seems to have forgotten this. It has been necessary because of the dearth of Welsh talent and the need to compete with stronger opposition. Ask Messrs. McDonald, Webb, Hall, Arlidge, Sidey etc. or did this particular think they were not foreign imports?

THE SUPER LEAGUE IS COMING TO NEWPORT

May 26 - Celtic Crusaders are to stage their Engage Super League round 25 match against champions Leeds Rhinos on Saturday August 22 "on the road" at Rodney Parade, home of the two Newport rugby union sides. The move is part of the Bridgend club's bid to attract support from throughout the principality, although it will be their only home match to be held away from Brewery Field this year. Crusaders chief executive Mike Turner said: "We are a team for Wales, not just for one area of Wales, so we hope that this match will be the first of many to be taken on the road to other grounds. A large percentage of our fans come from the Newport or Gwent area so we're pleased that they can now see a Crusaders game on their own doorstep." The match kicks off at 6pm.

DRAGONS FACE CALVISANO

 

May 24 - Newport Gwent Dragons face Calvisano on May 29 for a place in the Heineken Cup. Calvisano lost their play off match against Treviso today by 15 points to 6. The match is being shown live at 8pm on Sky Sports 3. May 27 update - Tournament organisers European Rugby Cup Limited are understood to be considering a proposed rule change. It would mean the fourth-placed Welsh Magners League team automatically entering the European Challenge Cup.

 

BRISTOL SCHOOL HOLDS SPORTS DAY IN NEWPORT

 

May 21 - Bristol Grammar School is heading to Newport Stadium to hold its sports day due to the poor athletics facilities available in the west country city.

 

 

DRAGONS SIGN FOR EXETER / PERCY RETIRES

 

May 18 - Two Dragons, centre Phil Dollman and lock Sean Tomes have signed for English side Exeter Chiefs. The Newport based region will play Worcester in a friendly at Rodney Parade on August 21.

 

Percy Montgomery, the South African superstar, has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 35. He spent three years in Newport playing for the Black and Ambers and the Dragons. He scored 207 in just 17 games for Newport in 2002/3. He played 38 times for the Dragons in the following two seasons scoring 251 points. He famously kicked 9 out of 9 penalties in a Welsh Cup Semi-Final at Cardiff for Newport to beat Bridgend 27-23 having lost the previous week 30-56 at Bridgend! He was sent off for pushing touch judge Peter Rees at Swansea on May 13th 2003 and banned for 6 months by the WRU.

 

DRAGONS IN NEWPORT U-TURN

 

May 17 - According to the BBC Newport Gwent Dragons look set to concentrate their resources on the Newport club side once the new British and Irish Cup starts next season. That will leave the other clubs under the Dragons' umbrella shorn of regional players in the Welsh Premiership.

"We've got to talk about that and I think it's the way to go," regional coach Paul Turner told BBC Sport Wales. "We haven't got a level underneath regional rugby... certainly this British club cup provides that level." The Black and Ambers are the only side in the region to finish in the top six of the Principality Premier Division and qualify for the new cross-border competition at semi-pro level. Asked whether the move could lose the region friends among the valleys clubs, Turner joked: "We haven't got many friends anyway."

The 24-team fledgling competition will see the top six Welsh club teams competing with 12 English National League One clubs, semi-pro sides representing Irish provinces Munster, Leinster and Ulster, and the top two clubs from Scottish Premiership One plus a Scottish academy side. Teams will be divided into four pools of six, playing over five weekends during the Autumn international and Six Nations windows. The semi-finals and finals take place on 24 April and 15 May respectively.

CONSOLATION WIN FOR DRAGONS

 

May 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons received a crumb of consolation for their lowly Magners League finish this season by beating Heineken Cup finalists Leinster 18-9 at Rodney Parade this evening. They scored two first half tries. The first was a penalty try as Jason Tovey was obstructed by Fergus McFadden when adjudged to be in a try scoring position. Their second try came from a well constructed three-quarter move completed by full back Martyn Thomas.

 

DRAGONS SIGN PROP

May 14 - Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed the signing of Ali McKenzie from Calvisano. McKenzie, 27,  joined the Italian outfit in 2007 following a successful stint with London Wasps. Meanwhile, The Dragons have also confirmed that Hugh Gustafson has agreed a one-year extension to his current deal with the region.

DRAGONS FACE TRIP TO ITALY

 

May 13 - The ghost of play off's past may come to haunt Newport Gwent Dragons again as they face a difficult match in Italy to secure their place in the Heineken Cup. Their Italian opponents are yet to be decided but the match will take place on May 29. This follows the Scarlets' emphatic 30-9 win away at Cardiff this evening.

 

PARKS TO RETIRE

 

May 12 - Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Richard Parks has announced his retirement, a persistent shoulder injury has curtailed his career at the age of 31. “It’s very frustrating as I returned home from Perpignan in order to add to my Welsh caps, an ambition I had never given up on,” the back row explained. “I had almost agreed terms to see me stay in Wales at the Dragons as well. “As I started my professional career with Newport, it seems ironic that things have come to an end back at Rodney Parade.

 

FOUR DRAGONS IN WALES SQUAD

 

May 11 - Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, Lewis Evans and Jason Tovey were all named in the Wales squad to tour Canada and the USA this summer by Wales' caretaker coach Robin McBryde.

 

NEWPORT CC BEAT PENTYRCH

 

May 11 - Former Glamorgan player Ian Thomas starrred as Newport hammered Pentyrch in the Thomas, Carroll South Wales Cricket League on the weekend. Newport scored 234-8 in their 50 overs Thomas was top scorer with 64 with captain Nathan Millichip getting 42,Pentyrch could only make 106 all out with Thomas and Michael Clayden taking the bowling honours.

 

 

EDINBURGH TROUNCE DIRE DRAGONS

 

May 9 - Edinburgh won a comfortable victory against Newport Gwent Dragons this afternoon but the flood of tries did not come until the final quarter of the game. John Houston scored just before the hour and then scores followed from Meyer, Paterson and Cairns. Chris Paterson claimed 28 points, touching down and adding conversions to all four Edinburgh tries as well as five penalties. The Dragons' only points came from the boot of fly-half Jason Tovey. Final score 43-3. Attendance - 2015.

 

KARLSSON HEADS WALES OPEN FIELD

May 7 - Reigning European number one Robert Karlsson heads the list of 2010 Ryder Cup hopefuls at this year's Wales Open. The world number 11 wants to play the Celtic Manor's Twenty Ten course before it stages next year's Ryder Cup. Karlsson is joined in Newport by fellow Ryder Cup stars Thomas Bjorn, Paul McGinley, Oliver Wilson, Paul Lawrie, David Howell and Soren Hansen. Rival 2010 Ryder Cup skippers Corey Pavin of the United States and Europe's Colin Montgomerie will also play. Karlsson won the Wales Open in 2006 on the Celtic Manor's old Roman Road course - a victory which inspired the 6ft 5ins Swede into Ian Woosnam's 2006 Ryder Cup squad. The Celtic Manor Wales Open runs between June 4th and 7th.

WALES NATIONAL GOLF CENTRE LAUNCHED AT CELTIC MANOR

May 6 - The Celtic Manor Resort Golf Academy has become the Wales National Centre of Excellence following the launch of its new short game practice area, built with the assistance of a Legacy Fund grant from Ryder Cup Wales. The new facility was officially unveiled yesterday in the presence of American golfing legend Arnold Palmer.

The new short game practice area features three pitching greens made from artificial turf and three tees, all with grass and artificial turf options, meaning the facility can be used for practice and tuition in all weathers throughout the year. In addition, the Legacy Fund grant will also support the development of an indoor putting area within the Golf Academy. The development was made possible by a £150,000 Legacy Fund grant from Ryder Cup Wales and, following further investment by Celtic Manor, the total cost of the 12-month project to build the pitching area was £225,000. Allied to the facilities already in place – including a 32-bay, two-tier driving range; specialist swing studios; chipping and putting greens; and a team of PGA professionals - The Celtic Manor Resort Golf Academy has now been appointed the National Centre of Excellence by the Golf Union of Wales, complementing the four other Regional Centres built with National Lottery funding from the Sports Council for Wales.

CARDIFF COAST TO WIN

May 6 - A thoroughly worn out Cardiff side still had enough to comfortably beat Newport Gwent Dragons at the Arms Park tonight by 26-12. The capital city side were obviously still recovering from their nail biting loss to Leicester on Sunday. Shanklin and Robinson scored the Blues' tries. As ever Dragons coach Paul Turner was on hand with his ready made excuse for another unsatisfactory performance "We lost the game in the first half. With a gale force wind we didn't play the right way. We threw the interception pass and all of a sudden you are chasing the game. We always said we would have to win two of the three [remaining] games." The attendance was 6608, pitiful.

CAERLEON WIN DISTRICT BATTLE

 

May 5 - Caerleon came out on top in the Newport and District Final at Rodney Parade this evening beating Hartridge by 17 points to 14.

 

RUGBY FINAL AT RODNEY PARADE

 

May 4 - The Newport and District Rugby Final takes place at Rodney Parade tomorrow evening (May 5, kick off 7.15pm). Hartridge will be playing Caerleon. Hartridge are current holders of the trophy and were recently crowned champions of Division 6 East of the Welsh League.

 

Picture left - action from the Hartridge v Caerleon in Division 6 East earlier this season (courtesy of Hartridge RFC's website). In their most recent match (on March 28) Hartridge beat Caerleon 53-0 and are regarded as strong favourites to retain the Cup.

 

NEWPORT CC HAVE BETTER OF DRAWN MATCH

 

May 4 - After their opening day defeat to Sully, Newport recovered get the better of a drawn game against Croesyceiliog at Spytty Park on Saturday in the Premier Division of the Thomas, Carroll South Wales Cricket League. Put in to bat they made 243-9 Nathan Millichip scoring 60. Croesyceliog made 203-9 in their innings Ian Thomas taking three wickets for 28 runs.

 

HISTORY OF CRICKET CLUB CELEBRATES 175 YEARS

 

May 4 - 2009 marks Newport Cricket Club's 175th Anniversary. A whole host of events have been organised to celebrate the anniversary, and the club has produced an Anniversay Brochure to mark the occasion. The publicity states "The 40 page brochure is a great read and follows Newport CC's history from the early days of 1834 through to the current time". The Brochure includes a copy of the signed Scorecard when Shane Warne played against Newport CC in 1989. The brochure is on sale for £2.50 from the club or alternatively, send a stamped addressed envelope (C5 : 23cm x 16cm)) to:- Dave Knight, 1 Holland Close, Rogerstone, Newport, South Wales. NP10 0AU. Cheques made payable to Newport Cricket Club.

 

NEWPORT CYCLE SPEEDWAY STARS OF THE FUTURE

Cycle Speedway - East Newport's Junior League riders took to the track in the 2nd round of this years South West Junior League GP at Exeter, coming home in 3rd place for the 2nd time this season. Star of the show for the Go-ride Clubmark Club was Sean Bennett in the under 8's who once again showed why he is one to watch this season, going through the card unbeaten for the 2nd time this season.

Not only boys are interested in the sport a club spokesman said "we have been asked by some of the club's female members if they could have a go in GP events, which is great news for the club as the South West do operate a women's event, so now they are looking forward to taking part and are doing plenty of training for the events coming up.".

OSPREYS BEAT DRAGONS IN DULL CLASH

 

Apr 30 - A sparse crowd saw the Ospreys beat Newport Gwent Dragons by 27-18 in an poor quality clash at the Liberty Stadium. The tangerine tinted, over-rated Ospreys spluttered their way through the match showing little ambition. Despite their strong squad and host of Welsh internationals they rarely play together as a team, more like a collection of one-hit wonders. They scored two tries from the inconsistent James Hook and Shane Williams, with the Dragons responding with six penalties from Shaun Connor. The Ospreys did not chase tries and as a result they gifted the Magners League title to Munster even managing a drop goal at the death to deprive the Dragons of a losing bonus point. This match typefied regional rugby, a funereal silence in the ground with no partisan atmosphere and a match with little competitive edge played like a pre-season friendly between old mates. Attendance - 5010.

 

DRAGONS WIN BASEMENT BATTLE

Newport Gwent Dragons won the Magners League basement battle at Rodney Parade to pull within one point of Cardiff and the Scarlets. The 27-14 win over Connacht means they still have a chance of avoiding a play-off against an Italian side for a Heineken Cup place. Disappointingly, they failed to gain a bonus point but still have a reasonable chance of overhauling the other Welsh sides, particularly the dear old struggling Scarlets. Joe Bearman, Rhodri Gomer Davies and Rhys Thomas all crossed for tries for the Dragons. Attendance - 5233.

DRAGONS 41 WORCESTER SECONDS 3

 

Apr 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons beat a shadow Worcester side 41-3 at Sixways. Allegedly this was preparation for their 'battle' for an automatic qualification place in next year's Heineken Cup. Frankly, given the ridiculously easy route offered to the Celtic nations it would be amazing if they failed to get there. Worcester took an early lead but the Dragons responded with a (toby) flood of tries from Webb, Tovey, Brew, Gustafsson, Walker and Wyatt (2).

 

PAUL TURNER - IN HIS OWN WORDS

 

The Dragons coach puts his own unique perspective on his reign at Newport. This archive will be regularly updated. Follow this link.

 

ARGUS ROUNDS ON TURNER

 

Apr 9 - The South Wales Argus, so often a slavish follower of Paul Turner, has turned on the Newport Gwent Dragons coach. The Dragons capitulation at the hands of traditional Irish failures Connacht has brought forth a chorus of disapproval from the paper and its readers. The Dragons lost the second half by 36 points to 7 in a truly disastrous performance but then Turner's half time team talks have become legendary. The man himself offered no comment on the defeat but left Chairman Martyn Hazell to take supporters on a ramble through the tulips as he explained the reasons for it. Turner will remain untouched as he has endured much worse including the catastrophic defeat to Overmach Parma that put the Dragons out of qualification for the Heineken Cup. An almost impossible feat. Who will ever forget his words on that occasion "The supporters will be disappointed but having to play in the Challenge Cup is not a big deal to me ". With no threat of relegation Turner's position is unlikely to be challenged in the weirdly secure world of regional rugby. He will continue to spin his folksy tales of a Gwentist upbringing, warms words following plucky defeats and well spun ideals of developing local talent at the same time as he adds yet another southern hemisphere under-achiever to his squad.

 

YOUNG PROP SIGNED BY DRAGONS

 

Apr 9 - Dragons and Newport prop Aaron Coundley has signed a three-year development contract which will seem him at Rodney Parade until 2012. The 19 year old loose head, who has come through the Dragons Academy set-up, has represented Wales at both Under 16 and Under 20 level. “The Dragons view Aaron as one of the stars of the future,” said  Dragons’ Rugby Manager Robert Beale. “We plan to withdraw him from competitive rugby after the World Cup for several months and concentrate on strength and conditioning, which should enable him to compete at the highest level. Aaron has been earmarked as part of our next generation of front row players and we intend to invest as much expertise and resources into his as we can.” Newport Gwent Dragons will lose the services of international prop Rhys Thomas from the start of next season, he has joined Llanelli Scarlets.

 

NEWPORT CC START WITH MATCH AGAINST CHAMPIONS

 

Apr 9 - Newport Cricket Club's Premier League challenge starts with a match away to Sully Centurions on April 25. Newport though should challenge for honours themselves this season as they have Glamorgan's Gareth Rees and former Glamorgan player Ian Thomas in their ranks.

 

ISAACS JOINS OSPREYS

 

Apr 8 - Popular young Newport and Dragons scrum half Tom Isaacs has turned his back on Rodney Parade joining the Ospreys in a two year deal. He told the Western Mail "“I’m extremely grateful to both Newport and the Dragons for the opportunities they have given me this season. The Ospreys however showed an interest and offered me a long-term commitment, which made my decision an easy one.” The Ospreys themselves have a wealth of choice at scrum half and Isaacs opportunities may be still limited.

 

CONNACHT DESTROY DRAGONS

 

Apr 3 - In the battle of the Magners League under achievers Connacht came out convincing winners over Newport Gwent Dragons in Galway tonight. The Irish province comfortably disposed of the Dragons by 39-17. The Newport based region were 10-3 up at half time including a try from Fussell. However, a blitz of scoring in the second half including three tries in eleven minutes puffed out any resistance, Connacht added another two. Joe Bearman got a late consolation try for the Dragons.

 

ANOTHER NEW ZEALANDER SET FOR DRAGONS

 

Mar 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons' NZ contingent will increase by one in May with the arrival. Former Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby captain Danny Lee has secured a two year contract with the Dragons. The half back will head to Newport with his wife, Hayley, and two sons on May 26.

 

THOMAS LEAVES NEWPORT / DRAGONS WIN

Mar 26 - Newport Gwent Dragons prop Rhys Thomas is to join the Scarlets next season. The Dragons have signed New Zealander Ben Castle to replace him. Thomas, 26, has signed a three-year deal starting from July, while Castle will be at Rodney Parade for a similar length of time.

Tight-head Thomas has played 119 games for Newport Gwent Dragons, 21 times for Newport and has made seven appearances for Wales. He was born in South Africa and attended school in Johannesburg. His father was born in Newport. Puzzlingly he states ""I think that being at the Scarlets will also help me push ahead with my international ambitions." He is certainly not heading west for the atmosphere, the Scarlets of Llanelli play before a near-empty Parc Y Scarlets on a regular basis.

Castle, 29, joins the Dragons from Australian Super 14 side Western Force, his signing is confirmation of the lack of strength in depth available at prop in the Welsh regions.

Newport Gwent Dragons beat the Scarlets 32-24 in a friendly at Rodney Parade this evening.

YMCA LOSE, CAERLEON DRAW

 

Mar 14 - Newport's two teams in the Welsh Football League are continuing to struggle against relegation. Caerleon look relatively safe after their 1-1 draw at Cambrian and Clydach but Newport YMCA are in real danger following their 1-0 reverse against Pontardawe Town at Mendalgief Road. Table here.

 

MUNSTER SECOND STRING TOO GOOD FOR DRAGONS

 

Mar 7 - Munster depleted of their Irish internationals were still far too strong for Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade tonight. The Irish region emerged victorious by 20 points to 9 scoring the only tries of the game through O'Boyle and Horgan, in either half respectively. The Dragons reduced the margin to 13-9 midway through the second half but an Arlidge kick was charged down in his own 22. From the resultant set piece replacement wing man Anthony Horgan squeezed in at the corner for the crucial try. It was a niggly match played in wet conditions with Parks (NGDs), Quinlan and Hurley (Munster) sin-binned. Attendance - 6865.

 

CARTER STORMS BACK TO WIN OPEN

 

Feb 23 - England's Ali Carter fought back from 5-2 down to defeat Northern Ireland's Joe Swail 9-5 in the Welsh Open final at Newport Centre on Sunday. Carter said he had been inspired to claw his way back by the humbling experience he suffered in last year's world championship final where he had been swept aside 18-8 by Ronnie O'Sullivan in a brutally one-sided encounter. "I learnt a lot from getting to the world championship final, but it was a really tough match today," said Carter "Joe made it really difficult in the first session, I was pleased to come out and play well in the second session.

 

TOVEY LATE SHOW SEALS IT FOR DRAGONS

Feb 22 - Two late Jason Tovey tries gave Newport Gwent Dragons a thoroughly deserved 26-16 victory over Ulster at Rodney Parade. In an error strewn match dominated by the referee's whistle Ulster took the early advantage and seemed to have a physical edge throughout. However, going into the final 12 minutes the Dragons were down by five points. In a crucial turning point Ulster captain Keiron Dawson was yellow carded and from the resulting penalty scrum Tovey scored out-wide to level matters. He then put the Dragons ahead with a penalty before grabbing an interception try as Ulster played catch-up rugby in their own 22. He duly converted to cap an excellent personal display.

 

SELBY SERVED WITH WRIT DURING MATCH

 

Feb 21 - In an extraordinary incident snooker star Mark Selby was handed a writ just seconds before the start of his quarter-final match on live television. Cameras from BBC Wales and Eurosport captured the moment when Selby was confronted by his former manager George Bamby, who claims the sportsman owes him nearly £14,000.

After Selby, 25, was introduced to the crowd at the Welsh Open in Newport Centre, Mr Bamby wearing a baseball cap, tapped him on the arm and said: 'You are officially served with a writ and a bankruptcy notice'. It is also claimed he stated 'I am issuing you with a statutory demand for £13,985. If you fail to pay within 18 days I will begin bankruptcy proceedings.' He then handed Selby an envelope, which went unopened. Security guards quickly escorted Mr Bamby from the venue. He ended up losing the quarter-final match against fellow Englishman Anthony Hamilton, 5-3.

O'SULLIVAN OUT

 

Feb 19 - Hong Kong's Marco Fu came from 3-1 down to beat world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-3 in the last 16 of the Welsh Open today. But Chinese cue master Ding Junhui, after being on the brink of victory, lost 5-4 to Scotland's Stephen Maguire. O'Sullivan was well-placed at the mid-session interval but Fu fought back after the break to win four frames in a row. Fu will now face the winner of the match between former world champion John Higgins and Australia's Neil Robertson.

Attendances at the Newport Centre are up 12 per cent on last year with the venue attracting large crowds on each day of action so far.A near capacity audience saw Ronnie O'Sullivan win his opening match five frames to two against Steve Davis on Wednesday. "I love playing here in Newport," said the current World Champion. "It's a great venue and it's nice to give something back to the fans as I've had a lot of support here."

WELSH DEPARTURES FROM THE OPEN

 

Feb 18 - Former world champion John Higgins won the final three frames to wrap up a 5-2 victory over Dominic Dale in the first round of the Snooker Welsh Open at Newport Centre. The Scot recorded the only century of the match with a break of 101 in the sixth frame, and sealed victory in style in the next. After Welshman Dale was first in with a break of 33, Higgins compiled a superb break of 60 despite the last three reds being awkwardly placed, leaving himself in position to double the final one into the middle pocket. The misery continued for the home players as China's Ding Junhui went through to the second round, beating Matthew Stevens 5-3.

 

CONTRACT EXTENSIONS FOR DRAGONS PAIR

 

Feb 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons have announced that Adam Jones and Wayne Evans have extended their contracts with the Welsh region. Wales test lock Adam Jones (33 Heineken Cup caps) will stay at Rodney Parade until at least 2010/11 campaign while 24 year-old scrum-half Wayne Evans who started all six of the Dragons’ Heineken Cup games this season has signed up for a one year extension.

 

YMCA BEAT THE FREEZE TO WIN AGAIN

 

Feb 8 - Newport YMCA beat freeze and Taffs Well to move out of the relegation zone of the First Division of the Welsh League yesterday. They won 3-1 at Taffs Well. YMCA led 2-0 at the interval with goals by Alan Stewart and Gareth Lynch from the penalty spot and in the second half they got a third through Abdul Njiel, while all Taffs Well could manage was a second-half penalty by Liam William. The match at Taffs Well was the only game to survive in the top flight of the Welsh Football League. YMCA face Bridgend at home in the quarter finals of the Welsh Cup on February 28.

 

Jones - moving further east

JONES TO LEAVE DRAGONS FOR...ABU DHABI!

Feb 2 - Lyn Jones is to leave Newport Gwent Dragons in May to join Abu Dhabi. Jones joined the Dragons in November 2008 in a temporary consultancy role and signed an 18-month deal with them in early January. But he will move again at the end of the season, this time to be director of rugby at British School Al Khubairat. The latter will not be joining the Magners League however. Paul Coackley, BSAK school principal said: "At the British School Al Khubairat, participation in physical education and sport is viewed as an integral part of a pupils' experience."

YMCA FIGHT ON

Jan 31 - Cup fighters Newport YMCA are again mounting a charge for the Welsh Cup. They travelled to Holyhead to play the Hotspurs this afternoon. After the match ended 1-1 after extra time YMCA won the match on penalties 6-5.

DEVELOPMENT FIXTURES FOR DRAGS

Jan 31 - Newport Gwent Dragons have organised two development fixtures as domestic competition pauses for the RBS Six Nations championship.  According to the press release "Coach Paul Turner is keen to provide players returning from injury and squad members some much-needed game time." They will play London Welsh at Rodney Parade on 2 February and the Ospreys at Llandarcy on 16 February.

BREW RE-JOINS DRAGONS

Jan 29 - Aled Brew has joined Newport Gwent Dragons from fellow Welsh region Cardiff Blues. The 22-year-old spent the 2006-07 season at the Dragons on loan from the Ospreys, but then opted for a permanent move to Cardiff. Brew arrives at Rodney Parade initially on loan and then on a year's contract starting from June 2009. The Dragons have also confirmed the contract extension of back-row Lewis Evans on a two-year deal. Brew won all three of his Wales caps during his previous season with the Dragons and is hoping to recapture that form.

THINK YOU CAN BEAT A WORLD CLASS SNOOKER PLAYER?

Jan 26 - Matthew Stevens will be at Newport Market this Saturday challenging you to a frame of snooker.

Visit the gallery between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 31 January and you could be playing against the former UK and Masters champion. If you score 10 points or more you’ll receive free tickets to the 2009 Welsh Open being held in Newport in February. Stevens, who is from Carmarthen, has appeared in two World Championship finals, has reached the final of the recent Bahrain Snooker Championship and is battling to regain his place among the world's top 16.
The Welsh Open is being held at the Newport Centre, Kingsway from Monday 16 to Sunday 22 February. For tickets call 01633 656 757

GLASGOW EDGE OUT DRAGONS

Jan 25 - Glasgow edged out Newport Gwent Dragons 13-10 in the final round of Heineken Cup games at Firhill. The two also-rans in Pool 5 finished a considerable distance behind Bath and Toulouse, both of whom qualified for the quarter finals. Glasgow scrum-half Colin Gregor opened the scoring with a penalty after five minutes, adding a second in the 10th minute. The visitors hit back with a try by Tom Willis in the 35th minute, converted by James Arlidge. Ruaridh Jackson went over after 46 minutes, Gregor converting. Dragons' replacement Shaun Connor kicked a 74th-minute penalty. Both Glasgow and the Dragons need not worry as both will almost certainly qualify for next year's competition without having to succeed in this season's Magners League. 

POOL 5 P W D L F A BP Pts
Bath 6 4 1 1 107 92 3 21
Toulouse 6 4 1 1 121 88 2 20
Glasgow 6 2 0 4 134 150 4 12
Newport Gwent Dragons 6 1 0 5 83 115 3 7

YMCA SECURE MUCH NEEDED VICTORY

Jan 25 - Bottom placed Newport YMCA beat Croesyceiliog in the Welsh League First Division to secure a precious 3-1 victory.Aaron Stewart, Cortez Belle and Brendon Scott scored before Jodie Jenkins replied for the home side. The win puts YMCA ahead of Cwmbran. Caerleon also won away 2-1 at Caldicot, five men were sent off (three from Caldicot, two from Caerleon). The latest Welsh League First Division table is here.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR WALES OPEN

Jan 22 - With The 2010 Ryder Cup looming large on the horizon, The Celtic Manor Wales Open will be bigger and better than ever when it celebrates its tenth edition from June 4-7 and you can now buy special discounted tickets to be there to see all of the action. Featuring a host of the leading European Tour stars, the event offers the perfect opportunity for golf fans to whet their appetite before the big showdown over The Twenty Ten Course between Europe and the United States from October 1-3 next year.

Spectators booking before the end of February can take advantage of “early bird” discounts of up to 33 per cent off the full price of admission to watch some of the world’s best golfers up close in Newport. An Adult Day Ticket to watch a full day of top-class golfing action is just £20 while a Season ticket to see all four days is only £45. Seniors over 60 pay just £10 daily and £30 for a Season Ticket when booking early, while children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult.

The Celtic Manor Wales Open has grown year on year since its inception in 2000. Last year’s headline act at the £1.8m event was Padraig Harrington, who went on to retain The Open Championship and win the US PGA Champioship, and the Irishman was joined by a host of current and former Ryder Cup stars including Darren Clarke, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Robert Karlsson and Colin Montgomerie. For those who want to make a real day of it, there are also early booking special rates available on hospitality, starting from £225 plus VAT per person. Hospitality places in the pavilion overlooking the dramatic finishing hole on The Twenty Ten Course include a four-course lunch, afternoon tea, a complimentary bar and souvenir gift. Saturday’s Ladies Day Tickets, which include a champagne reception, complimentary bar and lunch, are just £145 plus VAT until the end of February. For more information or to book call Celtic Manor’s Special Events team on +44(0)1633 410318.

NGD PAIR IN WALES SQUAD

Jan 19 - Luke Charteris and Rhys Thomas are both named in Warren Gatland's Wales squad for the Six Nations.

BATH EDGE TO NARROW VICTORY

Jan 18 - On a soft Rodney Parade pitch in blustery conditions Bath edged to a narrow but deserved win over Newport Gwent Dragons this afternoon. The Premiership giants scored early on with a high tempo move started by a quick tap from scrum half Classens ending in a try out wide by Joe Maddock. With the wind at their backs their failed to capitalise on their early advantage only adding a Butch James penalty. James ignored the opportunity to add a further penalty, one of several tactical errors made during the game. The Dragons struck early in the second half the impressive Richard Fussell collected an against the grain attacking kick by Arlidge to turn and score. Arlidge converted. On the hour Wayne Evans pounced on a loose ball that he had knocked forward in a tackle on Scaysbrook to put the Dragons deservedly in front. Within five minutes man of the match Alex Crockett made the second of two searing breaks through the Dragons defence setting up Hooper for a converted try and a final score of 15-12. Attendance - 6108.

JONES JOINS DRAGONS

Jan 15 - Lyn Jones has taken up an eighteen month consultancy contract with Newport Gwent Dragons to assist with skills and back play. Aled Brew looks set to join the region on a loan basis from Cardiff Blues and the Dragons are being linked with an overseas scrum half.

WILLIAMS CONTRACT TERMINATED

Jan 14 - Scrum half Andy Williams has had his contract terminated by Newport Gwent Dragons. Williams stated "That's in the hands of the solicitors now so that's a delicate matter. I can't really go into the reasons why. I thought I'd be playing at Rodney Parade for a lot longer." Williams has played 20 times for the Dragons scoring two tries.

DRAGONS WIN AT FIRHILL

Jan 9 - Newport Gwent Dragons secured a fine 25-22 win at Firhill against Glasgow this evening outscoring their hosts by three tries to one. James Arlidge came off the bench to score fifteen points including an interception try. The other tries came from Sidey and Fussell. Attendance - 2,217.

DRAGONS FALL AT PARC Y SCARLETS

Jan 1 - Newport Gwent Dragons went down 29-24 to Llanelli Scarlets this evening at their new ground, imaginatively entitled Parc Y Scarlets. The tiny crowd saw a scrappy battle initially dominated by the home side. Regan King evaded tacklers to score the first Scarlets try within five minutes. Stephen Jones converted and added a penalty to make it 10-0. The Dragons hit back with two Richard Fussell tries both expertly converted By Connor who added a further penalty before half time. The fly half missed an comparatively easy second half penalty before the Scarlets took their revenge. First of all a converted Phil John try, then a string of three penalties put the West Walians out of sight. The Dragons scored a late try through Connor, duly converted. They had a late chance to win but hooker Steve Jones missed his target and the Scarlets kicked the ball dead.

CARDIFF EDGE OUT DRAGONS

Dec 26 - A large Rodney Parade crowd saw Cardiff Blues edge out Newport Gwent Dragons by 21 to 19 this afternoon. Despite a grandstand finish including two miscued drop goal attempts by Arlidge and Tovey Cardiff held on for the win. The Dragons had the benefit of the easterly wind in the first half and took the early initiative with a Connor penalty. Cardiff equalised through Blair before the Newport based region stretched their lead to seven points after Richard Fussell collected a loose ball to sprint over from thirty metres. Connor converted. Both Connor and Blair exchanged penalties to make it 13-6 at half time. Cardiff struck early in the second half. Molitika collected a carefully threaded ball to score under the posts. Blair converted to level matters. The Dragons regained the initiative and extended their lead with two further penalties (one referred to the fourth official)before Cardiff took advantage of broken play to release under achieving outside half Ceri Sweeney for a try. With the score 19-18 in favour of the home side an indiscretion at the ruck allowed Blair to put the visitors in front for the first time. A thrilling and sustained period of pressure by the home side at the end of the game failed to provide the winning score.

SNOOKER'S TOP STARS RETURN TO CITY IN FEBRUARY

Dec 21 - The World’s best snooker players will be back in Newport in February for the 2009 Welsh Open.

The world ranking tournament runs from February 16 to 22 at the Newport Centre and is set to feature star players such as Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, home favourite Ryan Day and defending champion Mark Selby.

Tickets, starting at just £6, are now on sale and can be bought by calling 01633 656 757 or going to www.worldsnooker.com/welshopen

All of the world’s top 16 players are guaranteed a place at the venue, while Welsh stars Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens and Dominic Dale will have their qualifying matches held over to Newport to give their fans the chance to see them in action. The tournament has a reputation for producing exciting snooker, with six of the last ten finals going to a deciding frame. Last year, Selby came from 8-5 down to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-8 in a classic contest.

TOVEY TRY SEALS IMPRESSIVE WIN

Dec 20 - A brilliant cross kick from Colin Charvis was gathered by full back Jason Tovey to score the try that sealed an impressive bonus point victory for Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade last night. In an excellent match played out in atrocious conditions the Dragons built up an impressive nine point lead against the elements with tries from Rob Lewis and Rhys Thomas. The Ospreys struck back with a Henson try and Biggar penalty. The home team scored first up in the second half when McDonald capitalised on a loose ball to put Gareth Wyatt away. Henson scored again for the Ospreys before Tovey's match winning try. Final score 30-24. Attendance - 7138.

DRAGONS GO DOWN TO TOULOUSE

Dec 13 - Newport Gwent Dragons lost again in the Heineken Cup to Toulouse this afternoon. The mighty French side won a comfortable 26-13 victory in front of a 6108 crowd (the local rag reported that over 6000 advance tickets had been sold for the game?). Rhys Thomas scored a first half try for the Dragons, Heymans and Medard (2) scored for Toulouse.

CHARTERIS SIGNS

Newport Gwent Dragons has confirmed that Luke Charteris has signed a further three-year contract with the region.The twenty five year old Dragons lock, who won his ninth Welsh cap against New Zealand in the Autumn internationals last month, has brought a considerable 6 feet 9 inches to the Dragons line-out and is set to make his 89th appearance against Toulouse this weekend. The press release states that Luke has had an impressive season so far and is thrilled to remain at Rodney Parade. He says: "It’s been a good season for the Dragons and I believe that we’ve started to show signs that the team is moving in the right direction. I was delighted to sign for another three years and am confident that there will be good times ahead.” He added: “I enjoyed a great month with the Wales team and was pleased with the opportunity to build on that performance against Toulouse last weekend. While we put in a good performance away from home as a team we will be looking for a victory this weekend on our own patch.”

STCHERBINA 'IN GOOD SPIRITS'

Dec 9 - Australian centre Marc Stcherbina is in good spirits after undergoing surgery on a neck injury at the weekend, according to  Newport Gwent Dragons. Stcherbina spent his 32nd birthday in a French hospital on Sunday after he was hurt in a head-on tackle during a Heineken Cup match against Toulouse the previous day. A Dragons spokeswoman said the club hoped to confirm on Wednesday when Stcherbina would be returning to Wales. "Marc is in good spirits and hopefully should be coming home at the end of the week," she said on Tuesday.

SERIOUS INJURY FOR STCHERBINA

Dec 8 - Newport Gwent Dragons centre Marc Stcherbina has undergone neck surgery in France following his injury during the team's Heineken Cup defeat against Toulouse yesterday. The 32-year-old Australian was hurt in a tackle during Dragons' 26-7 loss.

Dragons chief executive Gethin Jenkins has remained in France with him, and Stcherbina has now been joined by his partner, Tazmin, at Toulouse's Purpan Hospital. Jenkins explained: "Marc has had an operation to stabilise his neck following damage to a disc and a crack in a bone. The operation has gone well, and he has movement in his arms and legs. He will now undergo further tests before a decision will be taken on when he will be returned home to Wales. Our staff will remain with him, along with his partner, Tazmin, who flew out to Toulouse today." The Dragons centre was 32 yesterday.

TOULOUSE TOO STRONG FOR DRAGONS!

Dec 6 - Three times European Cup winners Toulouse were significantly below par but still too strong for Newport Gwent Dragons at Stade Ernest Wallon. They ran out 26-7 winners scoring four tries from Jauzion, Poitrenaud, Medard and Fritz. But their play was hit and miss and Michalak failed to convert three easy penalties. The Dragons battled bravely as we have come to expect and were rewarded with a late try from hooker Steve Jones converted by Connor. The match was marred by a neck injury to Dragons centre Marc Stcherbina midway through the second half. Attendance - 18,695.

JONES SHORT-LISTING DISASTER

Dec 5 - Prior to the Toulouse match the local rag reported that Lyn Jones has been short-listed as a possible candidate for the vacant coaching position at the Dragons following the departure of Dai 'Four Jobs' Rees.

LEINSTER TOO STRONG FOR DRAGONS

Nov 29 - Leinster recovered from a 13-3 deficit to beat Newport Gwent Dragons 29-13 at the Royal Dublin Showground this evening. New Zealander Haoni McDonald scored an interception try for the Newport based region in the first half. Arlidge added two penalties and a conversion.

LYN JONES APPOINTED !?

Nov 25 - In what be seen as a desperate move Newport Gwent Dragons has appointed Lyn Jones as a temporary backs coach. The former Neath and Ospreys coach will be in place until end of December. Confirming conversations had taken place between the two intellectual giants of Welsh rugby Paul Turner stated "“Lyn and I have had several discussions over the past month in my dealings with Lyn in his role at Ebbw Vale RFC. I believe Lyn would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our coaching team during the intensive programme of fixtures ahead of us.”

More worryingly Ebbw Vale director of rugby Steve Lewis spouted more regionalist propaganda “This is a bold decision by Paul Turner. It is clearly his call, he has made it and full credit to him. He has made a deliberate attempt to look within the region and I believe has come up with the best solution. I have no doubts the two personalities will get on.”

"I can't speak for the people of Newport - it's up to them whether or not they want to see the bigger picture," - Lyn Jones

McGEECHAN SLATES DRAGONS SCRUMMAGING

Nov 2 - Wasps coach Ian McGeechan criticised the Newport Gwent Dragons scrummage following his team's victory at Adams Park this afternoon. "We were held up over the line twice and a lot of it, scrummaging-wise, was illegal. The Dragons were going up and coming down in scrums. My idea of scrums was that they were meant to be straight. We did scrummage well and it took its toll on them because they had to go to uncontested scrums because of the pressure we put on."

Ultimately, Wasps failed to make it through to the semi-finals of the EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh cup despite beating Newport Gwent Dragons 21-10. They needed a victory and for Newcastle to do them a favour and beat Gloucester to stand any chance of progressing from the group stage. The Dragons opened the second half scoring with a good try half time substitute Marc Stcherbina burst through the home defence after a missed tackle before offloading to centre Ashley Smith who had an easy run-in for the touchdown. But tries from Damien Varley and Josh Lewsey ensured Wasps fulfilled their part of the task. But their victory was in vain as the Cherry and Whites squeaked past Newcastle 11-10 at Kingston Park.

EARLY BIRD OFFER FOR SKY SNOOKER

Oct 27 - Two of snooker’s greatest ever players make a welcome return to Newport as the 2008 PartyPoker.com Premier League Snooker rolls into to town at the Newport Centre on Thursday 6 November. To celebrate Newport Centre are offering an early bird ticket offer. To book the tickets for £10 (usually £15) in advance of the event call the box office on 01633 656 757

Seven times World Champion Stephen Hendry and six times World Champion Steve Davis face each other over the best of six frames in a real clash of the legends, while Joe Perry and Ding Junhui contest the second match. Both Davis and Hendry have enjoyed many successful visits to Newport, home for many years of the Welsh Open. Davis was a winner here in 1994 and 1995 while Hendry has three Welsh titles to his name having lifted the trophy in 1992, 1997 and 2003. Now entering its 23rd season, the Premier League Snooker is the world’s only major snooker tournament played to a league format and plays out on Thursday nights, live on Sky Sports across the UK.

THOMAS DENIES REPORT

Oct 27 - Rhys Thomas has denied a report that he is joining Llanelli Scarlets at the end of this season. The Newport prop has said he is considering a number of options and has confirmed that his future at the regional side is unclear.

BALSHAW PUFFS OUT DRAGONS EFFORT

Oct 25 - Gloucester's international full back Ian Balshaw conjured up two tries to puff out the challenge of Newport Gwent Dragons at Kingsholm in the EDF Energy Cup. The Dragons had edged ahead 15-12 in a scrappy game. But just after an hour Balshaw made a clean break to release Lesley Vainakolo to put the Cherry and Whites ahead and then scored a neat try of his own to put them 22-15 clear. Ollie Barkley added a further penalty to make it 25-15. In a final twist Jason Tovey added a try with the final move of the match to make it 25-20 and give the Dragons a bonus point. Earlier in the game the teams exchanged two tries apiece with Vainakolo and Lawson scoring for Gloucester, Webb and Fussell for the Dragons.

RHYS THOMAS TO JOIN SCARLETS

Oct 24 - The Western Mail is reporting that 26 year old Newport Gwent Dragons prop Rhys Thomas will join the 'Scarlets' next season.

Thomas was born in South Africa but joined Newport RFC, his father's place of birth and worked his way through the ranks eventually making his first appearance for Newport against Llanelli on 22 April 2003. He was awarded a development contract when the regional side was established and has featured prominently making over 100 appearances and scoring five tries. He has also achieved international honours, making five appearances for Wales.

DRAGONS RESTRICT BATH

Oct 19 - A sustained defensive effort brought Newport Gwent Dragons a bonus point at Bath. Despite Bath having a huge advantage in terms of possession they could only breach the Dragons line on one occasion with a try from Andrew Higgins after 67 minutes. The Dragons effort was all the more considerable given the loss to the sin bin of talismanic flanker Colin Charvis and number eight Lewis Evans. A late Shaun Connor penalty secured the bonus point as the English side narrowly held on for a 13-9 victory.

'FOUR JOBS' ON THE MOVE

Oct 14 - Dragons assistant coach Dai Rees has left his position to become head coach of the Hong Kong Rugby Union. Rees quit his role with Wales Sevens last year to concentrate on securing a long-term coaching deal. He was linked with the Canada job, but has now secured the Hong Kong role, and is understood to have beaten contenders from Wales and from New Zealand. "I'd like to thank everybody at the Dragons for releasing me to take up this fantastic opportunity," said Rees. At one stage a couple of years back Rees managed to coach two Welsh representative teams, Newport and assist with the Dragons.

DRAGONS OVER-TURN GLASGOW

Oct 11 - Newport Gwent Dragons over-turned a ten point deficit to beat Glasgow in the Heineken Cup at Rodney Parade yesterday. The crowd of 5,238 saw three home tries from Gareth Wyatt (2) and Colin Charvis. There were two drop goals from James Arlidge in a fine kicking display he also added one conversion and three penalties. Next up Bath away on Sunday 19th.

NEWCASTLE BEATEN

Oct 3 - Veteran player-coach Colin Charvis came off the bench to inspire the Newport Gwent Dragons to an EDF Energy Cup opening 25-14 win against his old side Newcastle Falcons at Rodney Parade this evening. Despite resting twelve first team players Newcastle bossed possession and territory but missed Jonny Wilkinson's influence as Marc Stcherbina profited from Danny Williams' mistake for the first try. Ollie Phillips hit back for a 14-13 lead, but Charvis won turnover ball to hand replacement scrum half Thomas Isaacs a try. Another turnover saw the Dragons attack the blind-side for a try by Newport's Jason Tovey.

DRAGONS BEAT GUNNERS

Sep 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons beat Edinburgh 11-9 at Rodney Parade in front of a crowd of 4676. A try from Fussell and two penalties from Connor was enough to see them home. The Scots scored three penalties through Chris Patterson.

DRAGONS WIN BASEMENT BATTLE

Sep 19 - Newport Gwent Dragons held out to beat Ulster 16-14 in the Magners League basement battle at Ravenhill. The home side dominated the opening exchanges, going close on a couple of occasion before former Irish flanker Kieron Dawson opened the scoring on 11 minutes. Ulster could not turn their pressure into points and allowed the Dragons to take a 9-7 lead at the interval when Arlidge kicked a three successful penalties, the last of which came in first half stoppage time. In the second half Ashley Smith scored a try for the Dragons against the run of play (converted by Arlidge) before Humphries crossed belatedly for Ulster.

NEWPORT CC WIN THE CUP

Sep 17 - Newport won the Welsh Cricket Association Gwalia Cup yesterday beating Northop from North Wales in a thrilling final at Abergavenny. Northop batted first scoring 177-8 with Imran Hassan taking 3-37. Newport made a storming start with openers Clayden and Cleeve putting on 70 off the first 17 overs. However, the innings collapsed to 122-8 after 32 overs. With Tom Roberts injured while fielding and unlikely to bat it was effectively Newport's last wicket pair of Adam Millichip and Joe Thompson who re-built the innings. With 10 runs required and 7 balls remaining Millichip hit three consecutive fours to seal a stunning victory. Millichip was awarded Man of the Match. Captain on the day Michael Clayden, collected the Cup dedicating the win to Graham Reynolds and Tim James, two of Newport's biggest supporters, who unfortunately died this year. It is the first time Newport have won the Welsh Cup in their history.Newport Club coach Mike Knight reflecting on the win claimed, ' It was a very proud day in the history of Newport Cricket Club. With nearly all our players coming through our junior ranks, it really was a day to savour. Hopefully, this will be the stepping stone for further success in the near future, they're certainly good enough!'

PRESSURE MOUNTS ON TURNER

Sep 14 - Paul Turner's Men of Gwent slipped to a 50-6 thrashing at Munster this evening. The Heineken Cup champions showed no mercy running in seven tries against Newport Gwent Dragons. Earls (3), Warwick (2) and Howlett (2) provided the touchdowns, Warwick added a further six conversions. James Arlidge score two penalties for the Dragons. According to reports Turner slammed his players after the result. He told the BBC "The floodgates opened and that is unacceptable. The boys have been told, I'm pretty disappointed we leaked like we did at the end." This is the Dragons worst defeat since they went down 55-3 on 30th January 2005. Turner took over as the head coach in May 2005. Under his leadership the Dragons have yet to win a Celtic League fixture in Ireland, thus far they have played 13, lost 13 including four consecutive away defeats to Connacht! That record is unlikely to improve on Friday when they face Ulster at Ravenhill. In any other sporting profession the Dragons coach would have quit. But everyone's job at regional rugby level in Wales seems safe no matter how poor your record is.

WIN DEDICATED TO MOTHER

Sep 14 - A swimmer from Newport has won a gold medal in the Paralympics despite the grief of her mother dying. Liz Johnson's mother Bonnie lost her battle with cervical cancer on the day she arrived in the training camp. Johnson, 22, from Rogerstone, who has cerebral palsy, overcame her sadness to win the 100m breaststroke in the pool at Beijing. The swimmer dedicated her win to her mother, saying it was testimony to the way she had brought her up.

DRAGONS THROW IT AWAY

Sep 10 - Newport Gwent Dragons carelessly threw away a huge half time lead to go down 27-25 to Llanelli Scarlets at Rodney Parade. The Newport based region used the wind to good effect and built up a commanding advantage prior to the break thanks to tries by Richard Fussell, Lewis Evans and Tom Willis. But their 25-6 lead was eaten in to by the Scarlets, tries from Martin Roberts and Nathan Brew helped the West Walians cut the deficit to two points before Stephen Jones put over an injury time penalty to seal it. Attendance - 5,057.

NEW SEASON, SAME OLD TURNER

Sep 5 - The Newport Gwent Dragons may have drafted in new personnel but unfortunately they have the same old, failed coaching regime. And it showed as they were tactically out-thought by an ordinary Glasgow side in their opening Magners League fixture at Rodney Parade this evening. The Scottish team secured a 12-6 win in difficult, wet conditions. The first half saw plenty of endeavour and a lot of kicking. The second half was the same but with more possession ending in Glasgow's favour. The experimental laws probably contributed to some of the aerial ping-pong and should be consigned to the Aussie dustbin where they belong. Glasgow's back row were tenacious and industrious and their half backs more effective. Four penalties were kicked by Dan Parks, one a-piece by Arlidge and Connor for the home side. At the end of the game, the familiar sight of a disappointed Paul Turner, hands in pockets, as his Men of Gwent left the field. Attendance - 4,113.

CALL TO OLYMPIC CYCLISTS OF THE FUTURE

Sep 3 - New beginner sessions for cyclists are starting at the Wales National Velodrome on Tuesday evenings from 6-7pm. You can book online (at www.newport.gov.uk) or by calling the City Contact Centre leisure line on 01633 656757. The classes are open for everyone to come along and try out the exciting Velodrome circuit which was used by the likes of Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton for their training in the weeks before the Olympics. The velodrome is based at the Newport International Sports Village where the 250 metre track is backed up by a first class gym and weights room and is home to the Wales Spinning Centre. For most of the year all these facilities, which are owned and run by Newport City Council, are open for the public to use.

MALPAS TAKE TITLE

Aug 31 - Malpas took the South Wales Cricket League Division Two title after an easy win over Vale at Bettws Lane. Newport drew with relegation threatened Panteg in the Premier Division match at Spytty Park. Newport III's hammered Croesyceiliog to secure their promotion from Division Four.

OLYMPIC STAR TO ATTEND SWIMMING EVENT

Aug 27 - Wales’ Olympic silver medallist David Davies will attend the Newport Aquatic Festival at the Newport International Sports Village. The event, which will take place on Friday 29 August at 9.45am-4.30pm, is the culmination of the free swim activities that have taken place in swimming pools in council-run leisure centres across Newport.

The Mayor of Newport, Councillor Noel Trigg, will officially open the event at 9.45am. David Davies will be attending from 1pm-2pm. For the past five years, the Assembly has provided funds to each unitary authority in Wales for the Under-17 Free Swim Initiative. Newport uses these funds to provide an extensive holiday programme of open free swimming sessions, but more importantly a range of popular structured sessions such as mini-waterpolo, underwater hockey, snorkelling, ‘aqua blast’ and many more.A total of 12 teams have been training this summer in preparation for the festival. They will participate in a variety of pool-based activities that suit all ages and abilities, from a mini-water polo tournament to treasure hunts and relay races.

DRAGONS LOSE

Aug 22 - Newport Gwent Dragons were beaten 23-19 by Guinness Premiership side Saracens at Rodney Parade this evening.

BEDFORD BEAT REGION

Aug 16 - English second division side Bedford Blues beat Newport Gwent Dragons 32-20 in a friendly at their Goldington Road ground last night. In addition, the Dragons found themselves in the Plate Competition after defeats in the main event of the Middlesex Sevens this afternoon and were beaten and eliminated 29-12 by Northampton.

NEWPORT FIRM SPONSORS CARDIFF

Aug 11 - Cardiff Blues has signed a main team sponsorship deal with  technology venture company EADS Defence and Security. The company, which  employs 1.200 in Newport,  has entered in a one year undisclosed  sponsorship deal with the professional rugby side. The company, which is part of the Franco-German EADS consortium, also has an exclusive option to extend the deal. For the last few seasons the Blues had a shirt deal with low-cost airline Bmibaby.

CAPTAIN WILLIS

Aug 6 - Tom Willis, New Zealander, will captain Newport Gwent Dragons this season.

DRAGONS GO BONKER(S)

Aug 2 - Newport Gwent Dragons have appointed a man with impeccable connections with the mythical county of Gwent as their rugby manager. Cross Keys director of rugby Robert 'Bonker' Beale replaces the retiring Jim McCreedy on a three year deal. He certainly satisfies the 'man of Gwent' test having work previously coached teams in the village league including Cross Keys, Ebbw Vale and Newbridge. He ticks all the boxes there then as well as having had nothing to do with Newport, always useful. As Gethin Jenkins, the man who wants to rid Newport from the regional team, states "His experience of Gwent rugby will be important as he combines the operational aspect of the role as well as overseeing the long term development of the team’s emerging talent and succession plan.” Motorpoint have announced that they will be jersey sponsors for the NGD's over the next two seasons. Perhaps of more note Rod Snow has been named in top 10 athletes ever to come out of Newfoundland and Labrador, see the article here. Newport emerged victorious at today's Men of Gwent sevens event at Rodney Parade beating Cross Keys in the final.

NEWPORT TITANS narrowly missed out on a place in the Wales Rugby League Conference Final going down to Valley Cougars by 32 points to 30 at Nelson RFC today.

DRAGONS APPOINT RICHARDS

July 29 - Newport Gwent Dragons have appointed Stephen Richards as their Conditioning Coach. He was previously fitness coach for Ulster over the past two seasons and has also worked in the backroom for Celtic Warriors and Pontypridd.

NEWPORT GAIN REVENGE ON SUDBROOK

July 27 - Just 24 hours after losing at Sudbrook in the final of the Macey Cup Newport gained revenge in a  Premier Division match at Spytty Park. Sudbrook won the toss and elected to bat first and reached 111-2 before being skittled out for 135 by Newport spinners Max Scarr (4-23) and Imran Hassan (3-12). Newport comfortably made the target with Carwyn James scoring 72 not out.

STUNNING WIN FOR TITANS

July 27 - The Newport Titans ended the Bridgend Blue Bulls reign as Welsh Champions and took away their unbeaten record at their Porthcawl home with a convincing 50-18 victory yesterday in the quarter finals of the Wales Rugby League Conference. The Pill Harriers based team took full advantage of the under strength Bulls scoring ten tries including a first half hat-trick from Tyrone Mahoney. After the game Newport coach Earl Palmer “I think the score line flattered us a bit but we are delighted to get our first win over Bridgend and be in the semi-finals, we worked really hard for this and we hope we can go one step further than last year”. Bulls Team Manager Simon Green said “we are very disappointed to lose our Welsh title after five years but have no complaints as Newport were far better than us on the day." Newport face Valley Cougars away in next week's semi final at Nelson rugby ground.

CITY TO HOST BRITISH OLYMPIC CYCLING TEAM

July 23 - The Wales National Velodrome will shortly become home for potential Olympic medal winners as the British Olympic cycling team descend on the world class sporting facility. The team arrives at the Velodrome on July 25 for 10 days of intensive training in preparation for the games in Beijing.

All training sessions will be open to the public free of charge. See some of the world’s best cyclists and potential Olympic medal winners in action, including Bradley Wiggins (triple Olympic champion), Geraint Thomas (only Welsh rider to finish the tour de France) and Victoria Pendleton (world ladies sprint champion). Training sessions will take place from 9am to 6pm (please note there is no structured sessions so there is no guarantee training will be taking place at all times). The team will be based at the Celtic Manor in Newport and cycle down each day to the Newport International Sports Village.

STCHERBINA JOINS DRAGONS ON LOAN

July 23 - Newport Gwent Dragons have signed Marc Stcherbina on a season-long loan from Cardiff Blues. The 31-year-old centre has been with Cardiff since 2006 but has been told by head coach Dai Young that he cannot be guaranteed first-team rugby this term. As a result, Stcherbina has been allowed to make a temporary move to Rodney Parade.

July 20 - Newport Cricket Club beat rivals Cardiff in Saturday's South Wales League encounter.

MAGNERS FIXTURES OUT

 

Jul 15 - The Magners League fixtures for 08/09 were announced today. Newport Gwent Dragons face Glasgow at Rodney Parade in the opening round. Full fixtures here.

 

MALCOLM STORMS TO IMPRESSIVE WIN


Jul 14 - Christian Malcolm glided to an impressive win in the 200 metres final of the British Olympic trial in Birmingham yesterday. The Newport sprinter now must await his fate at the hands of the UK Athletics selectors.

 

In other sport Bridgend Blue Bulls beat Newport Titans 38-36 in a thrilling Wales Rugby League Conference match at the Pill Harriers Ground. Sully beat Newport CC in the South Wales Cricket League at Spytty.
 

CHARVIS STAYS AS COACH


Jul 8 - Colin Charvis's positive influence upon Newport Gwent Dragons will remain next season as the 35-year-old flanker has agreed to become the region's contact and defence skills coach for the 2008/2009 season. He will also be available for selection. In the EDF Cup the Dragons face Gloucester and Wasps away and Newcastle at home in what is likely to be the final season of the competition.
 

TITANS WIN

Jun 30 - The West Wales Sharks may still be winless in 2008 but it took an enormous effort from a  physical Newport Titans team to secure the points for the away team in a 49-40 thriller at Furnace RFC. Joe Burke led the way with two tries for Newport.
 

ANOTHER DRAW FOR NEWPORT


Jun 30 - Newport Cricket Club slumped to a draw at lowly Panteg. Newport put Panteg in and the home side scored 192 for eight. Newport’s batting failed and they limped along to 136 for nine, Tudge top scoring with 48 to leave Panteg still looking for their first win of the season.


NEWPORT CC SCRAPE DRAW WITH USK

 

Jun 14 - In their latest South Wales Cricket League match at Usk Newport managed to hang on for a draw. The home side opted to bat first and made 264 for three, with player/coach Mike Jones reaching 104 not out, Glamorgan’s Huw Waters 65 and Ian Clayton also 65. Tom Leeman took two for 50 for Newport. Opener Tom Cleeve scored 65 on his first-team debut when Newport went in, but by the close they were 228-9. Newport are currently fourth some way behind leaders Sully. Find the table here.

 

TITANS LOSE UNBEATEN RECORD

 

Jun 14 - Newport Titans lost their unbeaten record in the Wales Rugby League Conference yesterday going down 40-16 at Valley Cougars.

 

 

SUPPORT ST. MICHAEL'S!
 

Jun 12 - St Michael's Baseball Club is 100 years old this year - and is raising money to build on its legacy. The Newport club is working with ASDA Living at Newport Retail Park to collect money for the team's youth sides. As well as two senior teams, the Pill-based club runs teams for under 12s, under 14s and under 16s. Club secretary Peter Sanders said just a single game costs the club £80 a day. "We have to pay for pitch fees, for the referee and other costs. We're also looking to buy the junior sides their kits for the centenary season," he added. St Michael was formed in 1908 in conjunction with St Michael's Church to offer sporting opportunities to it's younger members.
 

TITANS MAINTAIN WINNING RUN

Jun 9 - Newport Titans maintained their perfect start to the season (played 2 won 2) with an 18-16 win over Cardiff Demons at the Pill Harriers ground on Saturday.
 

DRAGONS TO PLAY BEDFORD FRIENDLY

Jun 9 - Newport Gwent Dragons will play at Paul Turner's old club Bedford on Friday August 15. As reported a week later they host Saracens at Rodney Parade.
 

BRISTOL STAYING PUT

Jun 3 - Bristol expect "a challenging time" after deciding to postpone their proposed ground share at Rodney Parade in Newport. Bristol are to remain at the Memorial Stadium for another campaign following Bristol Rovers Football Club's announcement that ground redevelopment there is to be delayed by 12 months.

Rovers directors voted unanimously to delay the project, citing the "current economic climate". A partner lined up to build student accommodation as part of the significant redevelopment work pulled out last week. Bristol had already made a decision to move to Rodney Parade in Newport for the next two seasons, with Rovers using Cheltenham Town's facilities.

Bristol have sold season tickets for the past month, based on being in Newport next term. But club chief executive David White said: "We have been in discussions with Bristol Rovers over the past couple of days, and now they have clarified the situation, we have decided to play our fixtures at the Memorial Stadium this (next) season. "We have also been talking to Newport and keeping them appraised of the situation. They are naturally disappointed that we will not be joining them next season, but understand our situation.

"I would like to say that everyone we have dealt with at Newport has been a pleasure to work with. We look forward to working with them with a view to playing at Rodney Parade in 2009-10."

STRANGE CELEBRATIONS AT WALES OPEN

June 2 - Australian Scott Strange shot a closing 7-under-par 64 Sunday, making him a wire-to-wire winner at the Wales Open in Newport.

Strange's 72-hole total, 22-under 262 was four strokes better than runner-up Robert Karlsson of Sweden. That made him the fifth player this season on the European Tour to lead after all four rounds.

STRANGE POSITION FOR SCOTT

May 31 - According to reports Scott Strange admitted to dizziness as he preserved his Wales Open lead. The Australian's light-headedness is no surprise as unknown Strange looks to close out his first victory on the European Tour. Strange shot a round of 69 to move onto 15 under par to lead the Celtic Manor field by three shots as he looks to complete a start to finish win.

DRAGONS FITNESS COACH JOINS BATH

May 31 - Bath Rugby have appointed New Zealander Paul Bunce as the new head of their fitness and conditioning team.Bunce, 36, has parted company with Magners League side Newport Gwent Dragons, where he was serving in the same capacity.
Bunce stepped up to take charge of the Dragons squad's fitness needs at the start of last season after working with the academy squad through the 2006-07 season.
 

BRISTOL MOVE THROWN INTO CONFUSION

May 30 - Bristol Rugby may still not play at Rodney Parade next season following another twist in the tale of redevelopment plans for the Memorial Ground. Owners of the ground Bristol Rovers have announced that a key partner, Opal, responsible  for providing student housing as part of the plan have pulled out. Opal have stated they are unable to raise the necessary finance. It is understood Rovers are in talks with another provider but according to reports locally the development may be deferred by a further year as a result. Rovers and Bristol Rugby had already started selling season ticket packages for Cheltenham and Newport respectively.
 

Bristol Rugby CEO David White said on Friday evening:"We remain thoroughly supportive of Bristol Rovers' efforts to redevelop the Memorial Stadium but can make no further comment until Rovers are able to provide us with an update. In the meantime, I would like to reassure Bristol Rugby supporters who have purchased or are intending to purchase 2028 Club Memberships, that we will honour those packages regardless of where we play our home fixtures next season. We will also honour the prices we have set for 2008-9 season ticket packages."
 

Newport's Martyn Hazell commented on the Bristol Evening Post website "As Newport G D chairman , this is the first I have heard of this. I cannot get hold of anyone from Bristol Rugby to talk like a man about this "
 

DRAGONS TO PLAY SARACENS

May 30 - Saracens have announced they will play Newport Gwent Dragons in a friendly at Rodney Parade on Friday August 22.

STRANGE STAYS AHEAD

May 30 - First-round front-runner Scott Strange upped his lead to four strokes with a 5-under-par 66 at Friday's second round of the Wales Open in Newport.

After inclement weather conditions, the Australian total is on a 13-under score of 129. He has never won a tournament on the European Tour.

 

STRANGE LEADS WALES OPEN
May 29 - Scott Strange made five straight birdies and shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead over Edoardo Molinari in the first round of the Wales Open. The 31-year-old Australian began his round at the 11th, and his birdie run from the 14th gave him a nine-hole score of 7-under 28.

CHAMPIONS BEATEN


 

May 10 - Champions Leinster were beaten by Newport Gwent Dragons in a lively affair at Rodney Parade yesterday evening. In their final match of the season the Dragons scored five tries. The Leinster side included  many of their first team including Brian O'Driscoll.  They fought back hard after falling well behind early on but were unable to halt the Dragons second victory in four days. The Dragons will  still finish bottom placed Welsh side in eighth spot ahead of Ulster and Connacht. Attendance - 5112.
 


 


 

HARTRIDGE CRUSH NORTH WALIANS


 

May 7 - Hatridge continued their domination of Welsh Schools football by winning the under 19s Cup Final for the fourth successive season defeating Deeside College by nine goals to nil. Chris Hartland scored four goals, Jason Armitage three, Luke Prosser and Lewis Waite scored one a-piece in another impressive showing.
 


 

DRAGONS WIN


 

May 6 - A monkey on a stick could qualify for the Heineken Cup from the Magners League. And if confirmation of this was needed Newport Gwent Dragons secured the ninth qualifying place from this below standard competition with a win against Neath-Swansea Ospreys at Rodney Parade this evening. The much vaunted Ospreys were without eleven Welsh internationals and played poorly aside from a purple patch just before half time that produced a Shaun Connor try. Otherwise the NGD's deserved their win thanks to a lively display from Richard Parks and another stupendous effort from Colin Charvis. The latter sealed victory with his second half try converted by the inconsistent Ceri Sweeney for an 18-10 winning margin. Attendance 5500.


MORE SUPER 14 PLAYERS ON WAY

May 6 - New Zealand websites are reporting that Newport Gwent Dragons are close to signing Otago number eight Grant Webb and their outside half Daniel Bowden.


 


 

LEINSTER DRUB DRAGONS


 

May 3 - Leinster took the Magners League title with an emphatic 41 points to 8 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at the Dublin Showground. The Newport-based region's only try came in the second half for prop Adam Black.

 


 

BRISTOL CONFIRM NEWPORT MOVE


 

May 2 - Bristol have confirmed they will share Rodney Parade with the Newport's two teams for the next two seasons while the Memorial Stadium is redeveloped.

Having investigated various options in and around Bristol, the board of Bristol Rugby decided that playing at Rodney Parade represented the best available solution for the next two seasons.

"We did, of course, explore every possible opportunity to remain in Bristol," said Bristol chief executive David White. "We made that commitment to our supporters and we left no stone unturned. However, we had to eliminate each venue for a variety of reasons and that meant that we had to widen our search. Newport Rugby Limited, however, have been a pleasure to deal with and we have been able to agree a mutually beneficial deal. Our thanks go out to them.

"Rodney Parade is within reasonable travelling distance of the Memorial Stadium and is a traditional rugby ground which we hope to establish as a fortress for the next two seasons. Our time away from Bristol will be a challenge but we really hope that as many of our supporters back us during this period and travel to support us in Newport."

Bristol will play home games at Rodney Parade on Sundays, and will offset the cost of crossing the Severn Bridge by cutting ticket prices by £5 per game. Bristol's first game at Rodney Parade - pending final approval from the Rugby Football Union and England Rugby Ltd - will be a friendly against Newport RFC on 30 August, while Saturday's game with Worcester should be their last at the Memorial Stadium.


 

DRAGONS DOWNED BY OSPREYS


 

Apr 25 - In a match of little excitement dominated by their committed defensive resistance the Newport based region still lost to the Ospreys 16-3. The only try of the game came after two blatant forward passes were ignored by referee Tim Hayes as he shepherded Aled Brew in to score. A worrying injury to Rhodri Gomer Davies held up play significantly in the second half but thankfully it was not as serious as first feared.
 

Newport Rugby Club has submitted a planning application for the regeneration of the Rodney Parade stadium. The scheme will provide for a 15,000-capacity stadium with 13,000 seats, together with community and commercial facilities for matchday and non-matchday activities.

The scheme incorporates student accommodation and private residential apartments which will provide the funding that will enable the new stadium to be built, plus a community centre, conference centre and education suite.


 

HARRINGTON TO PLAY WELSH OPEN
 

 

Apr 22 - British Open Champion Padraig Harrington will make his debut at this year's Wales Open at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport. The tournament, now in its ninth year, will take place between 29 May and 1 June and will be played over the Twenty Ten course designed for the 2010 Ryder Cup.

 

CONNOR SIGNS FOR DRAGONS
 


 

Apr 21 - Sean Connor has signed for Newport Gwent Dragons after seven years with Neath and the Neath-Swansea Ospreys. The 32 year old joins New Zealanders Tom Willis and Haioni McDonald and Tal Selley at Rodney Parade next season.
 


 

DRAGONS DOWNED BY CONNACHT

 

Apr 18 - Newport Gwent Dragons were beaten by the fourth Irish region, Connacht 13-11 in disappointing circumstances at Rodney Parade this evening. The Dragons failed to convert a number of try scoring chances. Inevitably Johnny O'Connor made them pay with five minutes to go. This was converted by Andrew Dunne. The crowd was 3,240, the lowest at Newport for four years. It's not the lowest crowd for the Dragons in the Magners League - on Saturday, November 1 2003 3,012 watched them play Edinburgh. Recruits from New Zealand will be announced shortly and are expected to include Waikato hooker Tom Willis.
 


 


 

COLLINS LINKED WITH NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS


 

Apr 5 - New Zealand websites are linking All Black legend Jerry Collins with a possible move to Newport Gwent Dragons. He has expressed an interest in playing in Europe.


 

YMCA BEATEN IN CUP


 

Apr 5 - Newport YMCA were beaten 3-1 by Bangor City at Latham Park in the Welsh Cup this afternoon, Dan Cueto grabbed a consolation five minutes from time. The defeat in the Cup semi-final ended a fantastic cup run for the YMCA.
 


 

GLASGOW BEAT DRAGONS


 

Mar 30 - Glasgow beat Newport Gwent Dragons 20-14 at Rodney Parade this afternoon in front of a quiet crowd numbering 4,500. The Scottish side recorded their first away win recovering a first half deficit to take victory, ably led by Scottish outside half Dan Parks. The Dragons had large amounts of possession but failed to break down their opponents defence other than a sweeping move in the first half for a Gareth Wyatt. Off the field it was confirmed that assistant coaches David Rees and Leigh Jones will join Paul Turner in a further two year stint at Newport. Turner criticised his players following the match, warning that many of them will not be at Newport next season!
 


 

WHITE-WILLIAMS JOINS PLYMOUTH


 

Mar 30 - Jamie White-Williams, a 20 year old motocross rider from Newport has signed for the Plymouth Devils speedway team. Plymouth promoter Mike Bowden stated: "As a motocross rider, which is obviously rough, he probably finds speedway a lot easier in comparison. What I can say about him is that he's very reliable and steady. I've seen him practising and he's a very good rider who's come on a lot."
 


 

YMCA MATCH OFF


 

Mar 29 - Bangor City travelled all the way to Newport for their scheduled Welsh Cup semi-final match against Newport YMCA, but the game was called off an hour before kick off due to waterlogged pitch.


 

SARACENS GO DOWN


 

Mar 29 - Struggling Newport Saracens fought hard at Caerphilly but ultimately lost 5-0. The defeat gives them a much needed bonus point but they are running out of games to save them from relegation. Division 1 East Table here.
 


 

CLOCK TO CLOCK RUN RESURRECTED


 

Mar 2 - To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Tredegar Town Clock, Tredegar Town council has resurrected the Newport to Tredegar 21 mile Road Race, known as the Clock to Clock race. Starting at the Clock Tower at Newport Civic Centre the 21 mile point to point course finishes at Tredegar Town Clock with the course rising from sea level to just over 1400ft. As one of the oldest long distance races in Wales if not the UK the race is steeped in history being first run in 1963. The run will take place on Sunday June 22 and will be limited to 100 participants.
 


 

YMCA THROUGH

 

Mar 1 - Newport YMCA have gone through to the semi final of the Welsh Cup having come from 2 down to beat Welshpool today by 3-2 at Mendalgief Road. They will play Bangor City in the semi final. Newport's three goals came from Daniel Heath (2) and Lewis Sommers.

 

DRAGONS DRAW WITH EDINBURGH


 

Feb 29 - Newport Gwent Dragons fought out a drab 10-10 draw with Edinburgh in the Magners League at Rodney Parade this evening. The match was dominated by a strong cross wind. Edinburgh with use of the wind in the first half failed to capitalise initially building up a ten point lead through a Cairns try, Godman conversion and penalty only to allow the home side back in.  The Dragons scored a Fussell try late in the first half following a neat Ashley Smith grubber kick. The try was converted by fly half Aled Thomas (first choice fly half Ceri Sweeney with a shoulder injury). Aled Thomas struck a penalty in the 57th-minute to tie the scores, but the Dragons could find no further way through doughty Edinburgh defence. Attendance - 4380.

 

SELBY TAKES THE HONOURS

 

Feb 17 - Mark Selby completed a memorable comeback to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Welsh Open final in front of a capacity audience on Sunday. The Leicester man battled back from 8-5 down to beat O'Sullivan 9-8 at the Newport Centre and claim his first world ranking title.

SWEENEY HEADS FOR CARDIFF


Feb 7 - Newport Gwent Dragons outside half Ceri Sweeney will join Cardiff at the  end of the season on a two year contract. The former Pontypridd product has been a thoroughly inconsistent performer and has not enjoyed a good relationship with fans at Newport.

YMCA DUMP LLANGEFNI OUT OF CUP


Feb 4 - Newport YMCA continued their impressive season by dumping Welsh Premier side Llangefni out of the Welsh Cup at Mendalgief Road. The match finished 1-1 but YMCA went through on penalties and are now through to the quarter finals of the competition.

BEARMAN EXTENDS STAY AT DRAGONS

Jan 31 - Back-rower Joe Bearman has signed a new two-year contract that will keep him at Newport Gwent Dragons until 2010. Newport RFC have signed Pontypool scrum half Andrew Quick on dual-contract basis until Pooler's other number 9 Gareth Betts returns from injury.

OWEN MOVES TO ENGLAND

Jan 25 - Warren Gatland's 'Welsh regions only' policy for selecting the national team is already in tatters. Saracens announced yesterday that Michael Owen was joining them following swiftly on from Dwayne Peel's decision to join Sale. The 27 year old Newport Gwent Dragon has signed for Saracens on a two year deal. When the opportunity came up, I met with the club and I was very excited about the future for Saracens and wanted to be part of it.I'm really looking forward to the fresh challenge and the chance to compete in the Guinness Premiership and in Europe."

At least Owen did not repeat Peel's ridiculous comment " I would like to experience another country for a short period". Gatland assured Peel that he would still be considered for the national team. Owen states he has had similar assurances. Dragons outside half Ceri Sweeney has been linked with a move to Worcester.

 

TURNER REWARDED WITH CONTRACT EXTENSION

 

Jan 23 - Newport Gwent Dragons has rewarded coach Paul Turner with a two year extension to his contract following a concerted campaign by a local journalist. Turner has coached the Dragons through three disappointing seasons including their failure to qualify for the Heineken Cup in 2006-7 following a humiliating defeat at home to to Overmach Parma. In this year's Heineken Cup they won only one game in Treviso before losing the return match at home to the Italian side. The Dragons have finished 9th and 10th in the Magners League under Turner's guidance. Despite this near disastrous record the Board has taken the difficult decision, without any pressure from the WRU, to retain his services.

PERPIGNAN HAMMER DRAGONS


Jan 19 - Newport Gwent Dragons were beaten 25-0 by French side Perpignan in the game of their campaign at Rodney Parade yesterday. Perpignan completely dominated the game scoring three tries. Former Newport hero Percy Montgomery added two penalties and two conversions. Attendance - 5496.

FOZZIE JOINS SARRIES

 

Jan 18 - Former Newport star Jason Forster has taken over as player coach at Newport Saracens.

IRISH TOO STRONG AGAIN FOR DRAGONS

 

Jan 12 - London Irish comfortably beat Newport Gwent Dragons 41-24 in the Heineken Cup yesterday at the Madejski Stadium in Reading. The Exiles second half complacency allowed the Dragons to mount a sprited second half comeback with tries from Daly, Sweeney and Emerick. Attendance - 8277

SIDOLI TRY WINS IT FOR DRAGONS

 

Jan 4 - Newport Gwent Dragons won their second game in four days with an unexpected win in Glasgow. The Dragons overtook an early Glasgow lead with a Bearman try converted by Sweeney who then added a further two penalties either side of half time. Glasgow levelled through a Pinder try before Sidoli scored for the Dragons. A penalty from Parks narrowed the Dragons advantage to the final outcome, 18-16.   

 

LLANELLI PIPPED AT THE LAST


Jan 1 - Newport Gwent Dragons sealed victory over Llanelli with the last move of the match at Rodney Parade this afternoon. In a pulsating climax to an otherwise drab and error strewn encounter the Dragons right wing Richard Mustoe completed the move to score in the right hand corner and secure a 15-13 victory. The Dragons had trailed earlier in the game due to a Luke Priestland penalty and converted try. The Newport based region scored a try earlier in the second half through the impressive Ashley Smith. The attendance was 6,702 - significantly lower than the holiday attendances for the other Welsh regions, perhaps we have fewer theatre-goers in Newport.


CONFUSION SURROUNDS FUTURE OF REES

 

Dec 28 - Confusion surrounds the future of David Rees, assistant coach to Newport Gwent Dragons. Rees has quit his role as Wales sevens and according to BBC Wales was linked with the job of Canadian national coach. Rees has used the South Wales Argus to deny the story and pledge his future to Wales. Rees has held a number of key coaching responsibilities, some of them altogether at the same time! However, he denies any contact with the Canadian RFU.

 

SNOOKER STARS HEAD FOR PORT

 

Dec 28 - Snooker’s leading players will be back at the Newport Centre in February for the 2008 Welsh Open. The world’s top 32 players will be joined by 16 qualifiers for the world ranking tournament, which will run from February 11-17. Tickets for the event are now on sale and can be bought by calling 01633 656 757. Among the star names battling for the title will be Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, 888.com world champion John Higgins, Steve Davis, defending champion Neil Robertson and top Welsh players Mark Williams, Ryan Day, Matthew Stevens and Dominic Dale.

 

SPIRITED SHOWING FROM DRAGONS

 

Dec 26 - Newport Gwent Dragons went down 11-6 to Cardiff at the Arms Park this afternoon in the Magners League. The Newport based region fought with commendable spirit against woefully inept opponents. If Cardiff are the new force in Welsh rugby, God help us. They wasted possession and made a huge number of errors as they lumbered their way through a tense but unsatisfying first half. The Dragons lost both props Robinson and Black yellow-carded in quick succession on the half hour mark but held the score heroically to 3-3 at half time. McLeod opened a 6-3 lead for Cardiff on the hour before Ben White scored the only, decisive try of the game as he scrambled over from a line out. Tito and Bearman were red-carded for fighting late on before replacement Ceri Sweeney slotted a late penalty to salvage a deserved bonus point for the Dragons. Attendance - 12,532.

 

IT'S PASTA JOKE FOR DRAGONS


Dec 15 - In yet another shameful result for professional rugby played in Newport the regional side Newport Gwent Dragons lost this afternoon to Italian minnows Benetton Treviso by 24 points to 22. The game was played in front of 4,516 spectators at Rodney Parade. The Italian club secured victory with the last kick of the game - a 40 metre penalty from centre Marius Goosen. The Dragons had seemingly snatched victory moments earlier through a Ceri Sweeney drop goal. It was another setback for Dragons coach Paul Turner who stated after the game "In those last magical four minutes, we don't seem to be composed enough to go on and win those games. So it is disappointing but we've played a good European side." Treviso are not a good European side their record in the competition is little short of dreadful - this is their first win in sixteen matches, and their first victory since beating Bourgoin at home on 8th January 2005. The defeat will bring back haunting memories for Turner of another disastrous defeat to an Italian side - Overmach Parma. He survived that one as well. Victory was especially sweet for Treviso's South african coach, Franco Smith, a former Newport outside half.


DRAGONS CLING ON TO EURO HOPES

 

Dec 9 - A last ditch drop goal from Ceri Sweeney gave Newport Gwent Dragons a 35-33 win in Treviso yesterday. The Dragons late effort salvaged their admittedly dwindling hopes of Heineken Cup success. The 3,000 crowd had earlier witnessed four Dragons' tries from Charvis, Rhys Thomas, Gomer-Davies and Mustoe.

TURNER STORMS OUT OF PRESS CONFERENCE

 

Dec 2 - According to reports Man of Gwent Paul Turner stormed out the press briefing at Rodney Parade following yet another defeat. But did he head for Cross Keys, Abertillery or Ebbw Vale, or any other part of his fabled 'streets of Gwent'? No, according to his friend Robin Davey "Barely able to conceal his anger, Turner concluded: "I'm absolutely fuming, I'm going back to London." And with that he stormed out."

 

GLOUCESTER LEAVE IT LATE

 

Nov 30 - Gloucester left it late for a second successive weekend before claiming a 13-11 victory in the EDF Energy Cup win over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade. But the win, achieved by a late Gareth Delve try and a Chris Patterson conversion was meaningless, with both teams out of the competition before the match started. Adam Black scored a try ealier in the match for the Dragons. A complicated situation regarding wins and draws between the teams meant that, even if Wasps and Newcastle drew in the other group game, one or the other would go through.

 

DRAGONS TAKE ANOTHER BEATING

 

Nov 24 - Newport Gwent Dragons fell to a heavy defeat at Munster this evening losing 45-19 to the Irish province. They were overwhelmed by Munster in an early scoring spree that saw them score four tries in the first thirty minutes. The Dragons tries came from Martyn Thomas, Richard Mustoe and Jamie Ringer.

 

REGIONAL RUGBY NEEDS IDENTITY - MEREDITH

 

Nov 24 - Newport, Wales and British Lions legend Bryn Meredith has called for regional rugby to more clearly identify with the traditional club identities of Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Llanelli. Speaking at last night's celebration of Newport's 1957 success over Australia he called on the Welsh Rugby Union to address the issue.

 

NEWPORT HOST UNDER 20s WORLD CUP GROUP

 

Nov 21 - The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that Wales will host the inaugural IRB Junior World Championship in June 2008. The Tournament, which will bring together the world’s best Under 20 teams, will take place between 6 - 22 June and will incorporate an exciting regional format.

Swansea’s Liberty Stadium, Cardiff’s Arms Park, Newport’s Rodney Parade and Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground will be the host venues for each of the four pools giving widespread coverage within the Principality. Australia top the seedings in Pool C and take on England, Canada and Fiji in Newport.

 

SUBLIME LONDON IRISH OUTCLASS DRAGONS

 

Nov 17 - A sublime London Irish performance left Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade this afternoon. The English outfit hammered the Dragons 45-17 in a six try demolition of Turner's team. De Vedia scored their first try and quickly added a second as the Exiles capitalised on a Kevin Morgan error. Mike Catt took a neat pass from Tonga Lea'aetoa to secure the third. Sweeney slotted a penalty but it was a brief respite as Delon Armitage added the Exiles fourth just after half an hour. All four tries were converted by Peter Hewat, he also added a penalty. Michael Owen stemmed the tide with the Dragons first try just before half time. After 48 minute a poor lineout from the Dragons allowed Sailosi Tagicakibau to boot the loose ball upfield before setting off in pursuit. Tagicakibau collected the ball and found Seilala Mapusua on his outside, who made a brilliant offload to outstanding lock Nick Kennedy in the tackle, before the six foot eight inch second row ran over the line unchallenged. The Dragons had a lucky break when the TMO ignored a clear double movement to award Steve Jones a try before a Delon Armitage interception of a wayward Andy Williams completed the rout.

The Exiles had a better line out and more intuitive half backs than the home team. They were inventive and clinical when opportunities became available. Theu played with greater intensity and pace than the Dragons. Paul Turner may rue the decision to start with three opensides in the back row as the side of rucks seemed to be largely undefended for the first thirty minutes. He also took too long to bring Joe Bearman and Paul Emerick in to the game. Their presence helped to steady the ship late on. In all, the Dragons seemed thoroughly underprepared and taken by surprise by the London Irish style of play.

 

LYDIATE COULD BE OUT FOR SEASON

 

Nov 12 - Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate looks set to be ruled out for a considerable period following a neck injury. The promising 19-year-old was today still in a French hospital after he was stretchered off the field during the Welsh region’s Heineken Cup loss at Perpignan. Lydiate strained neck ligaments and bruised a disk in his neck in the defeat at Stade Aime Giral.

 

PERPIGNAN EDGE OUT NGDs

 

Nov 10 - Newport Gwent Dragons scored a late try to earn a surprise bonus point in their 23-19 defeat away to Perpignan in Pool One of the Heineken Cup. Ceri Sweeney followed up tries by Joe Bearman and Gareth Wyatt as the Welsh region out-scored their hosts three tries to two at Stade Aime Giral. But the boot of Cedric Rosalen proved the difference as the 2003 cup finalists held on for victory on the opening night of this season's competition.

 

LOMBARD RAC RALLY

 

Nov 10 - Britain's toughest car rally concludes in Newport on Saturday. Cars cross the finish line on Sunday (11) at Newport International Sports Village after driving through 1,200 miles of forests, circuits, hillclimbs, moorland and farmland venues.

 

YMCA SEND CUP HOLDERS OUT

 

Nov 7 - Ten man Newport YMCA beat Welsh Cup holders Carmarthen Town 2-1 to progress to the last 16 of the competition. Faris Yafi gave the Pill based team the lead before Liam Hancock levelled, but an 85th minute penalty from Gareth Lynch secured a 2-1 win. They have a home tie against Llangefni as a reward on February 2. Caerleon FC also made the last 16, they face Queen's Park (Wrexham).

See Newport YMCA FC website here.

 

NEWCASTLE SHAKE OFF DRAGONS

 

Nov 3 - An unlikely comeback saw Newport Gwent Dragons challenge Newcastle at Kingston Park before losing 29-24. The Dragons were 17-0 adrift but showed some spirit to overcome the loss of two players to the sin bin before mounting their fightback. Newcastle were without star outside half Jonny wilkinson but did include Toby Flood and Matthew Tait. Rhys Thomas scored two tries for the Dragons, the other tries were scored by Martyn Thomas and Andy Williams. The Dragons net two points for scoring four points and for finishing within seven points of their opponents. London Wasps with two home games to come would seem to be favourites for the group. Newport Saracens lost at home today to Caerphilly by 31-15. 

 

DRAGONS HOLD WASPS

 

Oct 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons exceeded expectations by holding London Wasps to a draw in their EDF Cup match at Rodney Parade this evening. A disappointing match spoilt by the wet weather conditions ended 3-3, with penalties from Sweeney and Cipriani. The latter, who was the best player on the field, was denied a fair second half try by the television match official, Tony Rowlands. Attendance - 5664. Newport Saracens won at Llanharan today by 20-18.

 

MORGAN INJURED

 

Oct 18 - Newport Gwent Dragons' Kevin Morgan will be out for at least five weeks following a knee operation. Morgan will miss EDF fixtures against Wasps and Newcastle and the first Heineken Cup fixture in Perpignan. The Dragons have failed to make any additional signings to boost their squad in advance of the Heineken tournament.

 

TURNER ADMITS REGIONAL RUGBY IS FAILING TO DELIVER

 

Oct 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons coach Paul Turner has admitted that regional rugby has not captured the imagination of the Welsh public or its localities. He admits in a South Wales Echo interview that until Welsh rugby decides whether it wants fully-fledged regions or superclubs, development of the game will be hindered. “We still haven’t resolved this, certainly not in my region,” said Turner “The pity is that we are missing a trick in so many ways, one being in the marketing of the game.

Les Cusworth, Argentina's Director of Rugby recently argued that Wales should dismantle its professional game and encourage its best players to play in England or France a la Argentina "I have changed my opinion significantly over the last two years," he said. "Especially if you look at the problems Welsh and Scottish rugby has gone through. The strength and passion of the game in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales is based in club rugby and we have dismantled all that with the professional game. " He said club rugby in Wales could revert to amateur status to widen the base of the game.

Andy Howell, Western Mail correspondent has called for professional players to be scattered around the Premiership to invigorate that competition and to cut down on fixtures for the regional team. The Magners League has come in for stinging criticism from many journalists. Even Robin Davey has remarked on its failings. English commentators have attributed the hard nosed attitude of their team to the competitive mentality of the Guinness Premiership where there are no easy games and there is an annual battle for play offs and relegation. Sale coach Phillipe Saint-Andre said just over a week ago "People criticise the club game in the northern hemisphere, but I believe that the two quarter final wins on Saturday by England and France were brewed in the Premiership, the French championship and the Heineken Cup. Because we have relegation and play-off matches, and because we are used to frequent knockout games, our players know the fear of a door-die match and it makes them stronger."

 

EURO TOUR PROS TO PLAY RYDER CUP COURSE

 

Oct 15 - The European Tour 2008 schedule includes the ninth staging of the Wales Open at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport. Prize money of £1.8 million will be available as players get an early chance to play the 2010 Ryder Cup course. It takes place between May 29 and June 1.

 

 

NGDs WIN IN EDINBURGH

 

Oct 12 - Newport Gwent Dragons beat Edinburgh 19-13 at Murrayfield this evening in front of a crowd of 1,412. The Dragons scored three tries through Ceri Sweeney (2) and Wayne Evans. Sweeney added two conversions. The Scots were missing nine of their international players resting following World Cup duty. The Newport based regional team are now third in the Magners League.

 

PRYCE ON THE MARCH

 

Oct 8 - Newport's Commonwealth light middleweight boxing champion Bradley Pryce  made the fifth defence of his belt with a stunning third-round knockout of Martin Concepcion in Nottingham on Saturday. Pryce took his career record to 26-6 (16 KOs). He has not lost since October 2005.

 

DRAGONS SEE OFF ULSTER

 

Oct 6 - Newport Gwent Dragons convincingly disposed of Ulster by 31-11 at Rodney Parade this evening. In a scrappy encounter the Newport-based region played most of the football and thoroughly deserved their victory in front of a very small crowd (4,139). The Dragons were significantly assisted by returning Welsh World Cup players. Tries came from Wyatt, Gomer-Davies and Charteris with fly half Ceri Sweeney weighing in with four penalties and two conversions.

 

 

DRAGONS RUN OUT OF PUFF

 

Sep 28 - Newport Gwent Dragons threw away a 16 point lead to go down 26-16 to Munster at Rodney Parade this evening. The Dragons made emphatic progress in the first half with three penalties from Aled Thomas and a converted try from Wayne Evans. Crucially, Munster clawed a score back just before half time from Dowling. The Irishmen dominated the second half scoring an early try from Holland. The Dragons made a critical error when 16-10 forgoing a penalty kick in an attempt to score a try. Munster then scored three further penalties before Warwick scored an interception try at the death to seal it. Attendance -4587.  

 

LARKHAM IN TALKS?

 

Sep 28 - According to David Watkins, president of the Newport Gwent Dragons, the team are considering a move for Australian outside half Stephen Larkham. Larkham was due to join Edinburgh but the transfer fell through following the Scottish Rugby Union's takeover of the club. He has recently undergone a second knee operation in Montpelier Hospital, this seems likely to end his World Cup and international career. He is a world class player but doubts must remain about his fitness in particularly his knee problems.

 

BARNEY WINS DARTS FINAL

 

Sep 25 - World champion Raymond van Barneveld landed his fifth Pro Tour title of the year as he won the Welsh Players Championship in Newport. Barney suffered a shock first round exit at the Bullit World Darts Trophy last month but bounced back to form to beat Alex Roy 3-0 in the final of the Welsh Players Championship. The big Dutchman only lost three sets throughout the tournament and only lost two legs in the final against Roy, who had been playing some sparkling darts.

 

VELODROME TO BE OLYMPIC TRAINING VENUE

 

Sep 21 - The Wales National Velodrome in Newport has been chosen as the venue for the Great Britain Cycling Team to train for the Olympics in Beijing 2008. The venue was chosen due to the similarity of quality and speed of track to the actual Velodrome that the team will compete on in the Olympic Games 2008. The Velodrome was also used by the team during preparation for the Athens Olympics in 2004. The British team will be based at the Celtic Manor in Newport and cycle down each day to the Newport International Sports Village, where the Velodrome is based. Doug Dailey, from the GB Team said, “The excellent quality and speed of the track make the Wales National Velodrome the perfect venue for our riders to prepare for the Olympics in Beijing. The track, staff and venue were perfect when used in preparation for the 2004 games and will help once again get the riders ready for more medal success in 2008.

 

DRAGONS BEATEN IN GALWAY

 

Sep 21 - Newport Gwent Dragons were easily beaten by Connacht in Galway this evening. The Irish side conceded an early try from Martyn Thomas but swept in to a 19-7 lead at half time with a Robbie Morris try and a conversion and four penalties from Tim Donnelly. The Connacht outside half added a late drop goal to confirm the victory by 22-7. Attendance - 1968.

 

 

THE POWER AND BARNEY HEAD BACK TO THE PORT

 

Sep 20 - A powerful field has been assembled for the Blue Square UK Welsh Open Regional Final this Sunday. Newport Centre will reverberate to the crowds cheering on Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and up and coming stars Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Adrian Lewis. Phil 'the Power' Taylor was last year's champion. The event starts at 2.30pm with admission for adults £10, £5 for concessions and free entry for children.

 

DRAGONS DRUBBED BLACK AND BLUE

 

Sep 7 - Cardiff Blues beat Newport Gwent Dragons by 40 points to 13 in a one sided affair at Rodney Parade this evening. The 5,700 crowd mostly watched in silence as Cardiff controlled the game for long periods scoring six tries. The game was littered with errors and the home side showed little passion for the fight against their supposed neighbours. Nicky Robinson stood out in the low quality affair scoring twelve points for Cardiff. This is the Dragons' biggest home defeat since they were smashed 49-19 by Llanelli Scarlets on 29 April 2005 and the smallest crowd for a fixture between the two teams.

 

STADIUM ANNOUNCEMENT IMMINENT

 

Sep 2 - According to press reports Newport Rugby Football Club, Newport Gwent Dragons and the City Council will shortly announce plans for the redevelopment of the Rodney Parade ground. The BBC is reporting that the redevelopment of the ground has followed talks with the City Council and if it is on lines previously discussed will involve a new stand and clubhouse at the 'family stand' end of the ground. The BBC incorrectly stated that this "will allow the Dragons to stay at their Rodney Parade home, where they have been for more than a century. " We all know who has played at Rodney Parade for a century, but there you are, we are used to such mis-information. 

 

 

NGD's IN FIRST WIN AT STRADEY

 

Sep 1 - Newport Gwent Dragons upset expectations to beat Llanelli Scarlets at Stradey Park for the first time. They made a storming start to the game to lead 23-3 at the break with tries from Rhys Thomas and Gareth Wyatt. Llanelli hit back to narrow the margin to 23-20 but crucially Andy Williams stemmed the flow with a close range score to win the day. Attendance - 5923.

 

 

NEWPORT CRICKET CLUB

 

Aug 26 - In their latest South Wales Cricket League match at Tondu, Newport made 249-4 with captain Nathan Millichip getting 70, Imran Hassan 67 and Tom Roberts 58 not out. Bradley Wadlan made 100 when Tondu batted, Ben Wright got 29, Jamie Williamson 28 and Matthew Morgan 23 – but needing four to win off the last ball, Tondu lost a wicket and finished on 246-9.

 

Aug 28 - Newport followed this up with another win against Panteg on Bank Holiday Monday to go second in the league behind Sully. 

 

Sep 4 - Newport came up with a winning draw against Sudbrook on Saturday but it was not enough for the League title. They seem set to finish second behind champions Sully after a storming conclusion to the season. One round of matches remain.

 

DRAGONS STRUGGLE

 

Aug 24 - Newport Gwent Dragons struggled to put away English Division One team Bedford at Rodney Parade this evening. Bedford got off to a perfect start when they managed to win the ball from the kick-off, and Dragons gave away a first-minute penalty converted by Ben Patston. Aled Thomas levelled matters after fifteen minuutes. Patson put Bedford 6-3 in front again after seventeen minutes.  In a decisive turn of the match after 37 minutes first Dan Richmond and then Nic Strauss were sent to the sin bin by the referee for defensive infringements as Bedford held the Dragons out. The Blues managed to turn an NGD scrum on their own line to win back possession, but Patston failed to find touch and, with their numerical advantage the Dragons punished them. An incisive run from Gareth Wyatt broke Bedford's line, and the ball went through to Ashley Smith who forced his way in at the corner. Thomas added a brilliant touchline conversion to give Dragons a 10-6 half-time lead. The second half was scoreless but throughout the NGD's failed to dominate opposition from England's second division.

 

BARNEY AND THE POWER RETURN TO THE PORT

 

Aug 16 - Darts superstars Phil 'the Power' Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld will return to Newport Centre on September 22 and 23 as a major championship comes back to the City. The Professional Darts Corporation will stage their now-annual Welsh Players Championship and Blue Square UK Open Welsh Regional Final at the Newport Centre. The tournament begins at midday on Saturday 22 September.

 

NEWPORT CC CONTINUE WINNING RUN

 

Aug 12 - Newport continued their winning run by beating reigning champions St Fagans at Spytty Park in the South Wales Cricket League. Newport won the toss and elected to bat but were bowled out for 168. Tom Roberts scored 59 and Nathan Millichip 39. St Fagans were soon in trouble and were eventually skittled out for 145.

 

ST. MICHAEL'S LOSE OUT IN BASEBALL FINAL

 

Aug 11 - Grangetown Catholics were victorious in Welsh baseball’s first major trophy of the season by defeating St Michael’s by nine men to bat to lift the Bill Barrett WBU Cup at Coronation Park on Sunday. The Catholics scored 74 in their first innings, St. Michael's reply was a very poor 27. They were asked to follow on posting a respectable 50 but ultimately left their Cardiff opponents to find only four runs to win.

 

TITANS LOSE OUT IN CLOSE FINAL

 

Aug 6 - Newport Titans went down 24-18 to the Bridgend Blue Bulls at the Brewery Field in the final of the Wales Rugby League Conference. Despite taking the lead the Titans could not restrain the Bulls who ran in to a 24-6 lead. However, in an enthralling final quarter Newport pegged the score back to 24-18 and had opportunities to level matters but did not have the composure to finish matters off. Tyrone Mahoney (2) and Lloyd White were Newport's try scorers. Lloyd White was named man of the match.

 

NEWPORT HAMMER SULLY

 

Aug 6 - Newport Cricket Club followed up last week's victory over St. Fagans by hammering league leaders Sully at Spytty Park. Sully were bowled out for 41 on a damp wicket (after 34 overs). It took Newport 12 overs to knock off the required runs.

 

 

ST. MICHAEL'S BID FOR BASEBALL GLORY

 

Aug 4 - Newport has an opportunity to re-claim former baseball glories when St. Michael's bid to win the Welsh Baseball Union Cup Final on Sunday. They take on Grangetown Catholics at Coronation Park (play starts at 2pm). The Micks, as they are known, last won the Cup in 1986 and beat Grangetown in a league match earlier in the season. A key member of their squad, Mike Flynn, plays for Blackpool FC and they are awaiting permission for him to play on Sunday. Grangetown objected to the choice of venue for the cup final as rules state it should be neutral. But it was agreed to play in Newport as the city has lost a host of baseball teams over the last decade.

 

British baseball was founded in 1892 when the game was renamed by the governing bodies from 'rounders'. The game was concentrated on three cities, Cardiff, Liverpool and Newport. An annual international has traditionally taken place between England and Wales. Only three teams remain in Newport and five in Liverpool, Cardiff though remains a bastion of the game. Find out more here .

 

NEWPORT TITANS THROUGH TO FINAL

 

Jul 28 - Newport Titans face Bridgend Blue Bulls at the Brewery Field next Saturday in the Welsh Grand Final following an emphatic win over the Neath Port Talbot Steelers. Newport were in stunning form to beat the West Walians 54-10 at the Pill Harriers Ground this afternoon.

 

COUNCIL BACK RODNEY PARADE AS DAVEY SQUIRMS

 

Jul 24 - Newport City Council leader Bob Bright has thrown his weight behind proposals to redevelop Rodney Parade. He told the Argus "We have already held very productive talks with interested parties and hope to be able to announce more detailed plans in August. What I can reveal at this early stage is that the plans under discussion are exciting, realistic and deliverable. Many new sports stadiums are being developed on the outskirts of their home towns and cities, but I believe a centrally located stadium which is easily accessible on public transport is what rugby fans want - it is certainly what the city council wants."

 

Journalist Robin Davey, who broke the sensational story regarding the consortium has been left to eat humble pie. His story has proved to be ill-founded. The 'investors' refused to identify themselves or provide information about their plans. 

 

TITANS THROUGH TO SEMI-FINAL

 

Jul 22 - Newport Titans are through to the semi final of the Welsh Rugby League Conference following yesterday's 14-6 defeat of Cardiff Demons at the Pill Harriers Ground. Lewis Culverwell opened the scoring for Newport in the 19th minute before a converted Bradshaw try gave Cardiff the interval lead. A try from Lewis Bessant (after 59 mins) gave Newport the lead before Chris Vitilani secured the tie for the home team with a try at the end converted by Lloyd White. They face a home tie in the semi final next Saturday against Neath Port Talbot Steelers.

 

 

HAZELL CLAIMS LEWIS BID HAS PETERED OUT

 

Jul 17 - Newport Gwent Dragons Chairman Martyn Hazell claimed today in a BBC interview that the consortium led by Steve Lewis has failed to respond to criteria set out by the current Board of Directors and the bid appears now to have 'petered out'. A new group of investors has emerged according to Hazell. They plan to stay at Rodney Parade and to redevelop the venerable city centre stadium. He forecast that the new investors' plans would emerge by the middle of September. Hazell's statement is a clear rebuff for coach Paul Turner who has enthusiastically backed the Lewis consortium, despite the lack of details about finance or backers.

 

TITANS WIN TO SEAL PLAYOFF PLACE

 

Jul 14 - Newport Titans beat West Wales Sharks 46-0 this afternoon to seal a play off off quarter final against Cardiff Demons at home next Saturday. The winners will then be away to the winners of the quarter final between Torfaen Tigers and the Steelers.

 

 

PARKS SIGNS FOR DRAGONS

 

Jul 10 - Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed the signing of former Newport wing forward Richard Parks. Parks has struggled to make the grade with current club Perpignan. The Dragons have also signed South African born prop forward Alistair Lyon from Racing Club Chalonnais of the French Second Division.

 

NEWPORT CC WIN

 

Jul 8 - Newport Cricket Club won narrowly at Croesyceliog in their latest Thomas Carroll South Wales Cricket League fixture. They took the match by two wickets having restricted the home team to 142-7. Nathan Millichip scored 40 for Newport.

 

NEWPORT LOSE TITANIC TUSSLE

 

Jul 8 - Newport Titans slipped to fourth in the Wales Rugby League Conference after a 28-26 defeat against Bridgend Blue Bulls. The Titans were 18-0 down at half time but stormed in to a 26-18 lead before Bridgend scored two late tries and a conversion to seal it.

 

NEWPORT LOSE OUT IN BID FOR GOLF TITLE

 

Jun 27 - Golf - Newport lost to Vale of Glamorgan in the Welsh Women's team title at Carmarthen in an enthralling final last weekend. The Vale side took charge in the closing stages and they triumphed 4-1. Ceri Waite was the only Newport victor.

 

TOUGH ANGLO-WELSH DRAW

 

Jun 27 - Newport Gwent Dragons face a tough Anglo Welsh Cup draw facing Gloucester, Wasps and Newcastle in the EDF sponsored event.

 

 

DRAGONS CONSORTIUM RUNNING OUT OF PUFF

 

Jun 24 - The 'Consortium' alleged to be making a bid for Newport Gwent Dragons is clearly running out of puff. The NGD Board has advised Friends of Newport Rugby that they have not received any recent contact from the 'group' of 'Gwent businessmen'. Now 'Wales on Sunday' reports that the 'deal' is nearing collapse as the businessmen (who have made no recent contact with Newport) are allegedly

denied vital information. The article states that the group wants to build a new state-of-the-art 20,000 stadium on the LG site in Newport as part of a sports and entertainment complex and it also wants to invest £2.5m to strengthen the Dragons threadbare squad and improve the facilities for the 'Men of Gwent'. News of the stadium plan may come as a surprise to the City Council who have confirmed that the 'consortium' have made no approach to the Council or to Newport Unlimited who have indicated that the businessmen should reveal themselves and that their preferred option is to redvelop Rodney Parade. The new 'state of the art' 20,000 capacity sounds remarkably similar to the Liberty Stadium rather than the mooted second largest sporting stadium in Wales. The shadow of Jerry Sherman hangs over this development. He promised but failed to deliver a super stadium for Newport County.

Thisisnotgwent columnist Lord Islwyn commented "The 'Consortium' has clouded the main issue, the problem for the Dragons remains that they have not captured the imagination of the City's rugby public. Idiots like Robin Davey are not helping by pursuing their own selfish agenda. The team needs to plan for a future playing out of Rodney Parade and to re-brand thereby reconnecting with its main audience, Newport rugby supporters."

 

TITANS LOSE

 

Jun 23 - Newport Titans went down 32-28 this afternoon at home to Valley Cougars.

 

 

HEINEKEN CUP DRAW

 

Jun 20 - Newport Gwent Dragons will face London Irish, Perpignan and Benetton Treviso in Group 1 of next season's Heineken Cup. Perpignan, finalists in 2003, will be considered favourites for the group. They include former Newport player and South African superstar Percy Montgomery in their team. London Irish boast a strong squad including England veteran Mike Catt and rising star Shane Geraghty. The tournament kicks off on November 9th.

 

 

 

 

TITANS LOSE UNBEATEN RECORD

 

June 9 - Newport Titans lost their unbeaten record in the Welsh Rugby League Premier Conference going down 36-30 at Cardiff Demons. After four matches the Titans still head the league with Valley Cougars next up - at the Pill Harriers ground on Saturday June 23rd.

 

STERNE WINS WALES OPEN

 

June 3 - South African Richard Sterne's birdie on the final hole at the Celtic Manor earned him a one-stroke in the Wales Open. Home favourite Bradley Dredge disappointingly bogeyed the 18th to lose the chance of becoming the first Welshman to win his national title. Dredge had set up the victory chance after a dismal start with three successive birdies from the 15th, but missed a six-foot putt for par on the last to return a 67 and finish 12-under. He tied for second place with Singapore's Mardan Mamat who came surging through the field with 62, the best round of the week, and two Danes, Soren Kjeldsen (65) and Mads Vibe-Hastrup (66).

 

TITANS STAY UNBEATEN

 

June 3 - Newport Titans rugby league team maintained their unbeaten record on Saturday with a comfortable 41-10 win over Torfaen Tigers at the Pill Harriers rugby ground. The Titans' tries were scored by Lloyd White, Matt Penny (2), John Bowd, Lewis Fox, Mark Wheeler and Kirk Johnson.

 

NEWPORT CC WIN

 

June 3 2009 - Newport won away at Chepstow in the South Wales Cricket League. Chepstow won the toss and asked Newport to bat first -and bowled Newport out for 150. Kyle Tudge made 40 and skipper Nathan Millichip 33. But Chepstow failed to offer significanr resistance as Newport bowled them out for 82 with Ryan Ainsworth taking 4-14 off 10 overs with five maidens, Tom Leeman took 3-11 and Tudge 2-17.

 

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