Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle ladies and gentlemen, but it’s almost Christmas! So take that miserable look off your boat-race. Tis the season to be jolly after all!

You may be sullenly barbecuing a kangaroo burger on the golden sands of some sun-soaked beach in Western Australia, or you might be wondering just what went wrong, whilst sobbing softly in the cold confines of a drunk tank in New York City. You may even be getting back to nature in an igloo with a couple of friendly eskimos in eastern Siberia, but when the sleigh bells begin their jingle jangle and millions of dead birds are slowly roasted, it can mean only one thing, it’s Xmas with a capital X!

So come! Gaze with wide-eyed wonder at the millions of garishly coloured fairy lights, lighting up our alleyways and avenues like a bad acid trip. Be rendered mute with unbridled awe at the accumulated wealth of small countries exchanging hands on an hourly basis in the name of some poor boy born in a stable. And coo like a kitten as we endearingly attempt to salve our insatiable appetite for tack, trinkets and tat. I think you’ll agree. It really is the most magical time of the year.

So why not take a measured moment and thank online giant Amazon in a silent prayer for inventing Christmas.

Moronic mirth aside, in amongst all the Hocus Pocus and tomfoolery of the festive folly, it’s all too easy to forget what and who the real reason for the season is.

Kenny Everett and Sir Isaac Newton! They were both born on Christmas day you know. They’re unlikely bedfellows but each one blessed in their own peculiar way.

However, we digress. Some Saint or other once said, “At Christmas time, there’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear.”

To which you might say whilst furiously chomping on a walnut, ‘So what!’ Because for many, Christmas time is is all about turning your back on the mean old world and losing yourself in an intoxicating whirl of Martini, nibbles, French cigarettes, silk pajamas, and the greatest hits of Bryn Yemm.

Someone once said, "A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together." Which leads us quite nicely into this year’s Sporting review.

Yes indeed, it’s that time of year again sports fans, when like pirates questing for forbidden bounty, we trawl through the past looking to salvage some rare pearls in amongst all the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shores of 2017.

So why not show your bulging and unsightly varicose veins a little mercy, take the weight off your swollen ankles, grab a warm Stella from the crate under the stairs, and join Sports Editor Tim Butters as he glides like an eagle through the first six months of sporting action which lit up the Abergavenny area like a Christmas tree.

One last word of advice before we blow, when you stop believing in Santa you get pants.

Have a very merry sporting Christmas one and all! And to all you pagans! Enjoy the Winter Solstice!


Football: Abergavenny Women kicked off 2017 in fine style with a thumping 4-0 win away at Aberystwyth. Abergavenny Town began the New Year with a bang as they put Porth to the sword in a five-goal thriller.

Cycling: ABERGAVENNY’S Bill Owen is recognised for over 50 years service to cycling in Wales with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours’ List.

Owen said, "It was a very pleasant and humbling surprise. My whole life has been about overcoming adversaries, none more so than in cycling. Nothing is more satisfying in life than to make things happen, especially as cycling has not always been regarded as cool.”

Owen added, “Being part of British Cycling during its mammoth rise in popularity and success on the international stage is something I take great pride in.”

Golf: A Welsh golfing legend who took his first swing of the club at the age of four and had his first hole-in-one at the age of nine sadly passed away this month, but his legacy and reputation in the golfing community will be remembered for years to come.

William Iestyn Tucker was born in Nantyglo in December 1926. Tucker had a reported total of 26 aces in his career and held the course record at 15 clubs. He joined the RAF on leaving school in 1944 until 1947 and joined the Monmouthshire Golf Club in 1948 where he started a remarkable journey in Welsh Amateur golfing history. He first played for Wales in 1949 and represented his country 168 times over a period of 30 years.

Tucker played in his first final of the Welsh Amateur Championships in 1951 and proceeded to play in eight finals – the last one being in 1976 when he also won the Stroke Play Championship.

He was the Welsh Seniors Champion in 1982/84 and 89. He also won the Duncan Putter at Southerndown five times between 1960 and 1976.

Tucker was a Gwent County Player for 31 years and Gwent Amateur Champion 17 times, representing the Monmouthshire Golf Club with notable victories at club level between 1959 and 1969.

Rugby: In their second game of the New Year, Crickhowell took on Hollybush RFC at Parc Broyd and pretty much destroyed them 45-3.


Squash: Abergavenny Squash Club’s Jayden Gough wins the Plate Final at the Welsh Closed Squash Championship.

Motorsports: Abergavenny based race team SMG Motorsport celebrate after being honored with the ‘Best Prepared Car’ award at the Dunlop MINI SE7EN awards ceremony.

Football: It was the old tale of missed chances for Abergavenny Women, as despite dominating the Welsh Cup quarter-final for long periods it is the visitors and current league champions Cardiff Met who progress into the semi-finals.

Aquatic: Swimming sensation Alex Griffiths makes a name for himself in the poolsides of Wales as a strong swimmer who is causing a big splash and making all the right ripples.

Hockey: For the first time in the club’s history, Abergavenny Hockey Club’s ladies section are through to the Welsh Cup Trophy Semi-Final.


Football: Local footballer Chris West celebrates his 70th birthday in style, with nine other men, some nets, and a leather ball. In other words, he did what he’s been doing for many a moon, playing the beautiful game, and playing like a man who sees age as just a number and not a handicap. The lifelong Arsenal fan has been involved in grassroots footy since he was a young lad, and has had stints at Tranch, New Inn, and the Abergavenny Chroniclers’ FC.

West was also involved in management roles for the King’s Head FC and latterly, Gilwern FC.

The fanatical footballer is best known as one of the faces at Abergavenny Leisure Centre who have been keeping the local five-a-side teams on a firm footing throughout the years.

Abergavenny travel to Cardiff for the Welsh Premier Women’s League Cup final under no illusions of the uphill task ahead of them against the current league champions. And on a cold wet afternoon at Leckwith Stadium the Aber ladies gave it their all but it just isn’t enough to prevent Cardiff Met from lifting the silverware

Weightlifting: When Kathryn Holley decided to give up running due to injury and concentrate on lifting weights as an alternative form of exercise, she had no idea that two years later she’d be representing Wales, breaking records for bench press, and being crowned the best female lifter at the National Championships.

The 35-year-old teacher did exactly that this month when she powered her way to glory at the BDFPA event held at Kings Lynn, and although she had her eye on the British record prior to the competition, she had given no thought of topping the best female lifter category.

“I was over the moon and on cloud nine with the result, and that’s putting it mildly,” explained a jubilant Kathryn after the event.

“It was a fantastic result and just goes to show how switching my running shoes for a pair of dumbbells has paid off handsomely.”


Football: Manchester United legend Eric Cantona hit the headlines this month for insulting the husband of an Abergavenny women on Twitter. Ok the bloke in question happened to be presidential candidate Francois Fillon, but his wife Penelope is from these parts, and both were on the fiery Frenchman’s radar when he launched into a Twitter tirade about politics and football.

The former Red Devil made a direct reference to the Fillons when he snarled on social media, “‘Ooh aah... France it’s a very strange country. If you are indicted you are banned indefinitely from the national football team, but you can still run for the presidency.”

Rugby: Abersychan Alexanders visited Parc Broyd hoping to increase their standing in the league but had the legs whipped out from beneath them by an in-form Crick to the tune of 55-15.

Equestrian: In front of a 7000 strong crowd, Abergavenny jockey Milo Herbert secured his first win at the Cazenove Capital OBH Point-to-Point at Lockinge’s Country Day.

Rugby: Abergavenny finished their season with a spring in their step after beating Blackwood at Fortress Bailey, 22-10, with an impressive display


Rugby: Crickhowell’s ’s successful season turns a little sweeter when they beat Usk 33-9 to win the Ivor Jones Cup.

British Lions and Welsh Coach Warren Gatland is a guest of honour at a charity fundraiser held at Abergavenny’s Angel Hotel. The former Lion and BBC pundit Eddie Butler also swings by to support the J9 Foundation event, as does Welsh songbird Bryn Terfel.

Cricket: Abergavenny finish their pre-season programme with a disappointing six wicket defeat to Pentyrch at Avenue Road. They bounce back the next weekend and commence their league campaign with a 72 run win against Cardiff Gymkhana.

Football: Abergavenny Town have a torrid time of it in their second-half outing against Ammanford FC and lose 0-3.

Motorsports : Damian Cole and Paul Morris prove their mastery of the Epynt range, when they set fastest times on all of the 11 stages of the Dixies Challenge Rally.

Athletics: Welsh AM Kirsty Williams officially opens the new 3G pitch at Crickhowell High School’s Community Sport Centre. Sport and Community Development Officer Annaliese Lewis describes the upgraded sports and leisure facilities as “a fantastic asset to the school and community.”


Scottish teenager Joe Nally celebrates a double whammy after winning the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling’s Grand Prix.

The 17-year-old from Dunfermline was never out of the leading group during the race from Cross Ash to Grosmont, and added the bonus of the sprint’s title to the overall first prize. Nally worked for his crowns and described the course as ‘brutal’.

Football: It wasn’t just Real Madrid who had a cracking result in Cardiff this month, the Abergavenny Women also had a day to remember. The Aber contingent trashed Llandudno Ladies 12-0 to win the national five-a-side tournament in front of 2000 fans at Cardiff Bay’s Champions League Festival Park.

It’s no exaggeration to say they blew away fellow Premier League side Llandudno with a display of total football, good enough to grace any occasion. Following the win it was off to watch Ronaldo and the rest of the lads turn on the style in the Champions League Final,

Fourteen-year-old Ffion James is awarded a Welsh Cap. The talented Gilwern footballer has been playing soccer since she was four-years-old and currently plays for Bristol City Womens’ Academy.

Motorsports: Damian Cole and Paul Morris win the Welsh Marches Mini Epynt Stages in their Ford Escort Mk2. Vroom! Vroom!