IT has been an odd year for sport in Pembrokeshire.

Leagues across the county were in full flow until mid-March when the coronavirus pandemic took hold, and everyone was forced to stay indoors.

Despite that though, there has still been some excellent sporting moments and some that have put things into perspective for us all.

Before the pandemic, there was a great moment for Neyland as they were crowned Welsh Indoor Cricket champions once again.

There was also a game of rugby between a Pembrokeshire XV and a Valero team. The game finished 24-19 to Pembrokeshire but the result mattered little as those who attended helped raise over £3000 for charity.

The occasion, organised by Gareth Scourfield, raised money for his nephew Owen James who has Pitt-Hopkins syndrome. Sure enough, a large crowd in Pembroke Dock were there to give the youngster and dad Iwan a standing ovation before kick-off as both sets of players formed a guard of honour.

It was then that the pandemic began to take hold on our lives and all sport was halted.

The national lockdown was put in place and we all had to find other ways of passing the time.

Many of our teams used the time to stay in shape, with their daily exercise limited to one outing a day, and also raising money for charity.

Those taking part clocked up the miles to complete a ‘virtual’ journey to a certain location or just gave themselves a target to reach to help raise funds.

While all this was going on, Hakin United were crowned champions of the Pembrokeshire football league after it was agreed the season should be ended and decided on a points-per-game basis.

Haverfordwest were also promoted to the Welsh Premier League once again.

All rugby leagues were also suspended and it remains to be seen when they can return.

When elite sport was allowed to return in the summer no one could have quite predicted Swansea City’s rise to the play-offs and an astonishing final day of the season saw them scrape into the play-offs at the expense of Nottingham Forest.

Sadly, for Swansea it wasn’t to be their time to return to the Premier League as they were beaten by Brentford in the semi-finals.

There was sad news in August as Jacob Thomas, who competed at the London 2012 Paralympics sadly passed away at the age of 25. Tributes poured in for the Boccia star whose dedication saw him win numerous international titles at BC3 level. Among his successes were a coveted gold medal at the World Student Games in Brazil.

Attentions then turned to cricket with cup competitions being played and all teams observing to the 2m social distancing rule.

Friendlies were played initially to get teams back into action before the competitive stuff started.

In the women’s game, Burton were crowned cricket queens once again.

In the men’s game, Cresselly won the Ormond Youth Cup, the Alan Brown final went the way of Llanrhian while Carew 2nds claimed the Alec Colley Cup.

The Ken Morris cup was won by Neyland 3rds while the ‘big one’ the Harrison Allen went the way of Neyland to cap an excellent year for the town.

More recently, former Crymych RFC player Stephen Varney won his first cap for Italy as he took part in the delayed Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup.

Sport was also allowed back in October but with a rise in coronavirus cases, clubs have put their plans on hold until the New Year.

Things to look forward to in 2021

We can only hope that 2021 will live up to be much better than 2020 and that the pandemic can be beaten so that we can all return to some kind of normality.

There are the cancelled European football championships and Olympics to look forward too.

More locally, Saundersfoot will be hosting the World Rowing Coastal championships and Fishguard and Goodwick Cricket Club will be returning to league action after forming earlier this year.