THE history of West Dragons Football Cub spans across a very short period from 2008 to the present day. They were formed in 2008 by brothers Jamie and Lee Palmer, who with great ambition, courage and determination have bought the club to where it is today.
They also stated that the main philosophy of the club was to “give young players the best opportunity to succeed in an environment where they can play with freedom, courage, belief and to be successful”.
The club started the 2008-2009 season in Division 5 of the Pembrokeshire League. During that season the team played their home games in Crundale at the Rudbaxton Community Playing Field. The Palmer brothers approached local businessmen Karl Potter (The Glen, Haverfordwest) who became club chairman – who invested £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club.
Finally Jayne Thomas was added to the committee as club secretary and she stills holds that position today. Other sponsors such as G and G Builders Pembrokeshire Ltd, LNG South Hook invested to help fund facilities and equipment including a sit-down mower much to relief of then part time groundsman who for the first month of the season cut the whole pitch weekly with push on mowers taking an amazing five hours to complete.
Under the management of Jeremy Thomas and Deny Barrett the club began playing in the Pembrokeshire League. In October of 2008, the club made a move to bring in Lee Morgan as manager and finished the season as Division 5 league and cup winners beating St Clears in the final remarkably the club remained not only unbeaten but didn’t draw or lose a game in those respective competitions. Showing ambition the club was helped to success with the likes of Jonathan Clarke, Jay Brockway and Matthew Watters.
During the pre season of 2009-2010, West Dragons made Bob Nelson their new first team manager. After a strong start to the league campaign, West Dragons slumped in a run of games including a two leg cup defeat to Tenby United which ended Nelson’s campaign as manager.
Morgan returned to the helm in November and guided the team to the division title with the clinching victory coming in a game against Clarbeston Road where Simon Thomas scored the winning goal.
Off the field there was also change. Terry Worsley was appointed new club chairman and West Dragons replaced The Glen, Haverfordwest with The Labour Club, Haverfordwest as their new main sponsors. This time local businessman Eddie Wells invested in the club and still to this day does so as the club’s main sponsor. The club also made a ground move to The Pavillion Playing Fields, Portfield after agreeing a lease with Tasker Milward School and Pembrokeshire County Council for the use of the playing field which includes two full size pitches.
The Pembrokeshire League season 2010-2011 for West Dragons started in Division 3. The season ended in promotion with a second place finish in the division. They also managed to secure a division cup win with a 3-2 victory over Broad Haven, after trailing by two goals with only 30 minutes to play.
More history was created with a reserve team being introduced to Division 5 under the guidance of Deny Barrett and an under 14s junior team supervised by Jeremy Thomas and Jamie Palmer with fourth and third place finishes respectively. Off the field committee members were added and Karl Davies became the club’s groundsman on a permanent basis. On to Division 2, Morgan’s ambition was to achieve promotion in season 2011-12. The Dragons more than held their own in this division by comfortably beating teams and were third by Christmas. In February manager Lee Morgan decided to step down due to university commitments.
The committee decided that Jamie and Brother Lee would run the team until the end of the campaign. The Palmers decided to make Chris Darlington club captain and adopt the same style of play Lee Morgan installed. It certainly worked because the Dragons found themselves in another cup final after beating Saundersfoot Sports 2-0 in Division 2 cup semi final, Steven Dockerty and Mike Turpin with the goals. The league campaign ended with the reds narrowly missing out on promotion finishing third in the division.
In summer 2012-13 West Dragons committee appointed Nigel Delaney as their new manager. Delaney was recommended to the club and after meeting him and knowing his footballing background they knew he was right choice to bring club forward. This was Delaney’s first management job after a very successful playing career. Nigel had Mark Falzon helping him train the team for short spell but asked Byron Phillips to assist him. Phillips had recently managed Monkton Swifts.
Under Delaney the Dragons were unstoppable in the league losing only two games all season after comfortably achieving promotion. The target for the club was the achieve promotion but to do it in Delaney’s first season was great achievement.
The Dragons also made it to their first ever senior cup final after beating Hakin United 4-0 on the Bridge meadow in the semi final. The Dragons were the first side since 1989 to reach senior cup final and not to be playing in Pembrokeshire’s top division. The Reds faced Johnston the final at the Bridge Meadow Stadium watched by a record attendance with more than 1400. The Dragons finished runners up in final after losing 3-2. It was great effort by everyone involved with the club, considering the reds were trailing 3-0 at half time we showed great character in second half scoring two goals and giving Johnston a fright when Niall Kinsella hit bar in last 10 minutes of game.
A lot of credit had to go Nigel Delaney after what he achieved in season 2012-13. In this season West Dragons also had a successful season with their second side after manager Mark Hix guided his team to win the Division 5, an ambition the club felt had to be achieved if club was going to progress as a club.
The Dragons under 16s also had brilliant season after winning their league. The club was delighted to win their first junior title and glad the majority of the team has stayed with club in the senior level.
The Juniors also made it to the under 16s cup final but came runners up to Carew losing 2-1 at Marble Hall, Milford Haven. The club also started up a under 10s team and the team was managed by former Dragons player Simon Owens. The reds ambition is to bring juniors through every age group. The start of this season has been a success so far with some impressive performances and causing some shock results. Off the pitch Nigel Delaney decided to step down as manager, but deserves great credit for his effort and dedication he gave to club. Byron Phillips was appointed manager and Ritchie Brill as assistant manager. Phillips assisted Delaney so was the obvious choice to replace him. Mark Hix also stepped down as manager and was replaced by player-manager Dai Upward; Dai captained the seconds to previous season.
Coming up to Christmas break and the Dragons are currently in fourth place in division 1, five points off top of the league and the club is hoping to keep playing the football they have been playing and finish in the highest place they can. The second team is also holding their own in division 4 and hope to continue in the hard work everyone’s put in.
West Dragons would like to wish all their players a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing everyone back in the New Year.
Impressive win for Mikey
FISHGUARD boxer Mikey O’Sullivan secured an impressive victory over a top English opponent in the England v Wales international at Cannock at the weekend.
The Ysgol Bro Gwaun pupil, who boxes for Cardigan ABC, overcame Mike Smith (Pinewood Star ABC) on a split decision to help Wales to an 8-7 victory.
The result more than made up for the disappointment of O’Sullivan’s controversial points defeat against Luke Rodder in the previous Wales v England international.
Wales survive Fiji scare to book quarter final place
WALES booked their place in the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup on Wednesday as they survived a scare from Fiji.
The Fijians led 10-0 early on and 17-14 in the second half but a try hat trick from Josh Adams helped them eventually seal the victory.
Fiji made a bright start but a loose pass gave Wales possession. However, James Davies was then guilty of being offside and Fiji opted for a scrum near the try line.
They worked it to the right for Josua Tuisova who forced his way over despite the attentions of three Wales players. Ben Volavola missed the conversion from wide on the right but Fiji led 5-0 after the opening five minutes.
Wales thought they had scored a minute later when Josh Navidi went over but the ball had been knocked on earlier in the move.
Fiji then broke through again and Frank Lomani touched the ball down, but after checking with the TMO the pass to him was judged forwards.
The referee stayed with the TMO to check for foul play and it was Ken Owens who was yellow carded for a tip tackle.
Fiji didn’t let the disallowed try get to them and they again worked it to the right for Kini Murimurivalu who rolled over before touching down. Volavola’s conversion from out wide again was just wide.
Tevita Cavubati was then yellow carded for a shoulder charge to the back temporarily making it 14 vs 14.
After 18 minutes Dan Biggar kicked across field to the left for Josh Adams who took the ball well before touching down. Biggar then added the conversion from out wide to make it 10-7 to Fiji.
With 26 minutes gone the ball was played to Adams again who dived over but the TMO adjudged that Adams’ foot had just gone into touch.
Fiji were defending well and had forced Wales back but Semi Kunatani was guilty of being offside and was given a yellow card after a series of Fiji indiscretions.
With half an hour gone Wales, after looking to bulldoze their way over, passed out left to Adams again who this time went over for the try. Biggar was successful with the conversion again to give Wales a 14-10 lead.
Shortly before half time Fiji thought they had scored a third try but Volavola’s pass to Viliame Mata was forward.
Half time came with Wales winning 14-10 but the game was still very much in the balance.
Fiji started the second half well and came close to the line but James Davies turned the ball over after seven minutes to ease the pressure.
Davies was then penalised for stopping a drive and after an accumulation of penalties, he was shown a yellow card.
Fiji kicked to touch and set up a maul but after it was brought down near the line, referee Jerome Garces marched under the posts to award a penalty try.
That put the Fijians 17-14 ahead and Wales then lost Dan Biggar to a head injury. He and Liam Williams both went for a high ball with Biggar coming off worse. Biggar picked himself up but was replaced by Rhys Patchell.
Patchell was straight into the action as he scored a long-range penalty to bring the scores level.
Jonathan Davies then made a great break for the line and made a superb offload to Adams who dived over to touch the ball down. The try was checked by the TMO but Adams’ hat trick was soon confirmed. Patchell’s conversion came back off the post and the score stayed at 22-17.
Davies then limped off and he was replaced by Owen Watkin.
Fiji were keen to show that they were not out of the game and came forward again but gave away possession.
With ten minutes to go, Gareth Davies offloaded to Liam Williams who dived down near the posts to secure a bonus point for Wales. Patchell added the extras to put the men in red 29-17 ahead.
That try all but sealed the win for Wales and when the clock ticked past 80 minutes, they kicked into touch to bring the game to a close.
Wales take on Uruguay in their final pool game on Sunday (Oct 13), kick off at 9:15am.
West Wales Cup: First round preview
THIS Saturday the West Wales Cup gets underway once more with teams hopeful of a successful run to the Liberty Stadium for the final.
Merlins Bridge are the holders after they beat Carew in the final earlier this year and both have been given byes into the second round this season.
Last year marked the first time that two Pembrokeshire sides reached the final but will that happen again or will another team look to bring the county’s recent dominance to an end.
Goodwick United, Hakin United, Kidwelly Town and Tumble United are some of the other sides to receive byes to the second round.
Pembrokeshire League Champions Monkton Swifts begin their campaign away to Carmarthenshire Premier Division side Loughor Rovers.
The Swifts have made an unbeaten start to their league campaign while the Rovers have four wins from their opening seven games.
Carmarthenshire Premier League champions Trallwm host Swansea Division 1 side Penclawdd.
Both sides have had mixed starts to their season and will be keen to get their cup run going.
Neath League Division 1 side Cilfrew Rovers are the visitors to Fishguard on Saturday with both sides enjoying a good start to their respective seasons.
Clarbeston Road host Swansea League Division 2 side Cwmfelin Press and Neath Division 1 side Resolven are the visitors to Haverfordwest Cricket Club.
Pembrokeshire Division 2 side Herbrandston host Carmarthenshire Premier side Pengelli United.
Herbie have just one league win to their name so far this season while Pengelli have four wins from their opening seven games.
Swansea Division 1 outfit Morriston Town will visit Division 2 Hundleton in what will be a good test for the Pembrokeshire side.
Neyland host Neath Division 2 side Clydach Sports having sealed their first win of the season last weekend.
In two Pembrokeshire versus Carmarthenshire league ties, Letterston are at home to Evans and Williams while Pennar Robins host Dafen.
Dafen are second in Division 1 while the Robins are without a win so far this season.
Elsewhere, Kilgetty travel to Celtic Neath while Lawrenny travel to Bryn.
Division 2 Carmarthenshire side Abergwili host Division 1 FC Carmarthen while Carmarthen Town United host Wern.
Bancffosfelen were heavily beaten at the weekend and they will look to put that result behind them when they travel to Bonymaen Colts.
Premier Division Burry Port host Swansea League Division 3 side Cwm Albion Colts.
Bwlch have only had one win in the league this season and they host Neath Premier Division side FC Clydach who themselves only have two wins to their name so far.
Carmarthen Stars host Pontardawe while Pembrey host Cambrian.
Felinfoel earned a win in their last game in Division 1 and they go up against Carmarthen Premier side Pontarddulais.
Trostre are also at home as they take on Jersey Marine while Seaside travel to Sandfields.
St Ishmaels are away as they take on Gorseinon Athletic, Milford United travel to Murton Rovers and Narberth host Ynystawe.
Good luck to all sides involved.
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