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Vikings storm past Pwll into next round

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storm pastHakin United 6 Pwll Athletic 1

A HAT-TRICK by Hakin striker Paul ‘Jonah’ Jones helped his team easily defeat Pwll Athletic to progress into the quarter finals of the West Wales Cup.

It was the first game Hakin had played since January 11 because of the bad weather, but they showed no signs of rustiness as they dominated their opponents. Pwll started brightly with Kevin Evans cutting inside with five minutes gone, but his cross-cum-shot went wide of the far post.

However, just seven minutes later Hakin took the lead. A cross from the right caught the wind and went over everybody and fell to Ashley Bevan on the left side of the box. He then cut inside before slotting the ball into the right corner of the goal. From then on it was all Hakin and ten minutes later it should have been 2-0. Bevan’s ball forward caused confusion in the Pwll back line as both keeper and defender left it for each other, but Paul Jones could only fire the loose ball over the bar.

They finally made it 2-0 soon after as James Stanmore tapped the ball into an empty net after a challenge on the keeper was judged to be a fair one by the referee. The Pwll manager told his players to get stuck in to their challenges and not to give Hakin too much respect during half time, but that had little effect as Hakin increased their lead straight from kick off.

After winning a 50-50 ball, Steven Mathias played in Paul Jones who slotted the ball under the keeper for a 3-0 lead. That goal deflated Pwll and six minutes later it was 4-0. This time Jonathan Bennett won the ball and ran through the static Pwll defence before firing low into the bottom corner. The Vikings were not finished and two minutes later they had a fifth. Bevan’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked and it fell to Jones who stabbed the ball towards goal and it squirmed in off the post.

Pwll did manage to get a consolation goal as Gavin Evans sent the keeper the wrong way placing it into the left corner of the goal. Order was restored just a minute later as a ball forward bounced in the area and caught the defence sleeping and Jones was quickest to react to poke the ball home for Hakins sixth goal and his hat-trick. He could have had a fourth moments later, but he lifted his shot over the keeper and onto the bar. Jones was subbed shortly after, but Hakin were still hungry for goals. After good play between Mathias and Stanmore the latter found Bennett but his shot was cleared off the line.

It was an excellent performance from the Vikings who will now play Tumble United or Cwmfelin Press away from home on March 1.

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Division 3: Three-horse race

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THE Division 3 title race and promotion will be decided on Saturday (Aug 24) with three teams all still in the hunt.

Last week, Llanrhian, who had been top prior to their game, saw their match at Llangwm Seconds called off after they claimed their pitch was wet.

Herbrandston then beat Lamphey to move top of Division 3 while the Stags picked up enough points to knock Llanrhian down to third.

Going into the final round of games, Herbrandston are 19 points ahead of Lamphey and 22 points above Llanrhian.

Herbie face a trip to Narberth Seconds knowing a win will see them crowned Champions while a draw would also be enough.

A defeat could allow Lamphey in to be crowned Champions but that would also rely on Herbie not picking up more than 11 points.

Lamphey face fourth placed Laugharne in what is likely to be a tough game for both sides.

Llanrhian still have an outside chance of claiming the title but they would need to rely on Herbie and Lamphey losing their games.

Llanrhian will look to put last week’s disappointment behind them as they host Stackpole.

A win for Llanrhian coupled with a Lamphey defeat or draw could still see them promoted.

Elsewhere, the bottom four sides play each other with one final relegation place to be decided.

Whitland seconds currently sit second from bottom and they travel to fourth from bottom Haverfordwest thirds.

A win for Whitland could move them above Town and if Llangwm also won that could see Town drop down a Division.

Llangwm seconds take on already relegated Lawrenny seconds. Llangwm sit eight points above Whitland and know anything other than a win could let Whitland go above them.

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Division 2: Narberth and Llechryd face off for title

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LLECHRYD will host Narberth on Saturday (Aug 24) with the winners being crowned champions of Division 2.

Both will be playing their cricket in Division 1 next season but the destination of the title will be decided on Saturday.

Going into the game, Llechryd sit top of the Division, 17 points ahead of Narberth. A home win will see Llechryd crowned champions but should Narberth take the win it will be they who go up as champions.

When the two teams met earlier in the season it was Narberth who came out on top with a seven wicket win.

With promotion and relegation decided there is little for the others to play for but some can still improve their final positions.

Pembroke sit third and on Saturday they are away to Kilgetty knowing if they slip up, Hook could claim third place if they beat Carew Seconds.

Relegated sides Johnston and Cresselly seconds will play each other at Glebelands with the winners earning their second win of the season.

Pembroke Dock also take on Haverfordwest seconds and a win for Town in that game will see them jump above the Dock.

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New Solva kit to continue Luke’s Stand Up To Cancer message

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THE family of inspirational cancer fundraising campaigner Luke Harding has donated a new kit to Solva AFC in his memory, which features four words that perfectly sum up the way he battled the illness – Stand Up To Cancer.

Luke, who played for Solva for around a decade, raised more than £30,000 for Withybush Hospital’s Ward 10 and local charities following his diagnosis with stage four lung cancer in 2016.

Medi George, Secretary of Solva AFC said: “Luke played football with the same dedication and energy with which he battled cancer and it is an honour for our club to be able to continue his message in this way.

“We are extremely grateful to Alex, Peter and the Harding family for this kind gesture and it is fitting that our players were able to wear the kit for the first time in the final of the first annual Luke Harding Memorial Cup.”

The kit was unveiled at Fishguard Sports’ ground before the final of the competition, with Goodwick United 2nds running out eventual 3-1 winners against Solva 2nds. The tournament also included Fishguard Sports and Letterston, which Luke also represented.

Ruth Amies, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Wales, said: “We are extremely grateful to Luke’s family and to Solva AFC for supporting Stand Up To Cancer which funds life-saving research in Wales and across the UK. The new kit is a wonderful tribute to Luke who fundraised tirelessly throughout his diagnosis and we are thrilled the players wore the new kit for the first time this week.”

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