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Dragons deny brave Bluestone in thriller

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Winners: West Dragons won the first ever Bluestone Shield tournament

Bluestone 3 • West Dragons 3 (AET)

West Dragons win 4-2 on penalties

WEST DRAGONS won the inaugural Bluestone Foundation Shield after they beat Bluestone 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after a thrilling ninety minutes of football.

The final was played at the Bridge Meadow Stadium, Haverfordwest, on Friday, September 1, and a good crowd gathered to show their support.

Bluestone made an excellent start to the match and with only two minutes gone they stunned the Dragons as Bradley Hewett broke free and buried his shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Dragon’s Tony Evans came close to a response for his side but after he cut inside his shot was saved.

With sixteen minutes on the clock the referee adjudged that Bradley Hewett had been pulled down in the area and pointed to the spot. Captain Ian Darbyshire took the spot kick and buried it into the net to double Bluestone’s lead.

Davies could have added a third just moments later but after he rounded the keeper he was met by the Dragons defence who were able to clear the ball.

Daryl Mansbridge had a chance for the Dragons with a free kick on the edge of the box but his shot went over the bar.

Shortly before half time the Dragons pulled a goal back as Jordan Williams ran into the box before Scott Crawford took over and fired the ball into the net.

Early in the second half, the Dragons came agonisingly close to equalising as Crawford’s fierce strike cannoned back off the crossbar.

Bluestone also had former Swansea City player Lee Trundle in their team and he came on with half an hour to go.

Dylan Davies came close for Bluestone as his run ended with him firing the ball just over the bar.

With twelve minutes to go the Dragons equalised from a corner as Crawford poked the ball home at the back post.

Assist: Lee Trundle came on and set up a goal for Bluestone

However, just five minutes later, Bluestone restored their lead as Trundle controlled the ball well before crossing to the back post for Llew Jones who composed himself after missing his first shot to fire into the roof of the net.

Those celebrations were short lived as Dorian Davies, after seeing his free kick blocked, reacted well to volley the ball into the bottom left corner of the net and make it 3-3.

There was still time for another chance and Trundle showed his trickery before being fouled but his resulting free kick was blocked by the wall.

Referee Paul Rooney called time on a thrilling match meaning penalties would be needed to decide the game.

Both sides scored their first penalties but Ewan Cunningham saw his spot kick saved by Bluestone keeper Chris Lo, only for Darbyshire to see the following kick tipped over the bar by Ben Henton.

Allen scored his next penalty for the Dragons but Henton again saved to give his side the advantage.

After eight penalties the Dragons led 3-2 and it was left to Ashley Prior who buried his effort to seal a first Bluestone Foundation Shield win for West Dragons.

After the match, it was announced that the tournament as a whole had raised over £1000 which will benefit projects within Pembrokeshire.

Bluestone Foundation Chairman Frank Atkins thanked those who attended and everyone who was involved with the tournament, including Ian Darbyshire, who first came up with the idea of the tournament.

For more photos, visit the Herald Sports Facebook page.

 

Sport

Greene’s double sinks Swifts

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MERLINS Bridge booked their place in the last 16 of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Dec 8) as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-0 at the Racecourse.

A good crowd gathered to watch the game that was played in blustery conditions which caused problems for both teams throughout the match.

Neither side was able to gain an upper hand in the first half but it was the Wizards who eventually took the lead shortly before half time.

A slip allowed Joe Leahy in and went one-on-one with the Swifts keeper before finding the back of the net.

The windy conditions continued in the second half and Will Haworth came close to doubling the home side’s lead but his shot was saved.

They then made it 2-0 as Haworth crossed from the left for Nathan Greene at the back post who headed low and into the net.

Peter Thomas then played a good one-two with Greene but Thomas sent his shot over the bar.

Greene could have had a second soon after but, after the Swifts keeper had come off his line, he could only send his effort over the bar.

He wasn’t to be denied his second however as a through ball set him up and he fired low into the bottom left corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

On Saturday (Dec 15), Merlins Bridge return to league action with a game against bottom side Milford United at Marble Hall.

Monkton Swifts will look to bounce back as they travel to Herbrandston.

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Bluebirds prepare for Pontypridd test

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HAVERFORDWEST County will be looking to progress to the next round of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Dec 8), when they welcome Pontypridd Town to the Bridge Meadow.

The Bluebirds enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 win against Swansea University in the last round having previously beaten STM Sports 2-1 away from home in the first round.

They currently sit third in Welsh League Division 1 with seven wins from their ten games so far this season.

They will also be looking for another cup run having already reached the fourth round of the League Cup.

Visitors Pontypridd also enjoyed a thrilling 6-3 win in their second round game with Goytre and they also won 2-1 away from home against Llanidloes Town in the first round.

They may sit second from bottom in Division 1 of the Welsh Leagues but their cup run has shown that they should not be underestimated.

The game is a repeat of the third round tie from last year which Pontypridd won 3-1 and the Bluebirds will be looking to avenge that defeat.

This is the Bluebirds’ only home game in December so make sure you get down to the Bridge Meadow to show your support.

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Bowen wins Young Sportsman of the Year

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WELSH jockey, James Bowen, 17, has won the Carwyn James Young Sportsman of the Year Award at the Wales Sports Awards on Tuesday, December 4, at The Celtic Manor.

The Awards which are an annual amalgamation of BBC Cymru Wales and Sports Wales to make the biggest Welsh Sporting celebration of the year, it is intended to showcase the best of both elite and grassroot level of sporting achievement.

Speaking to James on his award he said: “It came as a bit of a shock to me, I didn’t realise I had done that well this year”.

Bowen, who has been racing for the past 18 months, at just 16 became the youngest rider to win the Coral Welsh Grand National in 2018 on Raz De Maree. He is no stranger when it comes to awards, recently collecting the Rising Star Award at the inaugural Welsh Horse Racing Awards at Chepstow Racecourse.

On his Rising Star Award James said: “It was exciting to win this award as it’s the first time these awards have been done at the racecourse”.

On his recent career highlights James added: “I would like to thank everybody who has worked with me over the years, and all the trainers who have helped me get here.”

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