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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

All Blacks earn third straight win

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NEYLAND sealed their third League win in a row on Saturday (Sept 22) as they beat Llanybydder 22-16 at the Athletic Ground.

It was a closely fought match and the blustery rain and strong wind made conditions difficult for both teams in their attempts to play open rugby.

The home side started well and were rewarded when lively right wing Patrick Bellerby made a strong midfield run to cross for the opening try, converted by fly-half Mark Riley.

Llanybydder then settled, and a good run by centre Arwel Thomas took play deep into the home 22.

Further pressure by the visitors led to two penalties for centre Steff Richards to give a score of 7-6 at the interval.

Neyland controlled possession and territory for most of the second period, with forwards and backs combining well.

Llyr James reaches over to score the last try of the game. Pic. Herald

They were rewarded with two tries for Number 8 Ben Williams and another for replacement hooker Richard Jones as they claimed a bonus point.

However, the visitors, missing a few regulars, responded with a late try for scrum half Llyr James, with an excellent conversion by Richards securing the losing bonus point.

On Saturday (Sept 29), Neyland will look to keep their winning run going when they travel to Cardigan. Llanybydder return to South Pembrokeshire to visit Pembroke Dock Harlequins.

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Sport

Super Solva sink Neyland

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SOLVA pulled off one of the shocks of the Senior Cup first round as they beat Division 1 Neyland 4-2 at the Athletic Ground on Saturday (Sept 22).

The game got underway despite persistent rain and it was the hosts who took the lead.

Solva equalised before Neyland took the lead once more, Ben Fairburn and Mike Chandler scoring for the home side.

Shortly before half time Solva equalised to make it 2-2 and it was all to play for in the second half.

Leon Dinmore scored twice while Gonzalez Rocha and Josh Bland also scored as Solva went ahead in the second half.

Neyland looked to hit back but were unable to find a way past the Solva keeper as a couple of long range efforts flew over in the closing stages.

Solva hung on for a deserved win and will now look forward to their second round game away to Pendine.

Neyland return to Division 1 action on Saturday (Sept 29) as they take on Narberth. Solva will look to build on their Cup win as they host Camrose in Division 2.

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Senior Cup first round preview

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THE first round of the Senior Cup gets underway on Saturday (Sept 22) as the road to the Bridge Meadow begins.

The standout tie of the round sees Cup holders Hakin United taking on Clarbeston Road in a repeat of last season’s final.

Hakin won the final 7-1 and they will be keen to get their defence of the Cup up and running. Clarby have reached the final for the last two seasons and they will also be looking to get through to the next round.

There is a local derby on offer in Fishguard as they welcome former Senior Cup winners Goodwick United.

Both teams have made excellent starts to their respective seasons and something will have to give for one of these teams to go through.

Keegan Summers and Steve Lewis have both scored seven times for Fishguard and Goodwick will have to keep these two quiet. Jordan Griffiths has also started the season in fine form with eight goals and he will provide the main threat to their rivals.

Division 5 newcomers Newport Tigers will have their first taste of Senior Cup football on Saturday as they travel to Division 1 side Narberth.

Narberth have not won in their opening five games and will be looking to kick start their season with a cup win.

Newport have played three times so far winning just once but they will be keen to cause an upset.

Another side that has had a tough start in Division 1 is Lamphey and they host Division 2 side Letterston who have also made a slow start with just one win from their first five games.

Action from the Senior Cup game between Merlins Bridge and Solva last season

Merlins Bridge have made an unbeaten start to the season with three wins and a draw in their first four games and they will be looking to avoid an upset against Division 4 leaders Cosheston.

Cosheston are also unbeaten and have scored over three goals in each of their three games so far and the Wizards will need to be wary of the threat posed by their opponents.

Division 2 leaders Johnston are at home as they welcome Carew in what should be an excellent game.

Johnston’s Scott Crawford and Ryan Doyle, with nine and seven goals respectively, have started the season in excellent form and they will be hoping they can cause an upset.

Carew had been unbeaten until their loss to St Clears last Saturday and they will be keen to bounce back from that result with a win in the cup.

Neyland earned their first win of the season on Saturday as they beat Milford and they will be looking to back that up as they take on Division 2 Solva.

Solva have made a steady start to their season with two wins and a draw from their opening five games but they also won in their last game on Saturday as they beat Lawrenny 3-2.

Milford v Saundersfoot from last season

Milford United are away to fellow Division 1 side Saundersfoot Sports in a repeat of last season’s first round game which the Sports won at Marble Hall.

Hundleton beat Monkton Swifts in the first round last year and they have a home game against Milford Athletic.

Both sides have made a slow start to the season and will be eager to get their season up and running with a cup win.

Camrose are at home as they take on Pembroke Boro who are yet to lose in Division 3 so far this season.

Llangwm/H’west CC take on Herbrandston while Pendine are at home to Prendergast Villa.

St Clears host Kilgetty and St Ishmaels are at home as they take on Monkton Swifts. James Russell and Dylan Davies have started the season on fire scoring 19 goals between them and Tish will do well to stop them.

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