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Milford let victory slip in thriller

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Milford Haven   31

Laugharne           31

League 3 West A

Milford Haven and Laugharne kicked off their League 3 West A campaigns with a thrilling 31-31 draw at the Observatory Field on Saturday (Sept 2).

Both teams were well up for the challenge with Colin Phillips the match official.

The match was a must for any neutral rugby fan with action going from end to end and it was Laugharne who crossed the white wash first for a try by hooker Richie Waters crossed from a quick tap penalty. Laugharne then again scored with winger Gareth Spiers given the Cocklemen a 14-0 lead.

The Mariners then struck back with some great running from the centre partnership of Dan Jenkins and Craig ‘Yoda’ Thomas, which saw Thomas touch down, followed shortly by Jenkins touching down in the far corner, both tries were converted by scrum Half Dan McClelland, given the mariners a 19-14 lead.

It was now the turn of the Mariners pack to show off their hard work which they have develops on the training field in pre-season under the watchful eye of new forwards coach Jamie Parr. An excellent line out move saw the ever present Dai Sweeny cross the line.

Things then tighten up before half time with both defences holding solid to deny each other, during this period Milford were reduced to 14 men for the rest of the game as ref Phillips issued a red card to Milford hooker Luke Ryan for lashing out at the opposition.

Tom Jameson: Laugharne’s kicker levelled the scores

After Half time the cockle man reduced the score with a kick from the boot of Jameson.

The Mariner’s then crossed the line again with a well worked try which saw young flanker Ben Groves touch down, which was excellently converted from out wide by McClelland.

The action was on a knife edge for a long period in the second half with action swinging from end to end before the visitors were awarded a penalty try to make the score 26-24.

It was then the turn of pace Milford’s winger Lee Riley who latched onto a pass and sped over after a blistering 22 meter sprint which went unconverted.

There was the a sustained amount of pressure on the Laugharne pack in the bottom corner of the Obs which saw the mariner’s pack of 7 come close to a push over try on several occasions but the Cocklemen withheld the pressure.

Both teams’ fitness levels were excellent examples of good pre-season training as the game went deep into time added on, but it was the turn of the visitors to score with a series of forward drives which saw Jones crash over and Jameson kick the conversion which saw the score level when the final whistle eventually blew.

On Saturday (Sept 9) Laugharne have a break from League Action whilst the Mariners travel the short distance to local rivals Neyland which has been a tough battle for many years.

Sport

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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Sport

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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Sport

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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