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Woodrow wins it for Hakin



HAKIN UNITED reached the second round of the Pembrokeshire Senior Cup on Saturday (Sept 16) as a Nicky Woodrow hat trick secured a 4-1 victory over Division 3 hosts Camrose at the Martin Mathias Memorial Ground.

It took the Division 1 champions 71 minutes to regain the lead through a Woodrow tap in following a rasping free kick from 25 yards out on the left hand side by Ryan Wilson, which goalkeeper Geraint Sergeant fumbled.

The goal was a crucial breakthrough for the visitors who had dominated possession throughout the game but their frustration at their own lack of quality at key times was evident.

The game, for a potential David v Goliath encounter lacked any ferocity in the opening quarter of an hour as Hakin settled into a style which worked their wing backs, Steele and Bradley Barrett into positions where as the spare man could dictate the pace and direction of play.

Both had excellent games which encouraged their team mates to keep the ball moving on a greasy surface, even playing short free kicks from which Woodrow combined with Wilson who shot wide from the right of the goal after 11 minutes.

Young Camrose centre back Callum John, sitting between the experienced Simon Gilderdale and captain Richard Nash in a back five was directed to pick up the prolific Woodrow, which he did well until the seventeenth minute when the deadlock was broken by the striker who planted a header from eight yards into the bottom left of Sergeants goal.

Barrett, Justin Harding, Adam John and Wilson had combined brilliantly in the midfield to send the ball across the pitch with one touch passing and movement which dragged Nash into going to ground on the right hand touchline, missing the flying Fawcett who whipped in the perfect cross for Woodrow to finish.

Hakin were on the front foot, forcing three corners in quick succession and it took all of Gilderdale’s experience as a Schoolboy international and Welsh Premier player to keep them at bay, with his side unable to move the ball out of their own half as the mid-point of the half passed.

Ben Aldred also began to become influential in the centre of the field combining well with Wilson and Harding before Steele was played in just before the half hour mark from wide on the right, only to fire over the top.

Camrose had been down to ten men for five minutes after winger Finn Thompson had a blooded nose after an innocuous challenge on Woodrow but on his return he created a chance from himself picking the ball up forty yards from goal and driving a right foot effort to the left of Adrian Devonald’s goal.

It gave Camrose some confidence which developed as seventeen year old Jordan Williams and Dan Phillips were not averse to standing tall in the midfield tussle whilst James Williams and Jay Johnson enjoyed picking up the loose ball.

With six minutes to go Sergeant made a smart save to his right from Harding following a sweet Steele delivery, with the goalkeepers long clearance causing Hakin centre half Daniel Armstrong to slip.

Mikey Loveridge accepted the opportunity to latch onto the mistake to round the advancing Devonald and score from the edge of the eighteen yard box despite pressure from Ryan Mansell.

The sides were equal going into the half time break and the second half followed a similar pattern to the first as Hakin dominated the play, with the home sides Thompson doing his best to drive them forward with some neat touches and dribbles.

Manager Kristian Bennett switched Steele into the centre of the field, pushing Aldred wide on the right with the former Monkton Swifts player pulling the strings which drew a continuum of free kicks for the ‘Vikings’ which they didn’t capitalise on until Woodrows tap in, just after Thompson had to be withdrawn with a recurrence of his nose bleed.

Camrose’s Sion Williams had picked up a yellow card in the first half for a late tackle but benefitted from his manager, Jamie Gilderdale’s brave change of formation which saw former Narberth star Nash push into the centre of the field as they went in search of an equaliser.

Williams found time on the ball and combined with the home sides own ‘Edgar Dravids’ James Williams who rang a track down the left side of the field which Hakin couldn’t stop.

Loveridge had a tame free kick from 20 yards saved by Devonald following Aldreds tackle on the flying ‘Dravids’ as the Hakin frustration built; Williams worked hard to keep a ball in play on the left side of the Hakin goal area to send in a cross which Nash would have relished in his Narberth prime but couldn’t direct it into the unguarded net as Mansell challenged him.

Hakin themselves had become reliant on skipper Woodrow, who was a constant outlet from dead ball situations throughout the game but he was nullified by Dan Phillips who sat in front of his defence after Gilderdales tactical switch.

Half chances fell at either end to the tireless working Loveridge for Camrose and Harding, Fawcett and Adam John for Hakin, before the blue touch paper was lit with fifteen minutes left following a bought between John and Camrose full back Johnson following the Hakin wingers lunge over the ball.

With both receiving red cards for violent conduct after exchanging more than a hand shake with each other, it raised the shackles for the final interlude as Mansell was cautioned for handball, Steele for unsporting behaviour and Camrose’s Callum John for a late tackle.

Jordan Williams had been booked for dissent after Woodrow put Hakin 2-1 ahead, which caused a five minute delay after Badger had consulted the home linesman who was flagging for offside and calmly sorted out the ensuing melee.

The nomadic Matthew Price entered the scene as Gilderdale searched for a goal to get back in the game with the former Dragons player manager running lines which allowed Loveridge, substitute Will Bateman and Nash some half chances before Harding broke free with seven minutes remaining and fed Fawcett allowing the youngster to sublimely chip Sergeant to extend the lead to 3-1.

Woodrow had a chance to complete his hat trick but was denied by a great challenge in the penalty box by Callum John, before he finally notched his third and his sides fourth in injury time.

Speaking post-match home manager Jamie Gilderdale stated: “The result didn’t reflect the game and whilst we didn’t do enough to win the game the score line flattered them. At 2-1 we went for an equaliser and they exposed the gaps we left but Dan Phillips, Simon Gilderdale and James Williams were superb. We had our half chances and our boys are far from despondent as they knew we have given a super Hakin side a game. The objective from day one this season has been promotion from Division 3 and it would be great to be sitting at the top table alongside Hakin in the not too distant future.”

Kristian Bennet was pragmatic is his analysis, saying: “We’re delighted to be in the next round. We have gone off the boil in the last two weeks and are missing the injured James Stanmore [slipped disc] and Craig Nicholson [hamstring] which has affected our tempo. Credit to Nicky and Ben who are driving forces for us and every one of the players deserve respect and praise for their performance in what could have been a ‘banana skin’ game. We are still fighting on four fronts and this young side grows with confidence each game but they may have learnt a lesson today on not being complacent as every victory has to be fought for.”

Hakin welcome South Wales Premier League side Pencoed Athletic to the Observatory field on Saturday for the second round of the FAW Cup before a league encounter at the end of the month away at Monkton Swifts.

For Camrose, they welcome Carew seconds to Folly Cross next week before they travel to Pendine at the end of the month, with the hope of reaching October with a 100% league win record.


Rugby pays tribute to Tommo



TRIBUTES have poured in following the news that popular Scarlets match-day announcer Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas has passed away at the age of 53.
Tommo was a huge character at Parc y Scarlets on match-day, bringing his infectious personality to the mic.
An official statement from the Scarlets said: “We are devastated to hear that the voice of Parc y Scarlets, Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas, has passed away suddenly.
“Tommo was a hugely popular figure as the Parc y Scarlets match-day announcer, a passionate Scarlets fan who brought his character and energy to every match.”
Scarlets chaplain Reverend Eldon Phillips said: “We are devastated to hear this tragic news. Tommo loved the Scarlets and put his heart and soul into his role as our match-day announcer.
“A huge character, he was much loved by supporters, players and staff.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Donna and son Cian at this sad time.”
Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney said: “This is desperately sad news. Tommo will be greatly missed by us all. I’ll miss his smile, energy and passion. Gone too soon, much love to his family at this terrible time.”
Attack coach Richard Whiffin tweeted: “Incredibly sad news. Tommo will be greatly missed by us all. Will miss his match day hugs! Love to his friends & family at this terrible time.”
Referee Nigel Owens took to social media to say: “Rwy methu credu y peth. Well I am devastated. A great man and a true friend. I Cant beleive it. Cydymdeimlad dwys iw wraig ar mab ac ir teulu I gyd. Bydd colled enfawr ar ei ol. Always had a smile on his face. RIP Tommo
Tommo was hugely popular with Scarlets players who posted tributes on their own personal social media pages.
Springbok Uzair Cassiem said: “Devastated by the news of your passing! Always got the biggest smile, big handshake before and after games! To the family and friends of Andrew Tommo Thomas, condolences from my family and myself.
Wales prop Rob Evans said: “Really sad to hear the news about Tommo tonight. Thoughts are with his family, a great man full of laughs.”
Former Scarlets captain Rupert Moon said: “Lost a great friend @TOMMORADIO …… my brother by another mother. Thoughts with his family & all his many friends. Sleep well buddy. Big boys do cry.”
Another ex-Scarlets skipper Matthew Rees said: “Can’t believe the news coming from west tonight. Tommo you were a true gent. PYS will never be the same!!”
Former Scarlets full-back Morgan Stoddart said: “Hearing of the passing of @TOMMORADIO, dreadful news. What a great man. He brought laughter to any room he entered. Will be remembered and missed. #TrueScarlet
Title-winning Ireland lock Tadhg Beirne, now with Munster, said: “Very sad news to hear of the passing of Tommo. An absolute gentleman, a passionate Welshman, and a true Scarlet.”
Among the other former players to pay their tributes were Kieron Fonotia, Michael Tagicakibau, Ryan Lamb, Rhys Thomas and Gareth Maule, while messages of condolence came from Cardiff Blues, Dragons and Ospreys,
Dragons hooker Richard Hibbard said: “Really sad news, RIP Tommo. What a great bloke.”
Tommo was also a popular radio presenter. He had been with BBC Radio Cymru between 2014 and 2018. He then left to present a daily program on Nation Broadcasting station. In 2011 he won the Radio Presenter of the Year award for his work on Nation stations in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
Rhuanedd Richards, Editor of BBC Radio Cymru, said: “Tommo was proud of his roots and a unique broadcaster who loved to entertain his audience on Radio Cymru. With his powerful voice and larger than life personality, his love for his family, west Wales and of course the Scarlets were a great influence on his broadcasting.”

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Crymych win at new home



Crymych 132- 3 defeated Hundleton 74-7
IT WAS a happy start to Crymych CC’s new life at Ysgol Y Preseli playing fields as the home side brushed aside Hundleton in the Alan Brown Cup.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first, with the pitch showing signs of Monday’s heavy rain. Crymych opened with captain Sam Kurtz and chairman Rhodri Lewis, who started steady after a couple of tight overs from B Adams and S Williams (1-12). Both batsmen rotated the strike early on before Lewis chipped a ball to Peter Fox off Williams’ bowling for 7.
Kurtz then lifted the tempo with some boundaries, after Rich Thorne departed for 2, cleaned bowled by Stapleton (1-24). Osian Wyn the next batsman in as Kurtz reached his 50 in only 31 balls, having been dropped early on. Kurtz departed for 87, bowled by B Adams (1-42). Wyn and new batsman Dan Griffiths (3) then ran hard between the wickets in the final overs as the home side set the visitors 133 to win.
Hundleton’s reply got off to a rocky start as opening bowler Ioan Davies clean bowled both S McNiffe (1) and B Adams (0). Peter Fox caused the homeside some concern though, as he struck a couple of big sixes on his way to 24, before being caught and bowled by Dan Griffiths.
J Williams carried his bat for most of the innings, but as he looked to lift the run rate he was stumped by Kurtz, off Dan Jones’ slow stuff. Tight bowling from Wyn (1-14) and Ali Davies (1-6) Both Humphries and Lockyer departed without troubling the scorers with Griffiths clean bowling the latter for final figures of 2-13.
UMPIRE Dave Brandon
Crymych 132-3: Sam Kurtz 87; Osian Wyn 20*
B Adams 1-42; S Williams 1-12; C Stapleton 1-24
Hundelton 74-7: P Fox 24; J Williams 25
Dan Griffiths 2-13, Ioan Davies 2-9, Osian Wyn 1-14, Ali Davies 1-6, Dan Jones 1-16
Crymych win by 58 runs

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Swans grab last gasp play-off spot



WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).

Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.

The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.

The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.

And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.

The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.

Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.

The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.

But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.

John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.

Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.

Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.

Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.

But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.

However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.

Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.

With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.

Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.

With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.

Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.

However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.

Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.

Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.

They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.

The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.

And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.

Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.

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