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Young jockey joins Henderson’s yard

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PEMBROKESHIRE jockey James Bowen will join Champion trainer Nicky Henderson’s yard as a conditional from next month.

The 16-year-old riding sensation had been the subject of much speculation as to where he would end up but Henderson was the number 1 choice.

Bowen, who has been touted as a future champion jockey, earlier this year set a new record with 30 winners as a novice point-to-point rider this season.

That was five more than the totals managed by Nick Scholfield in 2007 and Rhys Flint in 2008, who both went on to become professional riders.

Henderson has partnered ten winners under rules so far this season and will be looking forward to having James join his team from October 1.

Speaking to the Herald, James said: “It is a big opportunity for me, it’s a big stable owned by a Champion Trainer. There are plenty of great horses so I’m hopeful it will go well.

“My parents are trainers so I was always brought up around race horses, I started at the age of 9 and then moved to pointing at the age of 16 and it has all been a good experience.”

James also said that there were a number of other places that he could have gone too but added: “At the moment, Nicky’s seemed like the best place to go. I had a day at his yard last Friday where we sorted it out and I’ll be starting at the beginning of October.”

He is looking forward to starting there and wants to ride as much as possible and told us that he would have liked to have won more races than he has.

If the opportunity came up James says he would love to ride in the Grand National but keeping his feet on the ground he said “I’m a long way off being at the top at the moment.”

Brother Sean is also a jockey and James says he is constantly talking to him about tactics for different races.

James adds: “My parents are up for it so that’s good and they’re backing me all the way.”

Coming up James has a couple of rides at Newton Abbot on Friday and another at Plumpton on Sunday before making the move to Nicky Henderson’s yard.

All at the Herald would like to wish James all the best in his time with Mr Henderson.

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Collins’ stunner earns win for Veterans

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A STUNNING strike from Hakin left back Adam Collins ensured that the Veteran Vikings earned maximum points and remain top of the Welsh Veterans League after a hard fought 4-3 win at home to Coedeva Athletic last Sunday (Feb 17).

However, on a very windy day, the Vikings found themselves behind early on as Gareth Hinwood scored from the penalty spot.

Hakin were soon level though, when Stuart MacDonald set up Matthew Price to score from close range.

Richard Nash gave Hakin the lead scoring via a deflection and Paul Andrews levelled matters for Coedeva before the break, as his shot from distance also took a deflection.

Early in the second half, Michael McCarthy beat the Coedeva keeper to a ball to make it 3-2 from close range and almost immediately, Coedeva were level after another Gareth Hinwood penalty.

Inside the final quarter, a stunning left footed strike from Adam Collins found the top corner from distance to give Hakin the win.

Hakin next play on Sunday, March 3, at home to Swansea University in the semi-final of the Welsh Veterans Cup.

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Nigel Armstrong, Richard Bland, Nigel Delaney, Adam Collins, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Stuart MacDonald, Michael McCarthy, Matthew Price, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Leigh Walters, Simon Rocke, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Saints do the double

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ST CLEARS completed the double over Neyland as they earned a 4-0 win on Saturday (Feb 16).

The Saints, who were forced into a re-shuffle at the back and without one of their midfielders, had beaten them 5-2 at home the previous week and Neyland would have been looking for some revenge.

However, it was the Saints who started strongly and took a deserved lead from a short corner. Jonny Thomas found Steve Thomas unmarked in the box and he headed home.

Both teams had chances to score but Saints keeper James Dickson made a few good saves to keep their 1-0 lead in tact.

The visitors eventually got the second goal of the game following good individual play by Will Evans.

Evans then added his second directly from a free kick to make it 3-0. They then rounded off a good day as Sean Seymour Davies latched onto a long ball to score and make it 4-0.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Neyland are away to Goodwick while St Clears welcome Merlins Bridge.

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Jones’ late drop goal earns win for Blues

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HAVERFORDWEST moved up to second place in League 3 West A on Saturday (Feb 16), as they beat Neyland with a late drop goal.

It was a tight game with both sides battling well but it was the Blues who went ahead early on as Craig Barnett scored a penalty.

Barnett then scored another soon after to put the visitors into a 0-6 lead and it remained that way until the half time whistle.

Early in the second half Neyland were back in it as they scored a penalty to make the score 3-6.

Mark Riley then put Neyland ahead as he was credited with a pushover try but the conversion was missed and the All Blacks led by two points.

Haverfordwest pushed on looking for a winning score and when a try wasn’t forthcoming the ball was sent back to Mikey Jones who kept calm to send a drop goal through the posts.

That put the Blues one point ahead at 8-9 and there was little time for the home side to respond.

The All Blacks do pick up the consolation of a losing bonus point but that will not do much to lift their spirits after they were dropped to fourth in the table following other results.

The Blues now sit second with Aberaeron breathing down their necks having played three games less.

There is no game on Saturday (Feb 23), as Wales take on England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The sides return to action on Saturday, March 2, when Haverfordwest host Llanybydder and Neyland host St Davids.

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