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Wizards hit back to earn a point

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MERLINS BRIDGE fought back from 3-1 down to earn a draw against Carew in an excellent match on Saturday (Oct 28).

Going into the match, Carew sat second and Merlins Bridge were third and with both sides level on points, they were keen to keep up their good start to the season with another victory.

It was Merlins Bridge who the first chance of the game with a minute gone when a corner from Joey George was headed wide by Peter Thomas.

However, Carew went up the other end of the pitch and almost scored themselves as the dangerous Jack Christopher beat the offside trap but Wizards keeper Gary Thomas came out well to block his effort and the following effort by Ian Derbyshire was also saved.

Joey George then went down in the box but no penalty was given by referee Alan Boswell.

With eleven minutes gone, Will Haworth won a corner which George swung into the box and Nathan Greene met it with a towering header only to see his shot blocked on the line by Derbyshire.

Three minutes later Carew took the lead as Alex Bayley crossed from the left hand side and Jack Christopher rose to head the ball down into the net.

They could have doubled their lead soon after when Jack played in brother Sam Christopher but his shot was blocked by an excellent covering tackle.

George then played in Luke Heywood but his fizzing cross ran across the face of goal with no one on the end of it to knock it in.

With half an hour gone the Wizards were back level as Will Haworth turned and saw his shot well saved by Carew keeper Dan James but the rebound fell to Matthew D’Ivry who drilled the ball low into the net to make it 1-1.

Seven minutes before half time Jack Christopher won a free kick 25 yards out and he stepped up to take it. The striker brilliantly curled the ball over the wall and it went in off the left hand post, leaving keeper Thomas with no chance.

Shortly before half time the ball was again played through to Jack who ran on before firing into the roof of the net to complete his hat trick and make it 3-1 to the Rooks.

The Wizards came out for the second half, determined to make up the deficit and also keep intact their unbeaten start to the season.

Eight minutes in they pulled a goal back when a corner was headed in by Ashley Beck.

Greene was then sent through and he beat the defender but his shot was saved by the Carew keeper.

On the hour mark, Luke Heywood also came close to scoring but his shot was blocked on the line.

With fifteen minutes to go, a throw in was flicked on by James Hinchcliffe but Sam Christopher’s acrobatic effort went wide.

Chance: Alex Bayley’s curling effort comes back off the post

They had another chance soon after when Jack Christopher held the ball up well before passing to Alex Bayley in the box but his curling effort rebounded back off the post.

Then with ten minutes to go the Wizards finally drew level as a free kick from Gary Thomas found its way to Luke Heywood who cut inside before firing into the bottom left corner of the net.

Jack Christopher came close to a fourth goal when his long range effort from just inside the half way line only just flew over the top of the net.

A late head injury to Ashley Beck disrupted play and although the Wizards pushed forward in the closing minutes, they were unable to find a winner.

Both sides settled for a 3-3 draw which sees them slip to fourth and fifth respectively following wins for Narberth and Neyland.

On Saturday, November 4, both sides take a break from league action once more as they take part in the second round of the West Wales Cup.

Carew are away to Glynneath Town while Merlins Bridge are at home against Penclawdd.

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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Sport

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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