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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

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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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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