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Sport

Holders through as Lawrenny beat Kilgetty in goal-fest

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By Jonathan Twigg

FIVE Second Division Cup ties took place on Saturday (Nov 18), with Saundersfoot Sports home match at the King George V field against current table toppers, Hakin United Reserves postponed as the bottom corner was deemed waterlogged by referee Charles Davies.

The winners of that tie will then travel to meet Solva at Glan Hafran in the Quarter Finals early next year as they were already through to the last eight stages as one of two Clubs to receive a bye.

Prendergast Villa were the second club to progress courtesy of a bye and they will welcome Lawrenny to the School Field after the bottom of the table side upturned the form book to overcame last season’s Division 3 champions and current promotion favourites Kilgetty 7-6.

Trailing on their own sports field 4-0 after 20 minutes and missing a plethora of players due to Adam Jenkins stag weekend, the Lawrenny side dug deep in appalling ground conditions and driving rain.

They battled themselves back to reduce the deficit to 4-2 at half time, with goals from centre midfielder Matt Lewis wide midfielder Joe Kidney. Centre forward Henry Lawrence scored the second visiting goal after his side had taken the lead through a deflected goal attempt, before Tom Baker and Lawrence opened a 4-0 lead.

The yellow and blue Kingsmore outfit then went 5-2 ahead with a strike from Brett Evans before the sides exchanged goals through home centre forward Jamie Phillips and Lawrence completed his hat trick.

The village side are made of stern stuff and they rolled up their black and gold sleeves to score three goals in five eventful minutes to set up a grandstand finish for the last ten minutes.

Playing away from their Clubhouse the ground was a tad better which allowed Phillips to net his second of the game, experienced Steve Campbell to level the scores and a minute later young winger Sam Davies to put them ahead for the first time in the keenly contested yet sporting local derby.

Kilgetty failed to square the game before referee Sean O’Connor blew for full time in the game sponsored by Morgan Construction, thanks to some heroic defending coupled with the quagmire in their own goal area and veteran goalkeeper Danny Harries being in top form.

St Clears hammered visitors Letterson 14-0 at the Leisure Centre ground having been set on their way by chirpy attacking midfielder Nathan Evans strike after 40 seconds.

The JRV Taxis sponsored game was over quickly as a contest as the Boars front three scored at will against a side who remained in Division 2 this season by default with Tenby withdrawing from Division 1 before a ball had been kicked in anger this season. Josh James led the way when he went nap for the claret and whites as Steve Thomas helped himself to four goals and the well-travelled Sean Seymour Davies bagged a hat trick alongside a visitor’s own goal.

Such was the one sided nature of the game skipper Martyn Thomas was a distant observer from centre back and his defence marshalled the opposition so well they only had fleeting forays into the danger zone.

Jonathan Sealy also had his spot kick well saved in the bottom left corner by veteran David Lawrence who was responsible for keeping the score to 14-0 with some excellent saves, although home manager Scott Page saw his side waste numerous opportunities.

Reward for the St Clears win will see them travel to the Racecourse to take on current Cup holders Merlin’s Bridge Reserves, buoyed by the return to the Carmarthenshire town of defender Dorian Davies from West Dragons.

Hundleton: Pictured before their Senior Cup game, were beaten by Merlins Bridge on Saturday

The Glenn Hotel sponsored Bridge overcame Hundleton 4-3 at the Village playing field in a scrappy encounter with veteran front man Aaron Devine opening the scoring for the Wizards before Kai Roberts on the right wing put them 2-0 ahead. Jack Phillips pulled one back for the Pembroke village side before half time and the introduction of stoic centre midfielder Lloyd Wilson set the scene for a titanic second half encounter.

With six players under the age of 18 in their starting 11 the Bridge thrived in the battle and sixteen year old left winger Ben Davies extended the lead to 3-1 after 52 minutes.

Another sixteen year old, Josh Thomas made it 4-1 after an hour of play when he struck from his position playing behind Devine and Curtis Hicks grew in stature as the game progressed. Playing in the centre of midfield Hicks dominated in the air and sprayed passes which belied the underfoot conditions in a man of the match performance.

With 10 minutes remaining winger Joe Buckle reduced the score to 4-2 and striker Dylan Davies scored to make the final few minutes a tense affair for the inexperienced visitors who were thankful for the composure to 51 year old goalkeeper Aaron Riley.

Riley made a string of fine saves to roll back the years as his experience as a Welsh league player with Haverfordwest County, albeit as a winger came to the fore, before referee Kevin Millich blew for full time.

St Ishmaels travelled to Pill Parks to take on a Llangwm side who progressed to Division 2 following three promotions in four years, but bowed out 2-0 in their first foray into the cup competition refereed by Karl Davies.

Tish scored a goal in each half with player manager Andrew Howells tapping in at the far post after nearly 30 minutes of the first half thanks to some excellent work wide out from Ieuan Hawkins. Home goalkeeper Ashley Bevans, standing between the sticks for his twin brother Anthony who was away training with the Royal Navy did well behind a back four led by veteran left back Gary Reynolds.

Glen Hewer, Dan Thomas and Martin John supported Reynolds in keeping the attacks at bay as the visiting midfield got the upper hand in the difficult conditions. In a game of few clear cut opportunities the tie was put to bed by Hawkins who capitalised on good wing play from Joseph Bates as in the first half to find space at the far post to score.

St Ishmaels will welcome Fishguard Sports to the Recreation ground, after they overcame Johnston 4-1 at Tregroes Park. The Sports were always in control of the game and led the ‘Tigers’ 2-0 thanks to strikes from former Goodwick midfielder Lewis Banks and Ryan Howells just before the half time whistle from referee Keith Amos.

Stand-in goalkeeper Lewis Boswell was blameless for the goals as the home side dominated possession against a side which lifted the West Wales Intermediate Cup just four seasons ago and they had a chance through striker Ryan Doyle just after the break when he should have pulled the score back to 2-1 when he was one on one with goal keeper.

The game went 4-0 to the Sports through defensive mistakes by centre back Jack Bevans, who lost his footing allowing Banks to score his second of the game before he was robbed close to his own 18 yard box and Matt Harries walked the ball into the net.

Doyle pulled a consolation back with a sumptuous strike before the end for Johnston who will now concentrate on pulling themselves away from second bottom of the league and the ignominy of successive relegations.

Sport

Quins seal KO Cup semi-final place

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PEMBROKE Dock Quins had a fine Bonus Point win on Saturday (Dec 9), despite a bitterly cold afternoon at Bierspool against a Wasps side who never gave up, scoring no less than 11 tries in the process.

It did not take long for the Quins to get on the Scoresheet with Left Wing Liam Hargreaves -Gibson running in after 8 minutes for his third try of the Season, Full Back Lewis Davies added the extras.

Lewis Davies, who was having a fine game at Full Back, then ran in from 30 yards for the Quins’ second try which he duly converted himself.

The Quins were now firmly in the box seat, and Captain and Centre Thomas Doyle soon finished off a fine move as he grabbed his sixth try of the Season which was again converted by Lewis Davies to give the Quins a 21 Point lead.

In the 25th minute the bonus point try arrived again through Thomas Doyle and Lewis Davies added the extras.

As the Half was drawing to a close Right Wing Arron James produced a remarkable bout of scoring with three tries in six minutes with only the latter being converted by Lewis Davies.

The Quins went in at half time feeling happy with themselves with a 45 Point lead.

The second half started just as the first half ended as, within 5 minutes, Arron James was at it again when he scored wide out and Lewis Davies added the extras with his best kick of the afternoon.

Five minutes later the Wasps hit back with a try of their own when Centre Gavin Jenkins scored after some good ball retention and outside Half Luke Hayman added the extras.

The Quins soon replied with their ninth try when Scrum Half James Skeels shot round the Blind Side to score in the Corner but this time, Lewis Davies missed the conversion.

The Quins were to add two more tries before the end through replacement Winger Rhys Bradney who scored in the corner and probably the best try of the match which was saved till last.

The home side attacked from deep, and as the ball was passed through numerous pairs of hands it ended up with Prop Jack Davies who ran in from 25 yards to score in the corner and Lewis Davies converted to bring his tally for the day to 19 points to also bring an end to the scoring.

The game was also doubled up as a Pembs KO Cup quarter-final tie meaning the Quins now advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

Team: Lewis Davies, Arron James, Arron Cookson, Thomas Doyle (Capt), Liam Hargreaves -Gibson, Jake Griffiths, James Skeels, Stefan Halward, Jack Brown, Hywel Baker, Sam James, Jack Byrne, Rob Hearne, Tom Clarkson, Jack Davies.

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Sport

Wizards too good for Swifts

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MERLINS Bridge proved too strong for Monkton Swifts as they ran out 4-0 winners on Saturday (Dec 9) to extend their unbeaten run to nine games.

The Swifts had won their previous four matches going into this game but were unable to find the back of the net despite having a few chances.

It was the Wizards who made the better start to the match and they could have gone ahead in the first minute.

Will Haworth crossed into the box for Nathan Greene but the striker couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and Monkton were able to clear their lines.

Haworth then saw an effort go over the bar before the home side took the lead with thirteen minutes gone.

Some good work from Andrew John down the left hand side saw him run on to the half way line and the ball was then played on to Haworth who passed to the edge of the box for Ashley Beck who fired into the net to make it 1-0.

Monkton’s Jimmy Russell was then booked for dissent having been warned previously about his language by the referee.

Luke Hayward and Nathan Greene both came close to scoring a second for the Wizards but both saw their efforts fly over the bar.

Monkton also came close to an equaliser when they saw a header go narrowly over the bar and Russell also had a goal-bound shot blocked.

With four minutes to go until half time the Wizards doubled their lead as Matthew D’Ivry crossed from the right into the box for Nathan Greene who superbly volleyed the ball home from the penalty spot.

On the stroke of half time they had a third when a cross from Will Haworth bounced off the far post and with the ball there for the taking, Joey George was quickest to react to prod the ball home from close range.

That goal all but ended any hopes of a second half Monkton comeback but they did well to restrict the Wizards to just one further goal.

Haworth grabbed a deserved fourth to seal the victory which sees them go above Monkton into third place.

The Wizards are now five points behind leaders Goodwick United with a game in hand.

On Saturday, December 23, Merlins Bridge face a tough game as they travel to second placed Narberth in what should be an excellent contest.

Monkton Swifts will be looking to bounce back from this defeat but they also face a tough game as they welcome leaders Goodwick United.

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Sport

Captain Bony calms the ship

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By Jonathan Twigg

A MAN of the match performance from Captain Wilfried Bony led the charge for Swansea City on Saturday (Dec 9) when his second goal in consecutive games sealed a dour 1-0 victory on a dark and gloomy afternoon over West Bromwich Albion at the Liberty Stadium.

Securing a valuable three points lifted Paul Clements under pressure Swans side off the foot of the Premier League table as Bony’s winner sparked a chorus of ‘Hymns and Arias’ with nine minutes remaining.

Substitute Tammy Abraham’s effort was cleared off the line at the far post from a Ki Sung-Yueng corner before the Ivory Coast strikers’ driven right foot shot which thundered beyond former England goalkeeper Ben Foster.

The Swans started the game at the foot of the table but took solace from the fact they had won five out of six fixtures when they had been in a similar situation previously. Their visitors hadn’t won a game in the Premier League for four months and were on a run of three consecutive defeats in their travels to West Wales.

The green shirted Albion started brightly keeping the ball and moving it around across the floor much unlike teams who play under their new manager Alan Pardew’s banner.

Without creating opportunities apart from a Jake Livermore shot midway through the half to punish the home side, the play meandered precariously towards stalemate at half time, unsurprisingly perhaps as former Bayern Munich Assistant Manager Paul Clements side had netted just eight goals in 15 league games.

Winger Nathan Dyer drew a foul from Claudio Yacob after 18 minutes which earned him yellow card which proved to be a catalyst for the apprehension surrounding Swansea’s play subsiding for the remainder of the first half as they gained superiority in terms of possession and territory.

The closest they came was when midfielder Livermore headed against his own post from a dipping Tom Carroll free kick as the visitors screened the play well through skipper Jonny Evans and his centre back partner Yacob across the 18 yard box.

Bony’s opportunities were restricted despite midfielders Carroll, Ki and Roque Mesa enterprising combinations  with Dyer and full back Martin Olsson getting behind the opposition defence through the outside channels, where Sam Field collected a yellow card after 35 minutes as he tried to disrupt the inter play.

Centre half Alfie Mawson squandered a great opportunity to head an opening goal when he found space six yards out with seven minutes remaining before Swansea came out for the second half on the front foot.

Bony managed to break the defensive shackles on him with a strong and direct run but pulled a driven shot wide of the post, which added to the derisory tally of 27 shots on target this season for his side, the worst across any of the major European leagues.

Clement’s introduction of Jordan Ayew after 54 minutes for Wayne Routledge injected more spirit and it created opportunities to test Foster, from which Bony drew heart to become an influential figure on the game as the Baggies eventually wilted under the pressure and conceded the only goal.

Tammy Abraham should have sealed the victory in injury time when he was worked free to stride beyond the covering defenders only to wrench his effort wide when one on one with Foster, an effort which the eighteenth created in the match, but only three were on target.

Mesa picked up a second half yellow card as did Carroll before he was replaced by Luciano Narsingh, with Evans and substitute Chris Brunt for the Albion, alongside Welsh striker Hal Robson Kanu as he berated referee Dean on his way off the field to be replaced just before the goal, by Oliver Burke.

The crowd of 19,590 greeted the final whistle knowing they find themselves a point adrift Alan Pardew’s side who hover one place outside the relegation places; two wins would catapult Swansea to mid-table, which would be a welcome festive tonic as the January transfer window opens, allowing Clement an opportunity to re-inforce his squad which for most of this season has looked short on the quality required for survival in the Premier League.

Their first win since October was certainly scrappy where the immaculately dressed Clements’ initial reaction to Bony’s strike was to dance down the touchline coupled with a huge sigh of relief to go with his elation.

His bold offensive substitutions achieved the result he required as unbeaten table toppers Manchester City visit on Wednesday evening to fully test Clements’ skills and aptitude as a focused and thoughtful tactician.

The roadshow then heads to Goodison Park to take on an Everton side themselves on a run of four unbeaten games since former England supremo Sam Allardyce took the reins before fellow relegation rivals Crystal Palace arrive at the Liberty for a key Yuletide fixture on Saturday (Dec 23).

Swansea head on the road after Christmas, firstly again to Merseyside to face Liverpool at Anfield on  Boxing Day and Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday (Dec 30) before hosting Tottenham Hotspur at home on Saturday (Jan 2).

Clement and his side will take confidence from Saturday’s victory which has eased the pressure in the cauldron after Club owners Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien afforded Clement their ‘public support’.

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