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Record-breaking City too strong for Swans



By Jonathan Twigg

EXPECTATION wasn’t one of those words which was running closely to Swansea’s hearts as the side, rock bottom of the Premier League welcomed table topping Manchester City to the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday (Dec 13), with anything short of a superhuman performance could prevent a landmark fifteenth consecutive win for City.

Swansea had overcome West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in a dour fixture three day before at the same venue and the home side started the game based on a strong defensive organisation, making the swashbuckling City line up look for space between the stoic lines.

Half chances came and were wasted by a jaded visiting offensive unit, perhaps the emotion of the weekends Manchester derby hanging over them?

The Swans had acceded to allowing music in the changing room, a gesture which wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by mercurial leader Pep Guardiola, where Oasis were charged with pumping up the volume.

There was no storm in a tea cup here and the normal football service resumed just before the half hour when Silva ghosted into the penalty area unnoticed to put City on course for that record breaking win, removing the Spurs record which had stood since 1961 to the annals of time, though few will forget the late, great manager Bill Nicholson’s tenure at White Hart Lane.

Ten minutes before half time a Kevin De Bruyne free kick from the left hand corner of the penalty area doubled the lead when he shot through a plethora of bodies to leave Fabianski grasping at thin air.

37 years ago to the day a famous Welsh talisman made his debut for the then league champions Liverpool, at Portman Road, Ipswich and how the all whites could do with such an icon these days.

They have an abundance of effort which was encouraging for the home support, but the difference in quality between the two sides was evident telling its own story in terms of league position.

The mantra instilled through ‘Pep’ allows his side to play with confidence but more importantly without fear which forced errors from a Swansea side guilty at times of sloppy defending.

A sprightlier second half from Swansea came courtesy of Tammy Abraham, the on loan Chelsea striker making an immediate impact off the bench for Tom Carroll, with his pace to worry a normally composed central defensive partnership of Mangala and Otamendi.

The spirt shown didn’t last, with the visiting fans singing ‘glad all over’ to their manager, watching the diminutive Silva slip through from the left hand side of the penalty area to make it 3-0.

Football is to be appreciated, with the movement, skills and desire to work as a team epitomising a side with a willingness to win, for each other but more importantly the team.

City were human, Aguero wasting a gilt edged opportunity when he was clear with a four on two overlap, whilst Ederson made a wonderful reflex save from a deflective shot from Mesa to keep the score line 3-0.

Fabianski was on top form and without him the City would have been home and dry long before Aguero, a man for match winning occasions notably a 2015 championship strike in injury time, drove with determination to leave a wake of several trailing bodies to score a fourth with five minutes remaining.

In contrast Ki Sing-Yeung’s body shape didn’t give him the freedom to pull a consolation goal back for his beleaguered side, who remain bottom of the Premier League, adrift of safety by two points.

The match statistics show the dominance, with nearly five times the number of shots rifling forth under the ‘blue moon’ and each pass greeted with a continuum of ‘ole’.

Swansea have a long way to go in the season where one swallow doesn’t make a summer and the important message for Paul Clement is one of keeping the faith as he has 20,870 loyal backbenchers believing in him.

He takes his side to Merseyside twice in the next 12 days with a dogfight at home against fellow relegation candidates Crystal Palace on Saturday (Dec23) sandwiched between.

They end the year travelling to Vicarage Road to play Watford with the hope they will have gleaned close to eighteen points before Tottenham Hotspur arrive at the Liberty to start the New Year.

Hope reigns eternal that 2018 will be a better one for Swansea as without hope the reliance of Father Christmas bringing some fortune hangs above the managers’ head. Mistletoe, that gift is not where the minimum is a cup of good cheer.


Goodwick set up Liberty final



GOODWICK United made it through to the West Wales Cup Final as they beat Carew 4-0 at the Bridge Meadow in Haverfordwest on Tuesday night (Mar 20).

It was a cold evening but that didn’t stop the fans turning out and a good number gathered to watch the game.

Two goals in the first five minutes from Matty Delaney set the Pheonix Boys on their way and a third before half time from brother Scott Delaney all but sealed their passage into the final.

Carew had been down by the same scoreline in the Senior Cup Semi-final just a few weeks ago and made a stirring second half comeback before being beaten 4-2. There was to be no repeat this time however, as a fourth goal from Adam Raymond all but ended any hopes the Rooks had of reaching the final.

It could have been a much different story as Sam Christopher’s shot went agonisingly wide of the post with only ten seconds on the clock.

But, with three minutes gone, the ball dropped kindly on the edge of the box for Matty Delaney and he volleyed the ball into the left hand corner of the goal to make it 1-0.

Just two minutes later they doubled their lead as Delaney again got ahead of the defenders to slide the ball home.

Johnny Horgan then did well to keep the ball in and set up a chance for Lee Hudgell but he sent his effort over the bar.

Chris O’Sullivan also saw a shot deflected wide as Goodwick continued to put the pressure on.

With just under half an hour gone O’Sullivan took a quick free kick which found Horgan on the edge of the box but his fierce drive was well tipped over by Carew keeper Tom Davies.

Three minutes later it was 3-0 as a scramble on the byline saw the ball squared into the box for Scott Delaney to knock into the roof of the net.

That all but ended Carew’s hopes of reaching the final as Goodwick saw out the remainder of the half and went in at the break with a comfortable lead.

Carew started the second half well and Scott Ferney saw an effort go over the bar before Alex Bayley and Jack Christopher both saw efforts saved by Goodwick keeper James Gwilt.

With twenty minutes to go Goodwick scored their fourth as the ball was tapped home by Adam Raymond.

They still went in search of more goals as Carew keeper Davies tipped an effort round the post before Matty Delaney shot over as he looked for his hat trick.

Jordan Griffiths also shot wide late on but it mattered little as the referee brought the game to a close meaning Goodwick had reached the final having last done in 2016.

They won the final on that occasion and they will be hoping they can repeat that feat once more.

A date for the final has not yet been set but Goodwick will play the winners of the tie between Bwlch and Penlan Club.

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P1 SuperStock World Champions Honoured in Monaco



TWELVE months ago, Sam and Daisy Coleman arrived back at Heathrow on an Air India flight and the customs officer asked if they had anything to declare. “We certainly have” replied Daisy excitedly. “We’re world champions!” To reinforce the point, Sam reached into his holdall and pulled out an impressive trophy.

A week earlier the brother and sister, who were the reigning P1 SuperStock UK champions, had left their home in Pembrokeshire to fly to Mumbai to join powerboat racers from eight counties to compete in the inaugural UIM P1 SuperStock World Championship.

This weekend they travelled to Monaco, along with other 2017 UIM world champions of offshore and circuit racing, to receive their accolade at the annual UIM Awards Giving Gala at the Salle des Etoiles, Sporting Monte-Carlo.

The event celebrates the best ravers and successes of last season and is attended by more than 450 guests from sport, business, the boating industry and international media.

As they awaited the afternoon press conference, Sam and Daisy’s thoughts went back to the event in Mumbai last year that was the culmination of six years developing a new paradigm for the best P1 SuperStock racers in the world in a superb setting.

Tens of thousands of spectators around the natural amphitheatre of Mumbai’s splendid, sweeping bay, together with millions of live viewers worldwide of Sony ESPN’s live television coverage, enjoyed by three days of intense racing as Powerboat P1 made its first visit to India.

Sam and Daisy completed a clean sweep of victories on the opening day and were applauded by the international media core as they entered the evening press conference.

They attributed their success to fitness, setting consistent lap times and detailed race preparation. “It was a very technical course and essential to seek out clear water and choose the right line when you’re racing in a pack of 12 boats on a never-seen-before race track on water formed by an extraordinary 6,500 red and yellow buoys” explained Daisy. “Selecting when to take the compulsory pit lap was also crucial” she added.

The finale to the weekend in Mumbai was an energy-sapping 50-minute race in a temperature of 35 degrees, and the Coleman’s again recorded a hat-trick of victories to lift the world championship crown.

“We’re honoured to be here in Monte-Carlo to collect our award” said Sam as he entered the Salle des Etoiles with his sister. “The exceptional success of the inaugural Mumbai event shows that powerboat racing can be a thrilling sport that is capable of engaging sizeable new audiences.”

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West Wales Cup Semi-final preview: Goodwick United v Carew



TONIGHT sees Goodwick United take on Carew for a place in the West Wales Cup Final at the Bridge Meadow in Haverfordwest.

Goodwick reached the final in 2016 and went on to win it so they know what it takes to make it.

Carew last reached the semi-finals of this competition in 1972 but were beaten on that occasion and they will be hoping they can go one better this time around.

A date at the Liberty Stadium awaits either side so both will be keen to create a little bit of history when they step out onto the pitch tonight.

Goodwick reached the semi-final on Saturday (Mar 17) as they beat Swansea side Ystradgynlais 2-0 thanks to goals from Jordan Griffiths and Matty Delaney.

They also beat Ystradgynlais on their route to the final in 2016 so they will be hoping history can repeat itself this year.

The Pheonix Boys overcame Hakin United in round 4 as they came out on top with a 4-3 win in what was a thrilling encounter.

They beat CRC Rangers 3-0 in the third round, Kilvey Fords by the same score line in the second after easing to a 7-0 win over St Clears in the first round.

Carew also proved that west was best in their Quarter-final as they beat Giants Grave 5-2 the previous Saturday (Mar 10).

The Rooks disposed of Bonymaen Colts in the fourth round with a 2-0 win away from home after beating Carmarthenshire side Evans & Williams 5-0 in round three.

In the second round Carew won 4-1 away to Glynneath Town following a 5-1 win over North End in the first round.

Carew also warmed up well for the semi-final as they rested players but still came away with a 4-1 win at home to Narberth with Scott Ferney scoring a hat trick.

The Rooks will be hoping for a better showing at the Bridge Meadow this time around having been beaten 4-2 by Hakin in the Senior Cup Semi-final just a few weeks ago.

The sides have met once already this season with Goodwick coming out on top with a 3-1 win at Pheonix Park.

Whatever happens, tonight’s game is sure to be another epic battle so make sure you get down to the Bridge Meadow for a 7:30pm kick off.

Good luck to both sides.

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