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Bridge preserve unbeaten run

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MERLINS Bridge moved up to second in Division 1 as they beat Narberth 2-1 in a game that was over-shadowed by a reckless tackle which sparked a brawl between both sides.

Narberth were coming into this game off the back of their first defeat following an eight game unbeaten run and were keen to get back to winning ways.

The Bridge are also on a good run and are yet to taste defeat so far this season with eight wins and two draws.

The Jesse Road pitch was deemed playable despite early rain throughout the county.

It was Narberth who took the lead early on when they were awarded a penalty and it was Tony Evans who stepped up to score.

The Wizards then equalised midway through the first half as Richard Hughes bundled the ball home.

He could have scored a second moments later when the ball was again played into the box but Richard Hughes could not get enough on the ball as he sent it wide.

Ceri Phillips then played the ball through for Dafydd Wright who went one-on-one with the Bridge keeper but he put his effort over the bar.

There was then a flashpoint in the game as a reckless tackle from Bridge player Matthew D’Ivry saw him catch the Narberth player.

Narberth’s players were unhappy with the challenge and a brawl broke out between both sets of players.

Coaches and subs from each bench had to come on to calm their sides down as referee Paul Rooney called the game off because of what had gone on.

However, both captains persuaded Rooney, who had walked as far as the penalty area, not to call the game off.

After it had all calmed down, Bridge’s D’Ivry was shown a yellow card as was a Narberth player and the game continued.

It remained 1-1 at half time but the game had been overshadowed by the bad-tempered incident.

In the second half it was Will Haworth who put the Wizards ahead with an excellent free kick from 30 yards out.

Narberth had a number of chances to score in the second half but they could not find the net.

The Wizards held on for the victory which moves them to within two points of leaders Goodwick United with both teams having played the same amount of games.

Narberth slip to third following this defeat but they felt hard done by after failing to get something out of the game.

The sides are next in action on Saturday, December 30, when Merlins Bridge are at home to Clarbeston Road, who currently sit fourth in the table.

Narberth are away in their next game as they travel to Angle for a 2:30pm kick off.

Sport

Greene’s double sinks Swifts

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MERLINS Bridge booked their place in the last 16 of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Dec 8) as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-0 at the Racecourse.

A good crowd gathered to watch the game that was played in blustery conditions which caused problems for both teams throughout the match.

Neither side was able to gain an upper hand in the first half but it was the Wizards who eventually took the lead shortly before half time.

A slip allowed Joe Leahy in and went one-on-one with the Swifts keeper before finding the back of the net.

The windy conditions continued in the second half and Will Haworth came close to doubling the home side’s lead but his shot was saved.

They then made it 2-0 as Haworth crossed from the left for Nathan Greene at the back post who headed low and into the net.

Peter Thomas then played a good one-two with Greene but Thomas sent his shot over the bar.

Greene could have had a second soon after but, after the Swifts keeper had come off his line, he could only send his effort over the bar.

He wasn’t to be denied his second however as a through ball set him up and he fired low into the bottom left corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

On Saturday (Dec 15), Merlins Bridge return to league action with a game against bottom side Milford United at Marble Hall.

Monkton Swifts will look to bounce back as they travel to Herbrandston.

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Bluebirds prepare for Pontypridd test

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HAVERFORDWEST County will be looking to progress to the next round of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Dec 8), when they welcome Pontypridd Town to the Bridge Meadow.

The Bluebirds enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 win against Swansea University in the last round having previously beaten STM Sports 2-1 away from home in the first round.

They currently sit third in Welsh League Division 1 with seven wins from their ten games so far this season.

They will also be looking for another cup run having already reached the fourth round of the League Cup.

Visitors Pontypridd also enjoyed a thrilling 6-3 win in their second round game with Goytre and they also won 2-1 away from home against Llanidloes Town in the first round.

They may sit second from bottom in Division 1 of the Welsh Leagues but their cup run has shown that they should not be underestimated.

The game is a repeat of the third round tie from last year which Pontypridd won 3-1 and the Bluebirds will be looking to avenge that defeat.

This is the Bluebirds’ only home game in December so make sure you get down to the Bridge Meadow to show your support.

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Sport

Bowen wins Young Sportsman of the Year

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WELSH jockey, James Bowen, 17, has won the Carwyn James Young Sportsman of the Year Award at the Wales Sports Awards on Tuesday, December 4, at The Celtic Manor.

The Awards which are an annual amalgamation of BBC Cymru Wales and Sports Wales to make the biggest Welsh Sporting celebration of the year, it is intended to showcase the best of both elite and grassroot level of sporting achievement.

Speaking to James on his award he said: “It came as a bit of a shock to me, I didn’t realise I had done that well this year”.

Bowen, who has been racing for the past 18 months, at just 16 became the youngest rider to win the Coral Welsh Grand National in 2018 on Raz De Maree. He is no stranger when it comes to awards, recently collecting the Rising Star Award at the inaugural Welsh Horse Racing Awards at Chepstow Racecourse.

On his Rising Star Award James said: “It was exciting to win this award as it’s the first time these awards have been done at the racecourse”.

On his recent career highlights James added: “I would like to thank everybody who has worked with me over the years, and all the trainers who have helped me get here.”

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