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Bluebirds edge past Cwmamman



HAVERFORDWEST County kept the pressure on Welsh League Division 1 leaders Llanelli Town as they beat Carmarthenshire side Cwmamman United 2-1 on Saturday (Jan 6).

A host of postponements in the Pembrokeshire League saw the Bluebirds enjoy a bumper crowd at the Bridge Meadow and they were treated to an excellent game.

The Bluebirds beat Cwmamman 2-0 in September and also beat them in a cup match in 2016 but they knew they would be up against much tougher opposition this time around.

There was an even start to the game as both sides looked to gain the upper hand and it was the visitors who had the first real chance of the game when Chris Allen was played in but his shot was saved by County keeper Conah McFenton.

The home side responded with some pressure of their own and when the ball fell kindly for Steffan Williams on the penalty spot it looked as if he might score but he got his angles wrong and sent his effort wide of the left hand post.

Three minutes later Cwmamman had the best chance of the half as Tom Blackburn raced free only to see his effort rebound back off the post and Declan John could only send the rebound wide in what was a real let-off for the Bluebirds.

Declan Carroll then tried his luck from long range but his shot fell straight into the arms of Cwm keeper Chris Curtis.

John also tried a shot from long range for the visitors but his shot also went wide and the score remained 0-0 when the half time whistle was blown by referee Tom Bevan.

Ten minutes into the second half the deadlock was finally broken as Declan Carroll stepped inside a defender before firing an unstoppable shot into the top left corner of the net.

Cwm did not let that setback get to them and immediately looked to get back on level terms. They sent a dangerous free kick into the box but Bluebirds striker Joe Leahy put the ball behind for a corner.

Both teams then made substitutions but with just over twenty minutes to go the Bluebirds doubled their lead as Dan Williams’ free kick wasn’t cleared and Kristian Speake was in the right place to stab the ball home.

However, just three minutes later the Blues of Cwmamman were back in the game as a free kick into the box wasn’t cleared and after Chris Allen couldn’t get a shot away the ball fell to sub Colin Harris to fire into the net to give his side hope of a comeback.

Tom Blackburn did well to win the ball for the visitors and passed to Harris but he was tackled before he could get a shot away.

Jordan Vickers had also caused problems for the home side with his lively running throughout the match and with eight minutes to go he made a darting run into the box but his cross flashed across the face of goal with no one on hand to turn it in.

The Bluebirds survived that onslaught and took to taking the ball into the corner to preserve their lead.

Referee Bevan called time on the match with the Bluebirds hanging on for a twelfth win of the season and they remain two points behind leaders Llanelli.

The Bluebirds now have a week off and they return to action at the Bridge Meadow on Saturday, January 20, when they take on Goytre AFC with that match kicking off at 2pm.


Greene’s double sinks Swifts



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



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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Bowen wins Young Sportsman of the Year



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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