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Mariners battle past Wasps

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MILFORD Haven kept hold of top spot in League 3 West A as they made their way to a 34-12 win away at Llangwm on Saturday (Jan 27).

The main pitch at Pill Parks was unplayable due to the heavy rain but the reserve pitch was deemed playable by the referee.

There was a scrappy start to the game with both sides guilty of giving the ball away while Llangwm also defended well in the opening stages.

Indeed, the home side could have taken the lead with just five minutes on the clock but Luke Hayman’s penalty went wide of the posts.

Milford began to put the pressure on after that miss and came close with a driving maul but gave the ball back to the home side following an infringement.

Llangwm had the lineout but Milford stole the ball back and a good run from Jimmy Thomas almost got them but he was halted and passed to Jamie Lewis but Llangwm did well to tackle him out of play.

They continued to look for the opening score and it finally came with seventeen minutes on the clock as Craig Smith found Dan McClelland who in turn fed the ball out wide for Lee Riley who scored down the right hand side.

A last ditch tackle to try and prevent the try resulted in Riley needing treatment and he was taken off to be replaced by Craig Barnett.

The conversion from McClelland was wide but it wasn’t long before they doubled their lead as another maul saw them go over the line with Captain Adam Rees credited with the touch down.

McClelland again tried his luck in the difficult conditions and was unlucky to see his kick bounce down off the crossbar.

There followed a period of play where neither side could gain the upper hand with Milford again going close after Llangwm were penalised for pulling the man down only for the home side to win the ball back and clear their lines.

With the first half coming to a close the Mariners looked to increase their lead once more and they were rewarded when Mark Wonnacott forced his way over for the try.

McClelland’s conversion was again wide and the referee blew for half time with the Mariners leading 0-15.

Llangwm had a good spell at the start of the second half and Milford had to be at their best to keep the home side out.

Having weathered the early storm Jimmy Thomas was sent free to score his side’s fourth try to earn a crucial bonus point and McClelland was successful with his first conversion from four attempts.

Four minutes later they had another try as Ben Groves found Barnett who in turn found Thomas once more who went over for his second try of the game. The conversion again went wide of the posts.

Llangwm again looked to respond with Josh Hicks going on a bursting run only to be halted by the Milford defence.

The home side battled well and came agonising close to a first score of the afternoon but they lost the ball with the line just inches away.

Milford then picked the ball up and Barnett found Craig Smith who ran half the length of the field, despite cries of a forward pass from the home bench, to score and McClelland added the extras for a 34-0 lead.

The Wasps never gave up and with five minutes to go their play was rewarded as they were gifted the ball by a knock on from Milford whilst defending their own try line.

Try: Llangwm score the first of their two tries

From the resulting scrum, Dan Chesmer made a burst for the line and bundled his way over, much to the delight of the home crowd. Hayman then added the conversion to add some respectability to the scoreline.

There was still time for another try and Jason Mock made his way over and although Hayman missed the conversion, the score was no more than they had deserved.

The win for the Mariners keeps them top of the table with second placed Pembroke just four points behind.

Llangwm are next in action on Saturday, February 10, when they travel to Pembroke while Milford’s next game takes place on Saturday, February 17, when they host Cardigan.

Sport

Lamphey pull out of league

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LAMPHEY Football Club has announced that they have withdrawn their team from the Pembrokeshire Football League.

The Club has cited a lack of players as a reason for their withdrawal but they are now the third team to have done so in a short space of time.

Last season West Dragons and Angle took themselves out of the league for similar reasons.

It means their last match was an 11-1 defeat to Hakin United in the Senior Cup on Saturday (Nov 10) and their game with Goodwick this weekend has now been cancelled.

The Pembrokeshire Football League confirmed the news on their Facebook page saying: “Just to confirm that this morning the League received the sad news from Lamphey that they are withdrawing from the Pembrokeshire League with immediate effect.

“They are citing lack of players as the reasoning for their withdrawal. The League Tables will be amended accordingly.”

Lamphey had not won in their eight games played but had managed three draws. Those points will now be taken away and it is likely that only one team will be relegated from the first division.

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Veteran Vikings on top

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HAKIN United are top of the Welsh Veterans League following a 6-0 victory over Nelson Cavaliers at the Observatory last Sunday (Nov 11).

The result puts the Vikings one point ahead of current Champions Trefelin BGC, with the Port Talbot outfit having a game in hand.

However, last Sunday, despite the final score, It was Nelson that were missing the early chances with Hakin goalkeeper Jason Morgan saving a one on one and a penalty before Hakin took the lead midway through the first half.

Stuart MacDonald broke down the left and set up Matthew Price for a tap in to make it 1-0.

Minutes later, Hakin doubled their lead as Michael McCarthy headed home a MacDonald corner.

Just before half time, McCarthy put Price in the clear and the striker hammered a shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Early in the second half, Nelson missed another penalty before Price set up McCarthy to score from close range.

Ali Davies put Leigh Walters through to lift the ball over the keeper for number five and the same two players combined again for Walters to score his second, beating the keeper at his post.

Hakin next play in the Welsh Veterans Cup Preliminary Round away to Pencoed Athletic on Sunday (Nov 25).

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Gerard Gray, Nigel Delaney, Richard Bland, Adam Collins, Ali Davies, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Michael McCarthy, Leigh Waters, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Nigel Armstrong, Matthew Price, Stuart MacDonald, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Blues too good for Neyland

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HAVERFORDWEST closed the gap to leaders Neyland as they condemned them to a second defeat in as many games on Saturday (Nov 10).

The Blues made a good start and it was Craig Barnett who put them into the lead with a try which he then converted. Barnett then added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Haverfordwest continued to put the pressure on and Barnett extended their lead with a penalty.

Barnett then added two further penalties before half time to give his side a 16-0 lead at the break.

Both sides had chances to score at the start of the second half but errors meant the score stayed the same.

Patrick Bellerby came close to scoring for the All Blacks but Haverfordwest defended well to keep him out.

At the other end a Neyland clearance kick was blocked and kicked on with Barnett giving chase but he was beaten to the ball by Bellerby and Neyland were able to clear.

The visitors then went up the other end and came close to scoring but they gave the ball away. The referee was not happy with the scrums and after three attempts gave a penalty to Neyland from which Luke Griffiths-Dawes dived over. George Evans sent the resulting penalty wide.

Any thoughts Neyland had of making a comeback were quickly dashed as Jamie Zambas increased the home side’s lead with a converted try.

Neyland did pull another try back late on through Craig Power and Evans converted but it wasn’t enough as the Blues saw the game out.

The All Blacks are still top of the table but Haverfordwest are now just a point behind. Milford lie in third, two points behind with two games in hand on their rivals.

The teams are next in action on Saturday, November 24, when leaders Neyland travel to St Davids and Haverfordwest are also away to Llanybydder.

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