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Fishguard fall short at The Moor



A MONUMENTAL effort by the Fishguard forwards on the Moors in the several minutes of overtime on Saturday (Feb 17) failed to secure a bonus point for the home side as promotion chasing Pontarddulais took a maximum five points from their 28-20 victory.

The silver streaked No. 8 Simon James claimed a try, his second of the game as the Seagulls never say die attitude epitomised the battle scars of Luke Harding, whose life was remembered with an impeccable minute’s silence for ‘The Gambler’ before kick off.

Luke, since his diagnosis of lung cancer 16 months ago had fought on the coal face every step of the way, raising more than £30,000 for Withybush Hospital but succumbed when his skills were required elsewhere and he knew ‘when he didn’t have the aces’ needed to win the game.

Having secured their third try outside half Kial Keane was unable to convert for the bonus point and referee Darren Randell signalled the end of the Division 2 encounter.

Referee Rendell had irked both sets of supporters during the game, his empathy for the underfoot conditions and numerous marginal decisions on the gain line, perhaps not seen impartially.

The Llanelli butcher did well to keep thirty players on the field as the physical encounter saw several flare ups with handbags flying and his shrill whistle echoing around the Paraddog towards the Irish Sea.

Fishguard line out: Flanker Chris Sousha rises high

Those final minutes saw Fishguard skipper Kevin Walsh elect for two scrums alongside some tap and goes as the visiting defence, so strong throughout the game overstepped the offside line to ignite the blue touch paper.

The opening score came from teenage Pontardullais scrum half Ethan Dunne who marked his senior debut with a try after nearly twenty minutes.

Fishguard had enjoyed possession and territory in the lead up to the try with scrum half Andrew Williams dynamic before full back Liam Lazarus picked up the loose ball inside his own half, kicked over the top from which Dunne won the foot chase with some neat dribbling skills to tumble across the line.

Lazarus converted as he did for all the visitors four tries, alongside a commanding performance in defence and with ball in hand, comfortable to back his own skills, pace and decision making.

Lazarus wasn’t the only player to show an aptitude for direct running, opposite number Mike Jenkins and winger Sam Kurtz were anything but conservative in their running angles and support play, the hosts having flankers Chris Sousha and Luke Freebury on hand to keep their momentum alive.

Keane landed a penalty for a 7-3 score line before the ‘Bont’ crossed for a second try, Lazurus converting his own touchdown after winger Jared Walters created the space.

Second row Jacob Miles began the second period in a marauding style finding centre Gareth Thomas and outside half George Mbjoma willing ally’s as the ‘Ambers’ took control of the game.

Despite calls for offside at a line out and for a knock on in midfield, Thomas was able to cross for a converted try with six minutes played to extend the lead to 21-3.

Some ferocious and uncompromising tackles in midfield from both sides saw the back rows exchanging pleasantries on the ground, the visitors Rhys Samuel and fellow flanker Dean Courtney on par with James et al.

Winger Thomas George rounded off some excellent team play to reduce the deficit with an unconverted try, where hooker Walsh and fellow front row men Ryan McVeigh and Andrew Morrilo found a second wind, allowing centre Ben John and Narberth’s Dan Birch, on permit for a return to action after a metatarsal injury on the opening day of the season some space to run, with Kurtz crabbing in the background to link the play.

Gethin Williams, Thomas and co centre Paul Geary also took the opportunity to take the game forward, their play creating the bonus point try for No 8. Craig Davies, with replacement prop Andrew Williams of Woodpecker Carpentry a splinter in the home defence with his tenacity.

Fishguard to their credit responded by keeping the ball alive despite the fact second rows Jac and Gwylim Evans had parity in the line out, both involved in the open play with Walsh in gaining hard yards.

James scored the first of his brace, which Keane converted to set up the grandstand overtime finish, where John and Jenkins, alongside McVeigh were in the thick of the action to set up the final try from James.

‘You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run; no need to count the money’ at this time, more the blessings and the reflection post-match should be on the future and not the past.

Bill Shankley may not have been right with his ramblings and I’m sure Luke will now have told him, his legacy being one of having that final ace.

The Seagulls will carry that with them to Mumbles on Saturday (Mar 3), as they stand four points clear of relegation whilst Pontarddulais will be geared up for a top of the table encounter when Whitland arrive at Coedback Parc.


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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