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Cooke’s classy strike denies Goodwick

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THE first midweek evening games in the Division 1 title race threw together an interesting conjuncture on Tuesday (Mar 27) as West Wales Cup finalists and current league leaders were held to a 2-2 draw by Senior Cup Finalists Clarbeston Road.

With two of the chasing pack, Merlins Bridge and Hakin United due to meet at the Racecourse, the postponement because of a waterlogged pitch at 3pm sees the Phoenix Lads still in pole position after a performance that lacked any zest and panache, which they have shown in recent weeks.

The game saw the hosts have five changes from their side, with prolific striker Jason Griffiths missing but it had little impact as they played with gusto and no small measure of guile to outwit and out battle a Goodwick side who had five players with Welsh Premier League experience and a clutch of others destined to reach such heights if their desire remains.

Player Manager Matthew Ellis and his central midfield sidekick Mike Turpin won the key battle ground nullifying the influence of Chris O’Sullivan and skipper Adam Raymond, Ellis pulling passes over a variety of distances allowing young striker Steffan Thomas and Matthew Davies a free reign to torment the Goodwkick back line.

The opening goal came midway through the opening period when Davies was felled in the penalty area by centre half Scott Delaney, referee Alan Boswell having little hesitation in pointing to the spot and Davies, a battling throne all night, dusted himself down to drive a thunderous effort beyond James Gwilt.

An equaliser came on the stroke of half time, goalkeeper Lee Scott having made an outstanding save minutes earlier from a Jordan Griffiths header, O’Sullivan delivering a free kick deep to the far post and it was headed back across the six yard line by Delaney for midfielder Kieran O’Brien to head home, giving his side some momentum and direction going into the second half.

Neither side could effectively influence the play to take the game by the horns, Goodwick superior in terms of possession and territory but failing to create the clear cut chance they needed as young full back Josh Wood and centre half Tom Glover repelled the attacks.

The outlet for Goodwick was Lee Hudgell, the former Haverfordwest wideman receiving balls into feet or through the inside left channel, his endeavour on the back of a brace of goals on Saturday, delivering a cross into the home penalty box after 53 minutes which saw a richote fall to the feet of fellow winger Johnny Horgan, whose right foot shoot, whilst not cleanly struck found the back of Lee Scott’s net for a 2-1 lead.

The game was one which referee Boswell had to work hard at to keep the lid on as tackles, abrasive challenges were judged on their merits, although questioned from both sides, Hudgell and O’Sullivan having half chances which didn’t fall their way.

Goodwick were enjoying a period of play deep in the Clarby half, striving for the third goal which would have ended the contest but carelessly saw Raymond surrender possession and full back Wood went marauding away to find Ellis in the ‘Quarter Back’ position.

The player manager found the feet of Thomas from 45 metres, his effort stemmed before the ball fell to winger Ieuan Cooke. He cut in from the left touchline, dropped his shoulder to create a pocket of space and drove a curling shot beyond a grasping Gwilt into the top corner for an equaliser fitting of any occasion.

Goodwick were rocked and momentum lost, Hudgell yellow carded for a cynical trip as Wood broke away, his side perhaps finding the emotional rollercoaster they have been on in recent weeks difficult to comprehend against a side willing and able to meet them toe to toe.

Substitute Rhys Dalling made an appearance for Goodwick alongside Matty Delaney and Steven Dockerty, all three adding some bounce, Dalling creating half chances and spurning an effort when he created an opportunity to shoot with ten minutes remaining as Clarby veteran Dan Rees was summoned from work to make an appearance at the heart of defence.

Clarby were incandescent that striker Thomas was called back when he had wriggled free to go one on one with Gwilt after a foul by Wayne O’Sullivan, the Goodwick followers also hollering for a free kick when young Delaney was on the receiving end of a strong challenge from Glover, Matty’s elder brother Scott talking himself into Boswell’s notebook for his vociferous commentary.

The game ended with in the gloomy evening air with a nervous tension amongst the Goodwick eyes as they await Merlins Bridge arrival, possibly without O’Sullivan who went off carrying his shoulder and knowing their performance was below par for their high standards, perhaps lethargic be it due to physical or probably mental fatigue.

Clarbeston Road are playing with a style and flair which sees them enjoying their football, much to the pleasure of the village faithfull out in support. Competition for places is key and with a second consecutive cup final appearance looming on Saturday (Apr 21) the one club not one team ethos shines through.

Elsewhere in the division on Tuesday evening, Carew put six past a hapless Angle outfit who have conceded 30 goals now in their last three outings without reply, Jack and Sam Christopher scoring for the Rooks alongside Iwan Izzard, Scott Fearney, Jordan Richards and Zac Rowell.

The Pembroke derby game saw striker Sam Soutcott return to his former club and score a brace for Pennar Robins, livewire midfielder Billy Davies and Jason Evans replying for the Stags. Monkton Swifts moved into second place a point behind Goodwick, although they have player four more fixtures, winning 3-2 at Marble Hall against Milford United.

Both teams have Welsh league pedigree before they relinquished their positions in the new millennium, the Robins now nine points from safety and securing their divisional status next season, with just six games remaining. Lewis Tee and Liam Parr found the back of the net for the home side, Matthew Davies, Ryan Griffiths and Sean Jones seeing the Swifts home to victory.

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Sports awards judges announce the finalists

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Pictured are the finalists in last year’s Junior Disability Sport Award; Lily Rice, Libi Phillips, and Michael Jenkins (winner) with Jess West from Disability Sport Wales

THE FINALISTS for the 2020 Sport Pembrokeshire awards have been announced.

The judging panel considered the 120 nominations and has named the 26 finalists following a selection meeting.

Ben Field, manager of Sport Pembrokeshire, said: “Once again, the quality of the nominees was enormously high and it was a challenge to narrow it down to three finalists in each category.

“We are very pleased that people took the time to nominate so many deserving winners.”

As there will no ceremony at Folly Farm this year, following a social media campaign profiling the finalists, the winners will be announced on the Sport Pembrokeshire Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on Friday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m.

The announcement will also reveal the winners of three further categories – the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chairman’s Special Achievement Award and the School Award.

Winners will be contacted in due course, to arrange delivery of trophies and a socially distanced photograph.

The awards are organised by Sport Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council’s sport development section. 

They are sponsored by Sport Pembrokeshire, Valero, The Western Telegraph, Folly Farm and Radio Pembrokeshire.

The awards aim to recognise those people who have excelled in sport over the last 12 months, or who have given their time to coaching and organising grassroots sport.  

Sport Pembrokeshire Awards 2020 – Finalists

(In alphabetical order)

Junior (U16) Sporting Achievement of the Year

Kelci Francis (Dance)

Rhys Llewellyn (Cross Country / Athletics)

Lucy Wintle (Athletics)

Club of the Year

Fishguard & Goodwick Jemima Rowing Club

Fishguard Sports AFC

South Pembs Golf Club

Junior Disability Sport Award

Bleddyn Gibbs (Weightlifting)

Saskia Webb (Swimming)

Young Volunteer of the Year

Lucy Harding

Melody Street

Casey Stuchbury

Team of the Year

Haverfordwest High U13’s Football Team

Milford Haven School U13’s football team

Pembrokeshire Short Mat Bowls Team

Adult Sporting Achievement of the Year

Luke Harries (Golf) 

Josh Macleod (Rugby)

Stephen Varney (Rugby)

Disability Sport Award

Fishguard Thunderbolts

Gaynor Martin (Rowing)

Jake Richards

Unsung Hero

Nick Daley (Pembroke Dock Cricket Club)

Brian Millard (Fishguard Thunderbolts)

Steve Williams (Hundleton Cricket Club)

Coach of the Year

Derek Hart (Badminton)

Justin Head (Weightlifting)

Alison Marsh (Milford Tigers Swimming Club)

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Pembrokeshire Schools rugby present county ties

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PEMBROKESHIRE SCHOOLS RUGBY have presented their under 15’s team with their county tie’s after the season came to a sudden halt when the country was put into lockdown back in March.

Taking to their Facebook page, the organisation said: “Congratulations to the Pembrokeshire Schools Boys U15s from the 2019/20 season who were presented their ties over the last week. We apologise for the delay, as we had hoped to have a more formal event but with current restrictions it was not possible.

“We would like to once again congratulate all the boys on their efforts from last season, for which seems a long time ago now, but will hopefully live long in the memory of coaches and players. We were fortunate to have a strong and diverse cohort of boys this year who showed a lot of ability on the field, as well a positive attitude off it. One thing that really stood out this year was the attitude of boys who were not always involved or selected, but continued to travel, support the team and compete at training. This display of commitment and attitude epitomised the work ethic and unity of the team, one for which as coaches we are truly thankful. Despite the abrupt end of the season, we can undoubtedly categories the year as a great success and delighted to have been a part of the boys’ rugby journey. We hope that the recommencement of rugby is now closer than it is further away, and look forward to seeing the boys progress in the future and staying involved in the game.

“As stated previously the desire and commitment of ALL the boys this year has been unquestionable, however would like to recognise and acknowledge some of the achievements from last year.”

Individual awards presented to players.

Despite a halt to the season – The under 15’s were presented with their county ties

The club Awards and Recognition are as follows;

Players Player – A prestigious award as voted by his peers goes to Macs Page this year. Macs came into the squad whilst at U14s and showed great ability, with his desire to take on defenders and score tries. Macs has evolved his game this last year, playing predominately at full back, with an unmatched ability to kick the ball out of hand as well as off the kicking T and counter attack. Macs continued to score many match defining scores this year and was an exciting player to watch.

Forward of the year – As voted by the coaches forward of the year goes to Alfie Evans-Fecci. The forward pack has been tremendously competitive this year with many able players. However, Alfie in particular has shown great versatility and attitude in make the transition form number 8 to loose head prop with support from his school and county. In addition to this Alfie has continued to make an impact around the field most notable for his strong carries and big hits. We hope he continues to excel in this transition.

Back of the year – As voted by the coaches back of the year goes to Iolo Griffiths. Likewise with the forward pack the competition in the backline has been fierce. Iolo has impressed with his illusive and direct running ball hand, as well his competitiveness and line speed in defense. A notable memory of Iolo has his excellent interception away to Carmarthen School which he received the ball in his own 22 showing great athleticism to score in the oppositions corner. A very talented all round sportsman indeed.

Co-Captains this year – We would like to congratulate both James Price and Rhys Richards for their work as co-captains this year. As many will know the role of captain goes beyond the performances on the field, for which they both excelled on and off the pitch. We have been really impressed with the communication and leadership these boys have shown, which can often go unmissed. We firmly believe the attitude and personality of these boys set a high standard for the rest of the boys to follow and was big contribution to our success last year

RAG honors – Finally we would like to congratulate backrow Jac Delaney on his achievements being involved in the Scarlets West set and later full combined Scarlets U16s squad last year, all a year young. Jac was also involved at U14s and has developed both on and off the field over the last few years, bringing great leadership to the squad and physicality. We hope he continues to develop in this vein and gain further honors.

The club added: “A massive thanks goes to the coaching and school staff who have made last years program possible, ensuring that the boys have the best opportunity on and off the field. We would like to acknowledge that this is voluntary role for all coaches, and we are grateful for their commitment and hope that the boys appreciate it. Thanks to co head coaches Chris Shousha and Steve Martin, Aled Waters, Joe Poole, Morgan Lewis, Gethin Vobe and the school staff of schools who help co-ordinate, develop and forward players.

Ysgol Greenhill School players with their tie’s

“Thanks goes to the parents who have supported the program, we appreciate it is a task to ferry the boys to training and support at games as well as helping cater for some games. You feel the delight and dismay at every score just like us, but have always conducted yourselves in a fine manner and shown positive enthusiasm to support the boys and coaches.

“Thanks also goes to our sponsors; Edwards Bros (Tiers Cross), Tees R us (Haverfordwest), SAW Cymru and The Gourmet Pig. The sponsorship these generous businesses have given is truly invaluable.

“A final thanks goes to Tenby United RFC who played host for the majority of our home fixtures, despite rain, sun or hail the pitch was always in excellent condition and you showed the boys great hospitality and courtesy.

“We imagine some form of rugby will develop in the new year, and encourage the boys to begin to the prepare themselves and to continue to train so, if they aren’t already. We are unsure how the pathway will unfold, but regardless of this we hope to see the boys engaged in the future whether it be at school, club, youth, college or university. We also look forward to welcoming players from Year 10 and 9 whenever that may be when rugby resumes. In the meantime, we hope you all remain safe and well with the build up to Christmas.”

Ysgol Bro Gwaun have paid individual support for their students.

A spokesperson from the school said: “Congratulations to the following boys that received their county ties this week.

“Di awn Jac Delaney, Ethan Sapsford, Dan Page, Bryn Thomas, Dylan Scott and Dan Cleary.

“The boys were part of a successful Pembrokeshire Schools squad that reached the semi finals of the National Morgan Griffiths Plate competition before the season was suspended.

“These young men have also been fantastic role models and ambassadors for rugby in the local community. We wish them all the best in the future on and off the field. “

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Commissioner welcomes ‘Premier League Kicks’ to Dock

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ON FRIDAY (Nov 13), Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn visited Pembroke Dock, to attend the launch of the new Premier League Kicks initiative in the area.
Over 90 young people from the Pembroke Dock area took part in the first session on Friday evening and will continue to participate on a weekly basis.  During the sessions, the young people take part in various practical activities, such as football coaching sessions, as well as informal sessions that address crime issues.
The Premier League Kicks is free of charge for all involved, and is funded through the Police and Crime Commissioner and run in partnership with Swansea City Football Club Community Trust.
Whilst attending the first session on Friday evening at Ysgol Harri Tudor, Pembroke Dock, PCC Dafydd Llywelyn said “I am privileged to be here on the opening night, to see for myself the positive influence an initiative such as the Premier League Kicks is having on the youth here, and the wider community.
“As a sports enthusiast, and having played football at many levels in my youth, I am fully aware of the influence that sport and exercise have on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in general.
“This initiative will have a positive impact on the town and especially the children involved and wish them all the best of luck.”
Superintendent Ross Evans who has been leading and co-ordinating the setting up of the initiative locally in Pembroke Dock on behalf of Dyfed-Powys Police said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Premier League Kicks and to welcome them to Pembrokeshire for the first time.
“The launch of this scheme is a huge boost for young people in Pembroke Dock and also for the local area itself.
“I would like to wish everyone taking part good luck, we all hope that they make the most of this great opportunity of free coaching by a world famous brand”.
The initiative is run through the English Premier League’s ‘Kicks’ national program, and is delivered locally by Swansea City Football Club Community Trust. The program aims to use football and sport in general to inspire youth living in deprived areas.
Craig Richards from the Swansea City FC Community Trust, said “Premier League Kicks provides free weekly football sessions and educational workshops to young people, giving them opportunities, support and pathways to reach their full potential and divert them away from crime or criminals. It was a pleasure to welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn to Seaside Kicks session to see so many young people having great fun in a safe environment”.
PCC Dafydd Llywelyn is also funding the same initiative in the Llanelli area in partnership with Swansea City FC Community Trust.  PCC Llywelyn said: “Seaside Kicks was launched in Llanelli in January this year, to engage the youth of the Glanymor and Tyisha area in positive activities. More than 150 young people in the area participate on a weekly basis with the Seaside Kicks, and I’m proud to see the impact the scheme is having on young people in the area, and expect to see the same here in the Pembroke Dock area”.

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