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Clarbeston Road v Hakin United: Senior Cup Final Preview

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THIS Saturday (Apr 21), sees Hakin United and Clarbeston Road battle it out for the biggest prize in Pembrokeshire Football as they take to the field for the Senior Cup Final.

The game will be played at the Bridge Meadow Stadium in Haverfordwest and another big crowd is expected.

Clarbeston Road were beaten in last year’s final by Merlins Bridge but having beaten them in the semi-final, the Road will be eager to pick up the trophy on Saturday.

For Hakin, it is a first final since 2016 when they were beaten by Goodwick United and they will also be keen to regain the trophy they last won in 2012.

The two side met in the league back in October, 2017, and on that occasion it was Hakin United who came out on top with a 2-1 victory at the Obs.

The Vikings come into this game top of Division 1 following a 5-2 win over Pennar Robins on Saturday (Apr 14) which saw danger man Nicky Woodrow scoring a hat trick.

Clarbeston Road eased to victory as they beat Angle 13-1 with league top scorer Jason Griffiths scoring seven of their goals.

Those seven goals put Jason way out in front with 34 goals in the league so far this season and he will be keen to get on the score sheet once again.

Path to the final

Clarbeston Road began their route to the final with a 6-1 win at home to St Clears back in September with Griffiths scoring four of the goals in that game.

That was followed by victory over Fishguard Sports in the second round thanks to goals from Mathew Davies and Josh Wood.

In the third round, Clarbeston Road overcame a determined Hundleton side with Griffiths scoring a hat trick, the third of which came in injury time.

That put them in to the semi-finals where they played Merlins Bridge in a repeat of the 2017 final.

The Bridge won that game 2-1 but on this occasion it was Clarby who went through by the same scoreline with goals coming from Tom Ruebens and Ieuan Cooke.

Hakin United began their Senior Cup campaign with a 4-1 win away to Camrose which saw Nicky Woodrow score a hat trick.

In the second round, the Vikings made it through with a 5-1 over Narberth as Justin Harding scored twice.

The quarter final saw them take on Neyland and after a tense battle, they came out on top with a 2-0 win.

That set up a semi-final with Carew but an excellent first half saw them lead 3-0 courtesy of goals from Justin Harding and Nicky Woodrow.

Carew hit back but Woodrow scored a second to send Hakin through to the final with a 4-2 win.

What the teams say?

Hakin United manager Kristian Bennet told the Herald: “The boys trained on Monday and they are ready for the game and excited for it.

“For a few of the boys it is their first Senior Cup Final and we also have a few boys that have done it before.

“We will give Clarbeston Road all the respect, they reached the final last year and we only beat them by one goal in the league in October so we are expecting another tough game.

“We will be approaching the game like a normal game as we’ll meet at the club as usual on the day before heading up to the Bridge Meadow.”

Clarbeston Road’s Matthew Ellis said: “All at the club are looking forward to the game Saturday and are hoping that we can go one step further this season and lift the cup.

“We have no injury concerns and should all be fresh after a free midweek schedule.

“Our plans for the day are the same as last year, breakfast in the Cross and a bus to the ground.

“The bus is then collecting supporters from around Clarbeston Road, the support last year was outstanding. Hopefully the weather will be as good as it was last season.

“We will approach the game as we always do and give 100%”.

Club captain Jason Griffiths added: “I think as a team we should all be proud of reaching the last two finals. Last season we were huge underdogs being in the second division and only having two players with senior cup final experience but this season we are very much equals and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“We are aware of how good a side Hakin are but having already played them in the league we can see where we can beat them.

“Everyone in the squad is very much looking forward to it and will all have huge roles to play on the day and hopefully get a memorable victory!”

Good luck to both sides and may the best team win!

Sport

Bush qualifies for Paralympic games

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PEMBROKESHIRE’s Para-taekwondo star Matt Bush has qualified for the Tokyo Paralympic games this summer.

At the European Paralympic Qualification tournament, Bush, who is the current world champion, beat Hungary’s Zoltan Kiss 29-1 in the +75kg final.

Para-taekwondo will make its debut at this summer’s Paralympics with the competition set to take place from September 2-4.

Bush, from St Clears, became Britain’s first ever world champion in the sport in 2019 began his latest tournament in fine style, seeing off Roman Ivaniuk of Ukraine 38-2 in the semi-final.

Matt told BBC Sport that it felt ‘so good’ to have secured his spot in the team.

The heavyweight athlete has made quite the mark on the mats. He has medalled at the Korean Open, Oceania Para Taekwondo Championships and the Pan America Para Taekwondo Open.

The GB team for Tokyo will be officially announced later this summer.

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Sport

Lawrenny through in Village Cup

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LAWRENNY are through to the next round of the Village Cup after they beat Llandysul on Sunday (May 9).

Both teams were rained off the previous day but some good work meant that the game was able to go ahead.

Llandysul batted first but were bowled out for 82 in 26.3 overs as Jamie Lewis took five wickets for the visitors.

He went on to finish with figures of 5-22 from his seven overs while the home side’s top scorer was captain Llew Hughes who made a score of 20.

Lawrenny did not have it all their own way in their reply as Rhys Jones bowled well to finish with figures of 3-10.

However, an excellent knock of 52 from Harry Thomas steered Lawrenny to their target inside the 24th over.

Elsewhere, Carew’s game away at Drefach was called off while Cresselly had already received a bye to the next round.

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Sport

Lawrenny earn big win over Whitland

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LAWRENNY got their 2021 season off to the perfect start on Saturday (May 1) as they beat Whitland by 189 runs.

Whitland won the toss and elected to field but they could only watch as the home side piled on the runs before being bowled out for 264.

Kyle Marsh top scored with a score of 81 while Kurtis Mars also scored 45.

Tom Cole added 32 and James Phillips chipped in with a score of 29 as they batted well.

Wayne Howells and Jonathan Thomas finished with identical figures of 2-27 as Whitland’s bowling did at least keep the score below 300.

Whitland knew they would need to bat well to knock off the runs needed but came up against Ryan Morton who took four wickets for the loss of 17 runs.

Kurtis Marsh also claimed two wickets without conceding any runs as the visitors chances got smaller and smaller.

Geraint Jones did score 30 for Whitland but that was as good as it got as they were bowled out for just 75.

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