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Last gasp penalty denies Pembroke victory in Bowl final

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PEMBROKE were agonisingly beaten in the final of the WRU Bowl as a late Josh White penalty gave them a thrilling 33-31 victory at the Principality Stadium on Sunday (Apr 29).

The Pembrokeshire side were behind for much of the game but hit back to lead by a point in the second half. They battled a well but a late penalty sunk Pembroke’s hearts.

Pembroke’s Luke Hartland made an early break but his run was brought to an end and Porthcawl took control which saw Ben Asprea go over under the posts. Josh White then converted for a 7-0 lead.

The Pembrokeshire side looked to respond and Toby Evans kicked the ball forward and a fumble from Porthcawl gave them a chance to turn the ball over. They did but were then penalised for holding on and Porthcawl had possession back.

A good tackle from Luke Hartland kept Porthcawl at bay but it wasn’t long before they scored their second try as Jordan Fox went over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Pembroke again looked to hit back and Dom Colman picked the ball up from a scrum but his pass was loose and went out of play.

They then had another chance as the ball was kicked across field for Rhodri Walter but he was unable to take the ball cleanly as he knocked it on before touching down.

That gave Porthcawl a five-metre scrum but Pembroke won the ball back and both Sam Smith and Hartland tried to break through only to be kept out by some good defending.

However it wasn’t long before Pembroke were finally on the scoresheet as Barrie Alderman-John played a lovely reverse pass for Dom Colman who ran around and in for the try. The conversion was missed.

Moments later Alderman-John was the villain as he was yellow carded for a tip tackle and Josh White sent the resultant penalty through the posts for a 15-5 lead.

That man advantage proved costly two minutes later as Jordan Fox went over for his second try of the game but the conversion went wide.

Pembroke returned to full strength but Porthcawl were in full flow as Jordan Fox went over for his hat trick try which was converted by White for a 27-5 lead.

The Scarlets looked to get themselves back in the game and they did as Toby Smith passed to brother Sam who burst his way through in typical fashion to score before Dalling added the extras.

They weren’t done there and on the stroke of half time Toby Smith again supplied the try scoring pass for Dan Colley who skipped his way through to touch the ball down. Dalling sent the conversion wide when it looked easier to score.

Early in the second half some good Pembroke defending kept Porthcawl out but a drop goal from White made it Pembroke 17-30 Porthcawl.

Porthcawl again came looking for another score and ten minutes into the second half they kicked to touch just five metres out. Pembroke were at their best as they kept their opponents out but a wayward lineout gave Porthcawl possession.

The men in Red won the ball back and it was their turn to go on the attack as they looked to get back into the game. They were unable to breakthrough as a combination of Porthcawl defending and errors kept them out.

Just before the hour mark Porthcawl were penalised for a high tackle and Toby Smith kicked to touch, five metres out. They took the lineout and the ball was played to Sam Smith who scored his second try of the game. Hartland converted to bring Pembroke to within six points of Porthcawl with twenty minutes still to play.

Elliot Evans then broke down the left and offloaded for Tom Lewis who went over for the try and the conversion from Toby Smith went through the posts to give Pembroke the lead for the first time at 31-30.

Porthcawl looked to hit back and it looked like they were free to score but an excellent tackle kept them out and Pembroke were able to win the ball back.

With ten minutes to go Pembroke still held a one point lead and Toby again kicked for touch to put his side into Porthcawl’s 22. A second line out five metres from the try line saw Owain Johns break a tackle, only to be brought back after a knock on.

Five minutes from time and Pembroke were marched forward after a Porthcawl infringement and the men in red had another chance but a knock on at the line out gave possession away.

Sub Jordan Skidmore sent a drop goal attempt wide with a minute left as Pembroke’s hearts skipped a beat. From the restart Pembroke kicked straight to Porthcawl looking for a late score and a penalty gave them the chance to kick for goal.

Josh White stepped up with the clock past the 80 minutes and he sent it through the posts to give them victory.

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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