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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

All Blacks earn third straight win

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NEYLAND sealed their third League win in a row on Saturday (Sept 22) as they beat Llanybydder 22-16 at the Athletic Ground.

It was a closely fought match and the blustery rain and strong wind made conditions difficult for both teams in their attempts to play open rugby.

The home side started well and were rewarded when lively right wing Patrick Bellerby made a strong midfield run to cross for the opening try, converted by fly-half Mark Riley.

Llanybydder then settled, and a good run by centre Arwel Thomas took play deep into the home 22.

Further pressure by the visitors led to two penalties for centre Steff Richards to give a score of 7-6 at the interval.

Neyland controlled possession and territory for most of the second period, with forwards and backs combining well.

Llyr James reaches over to score the last try of the game. Pic. Herald

They were rewarded with two tries for Number 8 Ben Williams and another for replacement hooker Richard Jones as they claimed a bonus point.

However, the visitors, missing a few regulars, responded with a late try for scrum half Llyr James, with an excellent conversion by Richards securing the losing bonus point.

On Saturday (Sept 29), Neyland will look to keep their winning run going when they travel to Cardigan. Llanybydder return to South Pembrokeshire to visit Pembroke Dock Harlequins.

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Sport

Super Solva sink Neyland

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SOLVA pulled off one of the shocks of the Senior Cup first round as they beat Division 1 Neyland 4-2 at the Athletic Ground on Saturday (Sept 22).

The game got underway despite persistent rain and it was the hosts who took the lead.

Solva equalised before Neyland took the lead once more, Ben Fairburn and Mike Chandler scoring for the home side.

Shortly before half time Solva equalised to make it 2-2 and it was all to play for in the second half.

Leon Dinmore scored twice while Gonzalez Rocha and Josh Bland also scored as Solva went ahead in the second half.

Neyland looked to hit back but were unable to find a way past the Solva keeper as a couple of long range efforts flew over in the closing stages.

Solva hung on for a deserved win and will now look forward to their second round game away to Pendine.

Neyland return to Division 1 action on Saturday (Sept 29) as they take on Narberth. Solva will look to build on their Cup win as they host Camrose in Division 2.

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Sport

Senior Cup first round preview

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THE first round of the Senior Cup gets underway on Saturday (Sept 22) as the road to the Bridge Meadow begins.

The standout tie of the round sees Cup holders Hakin United taking on Clarbeston Road in a repeat of last season’s final.

Hakin won the final 7-1 and they will be keen to get their defence of the Cup up and running. Clarby have reached the final for the last two seasons and they will also be looking to get through to the next round.

There is a local derby on offer in Fishguard as they welcome former Senior Cup winners Goodwick United.

Both teams have made excellent starts to their respective seasons and something will have to give for one of these teams to go through.

Keegan Summers and Steve Lewis have both scored seven times for Fishguard and Goodwick will have to keep these two quiet. Jordan Griffiths has also started the season in fine form with eight goals and he will provide the main threat to their rivals.

Division 5 newcomers Newport Tigers will have their first taste of Senior Cup football on Saturday as they travel to Division 1 side Narberth.

Narberth have not won in their opening five games and will be looking to kick start their season with a cup win.

Newport have played three times so far winning just once but they will be keen to cause an upset.

Another side that has had a tough start in Division 1 is Lamphey and they host Division 2 side Letterston who have also made a slow start with just one win from their first five games.

Action from the Senior Cup game between Merlins Bridge and Solva last season

Merlins Bridge have made an unbeaten start to the season with three wins and a draw in their first four games and they will be looking to avoid an upset against Division 4 leaders Cosheston.

Cosheston are also unbeaten and have scored over three goals in each of their three games so far and the Wizards will need to be wary of the threat posed by their opponents.

Division 2 leaders Johnston are at home as they welcome Carew in what should be an excellent game.

Johnston’s Scott Crawford and Ryan Doyle, with nine and seven goals respectively, have started the season in excellent form and they will be hoping they can cause an upset.

Carew had been unbeaten until their loss to St Clears last Saturday and they will be keen to bounce back from that result with a win in the cup.

Neyland earned their first win of the season on Saturday as they beat Milford and they will be looking to back that up as they take on Division 2 Solva.

Solva have made a steady start to their season with two wins and a draw from their opening five games but they also won in their last game on Saturday as they beat Lawrenny 3-2.

Milford v Saundersfoot from last season

Milford United are away to fellow Division 1 side Saundersfoot Sports in a repeat of last season’s first round game which the Sports won at Marble Hall.

Hundleton beat Monkton Swifts in the first round last year and they have a home game against Milford Athletic.

Both sides have made a slow start to the season and will be eager to get their season up and running with a cup win.

Camrose are at home as they take on Pembroke Boro who are yet to lose in Division 3 so far this season.

Llangwm/H’west CC take on Herbrandston while Pendine are at home to Prendergast Villa.

St Clears host Kilgetty and St Ishmaels are at home as they take on Monkton Swifts. James Russell and Dylan Davies have started the season on fire scoring 19 goals between them and Tish will do well to stop them.

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