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Whitland one win away from title

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WHITLAND moved to within one win of the League 2 West title after they beat Fishguard 46-26 at The Moors on Saturday (May 5).

The Borderers were beaten by Hendy in their previous game but bounced back and now just need to win their final game at home to Mumbles on Saturday (May 12) to seal the title.

Fishguard sit seven points above second from bottom Amman United and the two teams meet next Saturday.

Whitland began Saturday’s game well but after a pass was knocked forward, Fishguard had a scrum. However, a Seagulls infringement gave the ball back to the visitors and from the resulting scrum Adam Davies picked the ball out before passing to Liam Price who went over in the corner.

Nico Setaro’s conversion went wide and the Borderers held a 5-0 lead with ten minutes gone.

Just a minute later Setaro burst through a couple of tackles and offloaded to Jonny Thomas who touched down under the posts giving Setaro an easy conversion.

Fishguard looked to respond and came close on a number of occasions. On one occasion, they were held up illegally and Mike Jenkins sent a penalty through the posts to put the Seagulls on the board.

Whitland then went up the other end but after another foul, Setaro had a chance to extend their lead but his penalty went wide.

Setaro then made amends a minute later as he sent a penalty through the posts for a 15-3 lead.

From the kick off Whitland knocked the ball on giving Fishguard possession and after kicking to touch, Mike Jenkins offloaded for Jamie Lewis who scored in the corner. Jenkins then added the extras to bring the Seagulls to within five points of their opponents.

Fishguard came forward again with Chris Shousha making a darting run and after losing one of his boots he was brought down. Another Whitland foul saw Jenkins send a penalty through the posts to make the score 13-15 to the visitors.

Whitland again responded but Fishguard’s Luke Freebury intercepted the ball illegally, according to the referee and Whitland had another penalty which Setaro scored.

On the stroke of half time, Whitland kicked the ball forward and Seagulls’ Robbie Jones struggled to take the ball cleanly in the bright sun. That put Fishguard back and Whitland were able to win the ball back. Setaro again broke the tackles and passed to David Ebsworth who was brought down before the line but was still able to reach over for the try.

The conversion caused a moment of controversy as it was given by the Whitland touch judge and not given by the Fishguard touch judge. After the confusion was cleared up the conversion was not given and Whitland held a 23-13 lead at the break.

In the second half, Mike Jenkins went on a mazy run but he was penalised for holding onto the ball. Whitland chose to kick to touch but the kick didn’t go out and Fishguard attacked again.

They were then given a penalty and Jenkins again sent the penalty through the posts to bring them to within seven points of their opponents.

Whitland responded in kind and a penalty from Setaro restored his side’s ten point lead.

A knock on from Whitland saw Fishguard pick the ball up and play the advantage but they were unable to break through.

Whitland had a scrum five metres out but Setaro’s clearance kick barely cleared the 22 and Fishguard attacked again. They came close but a knock on ended their attack.

Moments later Setaro broke out and a series of passes found Jonny Thomas who touched down in the right corner. Setaro added the extras for a 33-16 lead.

Another penalty from Jenkins closed the gap once more and with ten minutes to go, Fishguard attacked and the ball was played to Osian Lewis who went over in the corner for a try. Jenkins added the extras to bring the Seagulls back to within ten points of Whitland.

Five minutes from time Setaro added another penalty and with the clock ticking over the 80-minute mark Sean Coles intercepted the ball in his own half and ran on to score the try. Setaro added the extras giving Whitland a 46-26 victory.

Sport

Greene’s double sinks Swifts

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MERLINS Bridge booked their place in the last 16 of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Dec 8) as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-0 at the Racecourse.

A good crowd gathered to watch the game that was played in blustery conditions which caused problems for both teams throughout the match.

Neither side was able to gain an upper hand in the first half but it was the Wizards who eventually took the lead shortly before half time.

A slip allowed Joe Leahy in and went one-on-one with the Swifts keeper before finding the back of the net.

The windy conditions continued in the second half and Will Haworth came close to doubling the home side’s lead but his shot was saved.

They then made it 2-0 as Haworth crossed from the left for Nathan Greene at the back post who headed low and into the net.

Peter Thomas then played a good one-two with Greene but Thomas sent his shot over the bar.

Greene could have had a second soon after but, after the Swifts keeper had come off his line, he could only send his effort over the bar.

He wasn’t to be denied his second however as a through ball set him up and he fired low into the bottom left corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

On Saturday (Dec 15), Merlins Bridge return to league action with a game against bottom side Milford United at Marble Hall.

Monkton Swifts will look to bounce back as they travel to Herbrandston.

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Bluebirds prepare for Pontypridd test

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HAVERFORDWEST County will be looking to progress to the next round of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Dec 8), when they welcome Pontypridd Town to the Bridge Meadow.

The Bluebirds enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 win against Swansea University in the last round having previously beaten STM Sports 2-1 away from home in the first round.

They currently sit third in Welsh League Division 1 with seven wins from their ten games so far this season.

They will also be looking for another cup run having already reached the fourth round of the League Cup.

Visitors Pontypridd also enjoyed a thrilling 6-3 win in their second round game with Goytre and they also won 2-1 away from home against Llanidloes Town in the first round.

They may sit second from bottom in Division 1 of the Welsh Leagues but their cup run has shown that they should not be underestimated.

The game is a repeat of the third round tie from last year which Pontypridd won 3-1 and the Bluebirds will be looking to avenge that defeat.

This is the Bluebirds’ only home game in December so make sure you get down to the Bridge Meadow to show your support.

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Sport

Bowen wins Young Sportsman of the Year

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WELSH jockey, James Bowen, 17, has won the Carwyn James Young Sportsman of the Year Award at the Wales Sports Awards on Tuesday, December 4, at The Celtic Manor.

The Awards which are an annual amalgamation of BBC Cymru Wales and Sports Wales to make the biggest Welsh Sporting celebration of the year, it is intended to showcase the best of both elite and grassroot level of sporting achievement.

Speaking to James on his award he said: “It came as a bit of a shock to me, I didn’t realise I had done that well this year”.

Bowen, who has been racing for the past 18 months, at just 16 became the youngest rider to win the Coral Welsh Grand National in 2018 on Raz De Maree. He is no stranger when it comes to awards, recently collecting the Rising Star Award at the inaugural Welsh Horse Racing Awards at Chepstow Racecourse.

On his Rising Star Award James said: “It was exciting to win this award as it’s the first time these awards have been done at the racecourse”.

On his recent career highlights James added: “I would like to thank everybody who has worked with me over the years, and all the trainers who have helped me get here.”

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