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Walsh strike earns thrilling win for Vikings

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HAKIN United have one hand on the Pembrokeshire League Division 1 trophy after a late strike from Shane Walsh gave them a thrilling 4-3 win over rivals Merlins Bridge at the Racecourse on Thursday night (May 10).

There was a frantic start to the game as Jack Wilson headed in to give Hakin the lead in front of a packed crowd.

However, Will Haworth made it 1-1 soon after and Nathan Greene put the home side ahead when he pounced on a poor back pass to make it 2-1.

Nicky Woodrow came close to levelling on the stroke of half time but his header was saved by the Bridge keeper.

The Wizards had an early chance to increase their lead in the second half when Joe Leahy and Greene combined well before Leahy saw his effort saved.

Four minutes in Hakin levelled as the ball wasn’t cleared properly allowing Ben Fawcett to make his way round a defender before shooting in off the post to make it 2-2.

They could have gone ahead a minute later when Woodrow flicked the ball on for Harding but his shot was saved and the rebound was cleared.

Ten minutes into the second half the Bridge took the lead once more as a corner from Luke Hayward was cleared as far as Haworth whose shot was deflected in to the bottom left corner of the net.

Fawcett then saw a cross blocked wide as Hakin looked for another equaliser. Keeper Adrian Devonald then sent a free kick into the Merlins Bridge half and Woodrow again headed on for Harding but his touch towards goal was again saved.

Just after the hour mark a free kick was headed back across goal and Jack Wilson volleyed in to score his second of the game to level the scores at 3-3.

Greene then saw a header saved for the home side as they again looked to go back into the lead but there chances were dealt a blow with just over twenty minutes to go.

A number of crunching tackles were being made and Bridge’s Chris Ormond was angry at a challenge on him. When the referee didn’t give a foul he stepped over the line in his comments and was sent off by referee Tom Bevan.

Hakin then surged forward looking to make their man advantage count and Woodrow saw a shot saved before the rebound from Fawcett was saved on to the bar.

Ben Steele then saw a shot blocked by his own man before another shot went over the bar.

Despite being down to ten men the Bridge were still very much in the game and Will Haworth did his best to win the ball back before giving away a foul. Referee Tom Bevan accidentally pulled out a red card but quickly put it away before giving Haworth a yellow.

With three minutes to go Wilson crossed into the box for Woodrow but his header bounced back off the bar and it seemed that the game would finish all square.

However, in injury time, substitute Shane Walsh, brought on with fifteen minutes to go, found space and poked the ball towards goal and into the bottom right corner sparking wild celebrations. Walsh was subsequently booked for taking his shirt off.

There was still time for the Bridge to have one last attack but when the ball was cleared, Bevan blew for full time and Hakin celebrated a huge win.

The win means they are now six points clear of Goodwick United going into their double header next week.

The first of those games takes place on Thursday (May 17), in Goodwick with the return match in Hakin taking place on Monday (May 21).

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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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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