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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

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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Bluebirds through in thriller

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HAVERFORDWEST County scored late on to seal their progress into round three of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Nov 10) as they beat Swansea University 4-3 at the Bridge Meadow.

A good crowd gathered for the game and they witnessed a thriller as the Bluebirds went two goals up only for Swansea to peg them back to 2-2 before half time.

Sean Pemberton grabbed the winning goal late on and the home side will now look forward to their third round tie.

The home side looked to take an early advantage and they made the breakthrough after ten minutes when Lee Trundle played an excellent ball into the middle for Ben Fawcett who fired into the bottom left corner.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0 the ball was played through for Trundle who ran onto it and fired in to the bottom left from the penalty spot.

It looked as if the Bluebirds might go in at half time with the lead but Swansea were soon back into it with ten minutes to go.

The Uni side won a corner and after it wasn’t cleared properly the ball fell to Declan McAde who rifled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

They weren’t done there and three minutes later the ball was played into the box and was touched in by the unfortunate Tim Hicks with the Uni’s Levi Houapeu in close proximity.

There was still time for more first half drama and it came a minute later when Trundle again played the ball through for Fawcett who scored his second of the game.

The Students were then given a penalty after Houapeu was fouled but keeper Steve Hall made an excellent save to keep the score at 3-2.

Hall was called upon in the second half to keep his side ahead with more good saves while at the other end Danny Williams came close to scoring.

With ten minutes to go the Students brought themselves back level as Houapeu put the ball in the net and all of a sudden an upset was on the cards.

It looked as if extra time would be needed but two minutes from the end Jack Wilson threw the ball into the box for Sean Pemberton who drove the ball in.

The Bluebirds saw the game out and the whistle brought an end to a thrilling cup tie.

The draw for Round three was made on Monday (Nov 12), and the Bluebirds were drawn at home against fellow Welsh League Division 1 side Pontypridd Town.

Before that they will return to action in Division 1 on Saturday (Nov 17) as they travel to fourth placed Cwmbran Celtic.

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