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Hudgell heads Goodwick to Cup glory

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GOODWICK United’s Lee Hudgell headed his side to a second West Wales Cup win in two years as they beat Penlan 1-0 in the West Wales Cup Final at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

The Pheonix boys won the Cup in 2016 as part of their historic treble winning season and they were keen to get their hands on the cup once again.

There was a good crowd of 674 and they witnessed a close game which could have gone either way.

Goodwick nearly went ahead after thirty seconds as Jordan Griffiths won the ball and headed on to Lee Hudgell who crossed into the box for Jonny Horgan but his volleyed effort went wide.

With five minutes gone Griffiths played Horgan in down the left but his shot again went just wide of the right hand post.

On eight minutes Wayne O’Sullivan brought down Penlan’s Darren Rowe on the edge of the box giving them a good opportunity. Dale Otten took the kick but Jamees Gwilt made an excellent save to deny him.

Moments later Jordan Griffiths danced his way through a number of players in the box but his shot was eventually saved by Penlan keeper Marcus Collins and the rebound was blocked wide.

Penlan’s Luke Chappell then came close but his curled effort went wide of the right hand post. Luke Dallin also found space down the left but his cross was blocked well by Stefan Hayes.

With twenty minutes gone Chappell won the ball back and Dallin took over but his shot also went wide of the posts.

Goodwick’s Horgan was causing problems down the left and when he was fouled after he made a cross the referee blew for a free kick and Kyle Barrett picked up the first yellow card of the game. The free kick was sent into the box but straight into the arms of the Penlan keeper.

Penlan’s Dallin then passed into the middle for Rowe but his goalbound effort was saved by Gwilt.

Kieran O’Brien then found space to run into the Penlan half and he passed to Griffiths but his shot on the turn was blocked.

Penlan looked to break and a great pass found Barrett but as he was about to pull the trigger, Llyr Tobin got back to make an excellent tackle.

Six minutes before half time, Dallin found Chappell whose shot was saved well by Gwilt but it wouldn’t have counted had it gone in as the linesman flagged for offside.

Dallin was proving a handful for Goodwick and he won a free kick on the left edge of the box which he took and had to be blocked wide by Goodwick’s defenders.

The half time whistle went with the score still locked at 0-0 and both sides were still in with a chance of lifting the cup.

There was a scrappy start to the second half as both sides committed fouls, one of which saw Wayne O’Sullivan booked.

It was Goodwick who had the first real chance of the second half ten minutes in as Hudgell crossed into the box but the ball was headed over by Penlan, away from the waiting O’Brien. From the resulting corner Horgan’s kick was headed in at the front post by Lee Hudgell.

Griffiths then had a chance to double Goodwick’s lead but his effort was blocked wide for a corner.

With twenty minutes to go, Goodwick’s Chris O’Sullivan was injured and he had to be brought off and replaced by Matty Delaney.

Matty was straight in on the action as he beat his man down the left before running into the box and stopping on the byline. Penlan keeper Collins came for the ball and appeared to catch Matty but no penalty was given.

Llyr Tobin was then sent off with ten minutes to go for a second bookable offence and Goodwick would have to hold on with ten men.

Penlan sent a number of crosses into the box but Goodwick dealt with them well. Otten had a chance from one such cross but he gave away a foul as he headed over.

James Gwilt, who had not had much to do, was alert as he punched away another free kick and the rebound was fired over.

Four minutes of added time were signalled and Gwilt again did well to pluck a dangerous cross out of the air.

Gwilt punched another free kick away and that sent Johnny Horgan through but his shot went agonisingly wide of the posts.

Penlan pushed but the final whistle went meaning Goodwick were West Wales Cup Champions yet again!

After the match, the Herald caught up with keeper Gwilt who said: “We’re delighted, the boys worked extremely hard and we ground it out and managed to win the cup.

“I’ve got a great back four in front of me so they make my life easy and we managed to keep them out so it is a great win.”

Chris O’Sullivan added: “It’s great for the club, for what it does throughout the season, it’s a great compliment to our team. It’s a professionally run club and everybody deserves it, they’ve worked hard for it.

“Both teams created a lot of chances first half and could have taken the lead. 0-0 at half time was a bit disappointing because we had some great chances but we knew we were always going to create chances and it was just a case of taking one of those and we know how to see a game out, we’re really well drilled and once we scored I was confident in seeing it through.”

Asked how the sending off affected the team, Chris said: “We work on things like that, we banked up with two banks of four, a coach of mine taught me that really well, Sean Cresser, so that experience in working alongside him helped us today, it worked, we’ve seen it out so it’s great for the club.”

Sport

All Blacks storm Tregaron

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NEYLAND moved back to the top of League 3 West A on Saturday (Dec 15) as they stormed through Tregaron to beat them 71-3.

Storm Deirdre did its best to disrupt the game but the Athletic Ground pitch held up well with rain and strong winds battering the pitch for much of the eighty minutes and it was the All Blacks storm that prevailed.

The away side turned up late for the game and only had 14 players meaning they would have to opt for uncontested scrums but they deserve credit for their efforts.

Despite being a man light Tregaron took the lead. Having missed a penalty moments before, Huw Bonner made amends for that miss with a penalty.

However, that was as good as it got for the visitors as Neyland hit back almost immediately. A good move involving Patrick Bellerby and Alex Codd was halted but play was brought back for an earlier foul. From the resulting play Sam Cataki touched the ball down and George Evans added the extra two points for a 7-3 lead.

Delme Bateman then went on an excellent run and he found Ben Williams inside who ran on to touch down under the posts. Evans again converted.

The All Blacks were not done there as Patrick Bellerby broke clear to scored Neyland’s third try. This time Evans was unsuccessful with the conversion.

They then had their fourth try and a bonus point, all inside the opening ten minutes as Alex Codd touched the ball down after it was kicked into the try area. Evans sent the conversion wide and Neyland held a 24-3 lead.

Neyland continued to look for more tries and after one move came to an end for a knock on, Scott Buirds, playing on permit from Whitland, supplied the try-scoring pass for Iestyn Evans. Namesake George then added the extras once more.

From a Tregaron scrum Neyland scored their sixth try. The ball was knocked on but Codd kept the play alive kicking the ball forward before touching down. Evans converted again.

Codd again came close to scoring as he ran into the 22 but Tregaron were able to keep the All Blacks out and clear the danger.

One player from each side was then sent to the sin bin as they squared up to each other but it did little to affect the flow of play.

On the stroke of half time Neyland scored their seventh try as they broke free again and George Williams crossed the whitewash. Evans added the extras and Neyland held a commanding 45-3 lead at the break.

At the start of the second half Neyland seemed determined to pile on the misery and scored another try in the corner through Tom Hughes. Evans sent the conversion wide.

Owain Evans was next to get his name on the score sheet and George Evans added the extras.

Tregaron then won a series of penalties which saw them enter the Neyland 22 but they were unable to find a way through as the All Blacks cleared the ball away.

The ball was then kicked on and Bellerby ran on to it, kicking it forward again before touching down. Evans then added the conversion for a 64-3 lead.

Bellerby then completed his hat trick late on with Neyland’s eleventh try and Evans added the extras.

It was an excellent win for Neyland which sends them back to the top of the table, having now played more games than the teams around them.

They are next in action on Saturday (Dec 29), when they travel to Pembroke Dock Quins. Tregaron will look to bounce back in their next game, at home against Llanybydder.

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Sport

Otters continue winning run

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AFTER a week of wet and stormy days, and a wet start last Saturday (Dec 8), it was surprising that the game at Newbridge was still on and was one of only two games played in the Championship due to the state of the grounds.

Newbridge kicked off with the strong wind blowing diagonally across the pitch, for the first five minutes both teams persisted with a kicking dual before the Otters set up a promising movement passing the ball wide only to end with a forward pass.

After six minutes the Otters won a penalty, Nick Gale came forward to attempt a 40 metre kick which was just off target.

Initially, the Otters appeared to be penalised frequently at the breakdowns giving Newbridge opportunities to attack. From their line out Bridge moved the ball smartly with centre Mathew McGovern making a diagonal break only to be stopped in his tracks by the strong Otters defence.

At the breakdown Bridge offended enabling Jonathan Rogers to gain touch on the halfway line. From the lineout the ball moved across the threes to Ianto Griffiths who kicked for the corner only for the wind to hold it up and for Newbridge to call a mark. Their kick was gathered and returned, Newbridge again kicked and the Otters receiving the ball attacked but were stopped and at the breakdown the referee awarded the Otters a penalty just outside the 22 line.

Again Nick Gale came forward and at the last moment the wind moved the ball to the right of the posts. Newbridge kicked out, Ryan Bean gathered and made ground with Jack Price alongside, the ball was moved away from the stand side only for the slippery ball to be knocked on.

It became clear that the Otters pack had control of the tight with Newbridge being penalised and Jonathan Rogers attempting to find touch, Newbridge returned the kick, Ianto Griffiths gathered and raced forward, at the breakdown, the Otters retrieved the ball and moving right towards the stand passed to Nick Gale who raced forward and when tackled passed to Ryan Bean, he moved left and unfortunately the ball was adjudged to have been passed forward.

At the scrum Newbridge heeled and kicked the ball into touch. At this point Tom Kaijack had to leave the field, Bradley Davies came off the bench which resulted in Dan Jacobs moving over to tight head prop.

The game continued to see both teams attempting to gain ground, with both defences strong and when the movements made ground the slippery ball made handling more difficult and errors occurred. Penalties were occurring against both teams as the rucks became more intense.

Then on the half hour, Newbridge were again penalised enabling Jonathan Rogers to place the ball into touch on the stand side. At the lineout, Andrew Cooke caught the ball at the end of the lineout, feeding Rhys Lane who passed out only for Newbridge to halt the move and get penalised at the breakdown.

Again Nick Gale failed to find the target with his penalty kick. Conditions worsened as a very heavy shower descended on the proceedings. The Otters continued to attempt to make progress before the referee blew for half time with the game tied at 0 – 0.

Fly half Jonathan Rogers restarted the second half and immediately the Otters gained possession and advanced close to the line before Newbridge offend at the ruck. This time with a penalty kick in front of the posts Nick Gale easily kicked the ball through for a 0-3 lead.

Newbridge kicked off, again the Otters attacked but at the breakdowns the game was becoming a muddy scramble. This led to a further kicking dual which failed to create an opportunity for either side. Newbridge began to see a little more of the ball but were being repelled by the Otters.

On 60 minutes the Otters withdrew Andrew Cooke from the back row to be replaced by Steffan Phillps. At the lineout Alex Jenkins again proved his worth gaining good possession and occasionally winning the ball on the Newbridge throw.

The first scrum after the change in the back row saw the Otters push Newbridge back some 10 metres with the referee awarding them a penalty. From this kick, Jonathan Rogers put the Otters to within 5 metres of the try line. For an offence at the lineout Christian Francis the Newbridge number 8 received a yellow card and sent to the sin bin. The resultant penalty saw Jonathan Rogers place the ball into touch on the 5 metre line.

Alex Jenkins made a clean jump and take and immediately formed a maul which despite Newbridge efforts enabled the pack to cross the try line for Rhodri Owen to touch down. Nick Gale safely converted to give the Otters a 10-0 lead.

Sam Withers restarted the game and quickly gained possession. As they attacked the Otters were penalised for standing offside in defence. Withers kicked the penalty into touch on the far side near the 5 metre line.

From the lineout they set up a rolling maul, as the Otters attempted to hold the move, Newbridge threw in a few threequarters and crossed the line for centre Mathew McGovern to score, Sam Withers converted to bring the score to 7-10.

From the restart the Otters attacked in midfield only for Newbridge to wrench the ball as the players were going to ground and passed to McGovern who made an effective break only for the ball to end in touch. Newbridge showed determination to get ahead and the contact between players became quite intense with play just outside the Otters 22.

Newbridge’s yellow card returned,  but at a scrum, the Otters  heeled and on receiving the ball Jonathan Rogers made ground with his kick out of hand downfield. Newbridge offended and a scrum reset before the referee awarded the Otters a penalty as they over powered the Newbridge eight.

This time Nick Gale was successful with his penalty kick bringing the score to 7-13 on 75 minutes. Following this, Newbridge changed their front row and as a result the scrums became uncontested.

However the Otters controlled most of the remaining minutes of the game, playing safe and using Alex Jenkin superiority at the lineout. There was relief all round when the referee blew for full time.

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Sport

Veterans earn semi-final spot

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HAKIN United Over 40s finished 2018 by progressing to the semi-final of the Welsh Veterans Cup following a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Ferndale & District at the Observatory last Sunday (Dec 9).

The game itself was a very hard fought and competitive game with tempers boiling over on several occasions.

The Vikings were awarded a penalty inside the last ten minutes for a handball offence. Paul Jones scored from the spot to give Hakin the lead.

However, with virtually the last kick of the game, the ever dependable Jason Morgan in the Hakin goal made a rare mistake that gifted Ferndale & District a draw and a chance to win the tie on penalties.

However, it wasn’t to be for the visitors as Hakin emphatically scored all five of their spot kicks with Nigel Delaney, Nigel Armstrong, Michael McCarthy, Paul Jones and Matthew Price finding the back of the net to win 5-3 on penalties and earn a place in the semi-final.

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Nigel Armstrong. Richard Bland, Nigel Delaney, Adam Collins, Shaun Mills, Stuart MacDonald, Richard Nash, Paul Jones, Michael McCarthy, Leigh Walters. Subs: Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes, Matthew Price, Gerard Gray.

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