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Cresselly beat Town to open up title race

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THE Division 1 title race was blown wide open on Saturday (Jun 30) as Cresselly beat leaders Haverfordwest while Whitland and Neyland both won again to close the gap on the top two.

Haverfordwest were asked to bat first against Cresselly and had it not been for a score of 91 not out from Simon Holliday, taking his tally of runs for the season to 876, their score could have been a lot less.

Opener Dai Davies was the only other batsman to make it into double figures as they slipped to scores of 78-6 and 114-8.

Cresselly’s Ryan Lewis was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with figures of 5-25.

In reply, Dan Sutton and Iwan Izzard both made scores of 24 before 83 not out from Dan Cherry guided Cresselly to their target.

The win means Cresselly move level on points with leaders Haverfordwest while Whitland’s win over Lawrenny means they are now just 16 points behind.

Whitland batted first and made an excellent total of 257-4 in their innings with Steffan James playing a starring role as he finished not out on 128.

He was supported well by Dylan Blain who added 68 runs as Lawrenny’s bowlers toiled.

Lawrenny were unable to match Whitland’s score however, as Iestyn Scourfield was in superb form with the ball as he took nine wickets for the loss of 39 runs to help bowl their opponents out for 106.

Neyland returned to winning ways on Saturday with victory over Llangwm at Pill Parks and they now sit 18 points behind the top two.

Neyland had lost three of their previous four matches, drawing the other, but they were eager to get themselves back in the title picture and they scored 253-6 in their innings.

They had played on the same pitch a few days earlier in the semi-final of the Duggie Morris tournament so they already had a good feel of how the pitch would play.

Nick Koomen top scored for his side with 78 runs while Ashley Smith added 47 and Henry Durrant added 40.

Llangwm had Noah Davies their top scorer on 52 while Joseph Kiff added 49 and Richard Brock scored 38 but it wasn’t quite enough to take them to victory.

Andrew Miller took three wickets for Neyland while Gary Lloyd and Durrant both struck twice to bowl them out for 181.

At the other end of the table, Kilgetty earned a crucial win against Burton to further boost their hopes of survival.

Kilgetty batted first but were all out for 163 with Burton’s Morgan Scale taking four wickets and Luke Hayman also taking three wickets.

Kurtis Marsh top scored for the visitors with 53 runs while Tom Lewis scored 36 and Jack Parkinson added 23.

Burton then had Matthew Davies score 41 in reply and Morgan Scale added 38 but it wasn’t quite enough to earn them victory as they were bowled out for 158, just five runs short.

Marsh took three wickets while Ross Hardy and Liam Cullen both struck twice for Kilgetty.

Finally, Tish eased to victory over Johnston by nine wickets on Saturday.

Johnston batted first and had opener Steve James score 22 and Gary James added 21 before some late hitting from Keegan Codd saw him score 43 as they were all out for 124.

Tish’s Andrew Pawlett took six wickets for the home side who then had Peter Bradshaw finish not out on 47 and Phil Cockburn unbeaten on 56 as they reached their target with plenty of time to spare.

On Saturday (Jul 7), the top four sides all face sides below them in the table with Cresselly travelling to bottom side Johnston.

Haverfordwest travel to a Lawrenny side who have already beaten Neyland and Cresselly so far this season.

Whitland are at home to Llangwm while Neyland are at home as they take on Burton.

Two sides towards the bottom end of the table could give themselves a real boost as third from bottom Kilgetty host fourth from bottom St Ishmaels with both locked on 128 points.

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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