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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

Collins’ stunner earns win for Veterans

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A STUNNING strike from Hakin left back Adam Collins ensured that the Veteran Vikings earned maximum points and remain top of the Welsh Veterans League after a hard fought 4-3 win at home to Coedeva Athletic last Sunday (Feb 17).

However, on a very windy day, the Vikings found themselves behind early on as Gareth Hinwood scored from the penalty spot.

Hakin were soon level though, when Stuart MacDonald set up Matthew Price to score from close range.

Richard Nash gave Hakin the lead scoring via a deflection and Paul Andrews levelled matters for Coedeva before the break, as his shot from distance also took a deflection.

Early in the second half, Michael McCarthy beat the Coedeva keeper to a ball to make it 3-2 from close range and almost immediately, Coedeva were level after another Gareth Hinwood penalty.

Inside the final quarter, a stunning left footed strike from Adam Collins found the top corner from distance to give Hakin the win.

Hakin next play on Sunday, March 3, at home to Swansea University in the semi-final of the Welsh Veterans Cup.

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Nigel Armstrong, Richard Bland, Nigel Delaney, Adam Collins, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Stuart MacDonald, Michael McCarthy, Matthew Price, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Leigh Walters, Simon Rocke, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Saints do the double

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ST CLEARS completed the double over Neyland as they earned a 4-0 win on Saturday (Feb 16).

The Saints, who were forced into a re-shuffle at the back and without one of their midfielders, had beaten them 5-2 at home the previous week and Neyland would have been looking for some revenge.

However, it was the Saints who started strongly and took a deserved lead from a short corner. Jonny Thomas found Steve Thomas unmarked in the box and he headed home.

Both teams had chances to score but Saints keeper James Dickson made a few good saves to keep their 1-0 lead in tact.

The visitors eventually got the second goal of the game following good individual play by Will Evans.

Evans then added his second directly from a free kick to make it 3-0. They then rounded off a good day as Sean Seymour Davies latched onto a long ball to score and make it 4-0.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Neyland are away to Goodwick while St Clears welcome Merlins Bridge.

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Jones’ late drop goal earns win for Blues

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HAVERFORDWEST moved up to second place in League 3 West A on Saturday (Feb 16), as they beat Neyland with a late drop goal.

It was a tight game with both sides battling well but it was the Blues who went ahead early on as Craig Barnett scored a penalty.

Barnett then scored another soon after to put the visitors into a 0-6 lead and it remained that way until the half time whistle.

Early in the second half Neyland were back in it as they scored a penalty to make the score 3-6.

Mark Riley then put Neyland ahead as he was credited with a pushover try but the conversion was missed and the All Blacks led by two points.

Haverfordwest pushed on looking for a winning score and when a try wasn’t forthcoming the ball was sent back to Mikey Jones who kept calm to send a drop goal through the posts.

That put the Blues one point ahead at 8-9 and there was little time for the home side to respond.

The All Blacks do pick up the consolation of a losing bonus point but that will not do much to lift their spirits after they were dropped to fourth in the table following other results.

The Blues now sit second with Aberaeron breathing down their necks having played three games less.

There is no game on Saturday (Feb 23), as Wales take on England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The sides return to action on Saturday, March 2, when Haverfordwest host Llanybydder and Neyland host St Davids.

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