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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

Greene’s double sinks Swifts

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MERLINS Bridge booked their place in the last 16 of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Dec 8) as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-0 at the Racecourse.

A good crowd gathered to watch the game that was played in blustery conditions which caused problems for both teams throughout the match.

Neither side was able to gain an upper hand in the first half but it was the Wizards who eventually took the lead shortly before half time.

A slip allowed Joe Leahy in and went one-on-one with the Swifts keeper before finding the back of the net.

The windy conditions continued in the second half and Will Haworth came close to doubling the home side’s lead but his shot was saved.

They then made it 2-0 as Haworth crossed from the left for Nathan Greene at the back post who headed low and into the net.

Peter Thomas then played a good one-two with Greene but Thomas sent his shot over the bar.

Greene could have had a second soon after but, after the Swifts keeper had come off his line, he could only send his effort over the bar.

He wasn’t to be denied his second however as a through ball set him up and he fired low into the bottom left corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

On Saturday (Dec 15), Merlins Bridge return to league action with a game against bottom side Milford United at Marble Hall.

Monkton Swifts will look to bounce back as they travel to Herbrandston.

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Bluebirds prepare for Pontypridd test

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HAVERFORDWEST County will be looking to progress to the next round of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Dec 8), when they welcome Pontypridd Town to the Bridge Meadow.

The Bluebirds enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 win against Swansea University in the last round having previously beaten STM Sports 2-1 away from home in the first round.

They currently sit third in Welsh League Division 1 with seven wins from their ten games so far this season.

They will also be looking for another cup run having already reached the fourth round of the League Cup.

Visitors Pontypridd also enjoyed a thrilling 6-3 win in their second round game with Goytre and they also won 2-1 away from home against Llanidloes Town in the first round.

They may sit second from bottom in Division 1 of the Welsh Leagues but their cup run has shown that they should not be underestimated.

The game is a repeat of the third round tie from last year which Pontypridd won 3-1 and the Bluebirds will be looking to avenge that defeat.

This is the Bluebirds’ only home game in December so make sure you get down to the Bridge Meadow to show your support.

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Bowen wins Young Sportsman of the Year

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WELSH jockey, James Bowen, 17, has won the Carwyn James Young Sportsman of the Year Award at the Wales Sports Awards on Tuesday, December 4, at The Celtic Manor.

The Awards which are an annual amalgamation of BBC Cymru Wales and Sports Wales to make the biggest Welsh Sporting celebration of the year, it is intended to showcase the best of both elite and grassroot level of sporting achievement.

Speaking to James on his award he said: “It came as a bit of a shock to me, I didn’t realise I had done that well this year”.

Bowen, who has been racing for the past 18 months, at just 16 became the youngest rider to win the Coral Welsh Grand National in 2018 on Raz De Maree. He is no stranger when it comes to awards, recently collecting the Rising Star Award at the inaugural Welsh Horse Racing Awards at Chepstow Racecourse.

On his Rising Star Award James said: “It was exciting to win this award as it’s the first time these awards have been done at the racecourse”.

On his recent career highlights James added: “I would like to thank everybody who has worked with me over the years, and all the trainers who have helped me get here.”

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