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Pembroke open with a win

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PEMBROKE put in an excellent display on Saturday (Sept 1), as they kicked off their League 2 West campaign with a 29-20 win over St Clears.

There were new faces among both sides and a good crowd gathered to watch the game.

Pembroke opened proceedings and enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges although the visitors were not helped when one of the new faces, Rhys Strawbridge was presented with an early ten minute rest on the sidelines when he incurred the referee’s displeasure after only six minutes of play.

In a rare visit to the home side’s half after seventeen minutes, scrum half Owain Davies scored an opportunist try for the visitors to record the first of the new season but within a minute Pembroke struck back when fly half Toby Smith touched down close to the posts allowing an easy conversion for full back Luke Hartland to edge into the lead.

Pembroke continued to press and with Smith controlling affairs with excellent tactical kicking varied with good interplay with his lively backs another try was no surprise ten minutes later from prop Dom Colman and although the kick from the touchline was not successful a useful lead of 12 points to 5 was established at half time.

Two minutes into the second half fly half Dan Griffiths reduced the arrears for the visitors with a penalty and the balance of play shifted with the visitors matching the host’s efforts, particularly up front with the pack much the stronger.

Despite this improvement however the home backs looked dangerous whenever in possession from anywhere on the park and within ten minutes two tries orchestrated by outside half Smith exposing the Saints defence stretched the lead to 22 points to 8.

The visitors kept on battling and they were rewarded for their efforts with a try from second row Dafydd Walters converted by Dan Griffiths.

With the final whistle imminent Pembroke settled matters with another try thanks to their back division once again and at 29 points to 15 recorded the bonus point.

Saints responded once again and outside centre Will Davies touched down to reduce the arrears but with a losing bonus point maybe the only consolation available, perhaps providing some consolation, unfortunately the conversion was missed and the visitors left reflecting on a curious game when the result could have been worse that it was.

On Saturday (Sept 8), Pembroke are away to Pembrokeshire rivals Fishguard while St Clears will look to bounce back as they host early league leaders Carmarthen Athletic.

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Johnston earn first win

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JOHNSTON secured their first win of the season on Saturday (Aug 10) as they beat Carew seconds by 68 runs.

It brings an end to a long wait for Johnston who went nearly two seasons without victory.

On Saturday they batted first against Carew scoring a good total of 210-9 in their innings.

Gino Cleal top scored for Johnston with 76 runs and there was also a good knock of 44 from Steve James.

Josh Hicks also scored 19 runs as the visitors looked to set a challenging target for their hosts.

For Carew, Rob Hicks was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with figures of 4-22 while Rhys Canton also bowled well for his figures of 2-37.

In reply, Carew’s Yori Hicks scored 62 and Alex Wilkes added 28 but Johnston were not to be denied on this occasion.

Nick Davies was in fine form with the ball taking seven wickets fore the loss of 41 runs. Mark Hicks also took two wickets for Johnston.

They bowled Carew out for 142 and the win also lifts them off the bottom of the table.

Having sealed their first win of the season they will go again on Saturday (Aug 17), when they travel to second placed Narberth.

Carew seconds will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Cresselly Seconds.

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Athletic play Vikings in Joe Lennon final

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MILFORD Athletic will play Hakin United in the Joe Lennon Cup Final on Saturday (Aug 17) after both sides won their respective semi-finals.

Milford Athletic played on Monday (Aug 12) and they beat Herbrandston on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Hakin played their game on Tuesday (Aug 13) and they overcame Milford United, again by the method of penalties.

On Monday, Division 3 side Athletic took the lead in the first half when Gareth Quirk’s free kick went in despite the Herbie keeper managing to get a hand on the ball.

Keeper Owen Thomas then made a couple of good saves to keep Herbie in the game.

They finished the second half strongly and were rewarded when Marc Boswell’s free kick flew into the net to make it 1-1.

Both sides had further chances but neither could find a winner which meant penalties would be needed to separate the sides.

Athletic keeper Jonathan Pawlett saved McCauley Marshallsay’s spot kick before Callum English fired over to send the Athletic through.

For them, Quirk, Haydn Dimond, Liam Clarke and John Lydon were all on target from the spot.

Tuesday’s sem-final followed a similar story as Scott Reid opened the scoring for the Vikings with a fine strike, only for Milford United to level matters.

Lewys Tee’s goal brought them level at the break to make it 1-1 and that was how it stayed until the final whistle.

Reid came close when a cross was fumbled into his path by the United keeper but he poked the ball wide.

The Vikings also brought on Nicky Woodrow as they went in search of a winner but penalties would again be needed to separate the two sides.

With the score level at 3-3 in the shootout, Joel Codd sent his penalty wide for Milford leaving the hosts with a chance to go through.

Leon Luby kept his nerve to give the Vikings a 4-3 shootout win to send them to the final.

The final will take place on Saturday (Aug 17) at the Obs and kicks off at 2pm.

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Cresselly stun Town

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CRESSELLY’s Dan Sutton scored an unbeaten century to help his side to a ten-wicket win over Haverfordwest on Saturday (Aug 10).

Town batted first on winning the toss and made a good total of 208-2 from their 45 overs.

Simon Holliday and Danny Potter shared 43 runs for the first wicket before Potter was bowled by Ryan Lewis on a score of 23.

Holliday and Dai Davies shared another 99 runs for the second wicket as they continued to put runs on the board.

Davies hit five fours and a six in his score of 47 but he was then caught by Mike Venables off the bowling of Tom Arthur.

Holliday and Ben Field then shared another 66 runs to take Town to their total.

Field finished unbeaten on 38 having hit two fours and a six while Holliday hit five fours and five sixes as he finished not out on 94.

Dan Sutton and Phil Williams began Cresselly’s reply and they were untroubled by Town’s bowling attack.

Williams hit eight fours as he finished unbeaten on 65 but Sutton was the star of the show.

He smashed fifteen fours and five sixes to finish not out on 135 from 122 balls to help Cresselly to their target with time to spare.

The win for Cresselly sees them close the gap to third place Carew to 11 points with the two sides set to play each other on Saturday (Aug 17).

Town will look to bounce back but they face a tough test against newly-crowned Champions Neyland.

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