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Fantastic Four get Wales off to flying start

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WALES got their Nations League campaign off to a flying start on Thursday night (Sept 6) as they beat the Republic of Ireland 4-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The four goals came from four different scorers and ensured Ryan Giggs’ first competitive game in charge ended in the best possible manner.

Wales had been beaten by the Irish at the same venue almost a year ago as a James McClean goal secured the Irish a World Cup qualifying play off spot but there was to be no such repeat this time around.

Just six minutes were on the clock when Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu spread the ball to the right for Joe Allen who in turn sent the ball through for Tom Lawrence who smashed the ball home and settle any early nerves.

If that goal was good then the second twelve minutes later was even better as Ben Davies sent a brilliant cross-field ball over to Gareth Bale who cut inside on his left foot before firing into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Ireland threatened briefly with a free kick but Jeff Hendrick’s ball into the box was cleared for a corner which then also came to nothing.

Tom Lawrence couldn’t quite get on the end of a cross into the box but it fell for Bournemouth’s David Brooks whose shot flew wide.

On the half hour mark Joe Allen cleared from just outside his own box for Brookes who ran into the Irish half before laying the ball off for Lawrence but his strong effort was pushed away by Irish keeper Darren Randolph.

Three minutes later Brooks again passed for Davies who crossed into the box but Connor Roberts’ header, on just his third cap, went just wide.

Eight minutes before half time the impressive Ampadu passed to Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the box and he slid the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Wales had impressed in the first half and Ireland faced an uphill task if they were to get back into the game.

Ireland did threaten at the start of the second half but Ampadu looked in complete control as he shielded a cross into the box before clearing the danger.

Just two minutes after that, the ball was played to Roberts who unleashed a long range rocket which left the keeper with no chance making it 4-0.

It could have very nearly been five moments later as Ramsey flicked the ball on before the ball was passed on to Bale whose shot went just over.

The Welsh continued to play well and could have easily added more goals to the scoreline.

With twenty minutes to go Ireland did pull a goal back as Ramsey slipped allowing Shaun Williams in to lob Welsh keeper Wayne Hennessey.

Young Tyler Roberts was also brought on and he linked up well with Ramsey before seeing a shot saved.

Brooks then won the ball back for Roberts to take over and he sent Brooks in on goal but Enda Stephens got in to take the ball away just as Brooks was about to take his shot.

It finished 4-1 and represented an excellent start for Wales and will give them confidence going into their game with Denmark on Sunday.

Giggs will be looking for his side to repeat Thursday’s performance and a win would surely set them on their way to winning their Nations League Group.

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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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