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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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Ruthless Mariners power past Saints

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MILFORD Haven put in a ruthless display as they scored seventeen tries to beat St Davids 119-5 at the Obs on Saturday (Jan 5).

The Mariners were right at it from the kick off and did not let up as they held a 63-5 lead at the break.

James Trueman scored a hat trick of tries for the home side and he also went on to kick each of his 17 conversion attempts for a club record haul of 49 points.

Dan Jenkins also crossed for three tries while Dan Birch, Sam Dolling and Brandon Cooper all scored twice for the home side.

The Saints, to their credit, kept going and were rewarded in the first half when Josh Strangwood crossed for a try.

Jamie Lewis, Dewi Williams, Ryan Mansell, Dan McClelland and Steve Martin all got their names on the scoresheet to seal an emphatic victory.

The win keeps Milford top of the table by a point from rivals Neyland and on Saturday (Jan 12), they will face a sterner test as they travel to Laugharne.

The Saints remain third from bottom in the table and on Saturday they are at home to third placed Haverfordwest.

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Trundle leaves Bluebirds

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HAVERFORDWEST County have confirmed that star signing Lee Trundle has left the club.

The news was announced on Sunday, December 30, and the former Swansea City player has since signed for Welsh League Division 3 side Trefelin BGC.

In a statement released by the Bluebirds they thank Lee for his time at the club in which he scored 12 goals in all competitions.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Due to increasing work commitments, Lee Trundle has decided to leave Haverfordwest County and his last game was on Friday evening (Dec 28) at Ton Pentre where he scored two goals taking his tally for the Bluebirds to twelve in all competitions this season.

“Whist his stay at our club was shorter than we would have hoped, we fully understand his decision and everyone at the football club would like to thank Lee for his time here and the way he has conducted himself both on and off the field of play. Lee leaves with our sincere best wishes.”

Lee commented on Haverfordwest County’s Facebook page saying: “Good luck the rest of the season boys. Great club run by great people. Wish you all the best on the race for the league title this year.”

Fans of the club have also commented saying they are ‘gutted’ to see him leave and that he will be missed.

As well as Swansea, Lee has also played for Wrexham, Bristol City and Leeds United in his career.

It was announced in May 2018 that Trundle would be joining the Bluebirds having helped Llanelli Town to promotion to the Welsh Premier League.

Lee now joins a team that sit top of Division 3 and his inclusion is likely to give a further boost to their promotion hopes.

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Late Smith penalty seals Pembroke win

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A LATE penalty from Toby Smith earned Pembroke a 15-13 victory in a hard-fought encounter with Pembrokeshire rivals Fishguard on Saturday (Dec 29).

It was an excellent game between two good teams with Pembroke feeling a little rusty having not played for three weeks while the heavy pitch suited a Fishguard side who were looking to avenge their narrow 16-17 defeat at home to Pembroke earlier in the season.

There was no sign of rustiness however as the home side started the game well and could have gone ahead but Johnny Palmer was held up over the line.

Sean Dalling also looked to be free but he was ankle tapped near the line and the Seagulls were able to recover.

Having weathered the early storm the Seagulls then took the lead as Andrew Williams touched down under the posts. Kial Keane then added the extra two points.

Pembroke responded well and were soon back on level terms as Dan Colley ran a good line off Toby Smith to touch the ball down under the posts. Smith then added the extras.

The home side then went ahead as a good break by Tom Lewis set up captain Scott Powell who crashed over. This time the conversion was missed by Pembroke held a 12-7 lead.

They could have had a third try soon after as Dan Colley touched down but it was ruled out for a marginal forward pass.

The Seagulls then narrowed the gap as Keane scored a penalty and the score at half time was 12-10 in Pembroke’s favour.

In the second half Fishguard came at Pembroke well and they took the lead with another penalty from Keane to make it 12-13 to the visitors.

It was an evenly contested half but it was Pembroke who had the final say as Smith sent a penalty through the posts in the last minute to seal a 15-13 victory.

Pembroke’s win keeps them fourth in the table and they will look for another win on Saturday (Jan 5) as they host Carmarthen Athletic.

Fishguard will look to get back to winning ways as they travel to Burry Port who sit just below them in the table.

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