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Dragonhearts edged out by Serbia

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SERBIA recorded a hard-fought 22-20 victory over Wales Dragonhearts in Belgrade on Wednesday afternoon (Oct 3).

It was the first of two tests between the two evenly matched sides. The try count was four-all with both sides each converting twice, and it was only Dzavid Jasari’s 60thminute penalty that gave the home side the win.

Wales selected all of their side from the country’s thriving community game following a successful three-side Origin series, whilst 13 of Serbia’s 17 play their rugby league in Belgrade, eight of them from the country’s champions Red Star, who will be entering the RFL Challenge Cup next season. Serbia also fielded three Australian-based players, two of whom scored tries, who were flown in readiness for Serbia’s full international against France on Sunday.

The home side took the lead on four minutes after Vladimir Milutinovic forced his way over with Milos Zogovic unable to convert.

Then Wales had a 6-4 advantage on 16 minutes after a Connah Harding try that Mike Hurley easily converted.

Serbia regained the lead from kick-off when Brandon Janjic scored near to the corner with Jasari missing the goal on this occasion.

Wales went back into the lead in the 24th minute after Brett Thomas scored in the corner. Hurley’s conversion attempt hit the crossbar and came out.

Serbia had the advantage again five minutes later when Stevan Stevanovic broke through and Jasari converted well.

Wales levelled just after the half-hour when Sam Pridgeon scored a well-worked try in the corner, making it another difficult kick for Hurley who swung the ball wide.

The score remained at 14-all at the break but Serbia regained the lead within a minute of the second half when Jonathan Kresst scored in the corner and Jasari did well to convert.

Wales were soon level. Following a penalty, Shane Lee went on a mazy run to set up Mark Jones to ground just right of the sticks with Hurley converting.

The game stopped for over five minutes after a collision left Wales’ Dafydd Jones having treatment and eventually needing to go off and have stiches – one of many stoppages for injuries and penalties in a half that lasted nearly 55 minutes. When play resumed on this occasion, Jasari kicked a penalty to edge Serbia into a 22-20 lead.

Wales pressed for a winner but the Serbian defence held out well under pressure in the final ten minutes, and when the Dragonhearts gave away a penalty whilst on the attack in the final minute of the game, that was that and the Serbs had secured their win.

Dragonhearts captain Mike Hurley said: “I thought we were the better side, especially in the first half, where it was just errors from us that let Serbia in. Our defence, up against a very big and physical side was outstanding. We stuck to our game plan and it worked, scoring three outstanding tries.

“The second half was a different story and after some positional changes due to injuries, we lost our shape and direction. However, our defence was again tireless and the boys really worked hard.

“The score reflected how close the game was and with Serbia kicking a penalty, it showed how fearful they were of us.

“I think we chased the win too early and with a bit more composure, discipline and structure we should have won the game. We all feel that was a game that got away.

“We will regroup get a couple of training session in and concentrate on the next game on Saturday.”

Sport

Derby spoils for Carew

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CAREW Seconds earned the bragging rights on Saturday (Jun 15) as they beat rivals Cresselly Seconds by nine wickets.

Cresselly won the toss and batted first but they could only score 116-9 in their innings.

Jacob Knox removed both Cresselly openers as he had Lyn Richards caught by Rhys Canton on a score of 11 and Jamie Goldsworthy caught by Barry Evans.

12-year-old Charlie Arthur impressed with a score of 18 before he was bowled by Aaron Hinman.

Canton then had Mark Meyrick caught by Eugene McCarney and Barry Evans had Tim Webb caught by Haydn Shapcott.

Steffan Jenkins top scored for Cresselly with 31 but he was caught by Knox off the bowling of Evans.

McCarney then bowled Corey Lewis and he did the same to Neil Lewis on a score of 15.

Cresselly limped to their total and Carew were confident they could knock off the runs needed for victory.

Corey Arthur picked up the only wicket to fall early on but Eugene McCarney and Rob Hicks batted well together to see their side to their target.

Hicks finished unbeaten on 49 while McCarney was not out on 54 as Carew won with plenty of time to spare.

On Saturday (Jun 22), Carew seconds travel to Hook while Cresselly seconds are at home to Johnston.

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Sport

Dock frustrate leaders Llechryd

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PEMBROKE Dock frustrated Division 2 leaders Llechryd on Saturday as they held them to a draw at Imble Lane.

Llechryd batted first after the Dock won the toss and they scored an excellent total of 258-5 from their innings.

They lost opener James Betterley early on when he was caught by Niall Brunton off the bowling of Billy Wood.

However, May’s player of the month, John Curran continued his excellent form as he went on to score another century.

He was well supported by Johnnie Lewis who scored 63 before he was bowled by Nick Daley.

Daley also trapped Rhys Beard leg before and he then also had Curran caught by Scott Griffiths on a score of 106.

Wood also bowled Graham Keen but Steve Smith and Thomas Davies continued to pile on the runs.

Both finished unbeaten with Davies scoring 20 and Smith scoring 37.

The Dock lost opener Glyn Griffiths early in their reply as he was trapped leg before by Rhys Beard for a seven-ball duck.

Billy Wood did not last long either before he was bowled by Beard and when Nick Daley was out for a score of 13 to the bowling of Graham Keen, the Dock were struggling on 32-3.

Scott Griffiths and Craig Butland steadied the ship with a partnership worth 90 runs for the fourth wicket.

Griffiths hit four fours in his knock of 38 but he was then caught off the bowling of Beard.

Butland hit ten fours as he made a good score of 66 before he was bowled by James Betterley.

Tom Grimwood was also bowled by Betterley while Tom Beard claimed two wickets late on as they looked for the victory.

Try as they might they could not take any further wickets and the Dock finished short on 162-7.

Llechryd remain top and on Saturday (Jun 22), they travel to second placed Narberth.

Pembroke Dock remain third from bottom in the table and in their next game they take on the side directly above them in Haverfordwest II.

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Sport

Lawrenny through to last four

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LAWRENNY made it through to the last four of the Harrison Allen Bowl on Monday night (Jun 17) as they beat Carew by 47 runs.

Last season’s Bowl runners up batted first and scored 141-9 in their innings with Brad McDermott-Jenkins top scoring with 32.

Ryan Morton also batted well for his knock of 27 and Joe Kidney added 26 late on to give his side something to defend.

Rhys Davies was in good form for Carew as he took five wickets for the loss of 26 runs. Tom Davies also bowled well as he claimed three wickets.

Carew then struggled in their reply however as they could only finish on 94-9 after their 22 overs. Tim Hicks was the highest scorer for his team with 29 but it wasn’t enough for the home side.

Rob Williams was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors as he claimed four wickets for the loss of only 15 runs.

McDermott-Jenkins also took four wickets for the loss of 26 runs as Lawrenny bowled well to keep the score down.

Tonight, Whitland take on Narberth and Herbrandston are at home to Haverfordwest.

The fourth quarter final takes place on Thursday when Cresselly host Saundersfoot.

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