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Bayley earns point for Rooks

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CAREW earned a point against league leaders Goodwick United on Saturday (Oct 6) thanks to a last minute equaliser from Alex Bayley.

With both sides having a bye in the West Wales Cup the two played each other in the league knowing that they could gain an advantage on their rivals.

Neither side could get on top in the first half, however, as both teams played defensively and when the whistle went the score was still 0-0.

Five minutes into the second half though it was Goodwick who took the lead as Jordan Griffiths flicked in at the front post from a good cross by Stefan Hayes.

Carew then tried getting back in the game with Lloyd Hughes and Scott Ferney coming close with good chances.

Then in the last minute of the game Carew got a throw in. Shaun Whitfield’s long throw was headed onto the bar by Jordan Richards and fell back to Alex Bayley who smashed in to make it 1-1.

There was still time for more drama as Goodwick went straight up the other end and got a corner. Scott Ferney blocked a shot on the line to keep the score level and the game ended 1-1.

On Saturday (Oct 13), both sides take a break from league action as they take part in the Senior Cup.

Carew travel to Johnston to play their re-arranged first round fixture while Goodwick travel to Monkton Swifts in the second round.

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Vikings too strong for Wizards

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Hakin United 3-1 Merlins Bridge

HAKIN United secured victory over rivals Merlins Bridge on Saturday (Sept 14) as they won by three goals to one at the Obs.

The Vikings began the game well and went ahead when Justin Harding scored after being played in by Nicky Woodrow.

Woodrow again provided the assist as he set up Adam John to double the home side’s lead.

Adam Hawkins pulled a goal back for the Wizards to keep them in the game with the Vikings holding on to their 2-1 lead until half time.

In the second half, Woodrow completed a hat trick of assists as Shane Walsh scored the home side’s third goal of the game.

Woodrow came close to scoring after he latched on to a forward ball but his shot was pushed wide by the Wizards’ keeper.

Hakin then saw a free kick blocked wide and even a momentary respite when a dog ran on to the pitch failed to help the Wizards.

The visitors twice had free kicks in good positions but both went straight to the arms of the Hakin keeper.

Woodrow then brilliantly controlled a high ball on the bounce before shooting low towards goal but his shot was again saved.

With time running out, Cameron Thomas ran into the box but was upended leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.

With Woodrow having been subbed moments earlier, it was left to Leon Luby to take the penalty but he saw his effort saved before John sent the rebound wide.

The Vikings saw the game out and they are now one of four teams with a 100% record from their opening two games.

On Saturday (Sept 21), Hakin travel to Goodwick United for Senior Cup First round game.

The Wizards are also in Senior Cup action as the holders travel to Camrose. Both games kick off at 1:45pm.

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Otters beaten by Vale in Cup

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Ebbw Vale 39-17 Narberth

THE Otters made 10 changes to the starting line up following their successful win the previous week.

In the pre-match warm up it was noticeable how more muscular the Premiership players were compared to the Otters squad.

Ianto Griffiths kicked off and immediately the Steelmen showed their intent to cross the gain line but were penalised at the breakdown. Ebbw Vale scored 10 points in 8 minutes, the Steelmen scored their first try when full back Dan Haymond scored near the corner having stretched the Otters defence after play moved quickly across from left to right. Haymond failed to convert his try.

Two minutes later they scored again this time via wing Paul King. It seemed as though the Otters were giving Ebbw Vale too much respect. Again Haymond failed with the conversion. From the restart we saw Otters wing Yannick Parker sprint forward. The Otters were defending bravely but offended at a breakdown infront of the posts which gave Haymond an easy penalty kick bringing the score to 13-0 after 10 minutes.

Otters debut winger Josh Davies received the ball and raced diagonally to cross the try line taking a defender with him. Nick Gale stepped up to convert which brought the score to 13-7 on 13 minutes.

This gave the Otters heart and they began to turn the pressure onto Ebbw Vale.

For 16 minutes Ebbw Vale were pinned down on several occasions with both Ianto Griffiths and Nick Gale landing some strategic kicks whenever the Steelmen attempted to apply pressure back on the Otters.

Eventually the phased play saw the Otters win a penalty which Nick Gale converted with the score now 13-10 which rewarded the Otters determination to pressure Ebbw Vale.

Then the Otters were penalised twice for breakdown infringements at the ruck. The second occasion on 33 minutes resulted in captain Alex Jenkins being yellow carded. This was a blow since he was leading the Otters well, especially in their defensive cover and urging the pack forward.

Now the Otters began to be stretched in their defensive system as Ebbw Vale turned on the pressure.

This saw some frantic defensive work but the Otters were eventually undone, when from a ruck scrum half Sam Ireland moved right and across passing on then running around to receive the final pass to score an unconverted try on 39 minutes.

Play went on into injury time and on 43 minutes flanker David Rubusniak scored when Ebbw Vale set up a rolling maul from a lineout. The conversion was kicked again by Dan Haymond. The score at half time was 25-10.

The second half restarted with Alex Jenkins still in the sin bin. Taking advantage Ebbw Vale scored again within 5 minutes. It came from a lineout on the Otters 22. The Steelmen safely controlled possession. They then set up a rolling maul, releasing the ball, they moved to the far corner where second row Lance Randall charged over the line for a try which Dan Haymond converted.

Alex Jenkins returned and no sooner was he on the field than Jake Baker was sent to the sin bin, yellow carded for a an adjudged deliberate knock on. This seemed a harsh decision since he intercepted a pass whose forceful travel caused the ball to bounce forward as it hit the second row’s hands.

Once again Ebbw Vale stepped up the pressure to take advantage of the situation. but the Otters refused to fold under the pressure.

The Otters supporters spirits were lifted when new wing Josh Davies almost broke through the Ebbw Vale defence. Ebbw Vale kicked to touch 10 metres from the line. Winning the lineout they set up another rolling maul. The maul collapsed but second row Dan Hill picked up the ball and using all his strength forced himself over the line for a try converted by Dan Haymond, at 67 minutes which took the score to 39-10.

On 75 minutes, Ebbw Vale suffered a yellow card with their inside centre having to take his place in the sin bin.

Ebbw Vale defended strongly after sustained pressure and were now scrabbling to clear the ball as the tables turned. The sustained Otters pressure told when on 78 minutes Tom Powell went over for a try which Nick Gale converted. A few minutes later the referee blew for full time with the score 39-17.

Looking back the yellow cards amounted to over 20 minutes play with 14 men who could not control the increased pressure exerted by a strong Ebbw Vale side. This had a telling effect on the result.

Later Director of Rugby Sean Gale stated: “As a game of rugby it was excellent for the neutral observer. We scored some fantastic tries but the intensity between the Premiership and the Championship League is a bit different.

“When we were on the ball, we played some really good rugby but lost a little bit of concentration. We went down 10 points in about 10 minutes. So, the way we bounced back was really very good. Then when we had the yellow cards through which we gave them 26 points. We have got to be a little bit tighter and the concentration levels and intensity just lacked a little bit but the way my boys played today, I was really proud of their attempt to play.

“When we had our defensive patterns in place, we really shook Ebbw Vale up and really frightened them. In the set piece lineout, we lost too many lineouts but our scrum was as good as theirs and that was a big plus. We had a lot of youngsters out there today, we made 10 changes from the Tata Steel game, and the way in which some of those boys put their hands up was absolutely fantastic. It bodes well for the future of Narberth Rugby Club.

“It is difficult these days with the pressure of league rugby to give these lads an opportunity but they had a go today, up against a very strong Ebbw Vale side and did themselves proud, especially Alex Codd who did a good job and I thought Josh Davies in his first competitive game for the club was excellent. Harry Phillips was on one of his first starts and he was very positive. Then in the last 20 minutes we brought senior players on. Overall, the result was not good but the performance and grit within the team was excellent.”

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Quins put All Blacks to the sword

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Pembroke Dock Quins 53-23 Neyland

THE Quins, with a much changed line up from the previous week at Lampeter, put the Pembrokeshire ‘All Blacks’ to the sword on Saturday (Sept 14) scoring no less than nine tries in the process, against a spirited Neyland side who quite easily could have come away with a four-try bonus point.

It took the Quins just three minutes to get the scoreboard moving as a superb pass out of the tackle by Outside Half Kieron Machin sent Centre Jordan Asparassa racing in from 35yds to touch down near the corner flag. Full Back Ben Hathaway missed the conversion.

The Quins lead, however, was short lived as Neyland launched a dangerous attack which ended with Left Wing Henry Macbeth scoring in the corner. Outside Half Toby Hayman missed the conversion.

The Quins were certainly not having things their own way, and when Toby Hayman slotted over a 35-yard penalty to give his side a 5-8 lead, the writing was certainly on the wall.

On 25 minutes the Quins hit back when Scrum Half Elliot Lewis caught the All Blacks napping as he darted round the blind side of a maul to score in the corner. Ben Hathaway missed the difficult conversion.

As the half was drawing to a close Centre Jack Price added an unconverted try to push the Quins into 15-8 lead.

Neyland hit back quickly though when Hayman landed a Penalty to send the teams into the break with the Quins just shading it 15-11.

As the second half started, it was a case of who would score first, and fortunately for the Quins it went their way.

The Quins, once again set up by Man of the Match Kieron Machin, completely outflanked the visitors defence which enabled Prop Liam Smith to again touch down wide out for another unconverted try.

That gave them a bonus point and they soon added a fifth try when Danny Manning, on as a replacement for Left Wing Josh Brown, scored in the corner. Ben Hathaway at last got his radar right and landed the conversion from the touchline.

With a 27-11 lead it was difficult to see how Neyland were going to come back.

The Quins’ sixth try was not long coming when a quick tap penalty sent Jordan Asparassa over for his second try. Ben Hathaway converted to push the lead out to 34-11.

Minutes later Jack Price, not to be outdone by his fellow centre, also grabbed his second try which was again converted by Ben Hathaway.

At 41-11 it looked all up for Neyland but they showed great spirit hitting back with a try from Flanker Owen Evans which was converted by Hayman.

As the game was drawing to a close their was a flurry of tries as Danny Manning added his second, which went unconverted before Neyland hit back with a close range unconverted try from Prop Craig Power.

Ben Hathaway then touched down for his third try of the season which he also converted himself to end the scoring.

Unfortunately for the All Blacks there was not enough time left for them to secure a try bonus point.

On Saturday (Sept 21), the Quins travel to Lampeter Town in the first round of the WRU Bowl, and if it’s anything like the league game a few weeks ago it should be a thriller.

Team: Ben Hathaway, Josh Brown, J Asparassa, Jack Price (Capt), Jordan Kokolin, Kieron Machin, Elliot Lewis, Liam Smith, Marcus Phillips, Jack Davies, Ben Gibby, Martin Cully, Danny McLeod, Harold Owen, Ollie Parsons. Replacements: Dai Moseley, Bronzac Burley, Hywel Baker, Danny Manning, Danny Potter.

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