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Mariners take derby spoils

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MILFORD HAVEN inflicted a first defeat of the season on league leaders Neyland as they beat them 21-15 in a typical derby clash at the Athletic Ground on Saturday (Oct 27).

It was an excellent game with both sides showing plenty of commitment with some strong tackles and determination to get one over on their rivals.

A good crowd also gathered for the game and they saw George Evans put the home side ahead with an early penalty, (3-0).

They thought they had added to their lead when Richard Jones went over in the corner but play had been called back for an infringement at the lineout.

The Mariners looked to get themselves on the board and began to dominate the scrums, pushing Neyland back on numerous occasions.

With twenty minutes gone, the ball was worked from a scrum to former All Black Steve Martin whose pass was knocked on deliberately according to the referee who marched under the posts to award a penalty try before sending the offending Patrick Bellerby to the sinbin, (3-7).

Possession switched back and forth between the two sides as Neyland had a chance with a 5-metre scrum but it was Milford’s Dan Birch who emerged with the ball before being halted by a good tackle.

Alex Codd then tried his luck for the home side with a gutsy run but his pass wasn’t taken and was knocked on.

Milford then made their way into Neyland territory before being tackled out of play. The resulting throw went to a Milford player and the ball was eventually played out to David Round who barged over for the try. Dan McLelland then added the extra two points, (3-14).

The Mariners again won the ball back off a Neyland scrum but there was no further score before half time.

Both sides traded tries at the start of the second half with Bellerby scoring for the All Blacks while Evan Morgan scored for the visitors, (8-21).

Bellerby then broke and passed to Codd but his pass went backwards before being knocked on.

As Neyland looked to get back in the game, both sides upped their play but a late tackle on a Neyland player sparked a confrontation between players while a Neyland coach attending to their player also voiced his dissatisfaction with the challenge.

After all had calmed down two Neyland players, Sam Cataki and Owain Evans, were sent to the sinbin before Milford were marched forward by the referee.

The resulting play saw Milford again pushed themselves forward and they thought they had scored a try only for it to be disallowed for a knock on.

From a second scrum, Milford again pushed and looked to have scored again but were penalised once more for not binding properly.

Those two reprieves kept Neyland in the game and they then went up the other end, despite being down to 13 men, with George Evans finding Henry McBeth who returned the ball to Evans who duly ran in under the posts. Evans then added the extras to bring the All Blacks within six points, (15-21).

Lee Riley then came close for the home side but his run was halted by another good tackle.

Neyland’s two players in the bin then came back on before a late tackle by David Round, seen this time by the referee, resulted in him being shown a yellow card.

The home side pushed for a late score but were kept out by a combination of good Milford defending and a couple of errors and meant they were unable to find a winning score.

Both sides now take a break from league action as Wales kick off their autumn internationals. The sides return to action on November 10 as Neyland travel to Haverfordwest while Milford Haven welcome Llanybydder.

Sport

Lamphey pull out of league

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LAMPHEY Football Club has announced that they have withdrawn their team from the Pembrokeshire Football League.

The Club has cited a lack of players as a reason for their withdrawal but they are now the third team to have done so in a short space of time.

Last season West Dragons and Angle took themselves out of the league for similar reasons.

It means their last match was an 11-1 defeat to Hakin United in the Senior Cup on Saturday (Nov 10) and their game with Goodwick this weekend has now been cancelled.

The Pembrokeshire Football League confirmed the news on their Facebook page saying: “Just to confirm that this morning the League received the sad news from Lamphey that they are withdrawing from the Pembrokeshire League with immediate effect.

“They are citing lack of players as the reasoning for their withdrawal. The League Tables will be amended accordingly.”

Lamphey had not won in their eight games played but had managed three draws. Those points will now be taken away and it is likely that only one team will be relegated from the first division.

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Sport

Veteran Vikings on top

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HAKIN United are top of the Welsh Veterans League following a 6-0 victory over Nelson Cavaliers at the Observatory last Sunday (Nov 11).

The result puts the Vikings one point ahead of current Champions Trefelin BGC, with the Port Talbot outfit having a game in hand.

However, last Sunday, despite the final score, It was Nelson that were missing the early chances with Hakin goalkeeper Jason Morgan saving a one on one and a penalty before Hakin took the lead midway through the first half.

Stuart MacDonald broke down the left and set up Matthew Price for a tap in to make it 1-0.

Minutes later, Hakin doubled their lead as Michael McCarthy headed home a MacDonald corner.

Just before half time, McCarthy put Price in the clear and the striker hammered a shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Early in the second half, Nelson missed another penalty before Price set up McCarthy to score from close range.

Ali Davies put Leigh Walters through to lift the ball over the keeper for number five and the same two players combined again for Walters to score his second, beating the keeper at his post.

Hakin next play in the Welsh Veterans Cup Preliminary Round away to Pencoed Athletic on Sunday (Nov 25).

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Gerard Gray, Nigel Delaney, Richard Bland, Adam Collins, Ali Davies, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Michael McCarthy, Leigh Waters, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Nigel Armstrong, Matthew Price, Stuart MacDonald, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Blues too good for Neyland

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HAVERFORDWEST closed the gap to leaders Neyland as they condemned them to a second defeat in as many games on Saturday (Nov 10).

The Blues made a good start and it was Craig Barnett who put them into the lead with a try which he then converted. Barnett then added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Haverfordwest continued to put the pressure on and Barnett extended their lead with a penalty.

Barnett then added two further penalties before half time to give his side a 16-0 lead at the break.

Both sides had chances to score at the start of the second half but errors meant the score stayed the same.

Patrick Bellerby came close to scoring for the All Blacks but Haverfordwest defended well to keep him out.

At the other end a Neyland clearance kick was blocked and kicked on with Barnett giving chase but he was beaten to the ball by Bellerby and Neyland were able to clear.

The visitors then went up the other end and came close to scoring but they gave the ball away. The referee was not happy with the scrums and after three attempts gave a penalty to Neyland from which Luke Griffiths-Dawes dived over. George Evans sent the resulting penalty wide.

Any thoughts Neyland had of making a comeback were quickly dashed as Jamie Zambas increased the home side’s lead with a converted try.

Neyland did pull another try back late on through Craig Power and Evans converted but it wasn’t enough as the Blues saw the game out.

The All Blacks are still top of the table but Haverfordwest are now just a point behind. Milford lie in third, two points behind with two games in hand on their rivals.

The teams are next in action on Saturday, November 24, when leaders Neyland travel to St Davids and Haverfordwest are also away to Llanybydder.

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