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Otters continue winning run

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AFTER a week of wet and stormy days, and a wet start last Saturday (Dec 8), it was surprising that the game at Newbridge was still on and was one of only two games played in the Championship due to the state of the grounds.

Newbridge kicked off with the strong wind blowing diagonally across the pitch, for the first five minutes both teams persisted with a kicking dual before the Otters set up a promising movement passing the ball wide only to end with a forward pass.

After six minutes the Otters won a penalty, Nick Gale came forward to attempt a 40 metre kick which was just off target.

Initially, the Otters appeared to be penalised frequently at the breakdowns giving Newbridge opportunities to attack. From their line out Bridge moved the ball smartly with centre Mathew McGovern making a diagonal break only to be stopped in his tracks by the strong Otters defence.

At the breakdown Bridge offended enabling Jonathan Rogers to gain touch on the halfway line. From the lineout the ball moved across the threes to Ianto Griffiths who kicked for the corner only for the wind to hold it up and for Newbridge to call a mark. Their kick was gathered and returned, Newbridge again kicked and the Otters receiving the ball attacked but were stopped and at the breakdown the referee awarded the Otters a penalty just outside the 22 line.

Again Nick Gale came forward and at the last moment the wind moved the ball to the right of the posts. Newbridge kicked out, Ryan Bean gathered and made ground with Jack Price alongside, the ball was moved away from the stand side only for the slippery ball to be knocked on.

It became clear that the Otters pack had control of the tight with Newbridge being penalised and Jonathan Rogers attempting to find touch, Newbridge returned the kick, Ianto Griffiths gathered and raced forward, at the breakdown, the Otters retrieved the ball and moving right towards the stand passed to Nick Gale who raced forward and when tackled passed to Ryan Bean, he moved left and unfortunately the ball was adjudged to have been passed forward.

At the scrum Newbridge heeled and kicked the ball into touch. At this point Tom Kaijack had to leave the field, Bradley Davies came off the bench which resulted in Dan Jacobs moving over to tight head prop.

The game continued to see both teams attempting to gain ground, with both defences strong and when the movements made ground the slippery ball made handling more difficult and errors occurred. Penalties were occurring against both teams as the rucks became more intense.

Then on the half hour, Newbridge were again penalised enabling Jonathan Rogers to place the ball into touch on the stand side. At the lineout, Andrew Cooke caught the ball at the end of the lineout, feeding Rhys Lane who passed out only for Newbridge to halt the move and get penalised at the breakdown.

Again Nick Gale failed to find the target with his penalty kick. Conditions worsened as a very heavy shower descended on the proceedings. The Otters continued to attempt to make progress before the referee blew for half time with the game tied at 0 – 0.

Fly half Jonathan Rogers restarted the second half and immediately the Otters gained possession and advanced close to the line before Newbridge offend at the ruck. This time with a penalty kick in front of the posts Nick Gale easily kicked the ball through for a 0-3 lead.

Newbridge kicked off, again the Otters attacked but at the breakdowns the game was becoming a muddy scramble. This led to a further kicking dual which failed to create an opportunity for either side. Newbridge began to see a little more of the ball but were being repelled by the Otters.

On 60 minutes the Otters withdrew Andrew Cooke from the back row to be replaced by Steffan Phillps. At the lineout Alex Jenkins again proved his worth gaining good possession and occasionally winning the ball on the Newbridge throw.

The first scrum after the change in the back row saw the Otters push Newbridge back some 10 metres with the referee awarding them a penalty. From this kick, Jonathan Rogers put the Otters to within 5 metres of the try line. For an offence at the lineout Christian Francis the Newbridge number 8 received a yellow card and sent to the sin bin. The resultant penalty saw Jonathan Rogers place the ball into touch on the 5 metre line.

Alex Jenkins made a clean jump and take and immediately formed a maul which despite Newbridge efforts enabled the pack to cross the try line for Rhodri Owen to touch down. Nick Gale safely converted to give the Otters a 10-0 lead.

Sam Withers restarted the game and quickly gained possession. As they attacked the Otters were penalised for standing offside in defence. Withers kicked the penalty into touch on the far side near the 5 metre line.

From the lineout they set up a rolling maul, as the Otters attempted to hold the move, Newbridge threw in a few threequarters and crossed the line for centre Mathew McGovern to score, Sam Withers converted to bring the score to 7-10.

From the restart the Otters attacked in midfield only for Newbridge to wrench the ball as the players were going to ground and passed to McGovern who made an effective break only for the ball to end in touch. Newbridge showed determination to get ahead and the contact between players became quite intense with play just outside the Otters 22.

Newbridge’s yellow card returned,  but at a scrum, the Otters  heeled and on receiving the ball Jonathan Rogers made ground with his kick out of hand downfield. Newbridge offended and a scrum reset before the referee awarded the Otters a penalty as they over powered the Newbridge eight.

This time Nick Gale was successful with his penalty kick bringing the score to 7-13 on 75 minutes. Following this, Newbridge changed their front row and as a result the scrums became uncontested.

However the Otters controlled most of the remaining minutes of the game, playing safe and using Alex Jenkin superiority at the lineout. There was relief all round when the referee blew for full time.

Sport

Hook close the gap

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HOOK closed the gap to the top two in Division 2 on Saturday (Jun 22) as they beat Carew seconds by seven wickets.

Carew were restricted to 148-9 in their innings as Hook bowled well with Dai Hopkins and Aled Phelps both claiming two wickets each.

Callum James also bowled well as he finished with figures of 1-12 from his spell.

Haydn Shapcott top scored with 52 for Carew while Rhys Grigg scored 36 and Morgan Grieve added 20 runs to their total.

Carew’s Kerry Waters and Barry Evans each picked up a wicket in Hook’s reply but they were unable to stop the home side reaching their target.

Aled Phelps scored 40 for Hook and Jamie Phelps top scored with 71 to help them to victory.

Brennan Martin also scored 22 as Hook earned 29 points for the win.

They remain third in the table but they now sit just 16 points behind second placed Llechryd with the two teams playing each other in Llechryd on Saturday (Jun 29).

Elsewhere, Carew seconds will look to bounce back when they travel to leaders Narberth.

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Sport

Devonald stars as Tish beat Burton

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ST ISHMAELS moved up to fifth place in Division 1 on Saturday (Jun 22) as they beat Burton by four wickets.

Tish won the toss and elected to field and they did well to keep Burton to a score of 143-9 in their 45 overs.

Burton did their best to claim the win but Tish’s Daniel Richards finished unbeaten to see his side over the line.

Burton were in trouble early on as Jonathan Venables was bowled by Brennan Devonald and Jordan Milich then had Toby Hayman caught by Philip Cockburn.

Devonald then also bowled Matthew Webb as Burton were reduced to 11-3.

Morgan Scale and James Davies shared 21 runs for the fourth wicket but Andrew Pawlett then had Davies caught by Andrew Williams.

Scale hit two fours and a six as he made a good score of 25 but he was then bowled by Pawlett as Burton slipped to 48-5.

Pawlett then claimed his third wicket as he bowled Will Ridge and he soon had his fourth as he had James Scale caught by Williams.

Burton were in trouble on 84-7 but Luke Hayman and Dan Llewellyn shared 42 runs for the eighth wicket.

Hayman hit five fours in his score of 55 but he was then stumped by Jack Nicholas off the bowling of Andrew Williams.

Iestyn Evans was then bowled by Harry Nicholas but Llewellyn finished not out on 17 to ensure Burton batted out their overs.

Peter Bradshaw and Harry Nicholas got Tish off to a steady start in their reply as they shared 38 runs for the first wicket.

Bradshaw made a score of 21 but he was then caught by Iestyn Evans off the bowling of John Scale.

Harry Nicholas made 18 but he was bowled by Morgan Scale. Morgan then claimed his second as he bowled Phil Cockburn.

John Scale then claimed the wicket of Daniel Howells as Tish were reduced to 60-4.

Brennan Devonald and Jack Nicholas then shared 54 runs for the fifth wicket as they looked to put their side in a good position.

Devonald hit eight fours and a six in his score of 49 from 41 balls but he was then caught by Luke Hayman off the bowling of James Davies.

Dan Llewellyn then trapped Jack Nicholas leg before on a score of 15 to leave Tish on 136-6.

Daniel Richards then hit four fours as his score of 18 not out came from only eight balls.

That saw Tish to their target and the win sees them move up to fifth place in the table.

On Saturday (Jun 29), Tish are at home to Saundersfoot while Burton travel to Haverfordwest.

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Sport

Neyland ease past Whitland

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NEYLAND earned their seventh win of the season on Saturday (Jun 22) as they beat Whitland by nine wickets.

The home side won the toss and elected to field which looked to be a good decision as they bowled Whitland out for 155.

Many of their batsmen made good starts but they were unable to go on as Neyland took wickets at regular intervals.

Nick Koomen, Patrick Bellerby and Ashley Sutton then all scored well to see the league leaders to victory in 25 overs.

Daniel Blain and Jack Bowen did share an opening stand of 69 but three quick wickets saw them slip to 78-3.

Bowen was first out as he was caught by Koomen off the bowling of Andrew Miller on a score of 34 which included six fours and a six.

Geraint Jones smacked a six but that was his only contribution as he was then bowled by Ross Hardy.

Hardy then trapped Blain leg before on a score of 24 and soon after, when Matthew Davies was caught and bowled by Miller it sparked a mini collapse.

Miller then had Adam Davies caught by Bellerby for a golden duck before Geraint Rees had Jonathan Thomas caught on a score of 18 by Gregg Miller.

That left Whitland on 111-6 and it was soon 120-7 as Dylan Blain was caught by Koomen off the bowling of Andrew Miller for a 20-ball duck.

Greg Sleep and James Thomas then shared 33 runs for the eighth wicket as their tail wagged but it was Pritchard who came on to break that partnership.

He had Sleep caught by Hardy on a score of 26 that included five fours.

Hardy then bowled Thomas and Harri Jones in quick succession to bring Whitland’s innings to a close.

Nick Koomen and Patrick Bellerby got Neyland off to a great start in their reply as they shared an opening stand worth 99 runs.

Bellerby played well for his half century but he was then caught by Dylan Blain off the bowling of Jonathan Thomas on a score of 51.

Koomen and Ashley Sutton were then untroubled as they blasted Neyland to victory.

Koomen finished unbeaten on 68 while Sutton hit a number of sixes to finish not out on 34.

On Saturday (Jun 29), Neyland are at home to Cresselly while Whitland will look to bounce back against Lawrenny.

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