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Mariners edge the Blues

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MILFORD Haven moved to the top of League 3 West A on Saturday (Dec 29) as they beat rivals Haverfordwest 7-3 in a tight game.

After an evenly contested first half it was Milford who had the lead and although the Blues scored a late penalty the Mariners held on for an excellent win.

Visitors Milford are yet to lose a game this season and they started well with only the upright preventing Dan McClelland from giving his side the lead.

The Blues looked to get the first score but a strong tackle resulted in Milford winning the ball back. They went through the phases but play went back to the Blues. However, they knocked the ball on at a lineout and from the resulting play Milford’s Dan Birch bundled his way over near the posts for the opening try of the game. McClelland then added the extra two points.

The Blues responded and took a quick throw and moved the ball out to the right but a loose pass brought the move to an end.

Haverfordwest then had a man sent to the sin bin but Milford failed to take advantage with the kick not going into touch.

Milford then won another penalty but after kicking for touch they dropped the ball at the lineout.

The visitors were also reduced to 14 on the stroke of half time as try scorer Birch was shown a yellow card but Milford still held a 7-0 lead at the break.

The Blues looked to get back into it at the start of the second half but a lineout was lost to Milford and the same outcome occurred after the Mariners had cleared to touch.

Both sides had chances to go forward but lost the ball at key points as play switched from one side to the other.

On the hour mark Milford won a series of penalties but again on the second occasion the kick did not go out and the Blues went forward.

Tempers flared moments later and Milford’s David Round and Haverfordwest’s Karl Busch were both sent to the sin bin.

With eight minutes to go the Blues finally got themselves on the board as Liam Manwaring sent a penalty through the posts.

Another penalty moments after did not trouble the scorers but the Blues continued to push for a late score.

They pushed forward but dropped the ball and after winning the ball back they came forward once more but Milford defended well to keep them out.

There was still time for one last push but having worked the ball out left the ball was kicked forwards when they could have held on to it and the ball went into touch.

Milford won the resulting lineout and kicked the ball into touch to celebrate an excellent win and the double over the Blues.

Haverfordwest will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday (Jan 5) when they travel to Pembroke Dock Quins.

Milford will look to keep their winning run going as they host St Davids.

Sport

Division 3: Three-horse race

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THE Division 3 title race and promotion will be decided on Saturday (Aug 24) with three teams all still in the hunt.

Last week, Llanrhian, who had been top prior to their game, saw their match at Llangwm Seconds called off after they claimed their pitch was wet.

Herbrandston then beat Lamphey to move top of Division 3 while the Stags picked up enough points to knock Llanrhian down to third.

Going into the final round of games, Herbrandston are 19 points ahead of Lamphey and 22 points above Llanrhian.

Herbie face a trip to Narberth Seconds knowing a win will see them crowned Champions while a draw would also be enough.

A defeat could allow Lamphey in to be crowned Champions but that would also rely on Herbie not picking up more than 11 points.

Lamphey face fourth placed Laugharne in what is likely to be a tough game for both sides.

Llanrhian still have an outside chance of claiming the title but they would need to rely on Herbie and Lamphey losing their games.

Llanrhian will look to put last week’s disappointment behind them as they host Stackpole.

A win for Llanrhian coupled with a Lamphey defeat or draw could still see them promoted.

Elsewhere, the bottom four sides play each other with one final relegation place to be decided.

Whitland seconds currently sit second from bottom and they travel to fourth from bottom Haverfordwest thirds.

A win for Whitland could move them above Town and if Llangwm also won that could see Town drop down a Division.

Llangwm seconds take on already relegated Lawrenny seconds. Llangwm sit eight points above Whitland and know anything other than a win could let Whitland go above them.

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Division 2: Narberth and Llechryd face off for title

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LLECHRYD will host Narberth on Saturday (Aug 24) with the winners being crowned champions of Division 2.

Both will be playing their cricket in Division 1 next season but the destination of the title will be decided on Saturday.

Going into the game, Llechryd sit top of the Division, 17 points ahead of Narberth. A home win will see Llechryd crowned champions but should Narberth take the win it will be they who go up as champions.

When the two teams met earlier in the season it was Narberth who came out on top with a seven wicket win.

With promotion and relegation decided there is little for the others to play for but some can still improve their final positions.

Pembroke sit third and on Saturday they are away to Kilgetty knowing if they slip up, Hook could claim third place if they beat Carew Seconds.

Relegated sides Johnston and Cresselly seconds will play each other at Glebelands with the winners earning their second win of the season.

Pembroke Dock also take on Haverfordwest seconds and a win for Town in that game will see them jump above the Dock.

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New Solva kit to continue Luke’s Stand Up To Cancer message

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THE family of inspirational cancer fundraising campaigner Luke Harding has donated a new kit to Solva AFC in his memory, which features four words that perfectly sum up the way he battled the illness – Stand Up To Cancer.

Luke, who played for Solva for around a decade, raised more than £30,000 for Withybush Hospital’s Ward 10 and local charities following his diagnosis with stage four lung cancer in 2016.

Medi George, Secretary of Solva AFC said: “Luke played football with the same dedication and energy with which he battled cancer and it is an honour for our club to be able to continue his message in this way.

“We are extremely grateful to Alex, Peter and the Harding family for this kind gesture and it is fitting that our players were able to wear the kit for the first time in the final of the first annual Luke Harding Memorial Cup.”

The kit was unveiled at Fishguard Sports’ ground before the final of the competition, with Goodwick United 2nds running out eventual 3-1 winners against Solva 2nds. The tournament also included Fishguard Sports and Letterston, which Luke also represented.

Ruth Amies, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Wales, said: “We are extremely grateful to Luke’s family and to Solva AFC for supporting Stand Up To Cancer which funds life-saving research in Wales and across the UK. The new kit is a wonderful tribute to Luke who fundraised tirelessly throughout his diagnosis and we are thrilled the players wore the new kit for the first time this week.”

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