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Super Quins earn first win

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THE Quins pulled off their first victory of the season on Saturday (Dec 29), defeating League leaders Neyland 13-10 in a bruising encounter at Bierspool.

The All Blacks will now have to pull out all the stops if they are to have any chance of promotion.

The Quins gave a debut to 18yr old Gethin Bradney at Scrum Half, in which he partnered his older brother Rhys to become the first ever brothers to play at Half Back for the Quins.

It was the All Blacks who struck first in the tenth minute when Centre Alex Codd pounced on a Quins mistake to score half way out. Outside Half George Evans converted to ease his side into a 7 point lead.

Most spectators must have thought here we go again, especially after the drubbing Neyland had handed out in September, but they could not have been further from the truth.

The hard work being put in by the Coaches is starting to come to fruition although there is a long way to go with this young Quins Side.

They countered the Neyland back division brilliantly, even when a tackle was missed there was always another Quins player ready to put his body on the line, as no one took a backward step.

The half ended with the Quins pack slightly on top with replacement Alex Pierce and 2nd Row Darren Potter both putting in a huge shift.

As the second half started it was obvious that the Quins would have to score first, especially against the leaders, and that is exactly what they did.

The Quins rolling maul was pulled down when a certain score looked on, and the Referee had no choice but to award the Quins a penalty try.

With the score now even, and the Quins playing their best rugby for some time a shock result seemed on the cards.

The All Blacks however soon hit back when George Evans slotted over an awkward penalty to restore his sides’ lead.

The Quins though, with still 25 minutes left, were simply not going to go away, as they tore into now what was becoming a very nervous Neyland side.

They started to force errors, and when the visitors were penalised 30 yards out the Quins made the right decision to go for the three points, with Full Back Arron James banging it over and it was all square at 10-10 with 15 minutes to go.

The All Blacks however were soon back on the attack, but it was the Quins who broke out of their own 22 through Outside Half Rhys Bradney who pounced on a loose ball and set off into Neyland territory.

He chipped ahead only to be taken out off the ball, it was an obvious penalty and up stepped Arron James, who, with the ground in deadly silence, put another 30 yard penalty straight through the uprights to put the Quins into the lead.

However, there was still ten minutes of the match left as Neyland laid siege to the Quins line but the young Quins side repelled them time after time as the team ethic started to show as each player to a man did not give an inch.

The Quins can look back on this match with great pride after the turbulent times they have been through.

Taking points when on offer was crucial, and for young Captain Hywel Baker to make these decisions in a tight game went a long way to securing a hard fought victory. It is very rare that the bottom side beats the top sides in Rugby, but it happened at Bierspool on Saturday.

Team. Arron James, Ben Gibby, Harry Lawrence, Jake Griffiths, Liam Scourfield, Rhys Bradney, Gethin Bradney, Rob Hearne, George Bellmaine, Joe Gray, Martin Culley, Darren Potter, Hywel Baker (Capt), Jordan Palmer, Nick Drewett. Replacements: Alex Pierce, Josh Brown, Tom Clarkson, Mike Jones.

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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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