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Harding sends Vikings through in extra time

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HAKIN United booked West Wales Cup quarter final tie with Goodwick United as a late extra time goal from Justin Harding sent them through on Saturday (Feb 9).

It was an excellent game with Hakin coming from behind to equalise before St Josephs scored again to force extra time. It looked as if penalties would be needed but Harding’s late goal earned the Vikings a 3-2 win.

In an even first half neither side was able to get the upper hand but both had chances to take the lead.

It remained 0-0 at the break but early in the second half St Josephs, second in Division 1 of the Swansea League, took the lead.

However, their lead was short lived as Mark Jones crossed from the left wing and Shane Walsh headed in to make it 1-1.

The visitors then saw a header go wide as both sides traded chances.

The Vikings then took the lead as Justin Harding let fly from distance and his shot hit the roof of the net leaving the Saints keeper with no chance.

Both sides saw a player yellow carded as tackles began to fly in as the visitors did their best to get back into the game while Hakin searched for more goals.

St Josephs then equalised as a corner came out to the edge of the box and after a thunderous effort had hit the bar, Ross Lynch was on hand to head home.

Extra time was needed to separate the sides and the score remained 2-2 after the first period.

Hakin keeper James Manson made a good save to keep the scores level and just as it looked like penalties would be needed, Hakin found the winning goal.

Nicky Woodrow crossed from the left side of the box and Harding was in the right place to tap home at the near post and the ball bounced in off the woodwork.

Harding was booked for taking his shirt off in celebration, but try asking him if he cared.

Hakin saw the game out and now have a West Wales Cup quarter final at home to Goodwick on March 2 to look forward too.

Before that, they will return to league action on Saturday (Feb 9), as they travel to third placed Carew.

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Nigel Owens hosts virtual rugby quiz for Pembroke Panthers

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PEMBROKE Panthers RFC enjoyed a rugby return during lockdown after winning a competition which saw international referee Nigel Owens host their own virtual clubhouse quiz, thanks to Principality Building Society.

The women’s squad at the Pembroke club beat more than 1000 entries to win Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz competition. With many clubs affected by widespread flooding at the start of this year and now closed indefinitely due to coronavirus, the building society is continually looking for ways to support grassroots rugby clubs in Wales.

Pembroke Panther Lucy Neale, 30, entered her team with the hope of bringing the players together online. She said: “We’d usually see each other up to five times a week between training sessions, matches and socials, so it’s been a really strange time. I thought I’d enter the club thinking it would be a nice pick-me-up for us all, but never actually expected to win so it was an amazing surprise.”

The team were tested on their rugby knowledge by world cup referee Nigel Owens over video conferencing platform Zoom, where players won tickets to Welsh internationals at Principality Stadium, signed rugby shirts and balls, and tickets for a tour around Principality Stadium. The quiz included a guest appearance from former Welsh international Tom Shanklin.

Lucy continued: “It was such a memorable and special evening for us all. We’re usually quite a lively bunch but we behaved well for Nigel. We’re so thankful to Principality for putting on the quiz and allowing us to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience as a team.”

As sponsors of Principality Stadium and the National Youth Leagues for grassroots clubs in Wales, Principality has a strong relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union and knows how much rugby means to communities across the country. With matches on hold currently, the building society wanted to be able to bring the buzz of the clubhouse to the home.

Clubhouse Quiz host, Nigel Owens, said: “Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz was a fantastic way to bring one team closer together and Pembroke Panthers really showed off their rugby knowledge. Rugby plays such an important role in Welsh communities and I know they’ll be missing the action on the field right now, so it was lovely to have been part of this experience to bring this team together. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sin bin any of them either.”

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said: “Many rugby clubs across Wales have had a really difficult year, with flood damage to pitches and clubhouses now followed by coronavirus. This was our chance to recreate the camaraderie of the clubhouse for one team and we hope that it brought plenty of laughs and memorable moments for Pembroke Panthers at this challenging time.”

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.

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