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Vikings and Wizards lock horns in West Wales Cup semi

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TONIGHT (March 26), Hakin United will take on rivals Merlins Bridge in the semi-final of the West Wales Cup at the Bridge Meadow stadium in Haverfordwest.

It will be the latest chapter in a long rivalry between the two clubs but with a place in the final up for grabs this one is going to be extra special.

Merlins Bridge won a thrilling game between the two sides earlier in the season 4-3 at the Racecourse but Hakin will be looking to exact some revenge for that defeat.

The Wizards are having a strong season with just one league defeat to their name, against leaders Monkton Swifts, and are also in the final of the Senior Cup, having also beat Hakin on their way.

Hakin United sit five points behind their opponents in the table after three defeats in their fourteen games so far.

It will be another exciting and close game between the two teams and one that is not to be missed.

The Vikings have been in five finals, winning it three times, including once in the 50s when it was called the Amateurs Cup.

Merlins Bridge have been in the semi-finals twice but have never reached the final and they will be hoping to make it third time lucky.

Route to the final

They began their run to the last four with a 1-0 win away to Kilvey Fords in October with Will Haworth grabbing the only goal to send them through to round 2.

The Wizards were again drawn away from home to last season’s beaten finalists Penlan Club but they again came back with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Joe Leahy.

In the third round Merlins Bridge played Monkton Swifts and two goals from Nathan Greene and another from Leahy gave them a 3-0 win.

Leahy and Greene were at it again in the fourth round as they both scored to earn the Wizards a 2-1 win over Swansea side Llandarcy.

Merlins Bridge were drawn at home to Plough Colts in the last eight and earned a 5-2 win with Adam Hawkins scoring twice and other goals from Leahy, Greene and Dai Davies.

Leahy and Greene have both been on the scoresheet in each round from the third round and Hakin will do well to keep these two quiet.

The Vikings played Llandeilo in the first round and came away with a 5-2 thanks to a hat trick from Cameron Thomas and other goals from Shane Walsh and Nicky Woodrow.

Woodrow then scored four for the Vikings in round 2 as he helped his side thrash Milford United 12-2. Justin Harding, Mark Jones and Ryan Wilson all scored twice in that game alongside others from Shane Walsh and Adam John.

Hakin played Morriston Town in the third round and earned a 3-0 win thanks to a Woodrow hat trick.

In the fourth round, Hakin needed extra time to get past St Josephs as two goals from Justin Harding and another from Walsh saw them through.

In the quarter final they were drawn against holders Goodwick United and came from behind to win 3-1 thanks to two goals from Woodrow and one from Ryan Wilson.

Justin Harding and Nicky Woodrow have both been in good scoring from in the Cup and they will likely prove a handful for the Bridge defence.

What they say

The Herald asked both camps for their thoughts on the game and here is what they had to say.

Hakin United manager Kristian Bennet said: “It’s going to be a battle! It is a big pitch and it will be a big occasion so it should be a cracker. The players are looking forward to it with it being one step from the Liberty.”

Merlins Bridge boss Matthew D’Ivry said: “It’s going to be a tough one, I have been with the club for fifteen years but we’ve never been in the West Wales final in that time. We’ve had a hell of a draw against Penlan, who were favourites, who we beat to zero, and we then beat Monkton, Kilvey and Llandarcy.

“It will be strange playing Hakin but we know their qualities but we are confident that if we perform to our capabilities no one in west Wales can beat us. The (Senior Cup semi-final) result will give us confidence but we will have to be careful of being over-confident.

“It’s massive for both clubs but I am confident our boys will give absolutely everything.”

The final will take place at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Tuesday, May 7.

Sport

Neyland back on top

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DIVISION 1 Champions Neyland returned to the top of the table on Saturday (May 18), as they beat previous leaders Carew by seven wickets.

Neyland won the toss and elected to field and they took an early wicket when Tom Davies was caught by Sean Hannon off the bowling of Henry Durrant.

Tim Hicks and Ian Sefton then shared 83 runs for the second wicket as they looked to build a platform for the rest of the innings.

Sefton hit six fours and two sixes in his knock of 49 but he was then caught by George Evans off the bowling of Geraint Rees.

Simon Wood then scored 11 but he was also caught by Hannon off the bowling of Tom Pritchard.

Hicks played well for his knock of 55 with four boundaries but he was then caught and bowled by Pritchard, leaving Carew on 144-4.

Luke Hicks had made 12 but he was then stumped by Hannon, giving Pritchard his third wicket.

Shaun Whitfield did not last long in the middle as he was caught by Evans off the bowling of Pritchard.

He then bowled Nick Scourfield for a duck for his fifth wicket to leave Carew reeling on 154-7.

Nick Davies and James Hinchcliffe did their best to stem the flow of wickets as they added 17 runs for the eighth wicket but it was Pritchard who struck again to claim his sixth wicket as he bowled Davies on a score of 14.

Hinchcliffe made 12 before he was caught by Gregg Miller off the bowling of Nick Koomen while Brian Hall was also caught by Miller off the bowling of Henry Durrant.

Ceri Brace finished not out on 10 but Carew had been bowled out for 197.

Neyland made a steady start to their reply as openers Nick Koomen and Ashley Sutton shared 29 runs for the first wicket.

Shaun Whitfield made the breakthrough for the home side as he trapped Koomen leg before on a score of 24.

Soon after, Andrew Miller was caught by Nick Davies off the bowling of Tom Davies on a score of 5 leaving Neyland on 40-2.

However, Ashley Sutton and Henry Durrant then shared a good stand of 66 as they looked to set their side up for victory.

Sutton hit five fours and a six as he scored 46 but he was then bowled by Simon Wood.

Despite picking up their third wicket, Carew found it impossible to remove Durrant or George Evans as they took Neyland to victory.

Evans was not out on 32 with a four and a six while Durrant smashed three sixes and five fours as he finished not out on 73.

Neyland now sit top of the table, a point ahead of Haverfordwest, and on Saturday (May 25) they are at home to Saundersfoot.

Carew will look to bounce back as they travel to Whitland.

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Sport

Izzard and Lewis show sinks Tish

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CRESSELLY’s Iwan Izzard just missed out on a century while Ryan and Josh Lewis took six wickets between them on Saturday (May 18) as they helped their side to victory over St Ishmaels.

Tish elected to field after winning the toss and they took an early wicket as Dan Sutton was caught by Harry Nicholas off the bowling of Jordan Milich.

Phil Williams and Simon Cole shared 47 runs for the second wicket before Cole was trapped leg before by Milich.

Another good stand followed as Williams and Iwan Izzard took Cresselly past 100 runs. They were then reduced to 136-3 as Williams, who hit seven fours in his knock of 62, was caught by Phil Cockburn off the bowling of Andrew Pawlett.

Andrew Williams then bowled Alex Bayley and soon after, Pawlett trapped Matthew Morgan leg before to reduce the visitors to 160-5.

At this point, Izzard and Ryan Lewis took over for Cresselly as they smashed 89 runs for the sixth wicket.

Lewis hit five fours and three sixes in his knock of 48 from 25 balls but he was then bowled by Andrew Williams.

Izzard had also batted well as he hit four fours and six sixes in a score of 91 from 88 balls. He was also bowled by Williams as Cresselly finished on a good total of 265-7.

Peter Bradshaw fell early in Tish’s reply as he was caught by Simon Cole off the bowling of Sam Harts.

Harry Nicholas was then run out by Josh Lewis as Tish slipped to 21-2.

Daniel Howells and Phil Cockburn then shared 52 runs for the third wicket as they went in search of victory.

Howells hit four fours and two sixes as he scored 38 but he was then caught by Cole off the bowling of Josh Lewis.

Cockburn made 21 but he was then caught by Alex Bayley off the bowling of Ryan Lewis.

Jack Nicholas scored 11 but was then caught by Dan Sutton off the bowling of Josh Lewis leaving Tish on 100-5.

That soon became six as Josh bowled Dan Richards. Brennan Devonald made 15 but he was then bowled by Ryan Lewis.

Andrew Pawlett offered some resistance as he hit three sixes in a score of 25 but he was then bowled by Josh Lewis.

Iwan Izzard trapped Andrew Williams leg before and then wrapped up the innings as he ran out Jordan Milich.

That meant Tish were all out for 152, giving Cresselly their second win of the season.

On Saturday (May 25), Cresselly are at home to Llangwm while Tish are away to Haverfordwest.

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Sport

Holliday takes Town second

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A THIRD century in four games from Simon Holliday helped Haverfordwest to victory on Saturday (May 18), as they beat Saundersfoot by 134 runs.

Haverfordwest won the toss and batted first in Saundersfoot and they made an impressive total of 287-6 from their 45 overs.

They made a great start to their innings as Holliday and Mike Jones shared 108 runs for the first wicket.

Jones hit nine fours and a six as he scored 53 but Nicky Cope then claimed his wicket as he hit the ball into the hands of Neil Powling.

A partnership of fifty followed between Holliday and Lee Summons but the latter was then bowled by Cope on a score of 21.

Holliday had hit nine fours and seven sixes as he smashed his way to a century from 96 balls but he was then caught by John Mansbridge off the bowling of Powling.

Saundersfoot then took two more wickets as Powling bowled Ben Field for a duck and he then took the catch to take the wicket of Danny Potter (12) giving Cope his third wicket.

That left Town on 194-5 but Jake Merry and Adam James were in no mood to sit around.

They continued to find runs as James hit three fours and two sixes in a knock of 35 from 17 balls before being caught by Tom Mansbridge off the bowling of Sam Franklin.

Merry continued and finished not out on 38 after four fours and a six.

That set Saundersfoot 288 to win but after a steady start they lost three quick wickets.

John and Tom Mansbridge opened the batting with 27 runs but John was then caught by Jake Merry off the bowling of Adam James on a score of 14.

Sam Franklin was then out for a duck when he was caught by Huw Scriven off the bowling of Evan Watts and he then claimed his second wicket as he had Tom Mansbridge caught by Lee Summons on a score of 16.

That left the home side on 42-3 but Nicky Cope and Paul Mansbridge shared 37 runs for the fourth wicket.

Paul played a supporting role as he scored five before being bowled by Clive Tucker.

Cope then shared another 45 runs with Yannic Parker but Holliday then made the breakthrough as he caught and bowled Parker on a score of 7.

Cope had batted well for his score of 83 from 58 balls, hitting seven fours and seven sixes, but he was then also caught and bowled by Holliday.

That left Saundersfoot on 140-6 and wickets continued to fall. Neil Powling was bowled by Adam James as was Lewis Catt and Matt O’Neill was then stumped by Huw Scriven off the bowling of Holliday.

Holliday then claimed his fourth wicket to finish with figures of 4-48 as he bowled Tarran Richards.

That left Danny Brace not out on 15 but it was a day to remember for Holliday and co.

On Saturday (May 25), Haverfordwest are at home to Tish while Saundersfoot are away to leaders Neyland.

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