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Cope’s treble sinks Herbie

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SAUNDERSFOOT’s Richard Cope scored a hat trick to help his side to a 4-2 win away at Herbrandston on Saturday (Apr 6).

Under the guidance of second team manager Richard Walwyn for one game Saundersfoot came away with three deserved points.

Saundersfoot started brightly and were rewarded early on as a good passing move between Sam Coleman and Nick Cope set Adam Davidson through on goal only to be denied by the on rushing Herbrandston keeper, fortunately for Saundersfoot the ball feel kindly for Chris Millward to tap into an empty net. 1-0 Saundersfoot.

Twenty minutes in Saundersfoot made it 2-0 with another good passage of play. Some great passing between Adam Davidson and Chris Millward set up Paul Hodge to deliver a pin point cross from the right wing onto the towering head of Richard Cope leaving the Herbrandston keeper stranded.

With five minutes remaining in the first half Herbrandston got themselves a life line after a defensive mix up between Euan Laidlaw and Paul Hodge, Scott Reid pounced and made it a 2-1 game slotting in at the far post of Sam Franklin’s goal.

Into the second half and going down the hill Saundersfoot carved open a number of chances only to be denied by the Herbrandston goalkeeper.

Half way through the half Saundersfoot thought they’d made the game safe as captain Richard Cope got his second of the day when he broke through the resistant back 4 of Herbrandston and slotted the ball into the bottom right of the goal.

With 15 minutes remaining Scott Reid again proved why he’s one of the league’s better strikers when he caught the Saundersfoot defence napping and raced clear to power the ball past the on coming Sam Franklin. 3-2 Saundersfoot.

Saundersfoot did manage to make the game safe inside the final 5 minutes of the second half.

Substitute Phil Horsley set Adam Davidson up with a delightful through ball only to be taken down by the Herbrandston full back inside the box. Richard Cope secured the hat trick with resulting penalty placing the ball into the bottom left corner the of the goal.

Sadly for Herbrandston it means they are relegated from Division 1 but they deserve credit for not giving up in any of their games.

On Monday (Apr 8), Herbrandston are away as they face Carew. Saundersfoot’s next game takes place on Saturday (Apr 13) when they host Merlins Bridge.

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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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