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Pembroke seal promotion

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PEMBROKE sealed promotion to League 1 West on Saturday (Apr 13) as they beat Pontyberem 36-25 in a thrilling game.

Going into the game, Pembroke sat three points ahead of their promotion rivals and knew a win would see them go up. A Pontyberem win would have put them second with one game left to play.

A huge crowd gathered for the game in anticipation of a thrilling encounter and that is exactly what they were treated to.

Pontyberem took the lead early on with a penalty but Pembroke hit back.

Jack Smythe took the scoring pass from Tom Lewis to finish off an excellent team try and Toby Smith then added the extras to make it 3-7.

They soon had their second as a good break by the backs released Smythe to score his second try of the game and Smith added the extras.

Lewys Gibby then showed good pace out on the wing to cross for Pembroke’s third try which was also converted by Smith.

Scrum half Gwion Jones then darted over for a try for the home side to give them hope of a second half comeback.

Smith then scored a penalty to make it 8-24 but the home side very nearly scored shortly before the break. After an interception, Gibby got back to make an excellent try saving tackle keeping the score at 8-24.

However, at half time but Pembroke knew they would face a strong fight back from the Bont in the second half.

Matt Meredith scored the first try of the half for the Bont and the conversion made it 15-24.

Pembroke then extended their lead with their fourth try of the game to earn a bonus point as Jack Parkinson made a great break before passing to Gibby to score. The conversion was missed and the score stayed at 15-29.

The Bont then had their best spell of the game as tries from lock Matthew Lloyd and skipper Wayne Williams brought them back to within four points at 25-29.

It was an epic comeback by the Bont but the visitors then took control as Jordan Gwillam offloaded to Dan Colley who scored under the posts and Smith added the extras to make it 25-36.

Dom Colman, James Davies and Simon Stanford all came on in the second half and all put in good performances.

Pontyberem came back in the final ten minutes looking to get back into it but Pembroke defended excellently to keep them out.

Coach Geraint Lewis said after the game: “It was a huge performance, everyone put in a big shift from 1 to 20.

“It was a big result and there was great support as well. We’re looking forward to League 1 now. It’s fantastic for the club, it’s been a tremendous two years. We got promoted last season and we were hoping to cement our place in League 2 but we’ve only had two losses in the last thirteen games so it’s been a hell of a run.”

Pembroke now have one game remaining, away to St Clears on Saturday, April 27, and it is still possible for them to win the league.

However, should they win, that would mean them relying on a Penclawdd loss against Pontyberem but coach Lewis said he wasn’t concerned how they go up.

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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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