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Harrison Allen Bowl Final preview: Lawrenny v Haverfordwest

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THE curtain will come down on the Pembrokeshire Cricket season this weekend as Haverfordwest take on Lawrenny in the final of the Harrison Allen Bowl.

For Lawrenny it will be another chance to get their hands on the prestigious trophy after they were beaten by Cresselly in last year’s final.

Haverfordwest will be looking to regain the trophy they last won in 2016.

The game will take place in Cresselly on Saturday, August 31, and starts at 12pm.

ROUTE TO THE FINAL

Haverfordwest began their route to the final in May when they took on Hundleton in the first round.

Hundleton reached a score of 63-6 in their innings before Town passed that for the loss of only one wicket.

In the second round, Town saw off 2017 winners Neyland as they beat them by 18 runs.

They scored 161-4 in their innings as Adam James scored 38 while Simon Holliday finished unbeaten on 83.

Some excellent bowling then saw them restrict Neyland to 143-7 in their reply to seal their passage to the quarter finals.

In the last eight, Haverfordwest beat Herbrandston by six wickets.

Four wickets from Adam James, three from Archie Thomas and two from Clive Tucker saw them bowl Herbie out for 72.

Ben Field then scored 27 in reply and Dai Davies finished unbeaten on 24 to see their side into the semis.

Haverfordwest proved too strong for opponents Whitland as they secured a 105-run victory.

Simon Holliday scored an excellent century as Town posted 210-5 from their 22 overs. They then restricted Whitland to 105-9 to book their place in Saturday’s final.

Lawrenny had a bye in the first round and did not have a game in the second round as opponents Johnston could not field a side.

That saw them to the last eight without having played a game and they were pitted against rivals Carew.

Lawrenny scored 141-9 in their innings with Brad McDermott-Jenkins scoring 32, Ryan Morton scoring 27 and Joe Kidney scoring 26.

McDermott-Jenkins and Rob Williams then each took four wickets as they restricted Carew to only 94-9 in reply.

Lawrenny played Saundersfoot in the semi final who had knocked out holders Cresselly in the quarters.

Saundersfoot batted well for their score of 154-7 but Lawrenny went through as Joe Kidney hit a six off the final ball in a thrilling conclusion.

LEAGUE FORM

Lawrenny have had an excellent season, finishing in second place with thirteen wins to their name from 18 games.

Photo from the game between Lawrenny and Haverfordwest in June

They finished well clear of neighbours Cresselly and Carew and only suffered three defeats.

Haverfordwest finished the league campaign in fifth place with six wins and three draws to their name.

The two league games between the finalists went the way of Lawrenny as they bowled Town out for scores of 81 and 101.

Lawrenny finished the season with a good win over Cresselly while Haverfordwest’s last game with Carew ended in a draw.

WHAT THE CAPTAINS SAY

Haverfordwest captain Danny Potter said: “We are feeling good going into the final. We played well last weekend so hoping to bring that form into this week

“Lawrenny have become a very good side. They have boys who have played really well this year so we have to be at our best.”

Lawrenny captain Joe Kidney said: “The boys cannot wait to get going. It’s a special day and this time, I sense we’re not letting the occasion get the better of us.

“Haverfordwest are a fantastic team and they have a lot of big players.

“However, I am only focussed on our performance and if we put the same effort that we have done all season we will have something to show for it.

“I hope everyone gets to watch a great final that will live long in the memory.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

Saturday’s final promises to be an excellent game and perhaps more even than their league games would suggest.

Both sides have players who can hurt the opposition and have players who have experience of playing in a Harrison Allen Final.

Simon Holliday’s century in the semi-final showed what he is capable of while Danny Potter also scored a century in Town’s last game of the season.

Lee Summons and Clive Tucker both claimed wickets on Saturday and they will again be a threat for the Town.

Brad McDermott-Jenkins has also shown his worth for Lawrenny with vital runs and wickets in the competition and in their final game of the season he scored 79 and also took six wickets.

Steve Lewis also scored a half century while captain Joe Kidney has also shown he can hold his nerve hitting that six off the final ball to send his side into the final.

Lawrenny will be keen to make up for last year’s defeat while Town will be aiming to reclaim the trophy.

This final is one you wont want to miss, make sure you get down to Cresselly to support your team.

Sport

Captain Nick and daughter Nel nail 125 Anniversary Shield

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TENBY Golf Club has now been affiliated for 131 years – the oldest in Wales – and six years ago the then Captain, Chris Beecher, introduced the 125 Anniversary Shield to our Mixed calendar.

A tough format of Greensomes Medal, but the weather could not have been better, and the course, after a lot of hard work by our green staff, was playing beautifully.

Numbers were down on previous years with the Hamilton Cup players returning from Biarritz this week, and the men off to Ireland tomorrow, but there was still a high standard of play, with some very good scores in the winnings.

First the Bag Draw, where pairs can win back their entry fee. Three pairs were lucky, drawn by Chris Beecher’s wife Carol: Maura Davitt and Keith Hubbard, Maria Smith and Adrian Palmer, and Laura McQueen and David Morgan. Then the twos today, there were only three. Pam and Steve Cole had a nearly hole in one on the 6th, Angie Gottwaltz and Roger Schooling had one on the difficult 12th, and Heather Morgan and Mervyn Tucker had one on the 17th.

So to the trophy. In third place with 90-15.2-74.8 were Gill John and Neil Moffatt; in second place with 86 – 14.0 – 72 were Pam and Steve Cole; in first place and winners of the magnificent Anniversary Shield were Club Captain Nick Allen and his daughter Nel, 87 – 17.0 – 70. Chris presented the prizes and both he and Nick thanked the organisers, and Nick praised the diligent work that has been done on the course to restore it to championship quality.

Finally thanks must go to Matt in the Pro Shop, Lee and his staff in the bar, and Laura in the office. Our next event is the Christmas Charity Mixed which is a fun event on Sunday, December 29, when members may invite a non-member to play with them. All money raised goes to the two new Captains’ charities to kick-start their year.

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Sport

Vikings too strong for Wizards

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Hakin United 3-1 Merlins Bridge

HAKIN United secured victory over rivals Merlins Bridge on Saturday (Sept 14) as they won by three goals to one at the Obs.

The Vikings began the game well and went ahead when Justin Harding scored after being played in by Nicky Woodrow.

Woodrow again provided the assist as he set up Adam John to double the home side’s lead.

Adam Hawkins pulled a goal back for the Wizards to keep them in the game with the Vikings holding on to their 2-1 lead until half time.

In the second half, Woodrow completed a hat trick of assists as Shane Walsh scored the home side’s third goal of the game.

Woodrow came close to scoring after he latched on to a forward ball but his shot was pushed wide by the Wizards’ keeper.

Hakin then saw a free kick blocked wide and even a momentary respite when a dog ran on to the pitch failed to help the Wizards.

The visitors twice had free kicks in good positions but both went straight to the arms of the Hakin keeper.

Woodrow then brilliantly controlled a high ball on the bounce before shooting low towards goal but his shot was again saved.

With time running out, Cameron Thomas ran into the box but was upended leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.

With Woodrow having been subbed moments earlier, it was left to Leon Luby to take the penalty but he saw his effort saved before John sent the rebound wide.

The Vikings saw the game out and they are now one of four teams with a 100% record from their opening two games.

On Saturday (Sept 21), Hakin travel to Goodwick United for Senior Cup First round game.

The Wizards are also in Senior Cup action as the holders travel to Camrose. Both games kick off at 1:45pm.

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Otters beaten by Vale in Cup

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Ebbw Vale 39-17 Narberth

THE Otters made 10 changes to the starting line up following their successful win the previous week.

In the pre-match warm up it was noticeable how more muscular the Premiership players were compared to the Otters squad.

Ianto Griffiths kicked off and immediately the Steelmen showed their intent to cross the gain line but were penalised at the breakdown. Ebbw Vale scored 10 points in 8 minutes, the Steelmen scored their first try when full back Dan Haymond scored near the corner having stretched the Otters defence after play moved quickly across from left to right. Haymond failed to convert his try.

Two minutes later they scored again this time via wing Paul King. It seemed as though the Otters were giving Ebbw Vale too much respect. Again Haymond failed with the conversion. From the restart we saw Otters wing Yannick Parker sprint forward. The Otters were defending bravely but offended at a breakdown infront of the posts which gave Haymond an easy penalty kick bringing the score to 13-0 after 10 minutes.

Otters debut winger Josh Davies received the ball and raced diagonally to cross the try line taking a defender with him. Nick Gale stepped up to convert which brought the score to 13-7 on 13 minutes.

This gave the Otters heart and they began to turn the pressure onto Ebbw Vale.

For 16 minutes Ebbw Vale were pinned down on several occasions with both Ianto Griffiths and Nick Gale landing some strategic kicks whenever the Steelmen attempted to apply pressure back on the Otters.

Eventually the phased play saw the Otters win a penalty which Nick Gale converted with the score now 13-10 which rewarded the Otters determination to pressure Ebbw Vale.

Then the Otters were penalised twice for breakdown infringements at the ruck. The second occasion on 33 minutes resulted in captain Alex Jenkins being yellow carded. This was a blow since he was leading the Otters well, especially in their defensive cover and urging the pack forward.

Now the Otters began to be stretched in their defensive system as Ebbw Vale turned on the pressure.

This saw some frantic defensive work but the Otters were eventually undone, when from a ruck scrum half Sam Ireland moved right and across passing on then running around to receive the final pass to score an unconverted try on 39 minutes.

Play went on into injury time and on 43 minutes flanker David Rubusniak scored when Ebbw Vale set up a rolling maul from a lineout. The conversion was kicked again by Dan Haymond. The score at half time was 25-10.

The second half restarted with Alex Jenkins still in the sin bin. Taking advantage Ebbw Vale scored again within 5 minutes. It came from a lineout on the Otters 22. The Steelmen safely controlled possession. They then set up a rolling maul, releasing the ball, they moved to the far corner where second row Lance Randall charged over the line for a try which Dan Haymond converted.

Alex Jenkins returned and no sooner was he on the field than Jake Baker was sent to the sin bin, yellow carded for a an adjudged deliberate knock on. This seemed a harsh decision since he intercepted a pass whose forceful travel caused the ball to bounce forward as it hit the second row’s hands.

Once again Ebbw Vale stepped up the pressure to take advantage of the situation. but the Otters refused to fold under the pressure.

The Otters supporters spirits were lifted when new wing Josh Davies almost broke through the Ebbw Vale defence. Ebbw Vale kicked to touch 10 metres from the line. Winning the lineout they set up another rolling maul. The maul collapsed but second row Dan Hill picked up the ball and using all his strength forced himself over the line for a try converted by Dan Haymond, at 67 minutes which took the score to 39-10.

On 75 minutes, Ebbw Vale suffered a yellow card with their inside centre having to take his place in the sin bin.

Ebbw Vale defended strongly after sustained pressure and were now scrabbling to clear the ball as the tables turned. The sustained Otters pressure told when on 78 minutes Tom Powell went over for a try which Nick Gale converted. A few minutes later the referee blew for full time with the score 39-17.

Looking back the yellow cards amounted to over 20 minutes play with 14 men who could not control the increased pressure exerted by a strong Ebbw Vale side. This had a telling effect on the result.

Later Director of Rugby Sean Gale stated: “As a game of rugby it was excellent for the neutral observer. We scored some fantastic tries but the intensity between the Premiership and the Championship League is a bit different.

“When we were on the ball, we played some really good rugby but lost a little bit of concentration. We went down 10 points in about 10 minutes. So, the way we bounced back was really very good. Then when we had the yellow cards through which we gave them 26 points. We have got to be a little bit tighter and the concentration levels and intensity just lacked a little bit but the way my boys played today, I was really proud of their attempt to play.

“When we had our defensive patterns in place, we really shook Ebbw Vale up and really frightened them. In the set piece lineout, we lost too many lineouts but our scrum was as good as theirs and that was a big plus. We had a lot of youngsters out there today, we made 10 changes from the Tata Steel game, and the way in which some of those boys put their hands up was absolutely fantastic. It bodes well for the future of Narberth Rugby Club.

“It is difficult these days with the pressure of league rugby to give these lads an opportunity but they had a go today, up against a very strong Ebbw Vale side and did themselves proud, especially Alex Codd who did a good job and I thought Josh Davies in his first competitive game for the club was excellent. Harry Phillips was on one of his first starts and he was very positive. Then in the last 20 minutes we brought senior players on. Overall, the result was not good but the performance and grit within the team was excellent.”

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