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Tish hit out to seal semi-final spot



St Ishmaels 156-6 beat Lawrenny 155-5

ST ISHMAELS overhauled a competitive Lawrenny total with two overs to go to secure a semi-final fixture against Neyland, who won a tight game against Carew to seal their own spot in the Harrison-Allen Bowl semis.

A solid start from Lawrenny saw their openers put on 34 before a freakish run out. Kurtis Marsh (15) mistimed a drive straight to Andrew Pawlett, only for the fielder to drop the catch. However, Pawlett had the presence of mind the batsmen lacked.

Having set off for the run following the mishit, both batsmen were guilty of ball-watching and found themselves playing a game of ‘will-you/won’t you’ in the middle of the pitch.

Despite downing his chance, Pawlett’s throw was gathered and Marsh was on his way for a long walk back to the pitch side.

Fellow opener Henry Thomas kept the score ticking over with Kyle Marsh and brought the score into the sixties before Marsh, on 10, sliced Andrew Pawlett into the deep and into the hands of Jonathan Pawlett, who made no mistake with the chance.

With Pawlett bowling tidily, pressure grew on the Lawrenny batsmen and he removed the visitors’ key man, Thomas, clean-bowled for 33 well-made runs.

Next man in, Ryan Morton departed for two and Lawrenny were well and truly on the rack at 73-4 and in danger of subsiding to a well-below-par total.

However, Jamie Phillips and Joe Kidney dug deep and put on a rollicking stand of 62 which included plenty of big hits, particularly from Kidney who blasted his way to 40 before departing to Sean Williams with an over to go. Phillips kept up the momentum on his way to a fine undefeated 36 as Lawrenny closed their innings on 155-5.

Opening bowler Rob Williams then gave Lawrenny precisely the start they needed in the field, claiming the wickets of Bradshaw and Devonald before a spanking boundary catch by Henry Thomas off Steff Lewis left the hosts struggling at 22-3.

With Tish in all sorts of trouble and staring right down the barrel of a rare towsing, someone needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck for the home team and rebuild.

Home skipper Phil Cockburn showed he was the man for the job. Alongside Jonathan Pawlett (41) he added 87 to get Tish within striking distance of the Lawrenny total.

After Pawlett departed caught behind, Cockburn was joined by Jack Nicholas who blasted a fine six before departing run out for 15.

With three overs left in the game and the home team nineteen runs short of victory with four wickets in hand, it looked as though the game could end towards a testing finish.

The momentum remained with Phil Cockburn, however; the Tish skipper powered away a six off Kurtis Marsh in the twentieth over to bring up a real captain’s half-century and then pinched a single to put Andrew Pawlett on strike.

Pawlett proceeded to belt the only two balls he faced for a brace of sixes to end the game and seal a great comeback win for Tish.

Alec Colley Cup – Quarter Finals
St Ishmaels 77-2 beat Saundersfoot 74-6

A BLISTERING 54 not out from Karl Rhead led St Ishmael’s Second XI to the semi-finals of the Alec Colley Cup.

While each of the visitors’ top order showed attacking intent and hit some sparkling boundaries, none of them hung around long enough to build an innings of the sort of substance which would set the home side any sort of competitive target. Big sixes were not enough on their own to construct a team total as Saundersfoot’s innings stuttered to a below-par 74-6 at the end of their innings.

Tish’s bowlers, Kevin Bowen, Danny Flynn, Stuart Carpenter and Steve Williams bowled with good control and Saundersfoot’s final total owed a lot to the grit of veteran bat Paul Mansbridge who scored an undefeated 19 in the visitors’ cause.

A target of 75 to win didn’t look anywhere near enough to challenge the home team. However, Nav Kawale bagged Bowen and Flynn to give Saundersfoot early hope of an upset win.

Rhead soon set about his task, smashing 46 of his 54 not out in boundaries (including three sixes) while Carpenter chipped in with his own maximum to see Tish home in the 13th over.

The homesters’ reward is a semi final this Sunday against a strong Haverfordwest outfit, who brushed aside a game challenge by massive underdogs Pembroke Dock in the last round,

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Cullen scores twice as Swans sink Forest in FA Cup



SWANSEA City’s Liam Cullen scored twice on Saturday as he helped his side to a 5-1 thrashing over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

It also set up a fifth round tie with Premier League giants Manchester City after they overcame their opponents Cheltenham Town.

Cullen, born in Tenby, netted the opener in the first half and added his second after half time.

He was denied the chance to go for an FA Cup hat-trick however as he limped off late on with an ankle injury.

Forest, perhaps with one eye on maintaining their Championship status, made ten changes for the game and featured two players that had recently returned from injury.

Swansea gave a debut to new signing Conor Hourihane

The game was only seven minutes old when Wayne Routledge crossed from the right and Cullen volleyed the ball back across goal and into the bottom corner, wrong-footing Forest’s stand-in keeper Jordan Smith.

Routledge was then forced off with an injury but his replacement was the in-from Jamal Lowe.

He almost made an instant impact as he was sent through on goal but his touch let him down and Smith was able to claim the ball.

Forest threatened briefly when Joe Lolley crossed into the box but the Swans were able to clear before Anthony Knockaert could get on the end of it.

The Swans were almost two ahead when Forest defender Joe Worrall headed the ball towards his own goal but from the resulting corner they doubled their lead in stunning fashion.

The corner was cleared but the home side played the ball to Matt Grimes, captain for the game, who unleashed an unstoppable shot that flew past Smith and into the top right corner.

Connor Roberts then came close with a header and he also had the ball in the net a minute later but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Forest made two subs at the start of the second half and came out the better side. Joe Lolley went close but his shot was saved by Swans keeper Woodman.

Then, shortly before the hour mark, the Reds were back in it. Lolley gathered the ball in the box but when he was brought down the ball fell to Knockaert who fired in to make it 2-1.

However, any hopes Forest had of mounting a comeback were soon dashed as two minutes later the Swans were awarded a penalty.

Joe Worrall was adjudged to have fouled Ryan Manning although replays suggested Manning stuck his foot towards Worrall’s leg to win the foul.

Grimes sent the keeper the wrong way to score his second of the afternoon and put the Swans 3-1 ahead.

Manning also came close to scoring but Smith was able to palm away his effort.

He then turned provider as he crossed into the box for Cullen who shot low into the bottom left corner to make it 4-1.

The Swans had already made their five substitutions before Cullen went off injured but that didn’t stop them.

With five minutes to go Jamal Lowe saw his shot blocked but the ball fell to sub Ollie Cooper whose shot squirmed in despite Smith’s best efforts.

It was an excellent display from the Swans who will now look forward to their fifth round tie with Manchester City.

Before that though they face two crucial Championship games, at home to Brentford on Wednesday before a trip to Rotherham on Saturday.

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Wales quartet bolster Scarlets side for Cardiff Blues rematch



Scarlets take on Cardiff Blues on Friday night

SCARLETS welcome back Wales internationals Johnny McNicholl, Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias and Jake Ball to their starting XV for Friday’s rearranged Guinness PRO14 rematch against Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets (20:00; S4C, Premier Sports).

There are six changes in all to the run-on side, while club skipper Ken Owens is poised to make his first appearance since October. The Wales and British & Irish Lions hooker is named among the replacements after being cleared for action following a shoulder injury.

Behind the scrum, McNicholl comes in for the suspended Liam Williams in the only change to the back division that took the field against the Blues at the Cardiff City Stadium two weeks ago.

The front row changes en bloc with Jones packing down alongside Elias and tight-head prop Javan Sebastian, who replaces the injured Pieter Scholtz.

Ball has made a swift recovery from the knee injury he suffered against the Dragons on New Year’s Day and resumes his second-row partnership with Sam Lousi.

Josh Macleod, this week named as the only uncapped player in Wales’s Six Nations squad, misses out with an ankle niggle so Ed Kennedy slots into the openside spot and links up with Blade Thomson and Sione Kalamafoni the back row.

On the bench, Owens has recovered from the shoulder damage he sustained in round two up in Glasgow. Phil Price, Werner Kruger, Tevita Ratuva and Uzair Cassiem provide the rest of the forwards cover. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Steff Hughes make up the remainder of the replacements.

Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (Friday, January 22 (20:00, S4C, Premier Sports)

15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Ed Kennedy, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Reps: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Tevita Ratuva, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Steff Hughes.

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Clubs react as Pembrokeshire football league season cancelled



THERE will be no football in Pembrokeshire until at least August after the 2020/21 season was cancelled on Wednesday night (Jan 20).

The Pembrokeshire Football League said it had taken into account the current Covid-19 situation and replies from clubs in making their decision.

Clubs had played a small number of friendlies towards the end of 2020 with the hope of getting back into the league action.

However, as the coronavirus situation worsened, the majority of clubs took it upon themselves to suspend football activity.

A spokesperson for the Pembrokeshire Football League said: “It was resolved that there will be no competitive football this season in Pembrokeshire at Senior or Junior level. There will also be no organised mini football fixtures for this season.

“Should clubs wish, when the restrictions are lifted and subject to Covid regulations want to play friendlies then they are free to do so subject to the authorisation of the League (as previously).”

Neyland’s Sean Hannon said: “The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise. The most important thing is everyone’s safety and wellbeing. We haven’t had a chance to discuss any possible return to friendlies if restrictions allow but I’m sure we will leave it until at least August by which time we will have a further update from the FAW.

“It goes without saying the FAW will need to update all area associations and clubs on what will happen to player comet registration fees which they asked all clubs to pay for at the start of September 2020.”

A spokesperson for Saundersfoot AFC said: “We all knew it was coming inevitably and you’d be hard pressed to argue against it. As a club the safety of our players/ coaches and their families is paramount it’s just not worth the risk.

“You saw before Christmas the clubs took it between themselves to stop playing before any order from above came through so that shows how serious the clubs are taking it.”

Owen Duggan, Chairman of Fishguard Sport AFC said: “The decision was inevitable and we would commend the Pembrokeshire league for an early conclusion to this, every football club will be working hard behind the scenes to try and retain enough finance to continue.

“We all hope that in the coming months things will improve and we will hopefully commence season in August. We hope all our members and other clubs stay safe and fit and well which is the priority.”

Hakin United, who were crowned champions of the curtailed 2019/20 season, said they fully supported the decision to cancel the league season and recommended that football shouldn’t start back until it’s safe to do so.

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