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Missed chances cost college

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ECFA BCS League

Pembrokeshire College 1st XI 0

Coleg y Cymoedd 1st XI 2

Louis Thompson: Clears the danger

Louis Thompson: Clears the danger

AFTER HEAVY overnight rain the Conygar Bridge Meadow was in surprisingly good nick as the Valero sponsored Pembrokeshire College welcomed their visitors from Coleg y Cymoedd for their last league game of the season.

The game was set up nicely as the visitors from Nantgarw arrived in good form, sitting in second place in the table, but the hosts themselves came into the game on the back of an impressive 4-2 victory against a strong Cardiff and the Vale side in their last outing.

The game started at a frantic pace with both sides eager to strike the first blow, and kicking into a strong wind, it was Pembrokeshire who were seemingly going to be up against it in the first half. However this wasn’t the case in the opening 15 minutes as the hosts’ fluent passing style allowed them to keep the ball on the deck, eliminating the effect of the wind, and allowing them to create several openings.

One such opening arrived in the fifth minute as Dan Raicu found himself one-on-one with Liam Barter in the visitors goal. The wide man seemed to have too much time as he made his way towards the goal, and as he failed to make up his mind Barter smothered the ball at his feet and the chance had gone.

The game was something of a midfield battle with the majority of the first half play fought in the middle third as the visitors began to utilise the wind with some testing balls in behind Matt Dickinson and Jacob Knox at full back.

From one such ball they created their first half chance of the game as they won a corner on the right hand side. A troubling ball into the heart of the area caused mayhem in the Pembrokeshire defence, and when the ball fell to Owain Morgan, he produced a stunning overhead kick, which shaved the paint off the upright.

With 25 minutes on the clock the visitors almost took the lead with another spectacular effort. After Ben Aldred in the Pembrokeshire goal had cleared the danger straight up the pitch, Cymoedd left back Connor Wescombe ran onto the ball on the halfway line and hit a blistering first time half volley, which was destined for the bottom corner. Luckily for the hosts Aldred was able to scramble across and produce a fine save with his feet.

After soaking up a period of Cymoedd pressure, the home side began to come back into the game, and on 32 minutes their Welsh Colleges Under 18 international Alfie Stotter, fresh from returning from the Caput Mundi tournament in Rome, found himself through on goal. But Barter in the visiting goal was proving to be inspired, and he again rushed out to smother the ball, and another Pembrokeshire chance was gone.

Just before the interval the hosts opened up Cymoedd again, with Raicu ghosting past his man on the outside before pulling a tantalising ball back across goal to the unmarked Lewis Watts, who from 8 yards dragged his shot agonisingly wide with the goal at his mercy, to send the sides in level at the break.

The second half began with Pembrokeshire in the ascendency, and with the wind now gusting crossways towards the right hand side, winger Fraser Finlay was beginning to see a lot of the ball, and the tricky wide man created several chances for his side, before a hammer blow took the wind out of the visitors sails.

Completely against the run of play, Cymoedd took the lead after venturing into the hosts half for the first time in ten first half minutes, but a brilliant goal it was. After forward Stotter had conceded possession on the halfway line, an inch perfect first time through ball released the impressive substitute Sam Jones, whose turn of pace took him beyond Matt Dickenson before he smashed an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the net to leave Ben Aldred with no chance.

The home team were left shellshocked and couldn’t rediscover their composure in a frantic five minutes, resulting in them conceding again, this time from the spot after Welsh Premier League star Spencer Williams brought down the elusive Jones for a certain foul when the Cymoedd winger was running down a blind alley away from goal.

Jones dusted himself off to take the kick himself, and his well struck effort was brilliantly saved by Aldred, but with no Pembrokeshire defenders following up, the ball fell again to the feet of Jones who dinked the ball nonchalantly over the stricken Aldred to double his sides advantage.

Pembrokeshire almost responded immediately when Finlay hit a superb 25-yard left footed effort against the crossbar after cutting in from his wing, but chances for the rest of the game were few and far between, as a demoralised home side struggled to regain their early momentum and the visitors went into cruise control, finding the corners and running down the clock at every possible opportunity.

Ultimately it was a disappointing day for Pembrokeshire College, but they can take great positives in the fact for large periods of the game they were in control, and but for some poor finishing they could well have been 3-0 up and out of sight, a lesson they will be sure to take into their next game.

Teams:

Pembrokeshire College: Ben Aldred, Jacob Knox, George Taylor, Ewan Jones, Matthew Dickinson, Dan Raicu, Spencer Williams, Louis Thompson, Fraser Finlay, Alfie Stotter, Lewis Watts.

Subs: Donovan Griffin, Ben John.

Coleg y Cymoedd: Liam Barter, Jesse White, Scott Peacock, Declan Hansen Spure, Connor Wescombe, Iefan Ball, Callum Evans, Jamie Crisp, Owain Morgan, Connor Waters, Owain Sprackling-Jones.

Subs: Tristan Notley, Sam Jones, Josh Maksimovic, Joel Ball, Joe Evans.

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Signed Wales shirts gifted to RNLI go up for auction

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FOLLOWING a winning start to the Six Nations Tournament, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have scored a winning try for the RNLI, gifting six signed rugby shirts to help save lives at sea.

Each rugby shirt has been signed by the full WRU squad and are accompanied by a certificate of authentication – a winning prize for any Welsh rugby fan.

To avoid a ruck for the WRU shirts the charity has placed all six signed shirts on an online auction, ensuring a fair game for all who wish to win the golden prize. The auction will be live until Wednesday, March 31, which allows plenty of time for supporters to bid for the team in red.

Each signed shirt includes Wales Captain, Mumbles RNLI supporter and the most capped international player of all time Alun Wyn Jones; as well as Louis Rees-Zammit, the Man of the Match in the nail-biting Scotland v Wales game.

Nick Evans, RNLI Fundraising and Partnership Lead said: ‘On behalf of the charity I would like to say a big thank you to the Welsh Rugby Union for donating these fantastic prizes to the RNLI. RNLI volunteers are on call 24-7 and are often called away from important events such as family celebrations – or international rugby tournaments – to respond to the pager if someone is in trouble at sea.

‘Like all charities, 2020 was a challenging year for the RNLI when all traditional fundraising had to stop – all our shops were closed, there were no collections and all events had to be cancelled. This is why we at the RNLI are so grateful to all the team at WRU for their ongoing support. The auction is now live and we would like to encourage all Wales rugby supporters to throw the RNLI a lifeline and place their bid for the winning prize.’

To place a bid or find out more about the charity auction please visit https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/rnliwru.

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Five subs to be allowed for JD Cymru Premier clubs

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THE FAW’s National Leagues Board has confirmed that JD Cymru Premier clubs will be permitted to make five substitutions in matches, in accordance with the Laws of the Game, until the end of the 2020-21 top-flight season.

FIFA extended the use of the rule, which was first introduced following the COVID-19 outbreak, citing “player welfare” as part of the reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.

FIFA stated that “Some competitions which resumed in 2020 may have a shorter-than-usual recovery/preparation period before the start of their next season.”

“For many competitions, the 2020/21 season will involve matches being played in a condensed period due to a delayed start and the inability to end later than usual because of major international tournaments.”

With the JD Cymru Premier set to restart on March 2, the National Leagues Board has approved the use of the rule in the JD Cymru Premier until the end of the current campaign.

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Haverfordwest County’s remaining phase 1 fixtures released

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HAVERFORDWEST County will return to action on Saturday, March 6, with a home game against Cardiff Met University.

The JD Cymru Premier has been granted elite status by the National Sports Group once again and the FAW has announced the rescheduled fixtures.

The first fixture upon the return will see Newtown AFC host Penybont on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 live on Facebook via Sgorio’s platforms.

Bala Town travel to The New Saints on Sgorio on March 6, 2021 with a 5pm kick off.

This will be followed by a full host of fixtures on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

The new calendar sees clubs play their final six matches of Phase One, which is now due to be completed on April 4, 2021.

Haverfordwest County’s remaining fixtures for phase 1 are listed below.

March 6 – 14:30

Haverfordwest County FC v Cardiff Met University FC

March 9 – 19:45

Aberystwyth Town FC v Haverfordwest County FC

March 13 – 14:30

Haverfordwest County FC v The New Saints FC

March 20 – 14:30

Connah’s Quay Nomads FC v Haverfordwest County FC

March 27 – 14:30

Newtown AFC v Haverfordwest County FC

April 2 – 17:00

Penybont FC v Haverfordwest County FC

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