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Sport

Otters seal bonus point victory

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By Jonathan Twigg

A GD Harries sponsored Narberth maintained their second place in the Championship at the Lewis Lloyd Ground on Saturday (October 28) with a bonus point 27-3 victory over bottom side Glynneath.

Head coach Sean Gale was delighted with the result saying his players ‘delivered all I asked of them’.

He added: “We were expecting a gritty performance from Glynneath but we knew we had a strong set piece which would allow us to maintain enough possession to press for victory. We are a developing side with many new faces gelling together and we are in the same position as last year. We could have been more clinical with our execution as we tried to keep the ball in hand but it’s important to remember we took maximum points.”

Defending into a strong breeze the dominant set piece came to the fore from the start as the Otters forwards disrupted their opponents scrum with captain Alex Jenkins and his fellow second row Ryan Banner winning the early line out battle.

Glynneath were robust in their tackling, rowing very close to a line which referee Chris Oliver monitored carefully. Full back Ianto Griffiths pinged over his first penalty attempt for an indiscretion after ten minutes when visiting hooker Craig Tennant was deemed to have committed a high a tackle.

Flanker Pat Roberts alongside props Bradley Davies and Tom Slater made inroads into the visitors’ territory and the pressure of swift hands and a visionary performance from outside half Jack Rogers eventually saw the game’s opening try just beyond the quarter of an hour mark.

Jenkins again won clean line out ball before picking up a pass after his fellow forwards went through several phases of gaining yards close to the halfway line. He made 20 metres before finding wing Liam Hutchings on the outside who drew the final man after a 25 metre blast, putting number 8 Richie Rees clear into the 22 and a 10-0 lead thanks to the trusty left boot of Griffiths extended.

Glynneath got themselves on the scoreboard five minutes later when centre Jack O’Reilly kicked a penalty in front of the posts after the home pack were guilty of putting hands in a ruck after Tennant and flanker James Perry drove the red and blacks back into the game.

Narberth’s game management suited the conditions as they defended a strong breeze, working around scrum half Nick Gales lead with close passing to their surrounding ‘pods’.

This frustrated the visitors with further indiscretions conceded as their passion affected their play and hooker Tennant saw yellow for holding the ball after a tackle ten metres short of his own line, from which Rogers set up an attacking line out.

The ball was moved around the field as the Otters burrowed for a try, which came with a minute of the half remaining.

Glynneath were punished after their scrum disintegrated without Tennant and Gale took a quick penalty to thrust towards the line, Roberts on his shoulder to set up time for Rogers to put a cross field kick into the hands of winger Hutchings to cross wide out, for a 15-3 half time lead.

An expectant home crowd anticipated the blue and blacks to cruise towards victory in the second period although this didn’t materialise as rugged defence accompanying a plethora of stoppages for injuries sustained by Glynneath prevented any continuity.

They failed to take the ball further than the home 22 yard line not allowing much action for the ‘Balcony sponsors’, The Glenn Hotel to watch over as their ‘mine host’ Slater plied his trade below.

For the final fifteen minutes the side who have popular entertainer Max Boyce as their President opted for uncontested scrums which diminished a threat from the back row of Roberts, Rees and flanker Tom Powell playing off the front foot.

Griffiths at full back was playing with a skills set which would fit at a higher level and the introduction of a dynamic replacement scrum half Lewys Gibby asked questions of a tiring side, with Hutchings and centre pairing Paul Davies and Joe Hutchings finding space to run into.

Replacement Ryan Davies finished off a move after man of the match Roberts again did the hard yards for a 20-3 lead and the finale was completed to cement the bonus point victory as the game edged towards its end as the flanker claimed a try of his own. He intercepted the ball as Glynneath ran the ball from deep and coasted in under the posts for Griffiths to convert.

Narberth make the trip to Port Talbot on Saturday (Nov 4) to take on Tata Steel, two places and two points below them.

Sport

Cup semi-finals and more league action this weekend

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THERE are two Divisional cup semi-finals this weekend as well as the usual league action across Pembrokeshire.

The first of those semis is in the Division 3 Cup. Letterston will take on Lawrenny at Carew with that game kicking off at 2pm.

Letterston beat holders Clarbeston Road seconds on penalties in the last round while Lawrenny beat St Florence.

The other semi-final sees Haverfordwest CC taking on Camrose with that game taking place next weekend, March 11.

There is also one semi-final in the Division 5 Cup this weekend and it sees Cosheston seconds taking on Milford Athletic seconds with that game being played at Pembroke Boro and also kicking off at 2pm.

Cosheston beat Pembroke Boro seconds 5-1 in the quarter finals while Milford Athletic beat Broad Haven seconds 4-3.

There is a game in the Division 2 cup too as Herbrandston host Solva, with that game again kicking off at 2pm.

In Division 1, leaders Goodwick United host Kilgetty in what will be a good game between two in-form teams. Goodwick earned a 2-0 win over Kilgetty in their last meeting. Both sides go into this game on three-game unbeaten runs (in all competitions) and it promises to be a close encounter.

Second placed Merlins Bridge have suffered three straight defeats in all competitions and they will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Fishguard.

Clarbeston Road take on Neyland and the league’s bottom two also meet as St Clears travel to St Ishmaels.

Monkton Swifts are on a four game unbeaten run and they face local rivals Pennar Robins who themselves have won their last two games.

All Division 1 games will be kicking off at 2:30pm.

In Division 2, second placed Milford United host fifth placed Johnston. Milford were beaten last week by Tenby and they will be keen to get back to winning ways.

Johnston are unbeaten in three games and they will be looking for another win to close the gap on the top four.

Narberth have won their last three games and they take on Carew seconds. A win for the Bluebirds will take them closer to their opponents in the table.

Tenby will be bouyed by their win over Milford last week and they host Broad Haven on Saturday.

Pennar Robins seconds earned their first win of the season last weekend and they now host rivals Monkton Swifts seconds.

In Division 3, Cosheston host Camrose, Haverfordwest Cricket Club host Goodwick United seconds. Milford Athletic host Pendine and Pembroke Boro visit St Florence.

Fixtures for Division 4:

Angle v Newport Tigers
Camrose II v Tenby II
Carew III v Prendergast Villa
Kilgetty II v St Ishmaels II
Neyland II v Herbrandston II

Fixtures for Division 5:

Broad Haven II v Pembroke Boro II
Johnston II v N Hedges & Saundersfoot
Lawrenny II v Letterston II
St Clears II v Monkton Swifts III

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Sport

Bluebirds beaten on the road

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HAVERFODWEST County suffered defeat on Saturday (Feb 25) as their hopes of finishing seventh took a blow.

The Bluebirds had beaten Flint Town United last time out and were hoping to pick up another win but they came up against a Pontypridd side bouyed by their late show against Aberystwyth in their last game which saw them earn a 3-3 draw.

There was a chance for Ben Fawcett early on as he latched on to a long ball but his shot from the edge of the area went just wide.

In the 24th minute, Jordan Davies crossed the ball to the back post for Jazz Richards whose header back towards proved too hot for the Ponty keeper to handle who palmed the ball into the net.

However, nine minutes later the home side were back level as Kieran Lewis’ corner was headed in by Jarrad Wright.

The game remained 1-1 at the break with both sides keen to make a good start to the second half.

For the Bluebirds, it was anything but. Four minutes in, Oscar Borg was sent off for pulling down Ponty’s Ben Ahmun, giving the home side a free kick on the edge of the box.

Lewis stepped up and curled a brilliant effort into the net to put the home side ahead.

Ponty nearly added a third late on as the ball was sent through for Danny Williams but he could not beat Bluebirds keeper Zac Jones. The rebound fell to Owain Jones but he sent his effort over the bar.

The win for Ponty moves them back out of the bottom two and they now sit three points behind the Bluebirds.

The sides now have a two-week break before their next league game.

On Saturday, March 11, Haverfordwest travel to Aberystwyth Town while Pontypridd host Caernarfon Town.

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Sport

Division 2: Johnston, Tenby and Hakin seconds earn victories

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THERE were wins for Johnston, Tenby and Hakin United seconds on Saturday (Feb 25) as the race for promotion to Division 1 hots up.

Hakin United seconds remain top of the table after they beat Monkton Swifts seconds 2-0.

Leon Davies scored after half an hour and James Trueman added a second with twenty minutes to go as the Vikings earned their thirteenth win of the season.

Their gap to second placed Milford United increased to four points as the Robins were beaten 4-0 by Tenby.

After a goalless first half, Dan Storer put Tenby ahead before Scott Ferney added a second. Jerome Mansbridge added a third before Ferney put the result beyond doubt with an 82nd minute penalty.

Herbrandston missed the chance to close the gap to Milford after they were beaten 2-0 by Johnston.

Craig Bendall scored a 17th minute penalty and Joey George added a second ten minutes before the break. There were no more goals and Johnston held on for the win which moves them five points behind Herbie.

Narberth earned their third league win in a row on Saturday as they came from behind to beat Merlins Bridge seconds 2-1.

Rhys Corney put the Wizards ahead but two quick goals from Jordan Williams and Morgan Preece gave Narberth victory.

Broad Haven earned their sixth win of the season on Saturday as they beat Solva 6-1.

Jack Thornton put Solva ahead in the thirteenth minute but Thomas Lawrence equalised a minute later.

Spencer Le-Petit then scored either side of half time to make it 3-1. Ian Harvey added a fourth before scoring a further two goals in the space of four minutes to seal a comfortable win.

Pennar Robins seconds earned their first win of the season on Saturday as they beat Carew seconds 1-0. It had looked as if the game was heading for a 0-0 draw but a late goal from Bobby Jones earned Pennar a welcome win.

Fixtures for Saturday, March 4:

Second Division Cup
Herbrandston v Solva

Division 2
Milford United v Johnston
Narberth v Carew seconds
Pennar Robins seconds v Monkton Swifts seconds
Tenby v Broad Haven

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