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Will a Letterston lad be the youngest ever Grand National winner?

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A JOCKEY from Letterston is aiming to become the youngest rider to ever win the Grand National on Saturday (Apr 14). James Bowen, 17, has already won the restaged Welsh National this year on Raz De Maree, but now hopes for success on Shantou Flyer in his first time racing at Aintree.

The Pembrokeshire teenager would be three months younger than Bruce Hobbs when he won on Battleship in 1938, and is hopeful, saying: “I can’t wait. Shantou Flyer has been there before. I know he pulled up (in last year’s National) but he jumped the fences well and hopefully he can give me a good spin round. He has a chance as well.”

Shantou Flyer, an 8 year old gelding trained by Richard Hobson, has finished runner up on his last four starts, including when Bowen rode him in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. He pulled up before four out at last year’s Grand National, when trained by Rebecca Curtis, but has been assigned a 3lb lower mark this year.

Hobson describes Bowen as a ‘future champion jockey’ and went on to say: “James rode me a winner on Saturday and deserves his chance. It is nice as a small stable to be able to give him his first opportunity.”

The Bowen family hold some equestrian pedigree, with James’ father Peter training the winner of the Topham Chase four times, and his brother Sean rode in his first Grand National at 17 years old.

The only Welsh trained runner in the Grand National will be Buywise, owned by Hywel Jones of Dinas Powys, and trained by Evan Williams of the Vale of Glamorgan. Mr Jones is a director of TH&L Jones Pharmacies and notably owns Plunkett, the winner of the first race to be staged at Ffos Las in 2009, also trained by Williams.

The Beer & Cider Festival is returning to Ffos Las on Sunday, with seven national hunt jump races as well as live entertainment from The Rookz before and after racing. Hospitality has sold out but general admission tickets are still available from £10 per person.

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Bluebirds return to winning ways as Veale’s free kick sinks Archers

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HAVERFORDWEST County got back to winning ways on Tuesday night (Sept 27) as they beat Cardiff Met 1-0 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow.

Jamie Veale’s second half free kick proved enough for Tony Pennock’s side who now sit seventh in the JD Cymru Premier table.

In the third minute, Dylan Rees sent a ball forward to Jack Wilson but his cross was pushed away by Met keeper Alex Lang.

A miss-timed header then sent Jordan Davies in but his effort was blocked.

The Bluebirds continued to search for the opener and on 27 minutes, a pass from Elliot Scotcher sent Wilson in but he saw his shot saved. The rebound fell to Jordan Davies but his shot was blocked.

Towards the end of the half, Met pushed forward and Matt Chubb went on a good run down the right but he saw his shot go wide.

Harry Owen also tried his luck but saw his shot saved by County keeper Zac Jones and the sides went in at the break with the score locked at 0-0.

There was an even start to the second half as both sides looked to dominate. A cross into the Met box was headed clear by Emlyn Lewis while Craig Davies sent a cross in at the other end but no one could get on the end of it.

On 72 minutes Jordan Davies reacted quickly to head the ball goalwards but he saw his effort go over the bar.

Four minutes later though the Bluebirds were awarded a free kick wide on the left. Veale took it and the ball floated all the way in to give the home side the lead.

Wilson then saw a shot go wide as the Bluebirds looked to make the points safe.

The Met pushed late on as Eliot Evans saw a shot deflected wide while Sam Jones shot over the bar in time added on.

The Bluebirds held on for a welcome win, with Rhys Abbruzzese being named player of the match.

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Whitland earn win at Pembroke

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WHITLAND earned their first win of the season on Saturday (Sept 24) as they beat Pembroke 20-33.

Pembroke landed an early penalty through Harry Fletcher but the visitors hit back with two converted tries.

There was another penalty for Fletcher to make it 14-6.

Whitland thought they had another try when Callum Evans touched down but it was harshly ruled out as the referee had spotted some crossing moments before.

The visitors then scored another try which was also converted as they took a 6-21 lead in at the break.

Pembroke hit back in the second half with tries from Lloyd Davies and Sam Smith who finished off after a barnstorming run. Fletcher added both conversions.

Whitland pulled away though with further tries to seal the win.

Liam Price scored a hat trick of tries for Whitland and others came from Ianto Davies and Geraint Jones. Jones added the rest of the points from the boot.

On Saturday, October 1, Pembroke travel to Llanelli Wanderers while Whitland host Llangennech.

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Kilgetty edge Clarby in seven-goal thriller

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KILGETTY made it two wins from two on Saturday (Sept 24) as they beat Clarbeston Road 4-3.

Ben John put Clarby ahead after eight minutes but their lead only lasted for two minutes.

Adam Johns levelled for Kilgetty and ten minutes later Josh Bevan put his side ahead.

Richard Cope then made it 3-1 to the visitors shortly after the half-hour mark.

Clarby were not out of the game though and on the stroke of half time John scored his and Clarby’s second to make it 2-3.

It remained that way until the 89th minute when Rheinallt George put the goal in his own net to all but seal the points for Kilgetty.

There was still time for more goals as Richard Bevan scored in the 92nd minute to make it 4-3.

They were unable to find a late equaliser though as Kilgetty held on for the win.

On Saturday, October 1, Kilgetty face Angle in the first round of the Senior Cup. Clarbeston Road are also in action in the Senior Cup as they host Carew, both matches kicking off at 1:45pm.

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