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Swans still sweet on Premier League survival

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By Jonathan Twigg

SWANSEA’s clamber through the trials and tribulations of the Premier League can be compared to that of a child running amok in a sweet shop, so many tantalising favourites to devour, with the occasional reminder that not all sweets are sweet.

A retro walk down the Bridge Meadow Lane would have taken a child past the shop run by Connie Clarke, renowned for her welcome on the bell clanging. Supporters of Haverfordwest County and their opponents on match day, welcomed with few words but with the knowledge her confectionary delights never failed to deliver.

Following Saturday’s (Apr 14) 1-1 draw with Everton, who arrived without former Swans stars Ashley Williams and Gylfi Sigurdsson in their line-up, supporters left knowing the sweet taste of success held by the Premier League is still within their grasp.

With two of the bottom three to visit the Liberty in the final week of the season this point is one gained in search of extending their Premier League status to an eighth season, although manager Carlos Carvalhal nearly led his side to five consecutive home wins, something no other manager has done since the heady days of John Toshack in 1981.

Swansea welcomed Jordan Ayew back from a three game suspension to partner elder brother Andre as Bolton based referee Lee Mason began the game in front of 20,933, the returning brother setting the tone alongside Andy King at a sun drenched Liberty Stadium.

Carvalhal has worked some magic since his arrival on the cusp of Christmas, tactically leaving opposite number former England supremo Sam Allerdyce to venture to the touchline with his pocket ball side kick Sammy Lee to stem the tide; the blues were overrun in midfield, Jordan Ayew having a wonderful chance cleared off the line as was captain Frederico Fernadez header from the resultant corner, before Andre’s sight of goal was saved by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Alfie Mawson has grown to be imperial at the back for the Swans, attracting the interest of Manchester United, one of those mints that the longer you savour, the better it lingers. Luciano Narsingh however can be likened more to a quickly dissolving peppermint cream, releasing the taste with speed, rousing the Jack Army with an immediate hit, succulent whilst it lasts, inspiring the Swans to drive forward.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney had one of those games, like an aniseed ball, many unable to relish his taste as he left his mark, literally with some raking tackles; his class, undoubted, when it finally came to the fore.

An opening goal came with the aid of goal line technology, just before half time, Lucas Fabianski brilliantly making a double save from Bolasie, before a ricochet off Kyle Naughton and a half time lead, Fabianski thankfully however saving from Cenk Tosun a minute later.

Jordan became the first recipient of a yellow card in the second half, substitute Nathan Dyer creating a stir as the game went up by a level with a sugar surge, the vocal chords tingled with honey from a locket, in the form of striker Tammy Abraham’s arrival.

Full backs McNaughton and Martin Olsson created chances, Tom Carroll serving buckets of sweet balls, to no avail; Dyer driving forward over from twenty yards, Abraham and the Ayews creating half chances, Mawson’s header cleared off the line before the full quarter was served, Jordan levelling the game with a right foot half volley.

The final fifteen minutes rocked the stadium once more, after dinner mints were all Swansea’s, although Seamus Coleman thundered a shot against the woodwork, Abraham missed a gilt edged opportunity at the other end, whilst a tall and well positioned defensive wall directed Rooney’s set piece opportunity over the bar.

Extra strong mints were needed, alas unavailable as the toffees held firm, not fudging their lines with Beni Baningime taking a yellow card for the team, the games conclusion seeing a share of the spoils.

Carvalhal’s magic stars will have to be at their best to out fox and unwrap three points on Sunday (Apr 22) when opponents Manchester City will have champagne liquor chocolates on hand, having been crowned Premier League champions.

Swansea then have the opportunity to welcome Chelsea to ‘fortress’ Liberty the week after; wispa it quietly, as many have their eyes on the final weeks’ trio of games, starting with a trip to the South Coast in search of the bounty available at Dean Park, Bournemouth, before a starburst performance at home to Southampton on the Tuesday and Stoke City for a final day picnic. There can be no wine gums on show, just the everlasting gobstopper which is Premier League football.

Sport

Duggie Morris Cup: Tish go through after beating Kilgetty

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ST ISHMAELS booked their place in the quarter finals of the Duggie Morris Cup with a seven-wicket win over Kilgetty on Wednesday night (May 18).

Tish won the toss and chose to bowl first in tough conditions but they were able to bowl Kilgetty out for 104.

Kilgetty struggled early on and were reduced to 13-4 after three overs as Brennan Devonald claimed three wickets in four balls.

The visitors battled back well though and a score of 18 from Iori Badham and 46 not out from Ollie Gamble gave them something they could defend.

Devonald finished with excellent figures of 4-11 while Andrew Pawlett claimed 2-17 and Lewis Rhead also took two wickets.

Rhead then got Tish going with a score of 32 before he was sent back to the pavilion.

Devonald then finished not out on 17 and Philip Cockburn was unbeaten on 32 as Tish reached their target in the 17th over.

The win sets up a quarter final tie against the winners of the tie between Pembroke and Lamphey which is being played on Thursday, May 19, after being cancelled because of the rain on Tuesday.

The night’s other game between Pembroke Dock and holders Lawrenny was called off because of the rain and will be replayed on Thursday, May 19.

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Community

Get Active with Pembrokeshire Leisure!

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Haverfordwest Leisure Centre

PEMBROKESHIRE Leisure have launched their new streamlined membership and pricing structure.

Membership options on offer to new customers have been reduced to make joining easier.

If you are a current member with a live membership, you will not be affected by the change. The new Active Memberships include Active Individual, Active Junior and Active Household. They will replace the previous Gold, Silver and Bronze memberships.

The pricing will also be made simpler by removing loyalty options. If you’re an existing loyalty subscription user you will continue to benefit from the loyalty price until the current subscription expires.

Gary Nicholas, Leisure Services Manager for Pembrokeshire said; “In order to simplify our pricing structure and as a reflection of current cost of living challenges, we have reviewed and changed our charges to provide excellent value to all our users.

He continued: “Pembrokeshire Leisure continues to offer our Passport to Leisure scheme to support those most in need, as well as offering the Welsh Government funded Free Swimming for the 60+ and 16 & under, Active for Life Programme and the National Exercise Referral scheme.

“Our facilities and services are here to provide active and social opportunities to everyone in our communities as we aim to promote and support a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.”

If you would like more information, please visit https://pembrokeshireleisure.co.uk/news/

You can now buy Active Memberships online or in any of our leisure centres.

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News

Mixed medal competition at Tenby Golf Club

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SUNDAY 15th MAY 2022 – How lucky were we to be playing golf on Tenby’s magnificent links course on such a lovely day? The Mathias Thomas family have a long association with Tenby Golf Club, and the mixed competition today was to play for their trophy, donated by the daughter, Joanne Haigh, in 1978.

Her father, Mathias Thomas was a solicitor in Tenby, living in what is now Tenby House, and in 1907 he owned the golf club.

He and his son Byam and daughter Joanne were all category one golfers with illustrious careers in golf.

Today we played for their trophy which looks like our very own ‘Claret Jug’.

There were a few moans from the men when they realised, they had to play off the white tee boxes; a few moans from the ladies about it being a medal round; but once out in the sunshine that was all behind us.

The pin placements were very tricky having not been moved since yesterday’s prestigious Golden Eagle competition, so there were no twos recorded today.

However, four pairs were lucky enough to win their entry fees back in the draw. They were Idwal David and Sarah Waring, Mike and Nicola Anthony, Paul and Roz Jenkins and Rob Berry and Gill John. The dry conditions and a tricky wind made scoring quite difficult for us all, but our President Idwal and Sarah Waring (always the bridesmaids!) came third with 96-21=75. In second place were Fair Ball and Allan Morton with 90-17=73, just pipped at the post by husband John Ball and Maria Smith with 97-25-72.

With the touch screen out of use we must thank Ryan for feeding the results into the computer, but lesson learnt that we need to go back to our old system of marking cards as there was some confusion with who were players and who were markers. Apologies to the people who were wrongly informed! But as you can see from the photo, we had a good time which is what it is all about.

The next mixed is the Sam Ackermann Trophy which is a draw for partners. Great fun, and a chance for those who have never been in the mixed to put your names down and have a go. The competition is on Friday 24th June at 4pm and the draw will be done the week before. Just sign up on Masterscoreboard.

Then July 1st will be our second Friday Friendly Foursomes. Again, a draw but sign up on the mixed noticeboard at the back of the clubhouse.

A huge thank you to Laura for helping me sort out today’s competition on the computer, and thanks also to Lyn, Helen and Emma in the bar and kitchen and to Ryan in the Pro Shop.

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