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O’Sullivan and Croft twins finish with victories

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CRYMYCH’s peerless Croft twins finished a winning season with a flourish by bagging golds at the prestigious Monkstown Cup tournament in Dublin.

Cardigan ABC duo Ioan and Garan came through six tough bouts in a top-class event which drew around 830 entries from 18 different countries.

Southpaw Ioan secured his second Monkstown triumph in the 60kg 2001 class with a unanimous points win over Louis Joey Barra, of the US, while Garan improved on last year’s silver medal by beating Ireland’s Eric Byrne, again on a unanimous decision, in the 62kg class.

And on the same day in Cardiff, Fishguard’s Mikey O’Sullivan captured a Welsh schoolboy title by recording a unanimous points verdict over Guto Owen (Caernarvon ABC) in the 35.5kg 2006 category.

In the Monkstown Cup quarter-finals, Ioan Croft boxed Jo Jo McArdle, of Belfast, in what proved a closely-matched contest.

The Crymych 16-year-old began well, maintained constant pressure and dictated the fight from start to finish en route to a unanimous decision.

Garan boxed England’s Max Curtis and dominated from the start on his way to a unanimous points victory.

The following day saw Ioan pitted against Belfast’s Jack McGivern in a semi-final which proved his closest and toughest test of the tournament.

“Jack’s an all-Ireland champion who we had watched beating a top American the day before,” said Cardigan ABC head coach Guy Croft.

“We knew he was going to be hard to beat, but Ioan pulled out all the stops from the start, just edging every round with a sharper work rate and strong front foot boxing to win by a split decision.”

Garan proved too strong for Ireland’s Trefor Hegarty in his semi-final – a couple of powerful right hands checking his opponent’s progress early on.

The doctor was called in twice in the first round to inspect the Irish boy’s nosebleed and the towel came in as Croft really started to go through the gears.

Barra, a stocky, powerful Mexican who had looked dangerous in close in the semis the day before, was expected to be a daunting final opponent for Ioan.

However, the Welsh teen produced an outstanding display, catching Barra from all angles as he strove in vain to close the gap on his elusive opponent.

By the end of the third round the bloodied US boxer looked battered and deflated – Ioan securing his second Monkstown gold with ease.

Garan saved his best until last, keeping his composure against the aggressive Byrne, picking his shots and landing a succession of good punches throughout the fight.

“I was suprised Eric wasn’t given at least two counts during the fight because Garan landed some crackers,” said Croft senior.

“He won by unanimous decision to take the gold, having had to settle for silver last year after losing to Mikey Stokes.”

Meanwhile, over at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens, club-mate Mikey O Sullivan began his schoolboy final against Owen in his usual whirlwind fashion, virtually overwhelming the north Walian with an endless barrage of punches from both hands.

Only a good defence kept Owen in the contest, although he did take a standing eight count in the second round, and the result was never in doubt.

Sport

Pembrokeshire Foootball Preview

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Once again we’ve had a wet week and groundsmen and volunteers up and down the county will be working hard today to try and ensure we get some games tomorrow. There are five cup ties due to take place tomorrow, three in the Senior Cup and two in the fifth division cup.

In the first division Clarbeston Road host Hakin United in what is a mouthwatering clash, the visitors will be extra motivated after Clarby have beaten the Vikings twice already this season. Elsewhere in the first division table toppers Goodwick United travel to Neyland in what looks likely to be a routine win for the visitors if form is anything to go by. Tenby United host Fishguard Sports at the Clicketts with the hosts looking very safely placed in mid-table, while Fishguard need a drastic change of form to have any chance of survival. Pennar Robins much like Tenby seem very safely positioned in the league, Carl Vincent’s team host Kilgetty who could do with a win or two to pull clear of the bottom two.

The second division has been full of interesting results of late and this weekend in form St Ishmaels host Monkton Swifts Reserves, the visitors have been faultless of late but the Mice are a tricky opponent. Promotion chasing Herbie also have a tricky game ahead as they travel to Johnston on the back of the Tigers win in the Senior Cup. Carew Reserves host St Clears in what really is a relegation six pointer and one neither team can afford to lose. Finally Broad Haven host Camrose in a mid table clash, the hosts would like a few more wins to be sure they won’t be sucked into any sort of relegation battle.

The Senior Cup has the potential for an upset this weekend with each of the three games having a strong favourite. In Cosheston there is likely to be plenty of passion and desire as they host local rivals Monkton Swifts and would love to knock their neighbours out of the cup. Solva who are having a good season in the third division host Merlins Bridge who on paper would be expected to win comfortably however the conditions in Solva are going to be more challenging than the perfect 4g surface they are used to at home. Finally in the cup, Haverfordwest Cricket Club host Carew in again will be a very different test for the visitors, Cricket Club have plenty of experience and quality in their ranks and the Rooks will have to be prepared to avoid any slip up here. 

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Sport

Saints revolution the real deal

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St Davids rugby club have always had a good junior set up, a good club house and a brilliant team spirit and culture off the pitch. However for the past decade the teams performances on the field were lacking, languishing at the bottom of division three west, hoping for a win or two a season. How times have changed!

This season they are in excellent form and sit fifth place in the league, above clubs who’ve sat above them in this league and leagues above very recently. Last Saturday saw the Saints host Pembroke, who last season were playing the likes of Llanelli Wanderers and Llangennech. However Saints are no longer a team clubs look forward to playing and they proved this once again Saturday coming out 31-24 winners.

Players such as Jack Jones, George Raymond, Ben Joyce and Morgan Griffiths are just a selection of the quality players at the Saints disposal this year. Under the guidance of club legend Jack Dudley the Saints are absolutely flying in comparison to what they’ve become accustomed to over the past decade.

Off the field the clubhouse is always welcoming and there’s always a good atmosphere in there post game win or lose. The junior section is strong and all in all the future for our county’s only city rugby club looks very bright. It’s a credit to all involved with the club as we well know it takes so much work to keep a small club alive. I’m sure there have been numerous challenges over the years including covid and struggling for players. It’s times like that when the club’s characters really come to the fore and I’m sure everyone involved with the club is prouder than ever of their teams on field performance.

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Sport

Goodwick win again as Mice hammer Cosh

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Most games fell foul to the weather last weekend with pitches saturated after all the rain we’ve had. Five games however did go ahead, including two senior cup ties. As Goodwick booked their place in the next round after another impressive win.

Senior Cup

Goodwick United 5-0 Herbrandston

Will Haworths excellent hat-rick put the tie to bed for the hosts before half time. Despite having a good season in division two Herbie were unable to pose any real threat to Goodwick senior cup run. Jones and Delaney added two more for O’Sullivans men in the second half. The excellent form continues and we await to see who they’ll face in the next round.

Camrose 2-3 Johnston

A five thriller goal thriller between two mid table division two teams, ended with the Tigers progressing to the next round. The visitors came back after finding themselves 2-0 down after a Chalmers brace for the hosts. Joey George started the late comeback with a goal after 79 minutes, Richards soon added the equaliser, before Kieran Blundell got the vital goal to send his team into the next round.

Elsewhere in league action St Ishmaels hammered Cosheston who’s recent form has been good. Brennan Devonald was the man of the match with a hat-rick for the Mice. Tish’ league form in 2024 is now three wins out of three and they climb to sixth with a fair amount of games in hand over the teams above them.

In the third division Morgan Elliott’s hat-rick kept Solva’s promotion charge on track. The hosts beat St Florence 3-1, and Solva now sit second just two points off table toppers Lawrenny. In the fourth division Angle came out on top of an eight goal thriller when they hosted St Ishmaels reverses. A brace a piece for Niall Brunton and James Potter ensured the points for the hosts, which leaves them in fourth place and with an outside shot of promotion as it stands.

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