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Wizards sink Swifts to set up Carew final

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MERLINS Bridge set up a Senior Cup Final date with Carew as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-0 at the Bridge Meadow on Tuesday night (Mar 19).

Both sides named strong line-ups for the game, determined to make it into the final, but it was the Bridge who proved the stronger as they exacted revenge for a 5-1 league defeat to the Swifts earlier in the season.

A good crowd gathered to watch the game despite persistent light rain throughout the evening.

A minutes silence was also held prior to kick off in respect of former Merlins Bridge player Denzil (Tally) John, who sadly passed away.

The Wizards had previously beaten Monkton 3-0 in the West Wales Cup and from the first whistle it was clear that they were in a confident mood.

Adam Hawkins and Nathan Greene linked up well but when Greene was tackled the ball fell to Laurie Haworth whose shot was saved.

Hawkins then saw a shot saved after he had been put through and he then played a one-two with Jordan Thomas whose shot hit the post.

Monkton then had their first chance as James Russell won a 50-50 but he saw his shot blocked wide for a corner.

All that action came in the first five minutes and it set the tone for the rest of the game with both sides coming close to opening the scoring.

The Bridge then came close again when Dai Davies sent Greene through but he flashed his shot across goal and wide.

With half an hour gone Russell came forward but dwelt on the ball too long leaving Dylan Davies and Ben Steele frustrated after both made good runs.

Blake James then saw a cross go straight into the arms of Bridge keeper Gary Thomas who then also saved Davies’ deflected shot.

With seven minutes to go until half time, the Wizards took the lead as Laurie Haworth turned excellently in the left corner and ran into the box before crossing for Hawkins who fired in to the roof of the net.

Five minutes later they doubled their lead as Ashley Beck played the ball through for Haworth who poked the ball past Swifts keeper Michael Murray to make it 2-0.

Monkton looked to respond but a corner on the stroke of half time from Chris Richards went out over the bar.

It left the Division 1 leaders with a mountain to climb in the second half and they knew they would need an early goal if they were to get back into the game.

Ten minutes in the Wizards had the first real chance of the half as Haworth won the ball and crossed for Beck but he shot wide.

On the hour mark Monkton won a free kick on the edge of the D but Steele’s free kick bounced back off the wall.

The Bridge won a series of corners which came to nothing and when Monkton looked to break off one, Hawkins made a desperate lunge to try and stop the attack. He was booked for his challenge which may have done more harm than good as he was then replaced by Will Haworth.

With twenty minutes to go sub Ryan Griffiths crossed into the box but Russell’s looping header was comfortably claimed by Thomas.

Moments later it should have been 3-0 as a slip allowed Greene in but he fluffed his lines and scuffed his shot wide.

The Swifts continued to look for a way back into the game and when Steele went down in the box he was adamant he had been pushed but referee Angus Scourfield waved away his prolonged protests.

Davies then saw a shot saved and then came perhaps their best chance of getting back into the game as a good move found Richards but Davies could only head wide from his cross.

They were soon made to pay for their missed chances as Laurie Haworth found Greene in the box who knocked in to all but seal the win.

Greene and Matthew D’Ivry were then taken off in a double change, perhaps with one eye on the West Wales Cup semi-final with Hakin next week.

The game had been won but Monkton’s Josh Richards, who had only came on in the second half, let his frustrations get the better of him late on as he overstepped the mark and saw red for his language.

Merlins Bridge saw the game out and will now look forward to the final with Carew. That game will take place on Saturday, April 20, again at the Bridge Meadow Stadium.

Speaking after the match, Merlins Bridge boss Matthew D’Ivry said: “We are really pleased with the result. We were confident that if we played to our abilities that we would get the result.

“We were confident on the back of the season we have had so far, having only had one loss to Monkton. It wasn’t about getting revenge, but more about us achieving what we had set out to do.

“Last night our experience in the bigger games shone through and that gave us the edge.”

Sport

Bevan’s brace earns first league win for Hakin

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HAKIN United secured their first win of the season on Saturday (Sept 18) as they beat Hunldeton 5-1.

The Vikings drew their opening league game with Carew before pushing Monmouth all the way in their FAW Trophy defeat the previous Saturday (Sept 11).

They opened the scoring after just three minutes as Leon Luby provided the assist for Jay Power to score.

It was 2-0 four minutes later as Luby again set up Justin Harding,

Ashley Bevan scored to make it 3-0 after 12 minutes and he got his second shortly after the half hour mark.

One of those included a bicycle kick from just inside the box as Hakin dominated and took their goals well with some individual brilliance.

It was a game of two halves as Hundleton battled back in the second half and they were rewarded for their play twenty minutes in.

Jack Blunsden grabbed the goal for the home side but it proved to be a consolation effort.

With thirteen minutes to go, Luby got his fourth assist of the game as he found Laurie Haworth who made it 5-1 to the Vikings.

On Saturday (Sept 25), Hakin visit Neyland while Hundleton are at home to St Ishmaels.

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Sport

Fishguard hold off Clarby for third win

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FISHGUARD kept up their winning start to the season as they beat Clarbeston Road 3-2 on Saturday (Sept 18).

They opened the scoring after 90 seconds as a free kick was floated into the box and when it wasn’t cleared the ball fell to Sean Seymour-Davies who crossed to the unmarked Keegan Summers to tap in at the far post.

Clarby looked to level the score but from an attack Fishguard broke and the ball was played in behind Tom Glover and Steve Lewis ran on to score in the right hand corner.

Glover was then penalised for bringing down Steve Lewis in the box and the referee pointed for a penalty. Niall Kinsella scored to make it 3-0 to Fishguard.

Ben John, Jake Booth and Steff Williams all had chances to score for Clarby who felt a little hard done by to find themselves 3-0 down at the break.

Clarby responded well in the second half and were able to pull two goals back.

A free kick was saved by the Fishguard keeper Dean Hopson but the ball was kept alive by Charlie George and he found Greg Brown who fired in from eight yards out.

They grabbed a second when Joules Ward’s cross was deflected in by the unlucky Pat Hughes as he attempted to clear.

Clarby continued to create chances, hitting the bar on one occasion, but they were unable to find an equaliser as Fishguard held on for the points.

Dean Hopson also made some good saves to keep his side ahead.

On Saturday (Sept 25), Fishguard host Narberth while Clarbeston Road host Monkton Swifts.

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Sport

Blues prove too strong for Llangwm

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HAVERFORDWEST proved too strong for old rivals Llangwm on Saturday (Sept 18), as they came away from Pill Parks with a 51-0 win.

The game was only a couple of minutes old when the first try came. Llangwm had a scrum inside their own half but a great push from the Blues saw them gain the ball.

Tom Carrington eventually peeled off to score and Mikey Jones added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Wasps fans could have been forgiven for fearing a repeat performance from the kick off as a knock on from the Blues gave the home side another scrum.

This time though, Llangwm were penalised for not setting up right and the Blue kicked to touch.

From the lineout the Blues again pushed for the line but Llangwm were again penalised for dragging down the maul.

The Blues went for touch again and from the resulting lineout they set up another maul, and this time Jamie Zambas went over to score. Jones’ conversion was wide and the score remained at 0-12.

Llangwm then enjoyed a good spell as they looked to get back in the game. A Blues infringement gave the Wasps a chance to kick to touch but the visitors did well to keep the ball in play.

However, they were penalised for being offside from the resulting clearing kick and Llangwm this time were able to find touch.

The Blues were able to win the lineout though and this time they cleared without any problems.

More tries followed from Jake Morgan and there was a double from Jonathan Mason as the Blues held a 29-0 lead at the break.

Matty Phillips scored early on in the second half but the Wasps enjoyed another good spell of pressure, twice coming close to scoring.

Kern Cunningham, Adam Williams and Jake Morgan added further tries to seal the win.

The win keeps them level on points with Neyland at the top of Bowl group H1 with the two sides playing each other on Saturday, October 2.

Llangwm’s next game sees them take on the Quins, also on October 2.

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