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Wizards hold their nerve to reach final

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MERLINS Bridge are through to the final of the West Wales Cup for the first time after they beat Hakin United 8-7 on penalties at the Bridge Meadow on Tuesday night (Mar 26).

A big crowd gathered for the game and they witnessed another classic as Merlins Bridge came from behind to lead in extra time, only for a Justin Harding penalty to level matters and force more spot kicks.

Sadly for Hakin, Jimmy Walker saw his penalty saved by Bridge keeper Gary Thomas and the Wizards celebrated another excellent win.

Both sides had chances to go ahead early on as Harding saw an effort saved before Laurie Haworth saw his effort bounce out off the bar.

Midway through the half it was the Vikings who took the lead as Nicky Woodrow’s stunning effort left Thomas with no chance.

Haworth came close to finding an equaliser when he was played through but Hakin keeper James Manson did well to come out and deny him.

The Bridge came close again but when the half time whistle went it was still the Vikings who held the advantage.

In the second half the Wizards started well as they looked to get back into the game with both Leahy and Haworth coming close.

The Vikings responded and had a good spell of pressure but were unable to add to their lead.

Then with just over twenty minutes to go, Leahy sent a free kick into the box and Adam Hawkins rose highest to head home and make it 1-1.

Five minutes later the Wizards nearly took the lead when Leahy was played through but Manson made a good save to keep the scores level.

Harding then came close for the Vikings but his shot was again saved by Thomas.

Neither side were able to find a late winner and it meant that extra time would be needed.

Six minutes into extra time Merlins Bridge gained the advantage as Leahy was played in and he calmly slotted in.

Woodrow then crossed for Hakin but the Wizards were able to clear before Harding could poke the ball in.

They then had a free kick which Ryan Wilson sent into the box but Shane Walsh’s effort came back off the post.

In the second period of extra time, Hakin almost equalised but Thomas made a good save to tip Bradley Barrett’s shot over the bar.

Just as it looked like the Wizards would see the game out, Hakin were awarded a penalty. Justin Harding held his nerve to score and keep his side in the West Wales Cup.

There was little time left and it meant that the sides would need to be separated by a penalty shoot out.

Greene and Laurie Haworth scored early for the Bridge while Woodrow and Harding replied for Hakin.

After ten penalties it was 5-5 with neither side putting a foot wrong.

It was now into sudden death and Andrew John and Alex Ouzman both scored their respective penalties to make it 7-7.

Gethin Roberts then scored for the Bridge but Hakin’s Jimmy Walker saw his spot kick saved by Thomas sparking wild celebrations amongst the Bridge players and coaches.

It means a first West Wales Cup Final appearance for the Wizards and it could be an all Pembrokeshire final if Carew beat Giants Grave in the other semi tonight (Mar 27).

The final will take place at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday, May 7.

Sport

Lawrenny through in Village Cup

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LAWRENNY are through to the next round of the Village Cup after they beat Llandysul on Sunday (May 9).

Both teams were rained off the previous day but some good work meant that the game was able to go ahead.

Llandysul batted first but were bowled out for 82 in 26.3 overs as Jamie Lewis took five wickets for the visitors.

He went on to finish with figures of 5-22 from his seven overs while the home side’s top scorer was captain Llew Hughes who made a score of 20.

Lawrenny did not have it all their own way in their reply as Rhys Jones bowled well to finish with figures of 3-10.

However, an excellent knock of 52 from Harry Thomas steered Lawrenny to their target inside the 24th over.

Elsewhere, Carew’s game away at Drefach was called off while Cresselly had already received a bye to the next round.

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Lawrenny earn big win over Whitland

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LAWRENNY got their 2021 season off to the perfect start on Saturday (May 1) as they beat Whitland by 189 runs.

Whitland won the toss and elected to field but they could only watch as the home side piled on the runs before being bowled out for 264.

Kyle Marsh top scored with a score of 81 while Kurtis Mars also scored 45.

Tom Cole added 32 and James Phillips chipped in with a score of 29 as they batted well.

Wayne Howells and Jonathan Thomas finished with identical figures of 2-27 as Whitland’s bowling did at least keep the score below 300.

Whitland knew they would need to bat well to knock off the runs needed but came up against Ryan Morton who took four wickets for the loss of 17 runs.

Kurtis Marsh also claimed two wickets without conceding any runs as the visitors chances got smaller and smaller.

Geraint Jones did score 30 for Whitland but that was as good as it got as they were bowled out for just 75.

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Town earn comfortable win against Narberth

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HAVERFORDWEST got their season off to a good start on Saturday (May 1) as they beat Narberth by by 104 runs.

Narberth won the toss but elected to field first which would ultimately be a decision that would come back to haunt them.

The Town almost reached 200 runs, finishing their innings on 187-8.

Dai Davies top scored for the home side with a knock of 70 which included six fours and one six. He shared a third wicket stand of 49 with Mickey Jones.

Jones hit five fours in his knock of 46 before being caught off the bowling of Louis Hough.

Ben Hughes then had Ben Field caught by Hough to leave Town on 86-4.

Davies was joined in the middle by Jake Merry and the pair shared another good stand, worth 74 runs for the fifth wicket.

However, Merry fell for 32 and soon after Davies was out on 70 as Narberth hit back.

Ben Quartermaine picked up two late wickets as they were able to restrict their hosts to under 200.

Narberth’s opening pair shared 36 runs as they made a good start to their innings but wickets began to fall in quick succession and the 2019 Division 2 Champions were soon 36-4.

Jordan Howell scored 18 but he was his side’s top scorer as Will Phillips took four wickets for the loss of 15 runs for Town.

Ben Quartermaine scored 17 but he fell to Clive Tucker who went on to finish with figures of 3-15.

There was also two wickets for Dai Davies as Town bowled Narberth out for just 83.

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