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Senior Cup Final Preview: Carew v Merlins Bridge

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Carew v Merlins Bridge

Senior Cup Final: Bridge Meadow, Haverfordwest, 2:30pm

ON Saturday (Apr 20), Merlins Bridge take on Carew in the final of the Senior Cup at the Bridge Meadow in Haverfordwest.

In the first of a final double-header, both sides will be doing all they can to get the upper hand and lift the trophy.

The two sides will also meet at the beginning of May in the West Wales Cup Final at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

Meetings between the two sides have been close this season with Merlins Bridge earning a 3-1 win at the Racecourse in November while their game finished 2-2 in Carew in January.

Winners: Merlins Bridge celebrate their 2017 victory

Both sides have had a fantastic season with only three losses between them and they currently sit second and third in the Division 1 table.

The Wizards are aiming to claim the League title as well while Carew are also only three points behind the leaders with a game left to play.

Merlins Bridge won the Senior Cup in 2017 and they will be looking to get their hands on the trophy once again.

The Rooks last won the Cup in 1986 and having last reached the final in 2005, they will be keen to make a new piece of history for the club.

Route to the final

The Wizards began their cup run with a comfortable 10-0 win over Cosheston in the first round with Adam Hawkins scoring five times.

They then beat Herbrandston 5-1 in the second round with Hawkins again on target twice with other goals from Nathan Greene, Joe Leahy and Ashley Beck.

In the quarter final they were pitted against rivals Hakin United but the Wizards went through with a 3-2 win at the Racecourse after Nathan Greene scored twice.

They then took on Monkton Swifts at the Bridge Meadow in the semi-final and earned a 3-0 win thanks to goals from Adam Hawkins, Laurie Haworth and Nathan Greene.

Scott Ferney: Scored in each round of the Cup for Carew

Carew began their route to the final with a 2-1 win over Johnston in the first round thanks to two goals from Scott Ferney.

The second round saw them win 4-1 away at Narberth with Jordan Richards scoring twice and Ferney again on target.

They earned a similarly comfortable 7-1 win over Solva in the last eight with Richards scoring a hat trick. Ferney also scored with other goals coming from Iwan Izzard, Sean Whitfield and Lloyd Hughes.

They then played Pennar Robins in the semi-final, also at the Meadow, and earned a 3-1 to book their place in the final. Sam Christopher, Sean Whitfield and Scott Ferney were all on target for the Rooks.

What the managers say

Merlins Bridge boss Matthew Divry told the Herald: “We’re looking forward to it, it’s a game between two very good sides and it should be a good game.

We are more than confident, we’ve been turning up in the big games and we’ve got a wealth of experience in the squad.

Not many of their players have won or played in the Senior Cup Final but it’s all on the day.

We have a confident dressing room and a full squad to choose from and it’s the first of four big games for us. Both sides are evenly matched.”

Carew manager Rob Scourfield told the Herald: “We’re really excited, two of the boys have been in a final before but it will be a completely new thing for the others but we’re really looking forward to it and we have a full squad to choose from.

Our games against the Bridge have been the toughest we’ve faced this season, they are really well-drilled and have lots of experience.

We’re the top goal scorers in Division 1 so we have a goal threat from everywhere and I’m hoping the boys will be on form.

We know they are strong at the back, I have been impressed with their wide players as well and Joe Leahy is up there as one of the best strikers in Pembrokeshire so he is a massive threat, he hit a hat trick against us so we are well aware of that.

It should be a nice day and I hope it’s a really good game of football. Both sides respect each other and it should be a good advert for Pembrokeshire football.”

Sport

Fox’s Clarby win nine goal thriller

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Clarby came out on top of a nine goal thriller at Neyland on Saturday. The result means that Clarby remain in 3rd whilst Neyland will now be relegated to the second division.

The visitors started the better and 7 minutes in Laurie Howarth scored directly from a corner. However Neyland came back flying and started to cause problems for the away team.

There was then two goals in five minutes. The first Ben Gale nipped in between the Clarby’s centre backs to slot home and minutes later it was 2-1 as a deep cross evaded Clarby defence and Leo Power slid in to give the home side the lead.

After 32 mins Ben ‘Rocky’ John beat a defender at the left of the box and his outside of the foot effort went found its way in to make it all square again.

Some great play by Wood and Matthew Davies down the Clarby right hand side meant the latter crossed for Howarth to head home his second goal of the afternoon advantage visitors.

Haworth then completed his hat trick to make it 4-2 Clarby and it seemed the madness was over for the first half. However there was time for another goal as a wicked cross from Harry Young was deflected off the head of Rheinallt George into his own net for 4-3 at the oranges.

Seven goals in the first half, however the second half saw the game settle down well a little bit.

Laurie Haworth scored at the far post, Matthew Davies again the provider and it looked like Clarby would roll home. But Mikey Chandler scored in the 89th minute, a deft chip from all of 30 years an over Sam Edge in goal.

Despite a late push from the hosts it finished 5-4 to the visitors and it’ll be second division football for Neyland next season.

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Carew stun Robins late on

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Milford United went into this fixture with five key players missing from the squad which allowed some 2nd team players to step into Steve Parks squad to face a Carew side that has been in good form.

The weather and pitch was good and the game kicked off with both teams playing some good football. It was a mistake from the Robins which would allow Carew to score on the 17th minute. The goal came through Griffiths who picked up a short pass and carried the ball and slotted it past the robins keeper, Milford dusted themselves down and played some good penetrating football down both wings through Tyler Sheil & Cameron Lees, it was lees who equalised on the 28th minute. Milford played some nice one two football on the right and Lees finished it off with a good finish.

Milford finished the half the strongest and should of taken the lead when Scott Reid broke the offside trap and was through one on one with the Carew keeper but his shot was pared away by the keeper.

The second half started with Carew pressing looking to dominate the play. Both sides had half chances and on the 75th minute Milford’s Morgan Picton released Reid who made no mistake rounding the keeper to put the Robins 2-1 up.

Robins manager Steve Parks thought at the 83rd minute that the win in the bag but Carew had other ideas and equalised through J. Hinchcliffe to level it at 2-2, in hind site a draw would have been a fair result for both managers.

Milford switched off and allowed Carew to score a third on the 87th minute and again at 90+4 leaving Parks absolutely stunned how Milford were winning 2-1 and gave is away in a lack lustre 10 minutes.

As the season draws to an end The Robins will be happy with their first season back in Div 1 and Carew look forward to their Senior cup Semi final against Clarbeston Road on Saturday.

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Johnston Reserves win nine goal thriller

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Division 5 promotion chasers Johnston 2nds visited bottom of the table Cosheston 2nds in what should have been a routine victory for the visiting team.

On a pitch that looked like it had cattle grazing just a few hours previously, both teams started in an attacking fashion with the young Johnston forward line causing no end of trouble for the experienced Cosh defence.

In a game that could have gone either way, Cosh took an early lead through Rhys Griffiths, before a succession of chances were missed for both teams.

Johnston were playing well and their equaliser came in the 25th minute after good play by Alfie Crawford, who was using his pace to create havoc across the front line. Johnston took the lead a short time later through Crawford, after great work by the experienced Ashley Bevans and went further ahead a few moments later.

3-1 at half time in a highly entertaining game.

The second half started as the first half had finished, with both teams going for an all out attack mentality, and Cosheston got themselves back into the match in the 52nd minute and their constant attacking, combined with a little uncertainty in the Johnston defence, saw them equalise in the 53rd minute.

At this stage, the scoreline was 3-3 but could easily have been 6-6 and that was added to even further just a minute later, when Johnston retook the lead through Pete Donnelly!

Some game at The Playing Fields!!

Johnston made a tactical change with a view of firming up their defence with Squashie coming on for Liam Brown, and he made a positive impact ensuring the defence was communicating more, making it more difficult for the Cosheston strikers.

The visiting team scored two late goals to finish as 6-3 winners, but the game was exceptionally entertaining and on another day Cosheston would easily have come out on top.

Cosheston have had a tough season in many ways, but it was lovely to see the club stick together, and with some players coming back from injury hopefully they can build on this year and have a better season next.

Johnston continue to be a threat to all teams and now hope to push on and gain promotion.

Huge credit to both clubs for playing in a respectful manner throughout and referee Marty Jones praised both clubs in his post match Facebook post.

A credit to Pembs Div 5, good luck to Johnston in their promotion push.

Cosheston 3-6 Johnston.

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