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West Wales Cup Final Preview: Merlins Bridge v Carew

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ON Tuesday, May 7, Merlins Bridge will take on Carew in the Final of the West Wales Cup Final at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

In a historic night, it will be the first all-Pembrokeshire final and both will be keen to follow in the footsteps of Goodwick United who won the trophy in 2018.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides this season with the most recent coming in the Senior Cup Final on April 20.

Carew took the lead in that game, only for the Bridge to come back with two late goals to seal the win.

It was another close game, much like their two league encounters and, now the league season has finished, it will be a battle between the team who finished second in Merlins Bridge and the team who finished fourth in the table.

Route to the final

Merlins Bridge began their run to the final with a 1-0 win away to Kilvey Fords in October with Will Haworth grabbing the only goal to send them through to round 2.

The Wizards were again drawn away from home to last season’s beaten finalists Penlan Club but they again came back with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Joe Leahy.

In the third round Merlins Bridge played Monkton Swifts and two goals from Nathan Greene and another from Leahy gave them a 3-0 win.

Leahy and Greene were at it again in the fourth round as they both scored to earn the Wizards a 2-1 win over Swansea side Llandarcy.

Merlins Bridge were drawn at home to Plough Colts in the last eight and earned a 5-2 win with Adam Hawkins scoring twice and other goals from Leahy, Greene and Dai Davies.

In the semi-final they took on rivals Hakin United in what turned out to be a thrilling game. Adam Hawkins levelled after Hakin had taken the lead and the game was forced into extra time.

Joe Leahy put the Wizards ahead only for Hakin to score again to score again and force the game into penalties. Gary Thomas was the hero for the Wizards saving the last penalty as they went through with an 8-7 shootout win.

Joe Leahy has scored in each round since the second round and having scored the two goals against them in the Senior Cup final, Carew will be well aware of his threat.

Having reached the last four last season, Carew received a bye for the first round and began their run to the final in round 2 where they were drawn away to Burry Port.

Two goals each from Jordan Richards and Scott Ferney and another from Lloyd Hughes saw them to a 5-2 win over the Carmarthenshire League Division 1 side.

In round three the Rooks took on Loughor Rovers and eased to an 8-0 win with Hughes scoring four and Jordan Richards scoring a hat trick. Ferney grabbed the other goal.

Shaun Whitfield, Sam Christopher, Scott Ferney and Jordan Richards each scored in round four to earn a 4-0 win for the Rooks away at Maltsters Sports.

In the last eight, Carew played Mumbles Rangers at home and they came from two goals down to win 3-2 with brothers Sam and Jack Christopher on the score sheet alongside Whitfield.

In the semi-final, Carew took on Giants Grave and they came from behind again with four first half goals to all but seal their passage.

Sam Christopher and Lloyd Hughes both scored twice in the game.

Christopher also scored against the Bridge in the Senior Cup Final and he along with the likes of Pembrokeshire League top scorer Jordan Richards and Scott Ferney will prove a big threat to the Wizards.

What the managers say

Merlins Bridge manager Matthew Divry told the Herald: “We trained on Wednesday at the Bridge Meadow which was a tactical session and we will be training on Saturday on the 4G surface at Caer Elen.

“We know the Liberty is a good surface so it was good to be able to train at these places.

“We haven’t done anything different, we’ve played a number of games recently so with the training we’ve had we’ll be ready to go on Tuesday.

“We’ve got a fully fit squad to choose from.

“We didn’t play to our full potential in the Senior Cup final so a lot of our training has been based on trying to get back to how we want to play.

“The Liberty is a big pitch and we are looking forward to it, it’s the first ever one for the club.

“We’ve got a few previous winners in our squad so we’re hoping those experiences will pay off for us.”

Carew manager Rob Scourfield said: “It’s a big game for the football club and we’re really, really looking forward to it. It’s the first time in the West Wales Cup Final so it will be a great occasion for the village and the club. We can’t wait.

“We played quite well in the Senior Cup Final in the but in the last ten minutes they were better than us.

“However, this is a totally different game and we’re just looking forward and concentrating on the game itself.

“We have a very similar squad to choose from that played in the Senior Cup Final and we have five subs this time so it will be good to get everybody involved.

“We’ve been watching Swansea at the Liberty, it’s a great stadium and it will be a great occasion, both for us and for Pembrokeshire Football.”

Sport

Harrison Allen: Herbie see off Llanrhian to go through

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HERBRANDSTON continued their good early season form as they booked their place in the quarter finals of the Harrison Allen Bowl on Tuesday night (May 24).

They beat Llanrhian by four wickets having bowled them out for just 92.

Charlie Malloy made the breakthrough for Herbie before Dean John bowled Jack Jones on a score of 10.

Nigel Delaney was then bowled by Malloy and Llanrhian were reduced to 34-3.

Jon Strawbridge and Iwan James then shared 35 runs for the fourth wicket as they looked to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

However, James was bowled by Kristian Bennett on a score of 18 and soon after Strawbridge was caught by Ben Aldred off the bowling of Harry Nicholas on a score of 16.

More wickets followed for Bennett who finished with excellent figures of 5-13.

Herbie lost a wicket early in reply but a second wicket stand of 49 between Jack and Harry Nicholas got their side moving.

Jack scored 36 but he was then trapped leg before by Gwynant Watson and soon after he also Harry caught on a score of 16.

Dean John was bowled by Tom Clarke before Kristian Bennett’s score of 15 took Herbie to within touching distance of their target.

Jonathan Bennett fell for a first ball duck to Clarke but Charlie Malloy finished unbeaten on 9 to see Herbie over the line.

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Sport

Carew book place in Harrison Allen quarter finals

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CAREW booked their place in the quarter finals of the Harrison Allen Bowl on Tuesday night (May 24) as they beat Saundersfoot by 22 runs.

Two of Division 1’s form teams met and they didn’t disappoint with over 350 runs scored on the night.

Carew won the toss and batted first and they were able to reach 187-8 off their 22 overs.

Tim Hicks and Nick Davies got their side off to a fine start with a first wicket stand of 98 runs.

Hicks his six fours and two sixes in his score of 53 but he was then caught by Scott Helmich off the bowling of Neil Powling.

Davies hit three fours and four sixes as he scored 54 but he saw himself caught by Yannic Parker off the bowling of Nav Kawale.

Luke Hicks did not last long in the middle as he was bowled by Powling as Carew were reduced to 122-3.

Rhys Davies and Ian Sefton then shared 49 runs for the fourth wicket as they took Carew’s score towards 200.

Saundersfoot began to hit back though as they had Davies out for a score of 23 before Sefton was caught by Tom Mansbridge off the bowling of John Mansbridge on a score of 22.

Mansbridge also bowled Simon Wood and Jack Franklin bowled James Hinchliffe.

That meant that Saundersfoot would need 188 to win the game and having chased down 198 against Cresselly at the weekend they would have been confident of doing so.

Tom Mansbridge and Scott Helmich opened up for the visitors and they shared 67 runs for the first wicket.

Shaun Whitfield made the breakthrough as he trapped Mansbridge leg before on a score of 42.

Soon after, Simon Wood bowled Helmich on a score of 24 and he then did the same to Sam Franklin.

Whitfield also claimed the wickets of John Mansbridge (19) and Jack Franklin (7) as Saundersfoot slipped to 108-5.

Wood then also bowled Dom Green to make it 115-6 but Yannic Parker and Danny Brace began to offer some resistance.

Parker was out to Wood on a score of 13 before Nav Kawale, who had hit a quick fire 17 was caught and bowled by James Hinchliffe.

Sam Harts bowled Tudor Hurle and Brace was run out on a score of 21 as Carew sealed victory.

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Sport

Kilgetty through to Harrison Allen quarter finals

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KILGETTY booked their place in the quarter finals of the Harrison Allen Bowl on Tuesday (May 24) as they beat Pembroke Dock by five wickets.

Kilgetty won the toss and chose to field and they were able to bowl the Dock out for 129 with three balls of their innings to spare.

The home side lost Scott Griffiths and Tom Grimwood early on, both on scores of 5 and both bowled by Richard Cope.

Jake Davies made a score of 19 but he was bowled by Anthony Bevan as the Dock slipped to 40-3.

Billy Wood and Archie Hillier-Wood then shared 45 runs for the fourth wicket.

Wood hit two fours and a six in his score of 26 but he was then bowled by Levi Hughes.

The wickets continued to fall as Hughes then had Jamie White caught by Ollie Gamble before Geoff Marsh stumped Rhys Daley to give Jack Tucker his first wicket of the night.

That left the Dock on 113-6 and it soon became 118-7 as Hillier-Wood, who had hit two fours in his score of 36, was bowled by Hughes.

Hughes and Josh Bevan then ran out Euan McDonald and Nick Daley respectively before Hughes claimed his fourth wicket of the night to finish with figures of 4-22.

Kilgetty celebrate another of their wickets

Toby Poole started well for the visitors as he hit five fours in a score of 23 from 13 balls.

He had seen fellow opener Tom Lewis depart after being caught off the bowling of Billy Wood before being bowled by Wood.

Jack Parkinson and Richard Cope took over and they shared 59 runs for the third wicket.

Cope hit three fours and a six in his score of 31 but he was then caught by Connor Carroll off the bowling of Nick Daley.

Jack Tucker was bowled by Euan McDonald for a duck and the same bowler then had Parkinson, who had hit four fours in a score of 38, caught by Scott Griffiths.

That left Kilgetty on 103-5 and they still needed to get 27 runs in the final three overs.

Josh Bevan and Ollie Gamble held their nerve as they three fours and two sixes between them to help their side into the last eight of the competition.

Bevan finished unbeaten on 16 from 12 balls (1 four, 1 six) while Gamble was not out on 14 from 6 balls (two fours, 1 six).

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