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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

Cresselly hold off Llangwm to reach Harrison Allen semis

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CRESSELLY made it through to the semi-finals of the Harrison Allen Bowl on Tuesday night (Jun 22) as they beat Llangwm by three runs.

The visitors batted first and made a good score of 165-5 from their 22 overs.

Llangwm won the toss and elected to field but they saw Cresselly openers Dan Sutton and Alex Bayley share 43 runs for the first wicket.

Bayley departed as he was caught by Phil Llewellyn off the bowling of Noah Davies on a score of 17.

Sutton was joined by Iwan Izzard and the pair shared an excellent second-wicket stand worth 96 runs.

Both reached their half centuries in that stand but it was eventually broken by Chris Inward who had Izzard caught by Richard Brock.

Izzard had thumped four fours and five sixes in his score of 59 from just 37 balls.

Llangwm began to hit back as Joe Phillips had Ryan Lewis caught by Joe Kiff and Sutton was then run out.

Sutton hit five fours and two sixes in his score of 57 and his wicket left the score on 158-4.

Dan Sutton is run out by Ollie Davies

Matthew Morgan made a late score of 15 but he was bowled by Phillips as Llangwm gave themselves a target of 166 to win the game.

Their reply did not get off to the best of starts though as Joe Kiff was caught by Matthew Morgan off the bowling of Tom Murphy.

Phil Llewellyn and Steven Mills shared 24 runs for the second wicket but Ryan Lewis had Llewellyn stumped by Neilson Cole on a score of 20.

Mills made a score of 18 but he was bowled by Charlie Arthur as Llangwm slipped to 67-3.

Luke Brock and Matthew Kiff then shared 68 runs for the fourth wicket to keep Llangwm very much in the game.

Brock smashed his way to a score of 59 from 27 balls with three fours and five sixes but he was caught by Tom Arthur off the bowling of Lewis.

There was some big hitting in the Llangwm innings but they fell just short

Kiff hit six fours and two sixes in a score of 41 from 24 balls as the home side looked to bring the required run rate down.

However, Kiff was then bowled by Tom Arthur to reduce Llangwm to 148-5.

Chris Inward took the score to 155 with a maximum but he was bowled on the next ball by Charlie Arthur.

He did the same to Richard Brock soon after and when Tom Murphy had Noah Davies caught by Tom  Arthur, Llangwm’s chances of victory had all but gone.

With the score on 158-8, Ollie Davies could only add four more to the total meaning Cresselly were victorious by just three runs.

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Sport

Herbie see off Kilgetty

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HERBRANDSTON moved up to fourth place in Division 2 on Saturday (Jun 19) as they beat Kilgetty by ten wickets.

Kilgetty batted first after Herbie won the toss but they were bowled out for only 74.

Paul Nicholas was the pick of the bowlers for the home side as he finished with figures of 4-19.

Charlie Malloy also bowled well to finish with figures of 3-7.

Ollie Gamble scored 15 and Martin Lewis added 14 for Kilgetty but they were unable to cope with Herbie’s bowling.

In reply, Harry Nicholas finished not out on 28 while Jonty Bennet finished unbeaten on 36 as they cruised to victory.

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Sport

Lamphey seal first win of the season

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LAMPHEY earned their first win of the season on Saturday (Jun 19) as they beat Hook by twenty runs.

Lamphey won the toss and batted first and despite some good scores they were bowled out for 158.

Peter McGilloway top scored with 47 and Nic Shelmerdine added 37 for the visitors.

Aled Phelps bowled well as he finished with figures of 5-34 while Brennan Martin (2-14) also claimed two wickets.

In reply, Jake Wicks scored 38 and Owen Phelps scored 30 but Lamphey were able to take wickets at regular intervals.

Aled Phelps also scored 22 but three wickets for McGilloway (3-26) and two for David Blackwell (2-37) helped Lamphey bowl Hook out for 138.

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