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Bridge taste West Wales Cup glory

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MERLINS Bridge won the West Wales Cup on Tuesday night (May 7) as they beat Carew 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea in an exciting clash.

It was the first time both sides had reached the final and the first ever all-Pembrokeshire final and both were keen to put on a show for the good crowd in attendance.

Both have had excellent runs to the final with Merlins Bridge earning a narrow win against last season’s runners up Penlan Club while Carew have come from behind in two separate games.

Anticipation grew ahead of the match as Carew and Merlins Bridge named strong sides.

For many of the Carew side it was a first taste of the West Wales Cup Final while three members of the Merlins Bridge squad won the cup with Johnston a few years ago.

Merlins Bridge came from behind to beat Carew in the Senior Cup Final in April while their two league encounters finished in a draw and a 3-1 win for the Wizards.

There was a scare for the Rooks with only a minute on the clock as Scott Richards overcooked his back pass and keeper Tom Davies could only kick the ball out of play.

It was Carew who had the first chance as Iwan Izzard won the ball in midfield and passed to Jordan Richards on the edge of the box who wriggled his way past a couple of defenders before shooting just wide of the goal.

Merlins Bridge’s Dai Davies was shown the first yellow of the evening as he brought down Shaun Whitfield but the free kick came to nothing.

Carew again came close as Sam Christopher found Pembrokeshire League top scorer Jordan Richards in the box but he took a touch before seeing his shot saved. He then poked the rebound towards goal but the ball was cleared off the line by a combination of Bridge defenders.

With ten minutes gone, Shaun Whitfield took a throw which came back to him and he crossed into the box but Richards saw his header saved by Gary Thomas.

Carew would have been regretting those missed chances two minutes later as, from a Carew corner, the ball was cleared to Adam Hawkins who found Laurie Haworth on the right and he crossed to the back post for Hawkins to half volley in.

The Rooks were given a free kick just inside the D moments after but Jack Christopher saw his effort hit the wall and his follow up go over the bar.

Joe Leahy then saw a shot saved while Lloyd Hughes saw a shot go wide for Carew.

Alex Bayley then played in Lloyd Hughes and he fired low into the net for a deserved goal to bring the Rooks level.

Hughes then crossed into the box towards the back post but keeper Thomas fumbled the ball, allowing Richards a shot but he was equal to it to keep the scores level.

The Wizards were then given a free kick near the half way line which Leahy sent towards goal and his cross had to be turned over by the Carew keeper.

With just over half an hour gone, Carew’s Jack Christopher was shown a yellow for a foul on Leahy, giving the Wizards a free kick on the edge of the box. Leahy stood over it but saw his effort blocked over the bar.

There was a blow for Carew shortly before half time as Lloyd Hughes had to go off injured and he was replaced by Scott Ferney.

With two minutes to go until half time Sam Christopher crossed into the box for Richards but his shot was blocked with claims of handball waved away.

The half time whistle went with the sides still locked at 1-1 with everything still to play for in the second half.

At the start of the second half Sam Christopher flashed a cross towards goal which bounced out off the angle of post and crossbar.

Zac Rowell then made his way into the box but after he went down he was shown a yellow card for diving.

Nathan Greene then came close for the Wizards but his strong shot was turned over the bar.

Jack Christopher then crossed into the box for Richards but his header was straight at Gary Thomas.

Matthew Divry then crossed from the right for Joe Leahy just inside the box but he flashed a shot just over the bar.

With just over an hour gone Adam Hawkins won the ball back from Jack Christopher and he went on to slot the ball into the bottom left corner to give the Wizards the lead again.

Insult was added to injury for Christopher as he had to go off to be replaced by Max Brindley.

Iwan Izzard then came close to bringing Carew level again but his curling effort was saved by Gary Thomas.

Hawkins was denied the chance of a hat trick as he was then replaced by Will Haworth with fifteen minutes to go.

With nine minutes to go the Bridge made it 3-1 as Ashley Beck played a nice one-two with Nathan Greene and the former finished in similar fashion to team mate Hawkins with the ball going in off the boot of the Carew keeper.

With four minutes to go Carew won a corner which fell to Tom Grover but he fired over the bar.

Both sides made a number of substitutions with Joe Leahy seeing yellow for his slow walk off late on.

The Wizards saw the game out to seal their first ever West Wales Cup win.

After the match, two goal hero Adam Hawkins said: “It’s amazing, it’s my second time winning it, we’ve got an amazing group of lads here.

“We were unlucky with the league but to come away with the Senior Cup and the West Wales Cup this season, you couldn’t ask for much more really.

“They are a quality side and we knew it would be a close game but on the balance of play I think we deserved it.”

Merlins Bridge manager Matthew D’Ivry added: “I am delighted, this group of players deserve it for the hard work and commitment they have shown. We’ve had tough draws in the cup this season but that hard work has paid off.

“Carew are a really good side and we knew they were going to have a good spell in the game. Gary Thomas made a few good saves and towards the end of the first half we started playing our football.

“At half time we were confident that if we came out and started well we would get the right result.”

The two sides also drew praise from Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb who tweeted: “Congratulations to Merlins Bridge for winning the West Wales Cup at the Liberty Stadium. Comiserations to Carew but great to have two Pembrokeshire teams in the final.”

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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