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West Wales Cup: First round preview

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THIS Saturday the West Wales Cup gets underway once more with teams hopeful of a successful run to the Liberty Stadium for the final.

Merlins Bridge are the holders after they beat Carew in the final earlier this year and both have been given byes into the second round this season.

Last year marked the first time that two Pembrokeshire sides reached the final but will that happen again or will another team look to bring the county’s recent dominance to an end.

Goodwick United, Hakin United, Kidwelly Town and Tumble United are some of the other sides to receive byes to the second round.

Pembrokeshire League Champions Monkton Swifts begin their campaign away to Carmarthenshire Premier Division side Loughor Rovers.

The Swifts have made an unbeaten start to their league campaign while the Rovers have four wins from their opening seven games.

Carmarthenshire Premier League champions Trallwm host Swansea Division 1 side Penclawdd.

Both sides have had mixed starts to their season and will be keen to get their cup run going.

Neath League Division 1 side Cilfrew Rovers are the visitors to Fishguard on Saturday with both sides enjoying a good start to their respective seasons.

Clarbeston Road host Swansea League Division 2 side Cwmfelin Press and Neath Division 1 side Resolven are the visitors to Haverfordwest Cricket Club.

Pembrokeshire Division 2 side Herbrandston host Carmarthenshire Premier side Pengelli United.

Herbie have just one league win to their name so far this season while Pengelli have four wins from their opening seven games.

Swansea Division 1 outfit Morriston Town will visit Division 2 Hundleton in what will be a good test for the Pembrokeshire side.

Neyland host Neath Division 2 side Clydach Sports having sealed their first win of the season last weekend.

In two Pembrokeshire versus Carmarthenshire league ties, Letterston are at home to Evans and Williams while Pennar Robins host Dafen.

Dafen are second in Division 1 while the Robins are without a win so far this season.

Elsewhere, Kilgetty travel to Celtic Neath while Lawrenny travel to Bryn.

Division 2 Carmarthenshire side Abergwili host Division 1 FC Carmarthen while Carmarthen Town United host Wern.

Bancffosfelen were heavily beaten at the weekend and they will look to put that result behind them when they travel to Bonymaen Colts.

Premier Division Burry Port host Swansea League Division 3 side Cwm Albion Colts.

Photo by Darren Harries

Bwlch have only had one win in the league this season and they host Neath Premier Division side FC Clydach who themselves only have two wins to their name so far.

Carmarthen Stars host Pontardawe while Pembrey host Cambrian.

Felinfoel earned a win in their last game in Division 1 and they go up against Carmarthen Premier side Pontarddulais.

Trostre are also at home as they take on Jersey Marine while Seaside travel to Sandfields.

St Ishmaels are away as they take on Gorseinon Athletic, Milford United travel to Murton Rovers and Narberth host Ynystawe.

Good luck to all sides involved.

Sport

Saints get back to winning ways

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ST CLEARS got back to winning ways in Division 2 on Saturday (Jan 15) as they beat Merlins Bridge seconds 4-1.

They were beaten by leaders Kilgetty in their last game before Christmas and they were keen to avoid another defeat against the side that sat just one place below them in the table.

The game started off frantically with lots of errors from both teams but after 15 minutes, both started to settle and the chances began to come.

The first fell to St Clears with Nathan Evans, after good link up play with Steve Thomas, who was through on goal but he dragged his shot wide.

Will Evans, who was busy on the wing for St Clears, then managed to beat the oncoming defender but his shot was at the keeper.

From this Bridge set up a counter attack and moved the ball well up to the strikers and a pinpoint cross found the head of Ryan Doyle who made no mistake from 8 yards out to put the hosts 1-0 up.

After the goal, St Clears began to find their rhythm, again mounting attack after attack and seeing a fair amount of possession.

There were chances for Will Evans, Josh Jones and a flurry of corners but the away side could not convert.

Bridge however, were proving dangerous on the counter and had two opportunities themselves to extend their lead which were snuffed out by the away defence and keeper Jason Jones.

Into the second half and it started very much like the first half ended.

St Clears went straight on the attack, playing their short, sharp passing game and began to create chances. Will Evans again had three early shots but Dan Birch the Merlins Bridge keeper was resolute and holding firm.

It was on around 60 minutes when a wide free kick was whipped into the box and challenged for by Nick Squire, that the ball fell and was coolly finished by Steve Thomas to bring the score to 1-1.

After this period Bridge began to get a bit more of the ball and started to form some of their own attacking play, however nothing significant to concern the away keeper, as the defence in front of him stood strong.

Around 70 minutes in and another excellent pass from Nathan Evans found Thomas again on the edge of the box, who brought the ball down on his left and thundered a half volley into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 to the away side.

Not long after this, Thomas again picked up the ball after a neat flick from Josh Jones and ran at the Bridge defence, Thomas then returned the favour to Josh Jones who went on to finish and make it 3-1.

Finally, around 85 minutes in, substitute Dorian Davies whipped in a long cross from wide and the ever alert Thomas ran in at the back post to secure a hat trick and a 4-1 win for the Saints. 

The win moves the Saints up to third, two points behind the top two with four games in hand.

On Saturday, January 22, St Clears host Johnston while Merlins Bridge seconds host Hakin United seconds.

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Pennar and Neyland share the points

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PENNAR Robins and Neyland settled for a point on Saturday (Jan 15) as their game at Bush Camp ended 2-2.

It was just over a month since both sides last played a game and Neyland welcomed back some absentees.

Pennar went in to the game on the back of two defeats (one in the league and one in the Senior Cup) while Neyland had suffered three straight league defeats.

The game was just six minutes old when Pennar took the lead as Nick Willis scored.

However two quick goals from Neyland turned the game on its head.

Mike Chandler levelled for the visitors and just two minutes later Max Bowman-Davies put Neyland ahead.

The action was not over though as Pennar hit back eight minutes before the break when Jack Phillips scored.

Both sides made changes in the second half in a bid to search for the winner but it remained 2-2 until the final whistle.

Neyland were pleased to pick up the point and will now look to start building some momentum and climb away from the bottom two.

On Saturday, January 22, Neyland travel to Monkton Swifts while Pennar are away to Narberth.

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Sport

Vikings see off Monkton

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HAKIN United picked up another win on Saturday (Jan 15) as they beat Monkton Swifts 3-1.

It was a physical encounter with both sides giving their all.

The Vikings took the lead after fourteen minutes as Camron Thomas crossed into the box and Mark Jones headed in to the top corner.

The visitors continued to create chances with Ben Aldred shooting wide while Shane Walsh volleyed over.

They held on to their lead until half time but they scored again on the hour mark.

Leon Luby whipped a cross into the box for Shane Walsh to knock in at the back post.

Monkton pulled a goal back just four minutes later as they broke from defence before the ball was played through for Dylan Davies who smashed an effort in off the underside of the bar.

The Swifts pushed for an equaliser but became susceptible to a counter attack.

With fifteen minutes to go Camron Thomas played the ball up to Ashley Bevan who held the ball before finding Luby who then beat two defenders before firing into the bottom right corner.

On Saturday, January 22, Hakin are at home to Hundleton while Monkton host Neyland.

Monkton Swifts: Taylor Gullam, Chris Richards, Rhodri Davies, Josh Richards, Shaun Donohoe, Declan Carroll, Blake James, Tom Powell, Dylan Davies, Jamie Wilkes, Jason Finnegan. Subs: Gareth Finnegan, Jack Clarke, Martyn Carroll.

Hakin United: Sam Franklin, Jake Merry, Camron Thomas, Jay Power, Mark Jones, Craig Nicholson, Justin Harding, Ben Aldred, Shane Walsh, Leon Luby, Jack Britton. Subs: Ryan Wilson, Laurie Haworth, Ashley Bevan.

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