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Bluebirds seal vital win over Druids

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HAVERFORDWEST County ended Phase One of the JD Cymru Premier in perfect fashion with a 2-0 win over bottom side Cefn Druids at The Rock.

First-half goals from Alhagi Touray Sisay and Jack Wilson put the Bluebirds two to the good after just 18 minutes, with County controlling the ball throughout and creating numerous opportunities to extend their lead.

While the sides are only separated by one place in the league table, there was a noticeable difference in the way the two teams approached the game, with the Bluebirds confident to play through the thirds and attack whenever possible.

The victory is County’s first in the league since the end of October, when they beat Newtown 1-0 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow, and provides the team with a real morale boost heading into the start of Phase Two of the season.

In his first game in charge, manager Nicky Hayen made four changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Aberystwyth Town a fortnight ago, with Jazz Richards and Alaric Jones returning from injury, Kurtis Rees replacing Corey Shephard in midfield and Touray Sisay selected to partner Jordan Davies up top. Captain Dylan Rees missed the game through suspension, after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against Aber last time out.

County started the game on the front foot, and were rewarded for their positive intent when Elliot Scotcher’s free-kick from the right side found it’s way through to an unmarked Touray Sisay in the middle of the goal, and the striker tapped in from close range to give the Bluebirds the perfect start.

Hayen’s side only had to wait two minutes to double their lead. Touray Sisay offloaded the ball to Wilson just outside the area, and the wing-back took a couple of touches before firing a rocket of a shot into the top right corner, leaving goalkeeper Michael Jones with no chance.

There was one negative from a hugely encouraging first-half, with midfielder Kieran Lewis forced off after 37 minutes, with Ricky Watts coming on in his place.

Having been untroubled by the Druids attack in the first-half, County nearly gave the hosts a way back into the game when a stray pass inside their own penalty area handed possession to Niall Flint, but Lee Idzi did well to get down and save his shot from close range.

Keen to extend their advantage in the early stages of the second-half, the Bluebirds nearly made it 3-0 when Davies was freed down the left side by Watts, before he turned and chipped a cross into the area which picked out Touray Sisay, but his effort came back off the left post.

Despite this missed chance, the striker was having an impressive afternoon, and he continued to cause the Druids defence problems, with Flint and Phil Mooney both shown yellow cards in quick succession for fouls on the front man.

Shortly after replacing Richards, wing-back Ryan George had a chance to shoot from inside the area, but the Ancients defence were able to snuff out the danger just in time.

The final chance of note for the Bluebirds came with five minutes remaining, when Scotcher’s cross from the left side hit the crossbar and rebounded back into play, but the awaiting Jones couldn’t direct his header goalwards from a couple of yards out.

In stoppage time, Hayen handed debuts to Alex Worley and loanee Caleb Hughes, who joined the club in the January transfer window.

The victory sees the Bluebirds move to within one point of 10th placed Barry Town United, who lost 2-1 at home to Caernarfon Town.

Sport

Narberth hosts Under 8s Rugby festival

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ON a cold Sunday morning (Sept 25) with temperatures barely above 10 degrees and with occasional rain and drizzle to dampen things down, a lively bunch of parents and coaches were entertained by youngsters learning and honing their rugby skills at the Lewis Lloyd ground which is the home of Narberth rugby.

It was a Lovely festival at home for the U8s of Narberth RFC and the young Otters won all their games:

Narberth 6 Llangwm 2
Tries from: 

Joe H x2
Danny E x1
Frankie P x2
Morgan R x1

Narberth 5 St Davids 2
Tries:

Noah L x1
Joe H x2
Danny E x2

Narberth 5 Pembroke 1
Tries:

Noah L x 2
Frankie P x 2
Molly J x1

Narberth 6 Milford 1
Tries:

Noah L x1
Jac M x1
Joe H x 1
Danny E x 2
Arthur P x 1

All the young players, boys and girls in the mixed team, were very pleased to be sporting their new kit, sponsored by RTS Lime Conservation and Tlysau’r Mor.

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Sport

Narberth Athletic seal big win over Emlyn

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THIS was a game of two halves, with Narberth playing at home on a very cold Saturday (Sept 24).

The visitors caused Narberth all sorts of problems at the breakdown in a frustrating first half of 40 minutes, the home team conceded 14 penalties but scored one try through Ryan Scourfield. Half time score 7-3.

After a good half time team talk from coaches Matt Davies and James Merriman, Narberth came out in the second half with a bit more enthusiasm and started to play at their renowned fast-running tempo creating some quick ball for the backs to work off, soon the tries started to come, scoring five tries in a purple ten-minute patch through players Ryan Scourfield, Shane Rossiter, Jordie James and Will (Pop) Davies.

During the second half, with Ryan Scourfield going over for his hat trick, two more tries followed from outside centre Llew Jones and Owain Hughes finishing off a superb display of running rugby.

Llew Jones moves the ball on

Shane Rossiter added four conversions to take the tally over 50 points. The running and linking play of the Narberth backs outclassed the visitors who never managed to breakdown the Narberth defence so they were unable to score any tries throughout the game.

Man of the match was awarded to flanker No 6 Jack Tucker on his first game back after a spell in Tenby.

A large crowd turned out to watch the squad and were well entertained. They enjoyed a social gathering in the clubhouse afterwards to finish the day off.

Sadly, one of the substitutes of the Newcastle Emlyn team, No. 6 Flanker Shaun Hawkins, suffered a leg and groin injury five minutes into the second half so he was taken to Withybush Hospital for a review. Narberth RFC wish him a speedy recovery.

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Sport

Narberth hold on for thrilling win over Bedwas

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NARBERTH travelled to Bedwas on Saturday (Sept 24) and came away with an excellent win at a ground where they hadn’t won for many years.

The young Otters team started well and within minutes a break from the base of a Narberth scrum led to centre Ilan Phillips sprinting in near the posts for a try which was converted by fly half Ianto Griffiths (0-7).

Shortly afterwards swift passing of the ball along the Narberth back line resulted in wing Josh Davies scoring in the corner. The try went unconverted (0-12).

Bedwas got themselves back into the game when the Bedwas scrum half took a quick penalty five metres from the Narberth line and scored under the posts. The Bedwas fly half converted to make the score 7-12.

Both teams attempted to run the ball at every opportunity but defences held firm until the ball unexpectedly popped out of the back of the Bedwas scrum and flanker Tom Powell was on hand to receive a pass and charge downfield. He raced a full 50 yards with no-one able to catch him until he reached the Bedwas try line and scored under the posts. Griffiths converted (7-19).

Then just before the break Bedwas were guilty of holding onto the ball on the ground and Griffiths kicked the penalty to make the half time score 7-22.

In the second half Bedwas came out far more determined and the Otters were forced to defend for long periods close to their try line. Eventually the Bedwas openside flanker raced over to score in the corner. The conversion attempt failed (12-22).

Within minutes Bedwas had scored again when from a lineout on the Narberth 5 metre line a rolling maul enabled the Bedwas hooker to score a try wide out and the conversion attempt was successful (19-22).

The Otters were now under constant pressure and the home crowd were jubilant when a further try was scored in the corner by the Bedwas right wing which was again converted to put the home team in the lead for the first time in the match by 26 points to 22.

However Narberth refused to give up and with ten minutes remaining they managed to score their fourth try when Josh Davies beat his man along the left touchline and passed inside to his supporting scrum half Lewys Gibby who scored the winning try wide out. The conversion attempt failed but the Otters held out for the remaining minutes to win an exciting and enthralling match 26-27.

After the match coach Sean Gale said: “I’m very pleased to come away with a win. We had 7 players in the squad today who were under 23 years of age and as a coaching team we feel we are doing our best to develop the young players in the area which augurs well for the future of the Club.”

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