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Bluebirds begin second phase with important win

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ALHAGI Touray Sisay’s goal two minutes into the second-half was enough to give Haverfordwest County an important 1-0 win over 10-man Barry Town United in our opening game of Phase Two in the JD Cymru Premier.

After a relatively even first-half at a sun-drenched Jenner Park, the striker found the net from a tight angle shortly after the interval, and it proved to be the winning goal as County recorded consecutive victories in the league for the first time this season.

The hosts had opportunities to level the scoring, and thought they had done so when Clayton Green’s header from close range was pushed onto the crossbar by the impressive Lee Idzi, with the officials ruling that the ball had not crossed the line.

This victory sees the Bluebirds leapfrog the Dragons into ninth place in the standings, three points behind Cardiff Metropolitan in seventh – who currently occupy top spot in the Play-Off Conference.

Manager Nicky Hayen made three changes to the side that beat Cefn Druids 2-0 last week, with captain Dylan Rees returning from suspension while Corey Shephard and Ricky Watts came into the midfield in place of Kurtis Rees and the injured Kieran Lewis.

The first opportunity of the game fell County’s way. Dylan Rees’ ball over the top picked out Touray Sisay, but the striker saw his shot from inside the area saved by Kelland Absalom.

The Bluebirds had been on the front foot in the opening 15 minutes, but they had to be alert defensively when Jordan Cotterill found space before seeing his shot blocked by Elliot Scotcher.

County’s best opportunity of the half fell to Jordan Davies. After squick interplay in the attacking third, the ball was worked to the unmarked striker on the right side of thee area, but his shot was parried onto Touray Sisay by Absalom, before rebounding back into his grasp.

On the half hour mark, Idzi pulled off an excellent diving save to deny Rhys Abbruzzese’s speculative effort from distance, before getting down well to save Rhys Kavanagh’s shot from close range shortly after as the team’s went into the break level at 0-0.

However, a matter of minutes after the restart, the Bluebirds countered at pace before the excellent Shephard slid a through ball into the path of Touray Sisay, which he calmly slotted between the legs of Absalom to give County the lead.

This goal gave Hayen’s side confidence, as they continued to be on the front foot and looked the likelier team to find the second goal of the afternoon.

But just before the hour mark, the Linnets thought they had drawn level. A free-kick from the right side was met by the head of captain Green, with the ball coming back off the right post and into the path of Idzi, who pushed it onto the crossbar before Scotcher hooked it to safety.

Gavin Chesterfield’s side claimed the ball had crossed the line, but the officials ruled otherwise and the score remained at 1-0.

Green was involved again five minutes later, again with a header, but this time he couldn’t direct it on target as the ball flew wide of the right post.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, the hosts were reduced to 10 men when Cotterill was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Dylan Rees.

This allowed County to lower the tempo and see out the game relatively unthreatened in the closing stages, as Hayen’s side held on pick up a crucial three points.

Next up for the Bluebirds is Cefn Druids at the Ogi Bridge Meadow next Saturday, March 12 (Kick-off: 14:30). The game will see Hayen take to the home dugout for the first time since being unveiled as our new manager,

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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