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Bluebirds hit six in second half to sink Druids

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HAVERFORDWEST County netted six second-half goals to ease past bottom side Cefn Druids 6-1 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow on Saturday (Mar 12), making it back-to-back wins in the JD Cymru Premier Play-Off Conference.

Ben Fawcett scored a brace to take his goal tally for the season to seven, as Jack Wilson, Alhagi Touray Sisay and Danny Williams also found the net on an afternoon which also saw loanee Jordan Davies get off the mark for the Bluebirds.

The margin of victory is County’s joint-second highest in top-flight history, with their previous 6-1 success coming against Airbus UK Broughton in the 2004-05 season.

The result sees the Bluebirds move up one place to eighth in the overall standings, and second in the Play-Off Conference, three points behind Cardiff Met in seventh.

Manager Nicky Hayen, who was taking charge of his first game at the Ogi Bridge Meadow, made one change to the side that defeated Barry Town United 1-0 last week, with Fawcett replacing Williams in the starting lineup.

County were on the attack right from the first whistle, with Wilson’s cross from the edge of the area deflected into the hands of Druids goalkeeper Michael Jones.

Davies went close shortly after when he cut inside onto his right foot, before curling narrowly wide of the right post from just outside the area.

Fawcett’s first involvement of what would prove to be a busy afternoon was to see his shot from inside the area saved low down by Jones.

Just minutes later, Davies’ dangerous chipped cross into the area somehow managed to evade everyone and roll away to safety.

The best chance of the first-half came when Elliot Scotcher’s free-kick was blocked, but only into the path of Touray Sisay, who controlled the ball with his foot before heading it over Jones into the path of Wilson, but he was unable to direct it goalwards and saw his header come back off the crossbar.

The Bluebirds defence did well to scramble and block Liam Thomas’ shot from inside the area in first-half stoppage time to ensure the teams went into the break goalless.

However, in the exact same fashion as they had done against Barry the week before, County found the net just a minute after the restart. After Wilson had headed the ball back across goal, the Druids could only clear into the path of Fawcett, and he was on hand to strike first time into the right corner to give the Bluebirds the lead.

The Ancients responded just minutes later though. After winning the ball back high up the pitch, Thomas sprinted to the byline before squaring to Jelson Antonio, who benefitted from a slight touch off Scotcher before tapping in from point-blank range to make it 1-1.

Wilson and Corey Shephard both went close to putting the Bluebirds ahead again, but it was Davies who restored the hosts’ advantage when Wilson’s cross to the far post found the striker, and his clever touch took him past Jones to allow him to tap into an empty net.

Wilson again went close when he scuffed his effort just wide from inside the area, but he was not to be denied 10 minutes later when he showed excellent technique to let a high ball come down to him before hitting it first time and finding the right corner for his second goal of the season contender in a matter of weeks.

Things got even better for the Bluebirds when Fawcett’s strike from distance took a touch off an Ancients defender to direct the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 4-1.

There was still time for County to find the net on two more occasions in the closing stages. Firstly, Touray Sisay pounced on a loose ball inside the area to chip over Jones for his eighth league goal of the season, before Danny Williams finished off what could well be the team’s most impressive goal of the season to date.

An attack, which started with goalkeeper Lee Idzi, saw the Bluebirds complete 18 passes as they worked their way up the field, before Fawcett’s crisp pass to Shephard was directed into the path of Williams with an eye-catching flick, and the substitute took the ball around Jones to roll into an empty net and round off an excellent afternoon for Haverfordwest County.

The Bluebirds are next in action on Tuesday evening, when they travel to Park Avenue to take on Aberystwyth Town. Kick-off is at 8pm.

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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