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Bluebirds earn a point against Nomads

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Haverfordwest County played out a 0-0 draw with Connah’s Quay Nomads at a sun-drenched Ogi Bridge Meadow in the JD Cymru Premier Play-Off Conference on Saturday (Mar 26), extending their unbeaten run to six matches.

The game, which was shown live on S4C by Sgorio, was an attritional and physical affair, with clear-cut chances hard to come by as the sides were forced to settle for a point apiece.

County had the better chances to score, with Alhagi Touray Sisay denied from point-blank range, before Ben Fawcett saw his shot from close range saved early in the second-half.

The result sees the Bluebirds move up a place to seventh (top of the Play-Off Conference), after Cardiff Metropolitan lost 2-0 to already-relegated Cefn Druids at The Rock.

Manager Nicky Hayen made just the one change to the team that beat Aberystwyth Town 6-0 last Tuesday, with Danny Williams taking the place of Jordan Davies who was ineligible to play against his parent club.

The first close call of the afternoon fell the way of the Bluebirds, when Williams’ ball into the area nearly picked out the head of Touray Sisay, but goalkeeper Oliver Byrne just got there first to intercept.

Lee Idzi had another impressive afternoon between the sticks, as he was called into action for the first time shortly after when he made a sharp save from a free-kick.

After winning the ball back high up the field, Williams spotted Byrne off his line and decided to try his luck from distance, but the ball flew wide of the left post.

After Nomads midfielder Paulo Mendes found the side netting with his shot from inside the area, the Bluebirds had a great chance to take the lead when Ben Fawcett’s clever flick gave Jazz Richards space to break into the area unopposed, as his cross picked out Touray Sisay who flicked the ball goalwards, but straight at Byrne, with the rebound coming back to the striker before hitting the right post.

County started the second-half well, with Touray Sisay collecting a second ball from a throw-in before it went loose and landed at the feet of Fawcett, who struck it first time from inside the area, but was denied by an instinctive save from Byrne.

Just a minute later, Touray Sisay went close when a ball upfield was headed into his path by Williams, as he unleashed a powerful volley from just outside the area which just cleared the crossbar.

Idzi was alert to keep the score at 0-0 when he reacted quickly push Aeron Edwards’ snapshot from inside the area to safety, before coming off his line decisively to palm the ball away from the clutches of Mendes.

Both teams were finding it difficult to play through the respective midfields, with efforts from distance proving to be the more favourable method, as Kurtis Rees let fly from distance but was denied by Byrne who got down low to his left.

Hayen made a double substitution with the final 20 minutes approaching, as Henry Jones and Ryan George came on in place of Williams and Touray Sisay to provide fresh legs.

It became clear in the closing stages, however, that the sides were beginning to run out of ideas in attack with both defences on top throughout.

The final stanza of the game was played out with neither side looking like finding a late winner, with the point probably suiting both managers, as County climbed to seventh and the Nomads moved out of the relegation zone.

The Bluebirds are next in action on Saturday, April 2 when they travel to the capital to take on Cardiff Metropolitan. Kick-off is at 14:30.

Sport

Swifts eyes on double.

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Monkton Swifts reserves have blown away the second division this season and now have the double in their sights. They face Merlins Bridge reserves in the semi final of the second division cup and lived up to their favourites tag.

Swifts won comfortably with key player Butland getting three assists and Josh Sture grabbing a brace. Waterman and Rhys Sture added the other goals as outstanding Monkton won 4-0.

Herbrandston and Johnston played in the other semi final and this was a much harder fixture to call. The promoted Herbie a younger and perhaps less physical outfit in comparison to the Tigers. Johnston quickly took control of the game when they found themselves two up after just 29 minutes.

However when Scott Murray was shown a red card just eight minutes later, Herbie would have been confident of staging a comeback. Despite being a man light, Johnston held Herbie until the final minute of the 90, when Alex Ouzman gave Herbie late hope. The Tigers held firm however and progress to the final where they will be underdogs. A tag that I’m sure the players and manager Steven Allen won’t mind too much.

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Sport

Tenby hit five against downbeat Bridge

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On a beautiful day in Tenby, the hosts welcomed Merlins Bridge to The Clicketts, fresh from their West Wales semi final defeat midweek.

The Bridge squad was missing some influential players after picking up some injuries and the visiting team asked questions over the fitness of the pitch, which, according to the Bridge management, was too hard.

The referee waved these away and the game was on, with the Tenby squad clearly thinking they were already in the heads of the Bridge team.

Almost straight from Kick off Tenby set their stall out with some great attacking play, which Jerome Mansbridge benefitted from in just the second minute putting the home team ahead.

The bridge players weren’t at the races and Tenby capitalised scoring a further 4 first half goals, including a Mansbridge hat trick, leaving the away team bewildered and 5-0 down at half time.

What could have been a hugely embarrassing defeat for a team that harboured title hopes at the beginning of the season, turned around somewhat at half time, when Dai Davies, the club captain, almost singlehandedly dragged them to a much higher level in the second half, ensuring his players kept their discipline and worked hard against a very good Tenby team. Undoubtedly Merlin’s Bridge were the better team in the second period, but the damage had already been done in the first half, and despite Bridges best efforts, the score remained 5-0 to the home team.

In a game which saw Tenby jump to 4th in the league, they can be hugely proud of their season and will look to build on that for their next in Division one.

A fantastic game on a beautiful day with a good home crowd watching, the team from the Clicketts will be justifiably happy with their afternoons work.

Tenby 5-0 Merlins Bridge.

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Preseli poses a challenge for novice crews

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THE END of April will see the popular novice night rally organised by the Teifi Valley Motor Club being held in Pembrokeshire. On the weekend of 27th and 28th April, Rali Bro Preseli will see 75 novice crews tackling the winding and challenging roads that Pembrokeshire has to offer.

Clerks of the Course, father and son Richard and Jason Davies along with Aled Richards have a terrific route lined up for competitors. Starting as usual at the Crymych Mart, the route will appeal to all novice drivers and navigators.

“It will offer a bit of everything. It will be challenging but easy to follow with some whites thrown in the mix. Aled has designed the whole route and we’ve done the donkey work,” said Jason, now in his second year as Clerk of the Course.

As regular competitors, Jason and Richard wanted to give something back to the sport and they enjoy being on the organising side of the things.

Jason, who won the Bro Preseli with his father in 2013, explained: “We’ve competed in the Preseli on several occasions, and we decided to give something back to the sport and that’s why dad and I thought it would be a good idea to help.

“It’s interesting to see how it all comes together and the work involved, and there’s a lot of that,”

He also won the event with Tim Hand in 2016 and was fourth overall in 2019.

Aled Richards, Joint Clerk of the Course, knows the routes of Rali Bro Preseli like the back of his hand having only ever missed it once since its formation in 2003. He’s driven on four of them in 2005 – 2008 with the best result of a 4th place with Arwel Jenkins in the navigator seat.

Aled has been Chief Marshal on Rali Bro Preseli since 2013 before moving on to being Clerk of the Course this year and competitors can look forward to a great event.

Aled told the Herald: “This is the first time I’ve been Clerk of the Course, but we have a good team with Dylan Davies as Chief Marshal and Olwen Davies as Secretary.

“I live some 30 miles away from the actual route, but we’ve been around it twice and I’m confident it will be a good yet challenging night. Some of the whites are currently waterlogged but the farmers have been brilliant and offered to help clear the tracks before the event and we are very grateful.”

The rally, kindly sponsored by Arjay Factors and Home James Taxis, will have four official Spectator Points on the night and the locations will be available at signing on.

The Clerks of the Course and the Teifi Valley Motor Club would like to thank all those who have helped to organise the event – landowners, homes en route, petrol at Brian Llewellyn a’i Ferched, and the start and finish venues – Crymych Mart and the Teifi Waterside Hotel.

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