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Neyland Youth beat Llangwm to lift Griffiths Plate



NEYLAND Youth earned victory over rivals Llangwm to secure the Griffiths Cup Plate on Good Friday (Apr 15).

A wet and warm morning greeted the teams but with the rain easing by the 1pm Kick off, it left perfect conditions for the game and Neyland eventually came out victorious 27-3 in a competitive battle between the old rivals.

Historically ties between these two sides have been nip and tuck affairs with 1 score between them so it was Neyland who would have been delighted with their start.

A cagey opening few minutes were suddenly changed when Outside Half Tyler Sutton intercepted a pass from near halfway and speed away to score in the top left hand corner. Fletcher Picton narrowly failing with a difficult touchline conversion.

Playing down the slope and with the breeze Llangwm tried to use kicks to put the All Black’s under pressure – Iwan Davies and Harry Makepeace regularly gaining territory with long raking kicks but the cover of the Neyland back 3 – Liam Rees, Lucas Jones and Fergus Reynolds – meant they couldn’t ever turn the territory into points.

The Llangwm pack, led by Arwyn O’Loughlin and Joe Phillips also tried to create opportunities but the defence around the fringes from Neyland was superb throughout – big hits coming in from Seb McIntosh, Jack Rogers and the always energetic Jasper Endean, returning from a recent shoulder injury.

Midway through the half, ill-discipline at the breakdown gave Llangwm Scrum Half Davies an opportunity to strike 3 points and he duly obliged.

Llangwm continued to keep the pressure on but again the Neyland defence stood firm. Callum O’Riordan, returning from a season long sabbatical, was outstanding in the centre, driving into tackles and continually knocking Llangwm players backwards and causing knock ons.

The Neyland pack, led by Skipper Asha Gledhill, slowly started to exert more and more pressure on their bigger pack opponents.

As the half came to a close, Llangwm had an opportunity to go in front at the break but a long range penalty fell just short Leading at the break and with the slope and slight breeze with them, this had to make Neyland slight favourites going into the second half.

As the game went on the front row of Harvey Myles, Asha Gledhill and replacement Lloyd Stephens started to gain the upper hand in the scrums which enabled scrum half Rhys Power to dictate play and territory.

Llangwm continued to try to attack using forwards Jake Thomas, Fflyn Tjonk and ex All Black Aled Rogers but big defence from counterparts Toby Rees, Jack Rogers, and Zac Stewart continued to keep them out A powerful scrum from Neyland resulted in their second try when Seb McIntosh, who had switched to No 8, picked up and drove over the line from 5 yards out, Picton duly notching the conversion to put Neyland in front.

Llangwm continued to battle but by now Neyland tails were up and they sensed there were more tries in it for them.

The third try arrived not long after when another powerful scrum allowed Power to feed Man of the Match Sutton who dummied his way past the defence to slide home for his second and Neylands third try, Picton again adding the extras.

As the game entered the final stages a charged down kick by Llangwm centre Dom Asson almost resulted in a breakaway try but O’Riordan was back in place to gather and clear the danger with a superb counter attack down the touchline.

A huge penalty from almost halfway from Centre Fletcher Picton could have been the highlight of his day but he saved that for the very last play when tapping a penalty on the far side of the field, he pushed off the tired Llangwm defenders and sped to the line in the opposite corner.

Replacement kicker Liam Rees striking the post with the final kick of the match A deserved victory for Neyland in an entertaining match in front of the highest crowd for a game in Neyland for many a year.

Neyland: Liam Rees: Fergus Reynolds; Callum O’Riordan; Fletcher Picton; Lucas Jones: Tyler Sutton; Rhys Power: Harvey Myles; Sebastien McIntosh; Asha Gledhall: Lewis Scourfield; Toby Rees: Jack Rogers; Jasper Endean; Zac Stewart. Replacements: Lloyd Stephens; Owain Turner; Zac Evans; Dylan Evans; Bobby Jones; Finlay Picton; Coaches: Colin Picton; Ollie Rothero. Team Manager: Charlie Watts.

Llangwm: Harry Makepeace: Lucas Chamberlain; Ieuan Grey; Dom Asson; Oliver Kersey: Owen Phelps; Iwan Davies: Aled Rogers; Soloman Oxenham; Charlie Wilson: Jake Thomas; Flynn Tjonk: Evan Thomas; Arwyn O’Loughlin (Capt); Joe Phillips (VC). Replacements: Matthew Cole; Ioan Jarman; Ben Hawkins; Owen Evans; Leon Hood. Coaches: Dafydd Bowen; Jonathan Whitticombe; Jeff Asson. Team Manager: Jonathan Willington.


Late Goal Ends Clarby’s Cup Run



Clarbeston Road’s West Wales Cup run has come to an end, after they conceded a late goal which meant an end to their journey in this cup. As the game entered injury time Evans And Williams substitute Kieran Brown was free in the left hand side of the Clarbeston Road box as he struck an unstoppable effort into the top right corner of Mansell’s net to send the West Wales Premier League outfit through to the next round.

It was a slow start to game as each side struggled with the windy conditions. On 22 minutes the visitors substitute Bruno Forkouh made an instant impact as he broke down the left, drilled the ball across the 6 yard box and Tom Withers unfortunately turned ball into his own net.

Matthew Davies came close for the hosts with a well struck free kick, however it was 1-0 at the oranges.

The hosts came out for the second half on a mission and started well, against the wind. Laurie Howarth put an inviting ball across the visitors goal but there was nobody there to tap it home.

After 65 mins Clarby finally levelled with a well deserved goal. Good build up play ball lead to Matt Ellis putting a lovely ball across the opposition box was turned home by Jake Booth from 8 yards.

However it was heartbreak for the Pembrokeshire side in the last minute when Evans and Williams scored the winner. There was no time for Clarby to fight back this time. A display that demonstrates Matthew Fox’ team can compete with anyone and are a very strong outfit. It’s back to league action next week for Clarbeston Road as they host Kilgetty.

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Rugby Previews 9/12/23



Last weekend the county’s rugby was victim to the cold weather, with frozen pitches the issue. This weekend we hope waterlogged pitches don’t prevent too many games from going ahead.

We start our preview in the championship where unbeaten Narberth travel to mid table Trebanos. The Otters are In outstanding form and are only a single point behind leaders Brecon who have also won all 9 of their league games so far. A bonus point win will be the Otters focus on Saturday in the Swansea Valley.

A mouthwatering affair in the second division as unbeaten Tenby travel to top of the table St Clears. Tenby have impressed this season so far and are six wins from six. St Clears despite being top have lost two games this season, they’ve played ten games to Tenbys six: the table maybe slightly misleading. Tenby will be under no illusion however that this’ll be an easy game, it’s going to be a tough game between two of the best teams in this division. This is our one to watch this weekend.

Division three west has a few mouthwatering derbies itself. Llangwm travel to St Davids who will be full of confidence following recent results. For that reason Saints go into this one as slight favourites however Llangwm will be confident of brining the points home to the village. Elsewhere Neyland host Pembroke Dock Quins in what’s set to be a passionate and fairly evenly matched affair. It’ll be a day for the forwards Saturday and the battle between these two packs will be key.

Haverfordwest travel to struggling Llanybydder and perhaps an opportunity to rotate a few players. The Blues are strong favourites for this and anything other than a bonus point win would be a shock. Pembroke host high flying Laugharne another very tough game for the Scarlets as they struggle to make their mark on this season so far.

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Spotlight: Herald Sport speaks with referee Marty Jones



MARTY JONES swapped his boots for the whistle a couple of years ago now and has become a well known referee through the county. With fellow former players Mark Hicks and Mikey John also following in his footsteps this season, we sat down with Marty for an insight into the life of a Pembrokeshire Referee.

Herald – Marty, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. By now you’re a well renowned and respected ref in the county. What inspired you to take up reffing?

Marty – Renowned, maybe, respected most. I love footy and after my playing days I wanted to keep doing something, and reffing seemed the logical step. I had reffed some junior games over the years as my lads played for Hakin youth, and quite enjoyed it, so figured why not? I qualified just before COVID and have done as many games as possible.

Herald – With former team mates Mikey John and Mark Hicks recently following in your footsteps, it’s a good sign for the game. What do you enjoy about being the man in the middle?

Marty – It’s great to see ex players take up the whistle, it’s vital for grassroots that we get new refs, and keep them! No ref, no game and all that. I hope that by seeing the likes of me, Hicksy & Mikey reffing, more players coming to the end of their playing career will think about it. For me I enjoy still being involved with footy on a Saturday (and whatever mid week games there are) and you are kept active and on your toes at all times. For me, it’s just about being involved with grassroots footy. If I could play still, I would, but I’ll ref until I either don’t enjoy it anymore or can’t physically do it.

Herald – Would you say the referees association in the county is in a good place? Attracting former local players is definitely a positive.

Marty – I can only speak as I have found, and the Pembs Refs association has been excellent for me. Loads of experienced heads to ask any questions, no judgements when you mention mistakes made (not that I have of course) and there’s always somebody there who will help. To a man, they are great people.

Herald – I’d like to think refs are given a warm welcome across the county. However are there any grounds in the county where you particularly look forward to visiting?

Marty – Again, only speaking in my experience, I’ve been welcomed at almost every ground. People know I’m not particularly shy, so if there’s a problem I’ll tell people. But, respect works both ways, so I’ve learnt to be more respectful too. For me (and the Hakin fans won’t like this much) Goodwick have always been great, fantastic facilities, always a good crowd and a brilliant pitch.
Fishguard as well, a great club where I get a cuppa at half time and full time so that’s always welcomed, Neyland always a great club as well. It’s unfair to name just a couple because in all my games I’ve only been made to feel unwelcome at one ground (which shall remain nameless at this stage). I don’t ref Hakin games, but obviously The Obs in pre season is my favourite (although maybe not so much when Milford beat them in the Joe Lennon this year).

Herald – Finally have you got any message for anyone considering doing the refs course?

Marty- Yes. If you love football, seriously consider reffing after you’ve played. Pembs League is always in need of more refs, and as players you know how the game works and will likely make a great ref. For younger people, it’s a gateway to a great pastime, something you can make a career out of. 99% of the time it’s brilliant, get yourself on the course and speak to anybody from the Pembs Refs Association and have a chat with them. You need to be a certain type of crazy, but you’ll love it!!

A great insight into local refereeing there from Marty, and if anyone is interested in becoming a referee simply contact Pembrokeshire Referee Association. You’ll be sure to see Marty on a pitch somewhere before Christmas, clubs who don’t supply a ‘cuppa’ at half time now know what’s required of them.

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