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Haverfordwest County: Manager Nicky Hayen leaves club to return to Belgium

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HAVERFORDWEST County manager Nicky Hayen is leaving the club for a return to Belgium.

Belgian champions Club Brugge have met the release clause in Nicky’s contract and have asked him to manage their Under 23s side.

He is set to be appointed at Club NXT, who play in the 1B Pro League – the second division in Belgium.

Nicky only arrived in Pembrokeshire in January, after most recently having coaching experiences in the Belgian Pro League with Waasland-Beveren and hometown club Sint-Truidense V.V., for whom he represented nearly 250 times as a player.

Upon his arrival, the team were sat in the relegation zone in the JD Cymru Premier, and were in danger of dropping out of the league. However, the 41-year-old was able to have an immediate positive impact.

The club’s performances saw a sharp upturn, with the team going on to set new records for their biggest home and away victories in the Welsh top-flight, with a 6-0 win over Aberystwyth Town at Park Avenue coming just three days after the 6-1 success against Cefn Druids at the Ogi Bridge Meadow. The team would go on to record to a victory by the same scoreline over the Ancients at The Rock in April.

The extent of Nicky’s impact was illustrated by the fact that, heading into the final day of the season, the club were in with a realistic chance of recording a seventh-placed finish, and topping the JD Cymru Premier Play-Off Conference.

While a 2-1 defeat to Cardiff Metropolitan meant the Bluebirds eventually finished 10th, there can be no downplaying the turnaround that led to them being in such a position.

Commenting on Nicky’s departure, chairman Rob Edwards stated: “I am desperately disappointed to lose Nicky. His achievements and impact on and off the pitch in such a short space of time were remarkable, and justified the faith we showed in him when we appointed him.

“As disappointed as I am to lose Nicky, I fully appreciate his reasoning. None more so than having the opportunity to work for the biggest club in your home country, and being so close to your family.”

The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Nicky for his efforts during his time with them in Pembrokeshire, and wishes him all the best back in Belgium.

With the start of pre-season imminent, the club will be making a statement shortly regarding its search for Nicky’s replacement.

Sport

Division 2: Llanrhian go fourth after beating Herbie

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LLANRHIAN moved into to fourth place in Division 2 after they beat second placed Herbrandston by 79 runs on Saturday (Jul 2).

Herbie won the toss and chose to field but they saw Llanrhian post 251-8 in their 45 overs.

Paul Lewis scored 63 for the home side and Jack Jones added 53 but their top scorer was Jonathan Strawbridge who hit nine fours and three sixes in his score of 72.

There was a score of 14 from Russell Watkins while Simon Bachelor finished unbeaten on 20.

Kristian Bennett took 2-38 for Herbie while Dean John also finished with two wickets to his name.

In reply, Dai Malloy scored 19, Charlie Malloy scored 33 while Alan McLelland added 31. Jack Nicholas scored 15 and Jack Wilson scored 35.

Gwyn Watson took two wickets for the loss of 20 runs while Gareth Davies finished with figures of 2-33 and Tom Clarke had 2-37.

Herbie’s scores were not enough as they were bowled out for 172.

Llanrhian now sit just seven points behind the leaders and six off second place with seven games still to play.

On Saturday, July 9, Llanrhian travel to Llechryd while Herbie are at home against Johnston.

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Division 2: Whitland win to close gap on top two

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WHITLAND closed the gap to the top two as they beat leaders Burton by 79 runs on Saturday (Jul 2).

Burton won the toss and chose to field but WHitland scored 193-9 in their 45 overs.

Kevin Pearce scored 33 and Wayne Howells scored 31. Scott Newton reached a half century before falling on a score of 61 while there was a score of 30 from Gethin Scourfield and 19 from Harry Fuller.

Matthew John took 4-29 for Burton while Martyn Tweedie finished with figures of 2-32. Dan Ridge also bowled well to finish with 2-33.

In reply, Tweedie scored 48 and Dan Ridge added 36 while the only other batsman to make it into double figures was Dan Wilks who scored 14 before being run out.

Wayne Howells bowled well for Whitland as he took 3-33 while Conor Bowen had figures of 2-27.

Cian Rees also bowled well for his figures of 2-16 while Scott Newtown claimed one wicket.

It saw Burton bowled out for just 119 as they suffered just their second defeat of the season.

It moves Whitland to within five points of second placed Herbrandston and to within six of Burton.

On Saturday, July 9, Whitland host Lamphey while Burton host Hook.

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Narberth keep pressure on with win over Pembroke Dock

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NARBERTH kept the pressure on league leaders Neyland as they beat Pembroke Dock by four wickets on Saturday (Jul 2).

Narberth had lost to Neyland the previous week and were looking to bounce back and when they won the toss they chose to field first.

It proved a good decision as the Dock struggled before being bowled out for just 79.

They lost Rhys Daley early on when he was run out by Rhodri Dyer. Jake Davies and Scott Griffiths added 24 runs for the second wicket but Davies was caught off the bowling of Lewis Hough.

Wickets then began to tumble as Jake Griffiths was trapped leg before by Loui Davies and with the next ball he did the same to Tom Grimwood.

There was no hat trick for Davies but his wickets had seen the Dock slip to 32-4.

That soon turned into 39-6 as Billy Wood was bowled by Hough and soon after Scott Griffith was bowled on a score of 22 by Davies.

It was then Hough’s turn to take two wickets in two balls as he bowled Nick Daley before trapping George Smith leg before, leaving the Dock in trouble on 41-8.

Anton John was out to the bowling of Ben Hughes to reduce the home side to 54-9.

Euan McDonald and Rob Hearn added 25 runs for the final wicket as they looked to give their side a total they could defend.

Hearn hit three fours in a score of 15 but he was out to the bowling of Ben Hughes. It left McDonald not out on 12 (two fours) but Narberth would need just 80 to win.

McDonald bowled Richard Adams early in Narberth’s reply but Loui Davies and Lewis Hough shared 33 runs for the second wicket.

Davies hit two fours in a score of 13 but he was caught by Tom Grimwodd off the bowling of Billy Wood.

That sparked a mini collapse as Narberth soon slipped to 48-5.

Jordan Howell was caught by Scott Griffiths off the bowling of Wood and the same pairing combined to dismiss Hough on a score of 21 (one four, two sixes).

Wood then removed Dan Hughes for a duck as the Dock’s tails were up.

Will Nicholas and Ben Hughes stopped the flow of wickets though as they 22 runs for the sixth wicket.

Nicholas scored 15 but was then caught and bowled by Scott Griffiths. Hughes then saw Narberth to their total as he finished unbeaten on 19 (four fours).

Despite the win, Narberth dropped to third place in the table but they are now only two points behind leaders Neyland.

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