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County go through in MG Cup after thumping Barry

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HAVERFORDWEST County began life under manager Tony Pennock in fine fashion with a 4-2 victory over Barry Town United in the Nathaniel MG Cup second round on Friday night (Aug 5).

A brace from Jack Wilson, along with goals from debutants Lee Jenkins and Rhys Abbruzzese helped see the Bluebirds safely through to the third round.

Josh Graham and Mo Djalo found the net for the Dragons, who reached the semi-final of the competition last season, but it wasn’t enough as County’s extra firepower made the difference.

In front of a crowd of 337 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow, the Bluebirds nearly took an early lead when Wilson got a volley away from inside the area which was pushed away by Cameron Clarke.

The majority of the chances fell the hosts’ way in the first-half, with Jordan Davies trying his luck from distance after Clarke had come off his line and given possession away, before Ryan George’s solo run to the edge of the area ended with the wing-back shooting over the bar.

Jenkins then went close when he rose highest to meet Wilson’s long throw into the area, with his header going narrowly wide of the right post.

It was very nearly 1-0 on the half hour mark when George’s cross into the area picked out Jordan Davies, who directed his header goalwards but saw the ball cleared off the line.

However, just three minutes later, it was 1-0 when the ball was worked out to George on the right side, and his cross picked out the towering Jenkins who powered his header into the left corner to mark his first competitive County appearance with a goal.

Almost immediately after the restart though, the Dragons found an equaliser as a through ball played Graham in, and the forward slid the ball past Lewis Brass for an instant response.

Wilson shot over the bar as Haverfordwest County looked to restore their lead before the break, and while he was off target on this occasion, seven minutes after the restart his header from debutant Jamie Veale’s corner flew into the net to make it 2-1.

And less than five minutes later, the youngster almost doubled the Bluebirds’ advantage when a long ball upfield from Dylan Rees played him in, and an excellent first touch gave the forward a chance to get a chipped effort away which rolled just wide to deny what would have been a spectacular goal.

With the hour mark approaching, George sliced an effort wide of the right post, but just a minute later Abbruzzese was on hand to tap in from point-blank range from Jordan Davies’ pass to join Jenkins in netting on his debut with a goal against his former club.

Pennock’s men were full of confidence at this stage, and they were able to make it tell when Abbruzzese turned provider to set Wilson up to score his second goal of the night with a neat finish from close range to extend the advantage to 4-1.

Gavin Chesterfield’s side pulled a goal back with just over 10 minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty after Brass was adjudged to have fouled substitute Djalo inside the area, and the forward converted from the spot to make it 4-2.

With the Bluebirds in a comfortable position in the closing stages, Pennock was able to introduce academy product Toby Davies and exciting young prospect Dan James, allowing the pair to play out the final few minutes.

With their passage through to the next round safely secured, the Bluebirds now turn their attention to the start of the new JD Cymru Premier season, which gets under way with a game against Caernarfon Town at the Ogi Bridge Meadow next Saturday, August 13 (Kick-off 14:30).

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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Sport

St Clears earn bonus-point win over Neyland

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ST CLEARS kept up their winning start to the season with a 38-19 win away at Neyland on Saturday (Sept 24).

The Saints were ahead after just two minutes as Ifan Davies touched the ball down. The conversion was missed.

Neyland hit back though and Ollie Rothero scored the try before adding the extras to put the home side ahead.

St Clears scored next though as Jac Howells went over and Dan Griffiths added the extras.

Shortly before the break the Saints had their thirdy try as Ifan Davies went over for his second and Griffiths added the extras once more to make it 19-7 at the break.

They soon had their bonus point in the second half as Tom Williams scored the try and Griffiths added the conversion to stretch the lead to 26-7.

Gareth Jones then scored again for the Saints to make it 31-7. The conversion was missed.

Straigt from kick off, Neyland hit back with a try from Andrew Slark but the conversion was missed.

Jones then scored his second try for the Saints and Griffiths added the extras again to take the score to 38-12.

Neyland had the final say though as Mark Jones touched down and Ollie Rothero added the extras to make it 38-19.

On Saturday, October 1, Neyland travel to Lampeter Town while St Clears host table toppers Pembroke Dock Quins.

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Quins prove too strong for Llangwm

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PEMBROKE DOCK Quins kept up their 100% start to the season with an emphatic win over a Llangwm side who were well in it at half time, trailing by just 17-5.

The Quins got off to a blistering start scoring twice in the opening five minutes. First, Flanker Hywel Baker forced his way over from close range after two minutes, and then, virtually straight from the restart, Centre Gethin Bradney followed up a speculative kick to touch down. Scrum Half Morgan Rogers added the extras to both tries.

If the Quins thought they would have it easy after such a fine start they were cruelly mistaken, as the Wasps started to dominate both territory and possession.

The Quins did add a penalty through Morgan Rogers for good measure to push the score out to 17-0, but it was the visitors who were well on top. It was no surprise when Llangwm Full Back Luke Dyer crossed for an unconverted try wide out.The teams went in at the break with the visitors in the ascendancy.

The Quins had to step up after struggling at the back end of the first half, and, just as they had done the previous week at Vardre, they hit the Wasps within minutes with a try from No8 and Captain Jack Brown which was converted by Morgan Rogers.

It was now all about the bonus point try, and that was not long in coming when replacement Harry Owen powered over for the all important score, which was again converted by Morgan Rogers.

The game was now safe for the Quins and it was a question of how many points they would score.

Hywel Baker soon added his second try and the Quins fifth. A powerful 35-yard run from Flanker Jack Millitte set up a second try for Harry Owen which Ben Hathaway goaled.

The Quins then turned on the afterburners with three tries in the final 10 minutes as they attacked from everywhere scoring through Sam James, Gethin Bradney for his second, and Harry Owen to complete his hat trick, all were converted by Ben Hathaway.

The Quins were 100% with their goal kicks, 10 out of 10, which is a remarkable effort at any level.

Next week the Quins are away at one of the League favourites St Clears.

TEAM: Kerion Machin, Kobie Thomas, Gethin Bradney, Adam Jones, Tom Donovan, Euan MacDonald, Morgan Rogers, Jack Brown (Capt), Jack Millitte, Hywel Baker, Ben Gibby, Sam James, Dan McLeod, Jayden Webber, Conor Kolmel. Replacements: Ben Hathaway, Sam RASHER James, Harry Owen, Josh Brown, Jack Byrne.

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