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Bluebirds get season off to winning start

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HAVERFORDWEST County kick-started their 2022-23 JD Cymru Premier campaign with a 1-0 victory over Caernarfon Town at the Ogi Bridge Meadow on Saturday (Aug 13).

Jordan Davies’ header with 10 minutes remaining was enough to give the Bluebirds all three points, as they marked manager Tony Pennock’s first league game in charge in winning fashion.

In sweltering conditions at the Ogi Bridge Meadow – with the temperature reaching a high of 32°C – both teams showed impressive fitness levels to stick to their task throughout the 90 minutes.

County showed positive intent right from the off, with Jack Wilson having a couple of opportunities inside the opening six minutes which goalkeeper Josh Tibbetts was equal to.

Henry Jones then put a ball into the area which picked out Jordan Davies at the back post, but the forward was just unable to bring it under his spell to get a shot away.

Wilson had another chance not long after when Ryan George showed jet heels to beat his man before putting a ball into the area which picked the forward out, but his effort went over the crossbar.

Despite their early pressure, the Bluebirds could have found themselves behind but for some excellent last-ditch defending which saw Sion Bradley’s shot from inside the area blocked on its path to goal.

Striker Ben Fawcett was next to have an effort on goal when he picked the ball up from Jordan Davies and got a shot away, which was heading for the right corner, but Tibbetts got down to produce the save.

With the searing heat in mind, two water breaks were scheduled to be taken 25 minutes into both halves. While there was a risk that this stoppage in play could have taken some of County’s tempo away, this was not to be the case as they continued to play on the front foot.

The best chance of the first-half came 10 minutes before the break, when George again beat his opposite number and put a ball into the area which found Fawcett, but after having a couple of efforts from a few yards out, the ball was somehow kept out of the net.

The second-half followed a similar pattern to the first, with County dictating the play against a well-organised Canaries side.

Pennock’s side created three chances in as many minutes in the early stages of the second period, with Lee Jenkins – who was making his Bluebirds top-flight debut – heading just wide from a free-kick, before Jordan Davies’ cross-cum-shot was palmed behind from a corner and Fawcett had his shot from inside the area deflected just wide.

The game lost some of its tempo for a 15-minute period, but it was sparked back into life when Henry Jones’ shot from inside the area was inadvertently blocked on its path to goal by a teammate.

With the final 10 minutes approaching, it looked as if the match might be heading towards a stalemate, however the Bluebirds were finally able to make their pressure tell.

Henry Jones picked the ball up on the left side and delivered a pinpoint cross into the area which found Jordan Davies at the far post, and the striker guided his header home to send the home supporters wild and get his team off to a winning start to the Cymru Premier season.

Haverfordwest County are next in action on Saturday, August 20, when they travel to Maes Tegid to take on Bala Town (Kick-off 2.30pm).

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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