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Haverfordwest Coach Justin Mountstevens says team confident despite first loss

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An outstanding start to the season for the Blues so far this season, who were unbeaten until the trip to Aberaeron last weekend. As the biggest town in the county, Haverfordwest are expected to compete at a higher level than division three however it’s been a while since they have done. Could this be the year that it changes, so far signs are very promising.

Our Herald Sports Team spoke to Haverfordwest coach Justin Mountstevens to get his take on the season so far.

Herald – ‘A great start to the season for you so far, you as a coaching team must be happy with how it’s going?’

Justin – ‘We are very happy how things have gone so far after a rocky start. But we recognise there is always room for improvement and as coaching team we strive to raise the levels each week.’

Herald – ‘A first loss for the group last weekend how would you reflect on that?’

Justin – ‘As a group we were disappointed with loss at Aberaeron after a good win in Cardigan two weeks prior, we felt before the game that we were capable of coming away with a win. Aberaeron is a difficult place to go as the elements are always a challenge, we didn’t take our chances and gave too many penalties away. All of which we can rectify for not only the return fixture but the remainder of the season.’

Herald – ‘ Who would you identify as your biggest challengers for promotion this year?’

Justin – ‘Cardigan, Laugharne and Aberaeron will be the main challengers for promotion this season but you can never write off the likes of Pembroke or Neyland who always offer a stern challenge.’

Herald – ‘As a squad what would you say your biggest strengths are?’

Justin – ‘Our biggest strengths this season are our fitness levels, defence and we also have a powerful scrum which most teams find difficult to deal with. Having said that our back line is improving each week and beginning to gel nicely with a hunger for running attacking rugby.’

Herald – ‘Which of your players have stood out so far this season?’

Justin – ‘Michael Griffiths and Matty Phillips have been outstanding for us so far this season, with young Iestyn Arnold, Jack Evans, Owain Roberts and Scott Candler performing well each week. Captain Karl Busch and the front row as a unit have also performed week in out to date. There are also others in the squad who are raising their levels each week. I don’t want to say too much otherwise Narberth scouts will be circling again!’

Herald – ‘Finally what are your goals for the rest of this season and beyond?’ Justin – ‘Our goals for the remainder of the season are to remain unbeaten if possible (a big call, high level to maintain and we don’t want to come across as being overly confident but you have to set standards) and to ultimately win the league, gain promotion and continually improve as a squad.’

A very good insight into the Haverfordwest camp there from Justin, as they prepare to face struggling Pembroke this coming Saturday.

News

Seren shines in shooting sports, breaking records and winning medals

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SEREN THORNE, a young talent from Letterston, has been making waves in the world of 10m air rifle precision shooting. A former student of Ysgol Casblaidd, Ysgol Bro Gwaun, and the sixth form at Haverfordwest’s VC High School, Seren is currently furthering her education in music at Cardiff University. However, it is her achievements in shooting sports that are capturing the nation’s attention.

Seren’s journey in shooting began at the tender age of 8, initially with the pistol as part of her participation in the Pony Club tetrathlon. Her transition to the air rifle in 2020 marked the beginning of an illustrious path in this discipline. Since then, Seren has not only embraced the sport but has excelled at it, demonstrating an exceptional level of precision and composure.

Her hard work and dedication bore fruit in November when she clinched two gold medals at the Welsh Championships. At this event, Seren not only topped the podium but also broke the Welsh and British junior women’s qualification record, setting a new benchmark for aspiring shooters.

However, Seren’s achievements did not stop at the national level. In February, she represented Great Britain at the Junior World Cup in Granada, Spain. There, she added to her medal tally by securing an individual silver medal and breaking the British junior women’s final record. Seren’s success continued as she contributed to a mixed team bronze medal, once again breaking the previous British junior record.

More recently, Seren participated in the British Open Championships, where she was crowned the British junior women’s champion and won the British confined open women’s championship. These victories are a testament to her skill, determination, and the promising future she has in the sport of shooting.

Seren Thorne’s achievements are not just personal victories but also a source of pride for her community in Letterston, her schools, and indeed for the whole of Britain. As she continues to study and train, the nation watches eagerly to see how far this talented young shooter will go.

Seren’s journey in shooting sports is a vivid reminder of the dedication and hard work required to excel at the highest levels, and she is undoubtedly a rising star to keep an eye on in the years to come.

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Sport

Crunch time in local Cup Competitions

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Recently we have lost so much local sport due to weather making pitches unplayable. This weekend however looks more promising and there are some huge cup ties due to take place. We’ve previewed the West Wales Cup and Senior Cup, with the second division cup preview to follow.

The West Wales Cup fifth round sees four Pembrokeshire based teams in action, with one all Pembs tie as Merlins Bridge host Kilgetty. Meanwhile Goodwick United travel to Seaside and Milford United host Penlan.

West Wales Cup Ties –

Seaside vs Goodwick United

Goodwick United are a team nobody wants to face in any competition in current form. However Seaside will be very confident themselves, they sit top of their division and are a massive sixteen points clear of second place. Last time out in this competition they beat Carew 2-1, and haven’t lost a game since October. A real test for Chris O’Sullivans men this one when they travel to Llanelli, I’m sure they’ll have plenty of support on the supporters bus too.

Milford United vs Penlan

Steve Parks and his men have been looking forward to this fixture since it was drawn, they are in excellent form this year and this will be a great match up. Penlan themselves are a strong outfit and beat Evans and Williams last time out in the competition. A mouthwatering match up down at Marble Hall which I’m sure will draw plenty of local support.

Merlins Bridge vs Kilgetty

The league table would suggest the Wizards are the stronger of the two Pembrokeshire teams in this tie. However Kilgetty have a lot of games in hand over the majority of the league and their league position is somewhat misleading. A team with plenty of quality and the hosts will have to be on top form to ensure the visitors don’t upset the party here.

Pembrokeshire Senior Cup Ties

Fishguard Sports vs Clarbeston Road

The hosts are not enjoying much success in their league campaign so far this season. The visitors are on the opposite end of the scale and have impressed in the league this year. Matthew Fox’ team have shown they have the quality to go all the way in this competition and he’ll be hoping for a good performance.

Haverfordwest Cricket Club vs Carew

Third division Haverfordwest Cricket Club are more than a potential banana skin for Carew. The visitors naturally will be confident going into this one however the hosts have plenty of experienced and quality players in their ranks and will be no push overs.

Pennar Robins vs Tenby

Two first division teams who have had two close games already this season. Last time out it was a 2-2 draw and before that Tenby won a close game 2-1. Another close game is to be expected and both teams will be quietly confident of progressing to the latter stages of this competition.

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Sport

Pembrokeshire Football Division One Round Up

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It was once again a weekend where the majority of the county’s scheduled football fell foul to waterlogged and unplayable pitches. A frustrating time for players, club members and referees alike as the last month to six weeks has been very wet and we’ve had a huge number of games called off.

In the first division Clarbeston Road continued their dominance over Hakin United as we reported in our feature game. Two other games were played in the top division Tenby made it three wins in a row when they beat Fishguard 4-2 at the Clicketts. Adam Muskett scored twice, both assisted by the man of the match Jerome Mansbridge who then scored twice to cap off a stand out performance. The result lifts the Seasiders into fifth place, while Fishguard look all but relegated as they sit rock bottom on just four points.

Tenby’s local rivals Kilgetty boosted their league position with an important win over Pennar Robins at Bush Camp. Robins missed a great opportunity to go one up when they were awarded a penalty but Edmundson failed to hit the target from the spot. Josh Bevans goal was enough to secure the three points for the visitors who now only sit two points behind Pennar with four games in hand over them. 

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