HAVERFORDWEST County pulled off an MG Cup first round shock on Tuesday (Aug 28), as they beat Welsh Premier League side Llanelli Town at the Bridge Meadow.
Perhaps with one eye on Friday’s (Aug 31) encounter with Aberystwyth Town, the Reds rested a few of their players but still featured James Loveridge who scored in Llanelli’s game with Barry last Friday (Aug 24).
The Bluebirds were also without a number of their key players, including former Llanelli Town striker Lee Trundle but the youthful Bluebirds did not seem to miss his presence on the pitch.
There was a cagey start to the match with both teams giving the ball away and testing the other keepers with a few long range efforts.
James Loveridge came close for the visitors when he broke free of the defenders but his shot was well saved by County keeper Steve Hall.
Jordan Follows also looked lively but he saw a number of efforts blocked as the Bluebirds defended well.
Jack Wilson then played the ball into the box for Fraser Finlay but his shot was plucked out of the air by Reds keeper Oliver Davies.
Then with fifteen minutes on the clock Wilson picked up the ball in his own half and went on a mazy run which saw him lay the ball off for Tom Dyson who in turn passed back to Wilson who ran on to slot the ball into the bottom right corner for a fine opening goal.
Dyson was then unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as his rasping 25-yard drive smacked back off the crossbar and was cleared from danger.
Wilson then saw a shot go just wide as the Bluebirds continued to have more of the possession.
Hall was then forced into a save by Robert Thomas as his long drive looked to be going in before Hall got his hands on the ball.
On the stroke of half time Llanelli almost got themselves back in the game as a ball into the box wasn’t dealt with as Follows stole the ball only to send his shot into the side netting.
It remained 1-0 at half time but the home side knew they would face a fight back in the second half.
Both sides had chances early on in the second half but it was the Bluebirds who got the all-important second goal.
Twenty minutes in a corner from Finlay found Ben Fawcett whose header flew into the net to give the home side one foot in the next round.
Their place was secured five minutes from time as sub Martyn Carroll squared into the box for Finlay who fired in for a deserved goal.
The Bluebirds will now look forward to seeing who they play in the next round while Llanelli will look to concentrate on their Premier League campaign.
Llanelli are back in Premier League action on Friday night (Aug 31), as they take on Aberystwyth at Park Avenue.
Points deduction for Old Gold
CARMARTHEN Town have been deducted three points and fined £250 for fielding an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town on New Years Day.
An FAW Disciplinary Panel met last week to hear the charge against Carmarthen Town AFC after Dave Vincent, who should have been suspended for the game on January 1, played in that match.
Vincent should have served a one match suspension from December 28, 2018 for accumulating five cautions.
A spokesperson for the FAW said: “Carmarthen were charged with a Disciplinary Offence as set out under FAW Rule 38.1.2, for the alleged breach of Rule 18 of the JD Welsh Premier League Rules 2018/19 for playing an ineligible player.
“The Panel found the charge against Carmarthen to be proven, and as a result the club will be deducted three points from their League playing record, and fined £250.
“Carmarthen have until the close of business on February 18, 2019 to lodge an appeal against this decision.”
The three-point deduction means that Carmarthen would be eight points off the bottom two and it would also harm their chances of finishing at the top of the Welsh Premiership Conference.
Carmarthen Town have been asked for a comment on the matter.
Young Borderers progress in Mike Fry Cup
WHITLAND Youth held off a spirited fightback from Milford Haven on Saturday (Feb 9) as they won 14-15 on the 3G surface at The Obs to progress to the semi-finals of the Mike Fry Under 17 Cup.
Owen Palmer, Iolo Rees and Brandon Williams all scored unconverted tries for Whitland as they moved into a 7-15 lead.
Harry Charnley had scored Milford’s earlier try and as the second half wore on they looked to get themselves back into the game.
A surging run set up Joel Yeomans to dive over near the posts and the conversion brought them to within one point of the junior Borderers.
Whitland looked to seal their progress and went looking for a fourth try but lost the ball in contact near the line.
Milford came forward but a wayward lineout prevented any further progress.
The home side won the ball back but Whitland turned the ball over as time ran out and they kicked the ball out of play to seal their passage to the next round.
The young Borderers will now look forward to their semi-final tie which takes place on Saturday, February 23.
Elsewhere, Tenby went through with a 12-3 win over Pembroke and Crymych beat Aberystwyth 25-10.
The game between Fishguard and Neyland was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and is due to be played on Sunday (Feb 17).
The final will be played on March 16 at Tenby.
Youthful Blacks stun Bont
BURRY Port travelled to Bont with an impressive eight youth players in their ranks, 5 of whom started the match and two making their senior debuts.
The selection had raised a few eyebrows in the week but the coaching staff fully believed the Youth players had earned their place and were excited to see how they went against a good Division 2 team.
The first half was a scrappy affair with both teams trying to play rugby but failing to hold on to possession at crucial times, the referee was happy for both teams to play and controlled the game very well.
The stalemate was not broken until the 30th minute when a break up field by the home backs got them into the Burry Port 22 and after a couple of quick phases they managed to power over out wide to lead 5-0.
As the half time approached Burry Port were camped on the home team’s try line, twice being held up over the line and after refusing a couple of easy shots at goal searching for a try would have been disappointed to come up short and go into half time 5 nil down.
In the second half, now playing into the wind, Burry Port upped the tempo and got their ball carriers into the game more. They simplified the attack and they got the rewards, Captain Andy Francis got the first try, running hard and straight through his opposite number to finish under the posts to take a 7-5 lead.
Burry Port now had their tails up and Bont were struggling to cope with the direct running of the Blacks ball carrying. A second try came after good approach play and a wonderful finish through live wire hooker Taran Galbraith to extend the lead to 12-5.
Bont knew they needed the next score but with the Burry Port defence dominating the contact area they failed to get any decent attacks going and from a turnover in mid field and some good hands saw flying wing Tom Davies cross in the corner to make it 17-5.
Burry Port brought on youngster Keelan Jewell at loose head to make it an all 18 year old front row and, with the addition of another two youth replacements Kingsley Powell and debutant Theo Barnes-Watson as well as scrum half Ben Williams, who all brought plenty of energy onto the field against a tiring home defence, meant the next try wasn’t long coming.
Centre Duane Evans found a gap and a lovely inside ball to supporting full back Adam Davies who dived over the line for the bonus point try.
Another try quickly followed as a 5m lineout attack from Burry Port was initially defended well but with Burry Port keeping the ball, replacement Powell barged over the line.
The game was won but Burry Port had one more score in them, with Adam Davies dancing around a few tired defenders to again cross under the posts to put the icing on a well-deserved victory for Burry Port.
Burry Port are next in action on Saturday (Feb 16) when they welcome St Clears to the Memorial Park, 2:30pm kick off.
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