GOCREA8 HOCKEY

Glamorgan Gazette - - Sport -

LANS­DOWN ................... 2 BRID­GEND ..................... 7

AN EX­TRA shandy or two was called for last Satur­day night in the Hay­wain, as Brid­gend cel­e­brated pro­mo­tion out of De Cymru & The Marches One, writes Tony Poole.

A mag­nif­i­cent seven goals pro­vided the real froth to toast a won­der­ful few months of suc­cess.

Four­teen wins and two draws from 17 league out­ings tell its own story – but the job is ba­si­cally only half done.

The high-fly­ing Ravens now want to take their leave of the di­vi­sion and re­turn to Con­fer­ence North as cham­pi­ons.

And with this in mind, Brid­gend have five re­main­ing matches and they cur­rently head clos­est chal­lengers Leomin­ster by four points.

Leomin­ster kept their ti­tle hopes alive with a 4-3 victory over Cleevil­lians – and this means there could still be some meat on the bone re­gard­ing the des­ti­na­tion of the ti­tle.

And with Brid­gend hav­ing to play Leomin­ster away a week on Satur­day, there must be no rest­ing on lau­rels.

But last Satur­day night was all about the first part of the pro­mo­tion story be­ing achieved - and it un­folded in dou­ble quick time.

Timmy Hodges had the ball in the back of the net after just 30 se­conds to card one of the fastest goals in club his­tory.

Just for good mea­sure he soon re­peated the medicine and dur­ing an in­cred­i­ble open­ing, the score stood on 3-1 after just five min­utes.

Brid­gend Town cricket star Thomas Pearce got the third Brid­gend goal, and fol­lowed it up with an­other wor­thy effort.

Hodges com­pleted a siz­zling hat-trick for 5-1 with a de­flected shot that sent the goal min­der the wrong way.

That was the half-time score and dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod, Pearce be­came the sec­ond Ravens hat-trick hero on a nev­erto-be-for­got­ten day.

Though the Bris­tol boys pulled back to 6-2, the Ravens again caught them on the hop dur­ing the clos­ing ex­changes.

On this oc­ca­sion it was the turn of Rhys Owen to score, as he del­i­cately worth their weight in gold to man­ager Scott Dry­den and his merry men.

New Garw boss Nigel Jor­dan will be hop­ing to see his charges go through their paces this Satur­day at home to lowly Cardiff side Clwb Cym­ric.

The Blandy boys have sat out the last three league pro­grammes, and their last out­ing was the heart­break­ing 3-2 loss at Cor­nelly United on Jan­uary 20.

Porth­cawl Town have a chance to res­cue an ail­ing sea­son away to bot­tom club Llantwit Fardre.

The Seasiders have beaten Pen­rhi­w­ceiber Con Ath­letic, 4-3, at home since Christ­mas be­fore los­ing out, 3-0, to Cor­nelly United at Lock’s Lane the week­end be­fore last.

Cel­lar dwellers Llantwit Fardre have won just two and drawn three of 17 league starts this term.

But they only went un­der, 2-0, at Lock’s Lane back in Novem­ber – 27goal hit­man Jorge Crofts get­ting both goals dur­ing a well-con­tested en­counter.

In the Premier Di­vi­sion, Pen­coed Ath­letic have been given a month to get gions Cup qual­i­fy­ing match, writes Tony Poole.

The Kymco Sta­dium is host­ing the re­turn SWFA match with the Gwent County League with flicked the ball past the goal­keeper.

This splen­did victory made the long jour­ney home much shorter and this Satur­day Brid­gend have a home fix­ture against Chel­tenham B. A visit fourth-placed Cardiff & Met Univer­sity E. on which the Brid­gend de­fence was based.

Next up is a sea­son­defin­ing game away to Whitchurch E.

THIRDS .......................... 4 BRID­GEND FIRSTS ...... 2

BRID­GEND paid the price for be­ing slow starters in the Welsh cap­i­tal against Cardiff Met­ro­pol­i­tan Univer­sity Thirds.

This Di­vi­sion One clash was set­tled after the Stu­dents changed ends with a 3-0 ad­van­tage - and made it 4-0 early in the sec­ond pe­riod.

The Ravens were only able to field 11 play­ers, and sub­sti­tute Tania Har­ri­son was carrying a fa­cial wound.

But at the 4-0 stage, Brid­gend sud­denly started to play, and it led to the Stu­dents be­gin­ning to get a lit­tle tetchy.

A goal from Louise Jones on the end of a telling pass from on-song So­phie Evans trig­gered the mini fight-back.

Tania Har­ri­son then de­cided that de­spite in­jury the time was right for her to de­part the bench.

And in a cap­tain fan­tas­tic dis­play she got the fi­nal goal of the game to make the fi­nal score­line more re­spectable.

Though Brid­gend re­mained stead­fast at the back, a sev­enth league loss from 14 starts has left the fifth-placed Ravens as dis­tinct pro­mo­tion outsiders. sion, hav­ing won all nine matches, and are hot favourites to se­cure Welsh League sta­tus.

This is a truly re­mark­able story, and they are the envy of other clubs at this level.

Fi­nally, an­other batch of Al­liance fix­tures has been re­leased, and they are as fol­lows: FE­BRU­ARY 24: Premier Di­vi­sion: Baglan Dragons v Pen­coed Ath­letic, Merthyr Saints v Llang­y­n­wyd Rangers.

Di­vi­sion One: AFC Whitchurch v Cefn Cribwr, Ca­dox­ton Barry v Porth­cawl Town, Garw v AFC Bute­town, Tre­for­est v Cor­nelly United.

Di­vi­sion Two: United v Llan­harry Vale MARCH 3: Premier Di­vi­sion: Cardiff Dra­co­ni­ans v Llang­y­n­wyd Rangers.

Di­vi­sion One: Cor­nelly United v FC Cw­ma­man, Porth­cawl Town v Ca­dox­ton Barry, Tonyre­fail Boys Club v Garw.

Di­vi­sion Two: St seph’s v Vale United. Jo- 4–10 with the win­ner and two best run­ners-up from the three Pre­lim­i­nary groups mov­ing for­ward into the In­ter­me­di­ate stage. PENY­BONT Thirds punched a ticket into the next round of the Brid­gend & Dis­trict League’s Nathaniel Car Sales Cup with a slen­der 3-2 victory away to Sarn, writes Tony Poole.

How­ever, the Brid­gend su­per club, who led 3-1 at the break, could never re­ally shake off the nev­er­say-die Pinks.

Matthew Jones hit the tar­get twice for Bont while they build up a de­cent head of steam on the back of an­other Dale Stephen­son rocket.

How­ever, a goal from ex-Bont star Jamie Hodgkin­son kept Sarn on the radar, and they con­tin­ued to press dur­ing the sec­ond half.

And although they halved the deficit, the cup glory went to the men from the Kymco Sta­dium.

Mean­while, it was an­nounced last week­end that Parc Der­wen has with­drawn from the Celtic Tyres Brid­gend & Dis­trict League.

The move took many by sur­prise, as they held a com­fort­able midtable po­si­tion in the Premier Di­vi­sion, hav­ing played 14 league matches with four wins and two draws.

The Brid­gend & Dis­trict Premier League web­site has al­ready ex­punged their records, but it hasn’t im­pacted on the bat­tle for the ti­tle.

Maesteg Park are still top, hav­ing won 12 and drawn one of 13 out­ings, and the Tu­dor Park side hold a three-point lead over both Sarn and Llangeinor.

But the Pinks have played two more games than the for­mer Welsh League ri­vals.

Fi­nally, Peny­bont Over 50s tri­umphed 2-1 last Sun­day away to Swansea Univer­sity in the Wales Veter­ans League.

All the goals came dur­ing the first half with for­mer sports writer Steve Dal­ton and Vin­cent Lewis on tar­get for the Bampy Bonts. A DATE and venue has been an­nounced for this sea­son’s Welsh Premier­ship Devel­op­ment League South­ern Sec­tion Cup fi­nal, writes Tony Poole.

Peny­bont will face Swansea City at the home of Welsh Premier­ship strug­glers Car­marthen Town in Rich­mond Park on March 8 (7.30pm).

En­try is free with Bont look­ing to im­prove on twice be­ing los­ing fi­nal­ists.

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