Devonald drives Goodwick to inaugural Luke Harding Memorial Cup win

Goodwick United 2nds

Goodwick United 2nds 3 - Solva 2nds 1


Venue: Tregroes Park, Fishguard

Referee:  Bernie Armstrong.

Goodwick skipper Rob Couzens receives the cupThe inaugural Luke Harding Cup final went the way of Goodwick United 2nds as two goals from Darren Devonald helped them beat Solva 2nds in front of a big crowd at Tregroes.

Devonald, a real club stalwart these past two decades, put his side ahead with a stunning strike in the first half and then after player-manager Danny Williams had made it 2-0 after the break, headed home a third from Sion O’Sullivan’s corner.

Solva did rally late on and Josh Bland’s header gave them hope, but it was the Phoenix Boys who ran out winners on a night when the memory of a popular player for both clubs was honoured.

Pre-match mark of respect:


Luke died in March 2017 after courageously battling lung cancer and poignantly, Solva were in their new kits that have this season been donated by his parents, Peter and Alex. Emblazoned on the front are the words ‘Stand up to cancer’.

The family have also donated a new bench to final hosts Fishguard Sports, Luke’s last club before he fell ill, with the words ‘Carefree wherever you may be’ carved on it and that too was unveiled before kick-off.

All players and supporters then observed a minute’s silence before referee Bernie Armstrong got things underway.

Devonald fires Phoenix Boys ahead:

After an even start the game came to life 20 minutes in when Goodwick forward Jack Griffiths teed up Devonald 25 yards out – and he fired a first time right foot shot that flew across Solva keeper Rhys Symons and into the top corner.

The Greens fashioned their first clear chance before the break as Corey John latched onto a long ball forward and his left foot volley was well tipped away by an outstretched Kieran O’Connor.

Goodwick take control before Solva finish strongly:


Goodwick went close to a second just after half time when Symons failed to gather a loose ball under pressure from Williams, and in the scramble that followed Alex O’Sullivan had a close range shot blocked.

But minutes later the second goal came when Williams, who had brought himself on at half time, had a header blocked by James Griffin but then made no mistake with the rebound as he scored with a low right-foot finish.

It was Devonald who then added a third as he ghosted in unmarked to head in Sion O’Sullivan’s in-swinging left foot corner.

At that point the contest looked done but Bland’s flicked header looped over Kieran O’Connor and into the net – and then Solva sub Harry Elliott fired narrowly wide after a probing run to the area.

The same player had a late effort tipped over by O’Connor as Goodwick held out for a win they merited over the 90 minutes.

Owain and Alex thank all involved:


Luke Hardings parents with a bench in memory of their sonIn the post-match presentations Fishguard Chairman Owen Duggan praised the four clubs and all the officials involved in the tournament, and spoke briefly about Luke’s legacy and how the competition for the splendid new trophy would run again next summer at the same venues.

Alex Harding also expressed the family’s gratitude and the way the community had come together for the occasion, which fittingly her son would have enjoyed.

It was Alex and Peter who then presented the trophy to winning Goodwick captain Rob Couzens to round off the evening, and all proceeds will now go to a charity of the pair’s choice.

Goodwick 2nds: Kieran O’Connor, Ben Leahy, Sam Davies, Rob Couzens, Darren Devonald, James George, Iwan James, Alex O’Sullivan, Mike Williams, Jack Griffiths, Ioan Evans. Subs: Dan Williams, Ifan Mathias, Josh Lewis, Sion O’Sullivan, Callum Clarke.

Solva 2nds: Rhys Symons, Dan Rees, James Griffin, Liam Thomas, Jack Thomas, Corey John, Aaron Foster, Will Griffin, Alex John-Duarte, Leo Dinmore, Ben Evans. Subs: Josh Bland, Sam Price, Alan Luke, Gareth Morris, Harry Elliott.

Solva 2nds