Pembrokeshire section champions declared - but champagne remains on ice

Declared league champions

They have been declared league champions – but the champagne remains on ice.

Following the FAW announcement on Tuesday, much of the spotlight in Pembrokeshire football has been on Hakin United who, via points per game average, have been crowned Division 1 champions for the 19th time.

But in other leagues, four sides can also celebrate the title – while four runners up join them in waiting to see if they will get promotion to go with their silverware.

Tish want promotion spoke to representatives of each of the four winners from the lower leagues, starting with St Ishmaels who were on top of Division 2 following a six game unbeaten run. Hundleton finished second.

But Tish player-coach Gerard Gray said it won’t feel real unless promotion goes with it. The club have not been in the top flight since being relegated in the 2013/14 season.

“It’s a good thing to have won the league but we want to go up,” he said.

“If we are still playing Division 2 football next year we won’t feel like champions. We were confident of winning the league from our position because of the fixtures we had in the last seven games and the boys were getting fitter and fitter as the season went along.”

Indeed, Gray praised his side for the way they improved since August.

“As so often, the more we were winning the more we had training and by the end, it was hard to pick a squad. We have plenty of youngsters coming through as well which is good for the future.

“But if we do go up we will need some signings to help us stay in that division, we know that.”

Swifts unbeaten and deserve promotion

In Division 3 Monkton 2nds, who the previous season were denied promotion following a late restructure, were clear winners having won all 16 league games. Milford Athletic wait with them to see if they are promoted as league runners up.

“We are happy to be champions again – that’s a third title in four seasons and we end the season unbeaten,” said Monkton manager Andrew Webb.

“Hopefully now that has been sorted out we get promoted after being undone by the reform last season.

“The boys have been amazing again and this team and club will hopefully be where it should be – with two teams in the top two leagues in Pembrokeshire.”

Broad Haven hoping for bigger things

The Division 4 champions are Broad Haven 2nds, who pipped Tenby. The team had won 12 and drawn two of their 14 games when things were halted.

“We are pleased but obviously remain in suspense,” said skipper Ian Vaughan.

“We want to go up. We’ve been knocking on the door for a while and missed out by a point last season. But we’ve got a good mix of youth and old heads in our squad and a great team spirit - and whatever happens we’ll bounce back.

“We were having a good battle with Tenby at the top and it was actually going down there and winning 3-2 which put us top of the table. We were 2-1 down and they missed a penalty – but that win summed up the character and belief of the boys.”

Manager Paul Johnston added:"Obviously it's not the way we would have preferred to have won it. But all credit goes to the players. To go unbeaten considering the standard of our direct opposition (Tenby) is a great achievement."

As for the Seasiders, promotion would mean going up for the second straight season since reforming.

Thirds continue their progress

In Division 5 it was Carew 3rds who continued their progress. They won the divisional cup in the 2018/19 season and now have added the title ahead of second placed Hundleton 2nds.

Manager Jamie Heeps said: “We’ve had a pretty good season. Obviously this isn’t the way we would have liked to have won it but it still feels good – and with promotion it will be even better.

“We kept a similar squad to the previous season and built on winning the cup under Sion Jenkins. From there the boys have stuck together and if we get the chance to play in Division 4, we’ll be looking forward to it. We’ve seen what Monkton 2nds have done and there is no reason we can’t climb the leagues as well.

“The first and second team both have good squads at our club which helps us and as a club we are doing very well.”

The FAW are yet to confirm when they will make a decision on promotions and relegations, but have informed the Pembrokeshire League an announcement will be made in ‘due course’.