Swifts Seconds soar to silverware double
Delighted winners Monkton Swifts 2nds
Brave runners-up Hundleton 2nds
Swifts' skipper Joe Boswell raises the cup aloft
Hundleton defend well
Swifts veteran subs Neil Jones (58) and Paul Lacey (45)
Fifth Division Cup Final:
Hundleton 1 - Monkton Swifts 3
Steve Badham & Steve James
Marble Hall, Milford Haven
Monkton Swifts Seconds completed the double of fifth division champions and cup winners as they overcame the strong challenge from their counterparts just along the road at Hundleton in a game that was a credit to both teams, officials and a large crowd at a Marble Hall Ground that looked in top nick thanks to the ground staff at Milford United.
Swifts start as favourites but Hundleton start well
The Swifts inevitably started the game as hot favourites having won all 20 league games played so far and with a goal difference of 147-28 that included 9-1 and 3-1 victories over fifth-placed Hundleton but from the outset it was clear that the opposition was up for a tough tussle as talented youngsters Jack Blunsden and Connor Hay caught the eye up front and quickly had Swifts’ keeper Danny Roberts on his toes.
At the other end Liam Butland and Wayne Boswell, who has scored 58 league goals, were eager to run at the Hundleton defence but were kept relatively quiet by Lee and Lewis Callen as Christopher Lo was quick off his line to quell danger.
Favourites finally find the net
It took The Swifts 41 minutes of probing via Jordan Kilby, Joe Willison and Corey Meir before they finally broke the deadlock with a cracking goal that saw a good build up before an inch-perfect cross by Dan Butland fell just right for Luke Henry to fire past the advancing Lo and into the net off the crossbar.
Liam Butland also had a chance to double the lead right on half time but Lo produced a good save.
Hundleton battle hard to keep in contention . . .
Hundleton started the second half with a low shot from Johnny Hay but Tom Baldrey, Peter Worrell and skipper Joe Boswell quickly plugged the gaps and at the other end Liam Butland fired over the bar twice in the space of a minute.
Roberts made a fine diving save and had to come off his line as Hundleton fought hard to stay in the game through the midfield efforts of Jamie Stanley, Billy Abrahams, Johnny Hay and Mark Jones that gave Connor Hay and Blunsden half chances.
. . . But Swifts score twice in two minutes
But Monkton grabbed that vital second score midway through the period when Liam Butland was put in top a space near the penalty sport and he buried his shot past a stranded Lo.
The Swifts added their third goal within two minutes and this time it was Joe Willison who beat two players on the left and curved the ball into the far corner to virtually make the game safe for the delighted Swifts.
Hundleton stay competitive to the end of an excellent final
But it says a great deal about Hundleton’s determination that they fought back as Adam Bowen and Abrahams set up a chance for Shaun Newberry to tap home following a glaring defensive error by The Swifts – and Danny Roberts completed a good performance in the Monkton goal as he also had to save well from Johnny Hay and Blunsden late on.
Also making cameos late in the game for The Swifts were Neil Jones and Paul Lacey, with a combined age of 103 – and still playing with real enthusiasm for their football!
It was Swifts’ skipper Joe Boswell who received the silverware from Rowena Lloyd, the chairperson of the Manderwood Pembrokeshire Football League, but both teams were deserved recipients of their medals for their committed performances – as did Kevin Milich and his assistants, who worked really well together throughout the match.
Christopher Lo: Shaun Newberry; Lewis Callen; Lee Callen; Adam Bowen: Jamie Stanley; Billy Abrahams; Johnny Hay; Mark Jones: Jack Blunsden; Connor Hay. Subs: Sam Sharp; Don Wood; Tom Beynon.
Danny Roberts: Dan Butland; Tom Baldrey; Joe Boswell; Peter Worrell: Jordan Kilby; Corey Meir; Luke Henry; Joe Willison: Liam Butland; Wayne Boswell. Subs: Neil Jones; Paul Lacey; Morgan Daye.