Manderwood Pembrokeshire League Division 1: Merlins Bridge 6-3 Neyland

It wasn't entirely convincing, but Merlins Bridge came through a second league game in three days last night as Joe Leahy's hat trick helped them see off Neyland.

Understandably the Wizards made changes from the squad that beat Clarbie Road on Saturday, while Neyland were also depleted and included Henry Durrant and Sean Hannon in their 14, both of whom had played cricket in the UK Indoor Finals at Lord's the previous day.

So it was perhaps inevitable the game took a while to get going, and it was Bridge who had the first chance when Leahy's fierce left shot was pushed over the bar by young keeper Jake Payne.

But after 15 minutes it was Leahy who did find the target, slotting home from Adam Hawkins' through ball.

Neyland responded three minutes later though, Durrant's free kick knocked down by Mike Chandler into the path of Joe Charlton, and the left back scrambled a shot in.

Six minutes after that and Matthew D'Ivry's side were back in front, Will Haworth placing a left footed shot into the far corner after being teed up by Luke Hayward.

Hawkins then volleyed against the post and then was denied by a well timed last ditch tackle by Scott Jones as it stayed 2-1 at the break.

The Nomads had a chance early in the second half when Charlton forced a smart save out of Bridge keeper Gary Thomas with a header from another Durrant free kick.

And soon after that they were level, Oliver Hughes finishing well.

It was then the home side found another gear though, and Hawkins made it 3-2 before Leahy struck twice in quick succession for his hat trick.

Sean Hannon came off the bench to pull one back for Neyland with a header from a corner, but Bridge sealed the points through a sub of their own as Josh Thomas struck late on.

Clarbie's fightback checks Carew:

A further boost to Bridge was the news Clarbeston Road had fought back from 3-0 down to take a point off Carew at Knock Playing Fields.

Jordan Richards (2) and James Hinchliffe seemingly put the Rooks in control, but the home side denied them three points via Ben John, Matt Ellis, and Dan Rees.

Where we stand:

Bridge have now taken six points from two games despite inevitable fatigue. Games will continue to come thick and fast and at this stage wins are all that matter. They have closed the gap to Monkton to 13 points with four games in hand, and play Herbie on Wednesday.

After last night Carew's task is now harder. They lie 15 off the Swifts with three games in hand and are at Marble Hall to play Milford United tomorrow (Wednesday).

Merlins Bridge: Gary Thomas, Joe Haworth, Chris Ormond, Gethin Roberts, Simon Thomas, Leon Pemberthy, Dai Davies, Luke Hayward, Will Haworth, Joe Leahy, Adam Hawkins. Subs: Andrew John, Josh Thomas, Ben Davies.

Neyland: Jake Payne, Dylan Rowland, Scott Jones, William Hughes, Joe Charlton, Jake Booth, Henry Durrant, Oliver Hughes, Max Bowman-Davies, Andrew Smith, Mike Chandler. Subs: Sean Hannon, Sam Laugharne, Joe Campadonic.

Referee: Charles Davies.