Ultimately, Pembrokeshire football's big night went the way of Merlins Bridge. 

But as a spectacle or an occassion, it didn't disappoint.

Here's where the final was won.....and lost.

All on the line:

There is no guarantee that had Carew taken one of their early chances, they would have gone on to win the game. The Senior Cup final told us that.

But it may have changed the course of the night.

The Rooks started the stronger and seemed set to take the lead when Gary Thomas made a brilliant close range save from Jordan Richards, and from the striker’s follow up Bridge skipper Chris Ormond made a goal line block.

Moments later Thomas made another save from a Sam Christopher header and when Adam Hawkins did volley his side in front 14 minutes in, it was against the run of the play.

Lloyd Hughes did swiftly level matters but at no point did Bridge have to chase the game, and Carew were left to rue not taking control early on.

Clinical Hawkins keeps cool under pressure:

Adam Hawkins’ disciplinary record this season has perhaps not been the best, but there has never been anything wrong with his composure in front of goal.

And so it proved at the Liberty. With both strikes he took his time when it would have been easy to snatch his shot - and left Tom Davies with little chance.

The goals capped another big shift from the winger and when he was replaced late on, he could be forgiven for looking spent.

Hawkins joined Ormond and Andrew John last night as the only players to win the trophy with two different Pembrokeshire clubs, and his experience of the big occasion was evident.

Two cruel blows for Carew:

The Rooks had the services of Swansea Physiotherapy for the final - but wouldn’t have wanted them to have been as busy as they were.

As well as firing Carew level, Lloyd Hughes had been his side’s best player when late in the half, he stretched out in a 50-50 tackle with Ormond and seemingly pulled his hamstring.

That was his night over and then in the second half, another key man in Jack Christopher was already in discomfort when his leg gave away at a crucial moment, allowing Hawkins to pounce and make it 2-1.

Injuries happen in football, but to say these two came at the wrong time for Carew would be an understatement.

Spot on from referee John:

In the final 15 minutes of the first half, Bridge clearly got in the ascendancy and pressed hard but they did endure a nervy moment at their own end.

Richards cracked a shot that was blocked in the box by Matthew D’Ivry, prompting a big appeal for handball. Referee Dean John immediately indicated he thought it came off the shoulder and waved play on - and my instinctive view was that he was right.

Still at 1-1 in the second half, D’Ivry was involved again when Zac Rowell went down in the area. Bridge fans held their breath when the whistle went, only for John to produce a yellow card for simulation.

The lack of any protest from a Carew player suggested he had that right too.

In fact, overall I thought John gave a first class refereeing display. His appointment was a justified one.

Izzard’s effort kept out by Thomas:

It was a good night for Bridge keeper Thomas, who made a string of saves over the 90 minutes.

But perhaps his most crucial one came seconds after his side went 2-1 up, when Carew captain Iwan Izzard let fly with a left foot shot from 18 yards.

It was heading in but Thomas got across quickly to push it to safety.
Had the Rooks pegged Bridge back again so quickly after falling behind it would have been a body blow - but it was the Wizards who then pressed home their advantage and when Ashley Beck made it 3-1, the contest was all but over.

Bridge go the distance:

In both the Senior and the West Wales Cup final, Bridge finished the stronger.

To reach the Liberty they came though an epic semi final with Hakin, and earlier in the competition won a tight game away to a strong Penlan side (1-0).

When a team keeps producing results like that, it’s no coincidence.

The only downside to their season was missing out on the treble, but to come through the fixture pile up they did with two trophies is testament to their fitness and desire.

Of course, Matthew D’Ivry has had quality to work with, and in Ormond a captain who simply leads by example. But he’s also instilled a winning mentality and know how in big games and you can never count them out.

As for Carew, they’ll be inevitably disappointed. 

But under Rob Scourfield and Jeremy Griffiths, you feel they are building. Their squad is still young, they've proved they can match anyone else in West Wales, and if they stay together they can challenge on three fronts again next season.

What both sides can do now however, is take a well earned rest.

Both have had very long seasons.