Monmouthshire Windows East Gwent League

Division One

WITH two of their title rivals inactive due to unfit pitches, leaders Thornwell Red & White took the chance to improve their goal difference with a 9-1 win over Tintern Abbey, writes Bob Cypher.

Hat-tricks for Dan Hines and Tudor Morgan-Huggett, along with a brace by Wayne Duffield and another goal for Tobias Prettyjohn saw the GD column leap to +55, 16 ahead of second-placed Caldicot Castle, who won 2-0 at home to Caldicot Town.

In what he described as “a good work-out”, Castle boss Joe O’Brien said he was pleased with his men.

“Town had eight or nine of their Welsh League Reserves playing yesterday so it wasn't going to be a push over,” he added.

“We started brightly and had a chance to score in the first five minutes when Sean Johnson was brought down in the box.

“Sean stepped up and missed the penalty but we maintained the pressure and I put us ahead.

“In the second half Rick Woodland made it 2-0 after their keeper saved Steve Edwards’ overhead kick.

“We needed that tough game as we have a massive game next Saturday.”

Thornwell, who switched their match to the 3G pitch at Caldicot Leisure Centre, have 32 points, three ahead of Castle and Rockfield Rovers but Castle have two games in hand on Red & White.

But league titles will be far from the minds of the top two this Saturday when they go head-to-head with a place in the Monmouthshire Windows Benevolent Cup final at stake.

The other semi-final, between Undy Athletic and Division 2’s Monmouth Town, promises to be an interesting match following Town’s 4-3 league victory at Sudbrook CC last Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the two league matches scheduled, fifth-placed Severn Tunnel can narrow the gap between them and fourth-placed Iscoed Tafarn when they visit Caldicot Town.

With games in hand over all the teams above them, Tunnel are still in with a chance of a much higher finish.

Tafarn visit bottom club Tintern Abbey with the same target in mind.

Rockfield are without a match due to the cup-ties.