Merlins Bridge 3-2 Pennar Robins

In a game dominated by penalties, Luke Hayward’s goal from the spot proved decisive as Merlins Bridge prepared for this Saturday’s Senior Cup final with a win.

Amazingly out of the four spot kicks shared between the two teams, Hayward’s was the only successful one.

It was Pennar who led when Phil Thompson’s 40 yard effort sailed over home keeper Gary Thomas and into the net – and The Wizards missed a chance to level before half time when Joe John was fouled in the area, but Joe Leahy put the penalty against the post.

But John did level after the break, finishing well from a Steve McNabney cross.

Leahy then made it 2-1 with a close range finish, but Jason Donohue brought the visitors back level with a neat strike from a tight angle.

There was still plenty of drama to come as McNabney won a second Bridge penalty, but Leahy again failed to convert as his effort was saved by Stuart James, who had gone in goal after starting the game outfield.

However, from the resultant scramble, John was fouled and The Wizards had a third spot kick – and this time it was Hayward who stepped up to score.

Then with time running out, The Robins got a penalty of their own, but Thompson’s effort was well saved by home keeper Thomas.

Merlins Bridge: Gary Thomas, Matthew D’Ivry, Chris Ormond, Simon Thomas, Andrew John, Jordan Raymond, Luke Hayward, Joe Leahy, Will Haworth, Steve McNabney, Joe John.

Subs: Scott Murray, Nathan Thomas.

Pennar Robins: Richard Hughes, Stuart James, Jason Donohue, Connor Roberts, Phil Thompson, Carl Rees, Adam Cole, Jonathan Rogers, Mikey Powell, Gareth Lewis, Niall O’Connor.

Subs: Luke Phillips, Connor Rees, Fred Newport.