Merlins Bridge 3–3 Monkton Swifts (Merlins Bridge win 4-3 on penalties)

A highly entertaining Jubilee Cup finished 3-3 after 90 minutes and following the dreaded penalty shootout it was veteran Matthew Price who struck the winning penalty for The Wizards while stand in goalkeeper Dan Birch pulled of two stunning penalty saves to see their side to victory.

This game is a traditional pre-season curtain raiser and the league champions Monkton Swifts took on the Senior Cup and West Wales Cup holders Merlins Bridge.

Adam Hawkins gave the Wizards the lead before Ben Steele scored either side of half time to put the Swifts in front, Will Haworth sweetly struck a volley to level matters. Steele's deflected shot put The Swifts ahead again, then Luke Hayward crashed a penalty against the bar and the midfielder made amends by firing in an equaliser.

Ben Steele, Dylan Davies and Richard Hughes all scored their spot kicks, but Birch crucially saved Jake Seaton and Jordan Kilby’s efforts.

For the triumphant Wizards, Peter Thomas, Lee Hudgell (missed), Luke Hayward, Adam Hawkins took the first four and veteran Matthew Price coolly slotted in the winner.

“I think overall we deserved to win it. Our finishing should have been better,” said Wizards boss Simon Thomas.

Swifts manager Joe Lewis said: “We played really well for 90 minutes. Disappointed to lose, but the boys performed brilliantly.”

Within 30 seconds Merlins Bridge’s Adam Hawkins slotted the ball in the net, but it was disallowed for offside.

Minutes later and the Swifts nearly opened the scoring when Dylan Davies’ pinpoint cross fell to Ben Steele who saw his volley hit the foot of the post thanks to Wizards’ keeper Birch getting a strong hand to it.

Swifts’ keeper Stuart James pulled off a cracking save to deny Will Haworth who powered a goal bound header from a superb Adam Hawkins cross.

The Wizards broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, Hawkins ghosted into the box unmarked and well and truly volleyed home Hayward’s corner.

Will Haworth struck an ambitious long range shot well wide - not troubling Swifts’ keeper James.

Hawkins made another incisive break down the left and as he approached the box, he struck his shot high and wide.

Just before the break the Swifts equalised. Steele latching onto Dylan Davies’ intelligent cross at the far post and slotting in from inside the six-yard box.

Shortly after the interval Dylan Davies turned quickly inside the box and lobbed an effort just over Birch’s crossbar.

On the 50-minute mark and Swifts took the lead, Steele was strong on the edge of the box, beat a defender and rifled a low shot into the far corner for a cracking finish.

A minute later and Wizards could have equalised, keeper James came outside his box and miscued his kick, it fell to Will Haworth who drilled his long range wide. With the very next attack Hawkins’ cross was met by a Nathan Greene far post header which also went inches wide.

Hawkins played a cracking wide ball to Jordan Williams who raced clear and he struck a thumping effort straight at James.

In the 57th minute the Wizards equalised with an excellent goal from Will Haworth, Dai Davies’ cross was glanced on by Greene and Haworth hit a stunning volley crashing into the back of the net.

Following a half clearance Dai Davies struck a wicked dipping volley inches over the crossbar.

The Wizards were awarded a penalty when centre back Jake Seaton tripped Hawkins inside the area. Referee Roy Boswell didn’t hesitate and pointed to the spot. Luke Hayward fired his effort straight against the crossbar.

With the very next surge forward the Swifts regained the lead as Steele’s low shot deflected off defender Peter Thomas and wrong-footed Birch, the striker claiming a hat-trick.

Hayward skied an edge of the area direct free kick that landed embarrassingly out of the ground, then Steele missed a great opportunity to put his side further ahead, the striker received the ball in acres of space and uncharacteristically drilled a low effort wide.

The Wizards levelled matters in the 96th minute, Hayward drilling home from close range, the midfielder making amends for his earlier penalty miss.

Steele could have settled matters right at the death, but his shot struck the outside of the post and the match went straight to penalties, and the drama unfolded as Price struck the winner for The Bridge.

Merlins Bridge: Dan Birch, Andrew John, Chris Ormond (Captain), Peter Thomas, Lee Hudgell, Dai Davies, Luke Heyward, Adam Hawkins, Nathan Greene (Matthew Price 88), Will Haworth (Matthew D’Ivry 79), Jordan Williams (Joe Haworth 85).

Monkton Swifts: Stuart James, Rhodri Davies (Jordan Kilby 67), Jake Seaton, Shaun Jones (Captain) (Richard Hughes 45), Blake James, Jimmy Wilkes, Chris Richards, Ryan Griffiths (Liam Butland 61), Ben Nicholas, Dylan Davies, Ben Steele.

Referee: Roy Boswell.

Assistants: Angus Scourfield & Craig Templeton.