Junior Rugby at its very best in sun-blest County Finals

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After two years where persistent rain fell throughout the day the 2018 Pembrokeshire Junior Finals Day, held under the auspices of the Pembrokeshire and District Junior Rugby Association, featured rugby across the age bands that was brilliant, with weather to match.

Small wonder then that organisers Ken Davies and Sarah Hill were delighted by the quality of players and coaches in producing a real spectacle for the huge crowds who flocked to Haverfordwest RFC, where the ground looked an absolute picture and every part of the long day ran like clockwork.

“We would like to thank all involved from the day, including all the volunteers and excellent referees, the volunteers from The Blues and all the sponsors who helped us produce another great programme for players, parents and grandparents to keep as a memento.

It was also gratifying to see so many former internationals in attendance, with Kevin Phillips and John Davies following the fortunes as ever of Crymych, plus Jonathan Thomas, now coaching with Bristol, supporting his nephews playing for Pembroke.

Other current professional players were Sam Parry (Haverfordwest) and Ifan Phillips (Crymych) both vying for the hooker’s berth with The Ospreys, whilst a special guest, who presented most of the medals, was Ryan Foot (Fishguard) who recently won a gold medal with Wales in the World Deaf Rugby team in Australia and in the same week won his first15 a side cap in the team which beat Australia 32-5!

Under 7s: - Sponsored by JT Auto Services:

Fishguard U7sFlying start from under 7s

Fishguard & Goodwick 5 Pembroke Dock Harlequins 4 

The finals got off to a cracking start as the under 7s  from Pembroke Dock Harlequins and their counterparts from Fishguard and Goodwick served up a veritable feast of rugby before the latter edged home by 5 tries to 4.

Both teams played fast, attacking rugby from the outset and fortunes ebbed and flowed as the lead changed hands on several occasions, with some good reffing by John Williams, to complete the ingredients necessary for a quality match.

Owen Mackeen and Alexander Smith caught the eye for The Quins whilst Oliver John scored two tries as reward for his elusive running, with others coming from Zac Esposito and Zac Jay Thompson as the Black and Whites played well.
Pembroke Dock Quins U7s
But Fishguard always looked dangerous through the skills of Jac Jenkins, Johnny Wyatt and William Miles, which helped set up tries for Callum Stoker, Owain Williams (2) and Dewi George (2).

The Quins had one final chance to level matters but good Seagulls defence kept them out and they won the match as a result.


Under 8s – Sponsored by JT Auto Services:

Haverfordwest U8sTries galore in cracking under 8 final

Fishguard & Goodwick 5 Haverfordwest 8

There was action aplenty on the adjoining pitch before Haverfordwest's greater power and ability to take their chances saw them beat a gritty Fishguard side by 8 - 5 in terms of tries as referee Martin Rudd deserved every credit for letting the game flow.

The Young Blues had a real try scorer in Connor Symmonds as he sidestepped his way to a hat-trick alongside other scores from Brandon Dewstowe, Ayden Davies, Lucas Albery, Owain Gilderdale and Max Williams as Alfie Wilkie, also featured well in their small squad.

For the Young Seagulls there were good tries by Seb Harries, Rylee Vaughan and Gethin Brock (2) - and loads of real effort from the whole squad.
Fishguard U8s


Under 9s – Sponsored by JT Auto Services:

Crymych U9sTwo hat-tricks as Young Blues win well

Crymych 2 Haverfordwest 8

Crymych battled hard in this final but their whole-hearted play wasn't enough as Haverfordwest maintained their domination of this age group as they ran in eight tries to Crymych's two and dedicated their success to late former coach Steve 'Steggie' Edwards.

The Young Blues were three tries to the good at half time before Llyr Mathias pulled one back for  Crymych - and their hard work earned them tries from the pacy Niall Smith (3), powerful Josefa Rabekewa (3) and Harvey Thomas (2) after some really hard work by the likes of Gethin Thomas, Morgan Williams, Toby Kelly Haverfordwest U9sand Will Edwards.

But Crymych battled until the final whistle as Jaap Harris's tackling caught the eye and Meirion Thomas and Morgan Evans also played well as they had that try from Mathias in the first half, and Dafydd Williams, towards the end of the game.


Under 10s – Sponsored by JT Auto Services:

Crymych U10sGreat defences by both teams in low-scoring final

Crymych 2 Tenby Swifts 1

This match was undoubtedly the closest in terms of scoreline and chances created as defences were outstanding with last-ditch tackles galore before Crymych claimed victory by two tries to one.
Both sides had pace aplenty and forward power that served them well but neither side was able to gain dominance in a game where fortunes ebbed and flowed before tries by Delme Alleyne and Ifan James were enough to secure the title for Crymych.

Tenby U10sTenby Swifts only response was a try by Connor Davies as Owen Grieve, Jayden Allen, Rowen Watson and Lucy Lewis looked sharp whilst Dafydd Bryan, George Nelson and Beca Tomkinson did the same for Crymych.


Under 11s – Sponsored by Maggs Optics:

Haverfordwest U11s Young Blues so strong

Haverfordwest 8 Pembroke 2

Haverfordwest produced a performance of pace and power as they finally overcame a very good Pembroke side by eight tries to two in a game enjoyed by an appreciative crowd in both camps as Ross Grieve also played his part with some good refereeing.

Pembroke U11sHaverfordwest had players of the calibre of Logan Young, Devin and Osian Williams, Harry Lawrence and Aisea Rabakewa, whose strong tackling was a feature of his team's strong defence against some the runs of Corey Mathias, Cameron Cridland, Rhys Daley and Kodi Bratcher for the Young Scarlets, whose tries were claimed by Zac Shaw and Keanu Williams.


Under 12s – Sponsored by Matt’s Cabs:

Tenby U12s Strong Swifts take control

Haverfordwest 5 Tenby Swifts 47

Tenby Swifts have ruled the roost in this age group for a long while and although Haverfordwest never gave up trying they were under the cosh as they trailed by 0-26 at the interval and were rewarded for their efforts when skipper Lewis Parry finally managed an unconverted try to break their points' duck.

Jake Ritchie, Gabriel Thicker, Rhys Kennard and Morgan John were other Young Blues to feature strongly but Tenby's powerful all-round team display was hard to suppress as half backs Dylan Duffy and skipper Iori Badham called the shots and regularly brought their backs into action after their front five of Kyle Rossiter, Iorrie Richards, Cameron Brown, Josh Geertman and Freddie Randell were terrific ball winners.

Haverfordwest U12sRossiter scored a try alongside Fletcher Broadhurst, Duane-Lee Johns, Dylan Duffy, Max James, Cairan Allen and Harri Watts, whilst skipper Badham was as heavily involved as in other years as he scored a try and converted six of his team's tries in a match that referee Martin Rudd controlled well!


Under 13s – Sponsored by Mainport Training:

Whitland U13sYoung Borderers win a great game

Crymych 19 Whitland 33

Whitland had only one team in the Junior Finals but their talented under 13 team made sure they went home with a deserved win over a battling Crymych side which never gave up trying but couldn't match them in terms of pace wide out.

For Crymych there were good tries by Iestyn Wood and the highly talented Max Page (2), who also notched a conversion alongside Owain Davies as flanker John Griffiths, Tomos Davies, Ptolemy Alleyne and Huw Reed also played well.

Crymych U13sBut in Harry Fuller the Borderers had a match winner as he sped through for two tries and slotted four conversions, whilst replacement Joe Bohane crossed twice and Jacob Owen also claimed a try as Tecwyn Thomas played well in the back row and skipper Henry Nelson joined Oliver Bujega, Morgan Williams and Daniel Jones were others who did well in what was a terrific tussle and credit to both teams and referee Colin Phillips!


Under 14s – Sponsored by Gravells:

Fishguard U14sYoung Seagulls win ‘Match of the Day’

Fishguard & Goodwick 14 Pembroke 5

Shay Buckley, the excellent MC for the whole day, said that this tussle was a credit to the game of rugby and almost certainly the best of the best matches during a great day of rugby - and few would disagree with him because Fishguard and Goodwick joined Pembroke in a game well officiated by Sion Edwards.

It was fast and furious, with some fantastic defence allied to genuine pace and great handling in attack and it was a pity that either side had to lose.

Pembroke U14s Jake Norris, Rhys Lewis, Joss Lerwill and hooker Cai Llewellyn led the Young Seagulls' play and their tries came from wingers Saul Peterson-Flynn and Ben Bone, with both conversions by Llewellyn.

Pembroke’s sole reply was an unconverted try by full back Tom Cabot as No 8 Zac Stewart joined centres Kareem Bugby and Iori Humphreys in producing great individual Scarlet performances in an excellent all-round effort.

Under 15s – Sponsored by Pembrokeshire Property Maintenance:

Tenby U15s Swifts sink Crymych in a cracking finale

Crymych 16 Tenby Swifts 27

The under 15s Cup Final now features the players who are oldest in the junior finals day and they showed how quickly they develop, not only in size and experience in a match where there was no shortage of powerful runs and big tackles but also high skill levels before Tenby Swifts came out on top by 27-16 against Crymych.

Tenby took an early 12-0 lead before Crymych hauled themselves back into contention to lead 16-14 thanks to a converted try and three penalties before the Young Seasiders used their big pack to set up the platform for them to end up with the winners’ medals with two more tries and a penalty.

Crymych U15s Outside half Alex Wainwright and winger  Louis Rees scored early Tenby tries, one of them converted by Wainwright after Archie Hughes, Max Badham, Josh Done and Ovidiu Anghel played well – and they had other tries after the interval through skipper Lewis Morgan and Rees again, plus  two conversions and a penalty from No 10 Wainwright.

Thomas Elliott, Joe Emberson-Marl and Owain Evans all played well for Crymych as prop Rhodri Lewis claimed their only try alongside 11 points from fly half Osian Hill, who worked sensibly with half back partner Iwan Thomas – and a gritty game was well controlled by referee Charlie Watts.

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