Rugby Reports 11th March 2017
Outside half Ben Hathaway kicks an early penalty for The Quins
Division Three (West) A:
Wasps win well to round off league campaign
Llangwm 13 - Pembroke Dock Harlequins 8
Andrew Davies (Ammanford)
Keith Lawrence (Llangwm) & Simon Lloyd (Quins)
Llangwm rounded off their league season in the best possible manner as they beat old rivals Pembroke Dock Harlequins in a hard-fought tussle at Pill Parks where the result was in doubt until the last five minutes as the Quins led 8-6.
But then Wasps outside half Lewis Murphy made a telling break to confirm another useful performance at pivot as strong pressure and quick hands allowed him to spot a gap for a corner try which full back Steve Picton converted to earn the home side their third win from 18 starts.
But it was the Quins, who could only muster a bare 15 players that included Aaron James at full back and Mohammed Shabaj Ali on the wing, that opened the scoring with a well-struck early penalty by outside half Ben Hathaway before Murphy missed a similar effort for Llangwm at the bottom end of the pitch.
Murphy soon made amends with a three-pointer on target but despite some yeoman work by Wasps’ forwards Ashley James, Gareth Lawlor, skipper Ian Griffiths and Jamie Lewis, it was The Quins who scored the opening try as James, Hathaway, Jason Keats and skipper Thomas Doyle combined to put winger Geraint Powell in for his first try for the club in only his second match.
Hathaway was unable to add the extra points and Llangwm added their second penalty when Steve Picton slotted a decent penalty to narrow the half time gap to two points.
The second half was really strongly contested and second row Josh Hicks was highlighted by team manager Richard Scriven as a major influence with his powerful surges that gained ground on a regular basis.
With just five minutes left The Wasps claimed the vital score when Murphy sliced through and Picton added the conversion – and the celebrations started in earnest at the Llangwm clubhouse!
Steve Picton: Dan Morgan; Yale Grice; Aled Morgan; Spencer Rourke: Lewis Murphy; Carwyn Morgan: Dave Reynolds; Gethin Thomas; Gavin Jones: Ashley James; Josh Hicks: Jamie Lewis; Ian Griffiths (Capt); Gareth Lawlor. Replacements: Ben Llewellyn; Tom Meehan; Jason Mock; Mark Brimacombe; Dan Chesmer.
Pembroke Dock Harlequins:
Aaron James: Geraint Powell; Jason Keats; Thomas Doyle (Capt); Mohammed Shabaj Ali: Ben Hathaway; Ben Quick: Bradley Jones; George Belmaine; Nathan Edwards: Simon James; Jack Davies: Martin Culley; Liam Smith; Steffan Halwood.
Quins' skipper Thomas Doyle is on the end of a crunch tackle against The Wasps
Superb Otters too strong for Glynneath
Glynneath 3 - Narberth 40
A superb second half display, where Narberth scored 28 points without replay, allowed them to record a convincing win over seventh-placed Glynneath to go with a much-narrower 19-12 success at the Lewis Lloyd Ground earlier in the season.
The Otters’ defence was superb throughout and the home side was only able to register a first-half penalty by outside half Dylan Francis as Ianto Griffiths and young half back partner Lewys Gibby called the shots and the latter claimed a superb solo try with a powerful surge after Griffiths had earlier converted a good try by winger Liam Hutchings.
The second half saw The Otters very much in the ascendancy as powerful centres Ollie Reyland and Jack Price raced over the whitewash, with a try from flanker Pat Roberts sandwiched in between as reward for his support play, with young full back Jake Jenkins scoring a try on debut for the home side.
Two conversions apiece from Griffiths and Jonathan Rogers rounded off the scoring for Narberth as they looked a very accomplished all-round team that fully deserved such a convincing success.
Jake Jenkins - good try for Narberth full back
Division One (West):
Disappointing defeat for Preseli Men
Loughor 29 - Crymych 12
Crymych suffered the disappointment of defeat against Loughor, who were languishing in 11th spot in the section table but still had enough fire-power available to register four tries to earn a bonus point and avenge a 43-19 loss at Parc Lloyd Thomas.
The Preseli men found themselves 12-0 adrift at half time as Loughor claimed tries from No 8 Michael White and full back Jamie George, one converted by scrum half Tom R Davies.
Both Loughor players grabbed a second score apiece and both were converted by Davies to go with a well-struck penalty.
All the Preseli Men could muster in return was a try brace from second row Rhys ‘Beaky’ Davies and scrum half Rhys Davies slotted one conversion on a day that wasn’t the best of the campaign by any means for the visitors!
Rhys 'Beaky' Davies - scored both Crymych tries
‘Brilliant’ Borderers beat Mid Wales opposition
Whitland 32 - Aberystwyth 10
Whitland gained ample revenge for an earlier 33-26 defeat at Aberystwyth to celebrate a bonus point that provides a real boost in their quest to avoid relegation.
“Our pack was brilliant,” said a club spokesman, “and four tries from our backs shows the contribution they made whilst staying organised and strong in defence.”
One of the pillars of strength for Whitland was the back row play of Andrew Hawkins, Ben Kirk and skipper Jack Mason, and a solid scrum platform from Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones and Ryan Rees.
Dai Ebsworth and Raff Williams formed an experienced engine room and from such a strong platform The Borderers had tries from wingers Sean Coles and Fola Dario alongside two others from influential centre Alun Howells.
Nico Setaro called the shots and continued his excellent kicking form with all four conversions and two penalties – and all Aber could score in return was a first half penalty by Llyr Thomas, plus a later try by No 8 Lee Evans which Steffan Rees converted.
Fola Dario - good try for Whitland winger
Division Two (West):
Seagulls succumb to Llan’s pack power
Llanybydder 19 - Fishguard & Goodwick 7
Fishguard produced a below-par display against a Llanybydder outfit four places below them in the table but completing a somewhat unlikely double since they had previously won 24-16 at The Moors.
There were the usual ball-carrying charges by Simon James and skipper Gavin Walsh, whilst James Reynolds tackled well behind the scrum, with James opening the scoring in typical fashion for Kial Keane to add the extra points.
But Llanybydder claimed first-half tries by second row Aled Evans and Dafydd Morgan, both converted by outside half Llyr Davies to give the homesters a 14-7 half-time lead.
The Seagulls had their chances after the oranges but failed to turn pressure into points – and Llanybydder grabbed the only score of the half with an unconverted try from winger Dafydd Adams.
Seasiders miss out as chances go astray
Tycroes 29 - Tenby United 24
Tenby United missed out on the chance to exert pressure on the section leaders as they lost narrowly to a Tycroes outfit which also has a vested interest in the promotion stakes.
The match at Cae Gelli was played on Tycroes’s second pitch whilst a youth team match took place on the main pitch, and the home side’s big forwards certainly relished playing there.
The home side took an early lead with an unconverted try by flanker Adam Price before Seasiders’ No 10 Ashley Sutton reduced the deficit with a penalty before Tycroes grabbed a try from centre Luke Rees.
A successful charged down clearance attempt by Jack Guerreiro produced a try for Tenby which Sutton converted to level matters but Tycroes went in at the break with a 15-10 advantage after a third unconverted try, this time from prop Tomos Morgan.
Fortunes ebbed and flowed in the second period as Greg Lees- Griffiths raced over wide out for Sutton to add the extras but Tycroes reclaimed the lead when they were awarded a penalty try which Dean Bromham converted after Tenby forward Barry Parsons had been yellow-carded.
When Rees raced clear for his second score and Bromham added the extras it seemed all over for the Seasiders but Lees-Griffiths sped through for his second corner try, again well converted by Sutton.
There was still time for Tenby to snatch the verdict but they had to settle for the consolation of a bonus point as Tycroes held out well to take the honours – and gain revenge for an earlier 45-13 defeat at Heywood Lane!
Brave Blues smashed by Ponty
Pontyberem 85 - Haverfordwest 14
Haverfordwest were made to the price for fielding a makeshift side at Pontyberem as they trailed by 52-0 at half time and eventually managed to score two converted tries as proof that those who made the trip gave their all in the Blues’ cause.
A club spokesman for The Blues was quick to praise the efforts, particularly of seconds and youth team players who turned out – and one of their tries came from promising youth flanker Ryan Palmer and the other claimed by outside half Danny Morgan, both converted by centre Gareth John.
But they were unable to stifle the threat posed by pacy Ponty winger Steff Evans, who grabbed five tries, four of them in the first period, alongside others by second row Matthew Lloyd, No 8 Wayne Williams and full back Rhodri Lewis, all converted by outside half Mike Sauro to go with an early penalty.
No 8 Williams added his second try as others were scored by winger Matthew Murphy, and flanker James McFarland, all converted by Sauro, who rounded off the scoring with a solo try – but missed his only conversion attempt of the match!
Division Three (West) A:
Saints win vital promotion clash
St Clears 38 - Pembroke 8
St Clears took a giant step towards achieving promotion with a convincing win over fellow-promotion hopefuls Pembroke, who paid the inevitable price for fielding a below-strength side because a number of their ‘big guns’ were injured or unavailable.
But that takes nothing away from the quality of the Carmarthenshire Saints’ performance as they had four tries to the Scarlets’ one to pouch an invaluable bonus point in the process so small wonder that young coach Mike Jones was delighted.
The Saints had squeezed home by 18-17 in the reverse fixture at Crickmarren and they established a 17-3 interval lead after Luke Hartland had kicked the visitors into an early lead with a penalty.
The Saints had experienced centre Mike Georgiou sent off for dissent after a prior yellow immediately before he queried the decision a little too vehemently for the referee but they still managed to retain their composure in defence.
Johnny Palmer and Jamie Brayford battled hard up front for The Scarlets but the home back row of Dafydd Page, Tomos Rees and Jake Isles was outstanding in the ball winning stakes.
Iles’ commitment was rewarded with a try alongside others from influential scrum half Llyr Ebsworth (2) and No 10 Shane Morgan, whilst talented young full back Geraint Johns landed three conversions and four penalties for a personal haul of 18 points.
All the Scarlets could muster in response was an unconverted try from Barry John and visitors’ coach Geraint Lewis said afterwards that St Clears deserved their win because they were the better team on the day!
Shane Morgan - another try for St Clears
Teifisiders take the honours against the Boathouse Boys
Cardigan 46 - Laugharne 10
Cardigan maintained their thrust for promotion with a deserved home win over Laugharne that gave them the double since they had won 24-16 when the teams met earlier in the campaign.
The Teifisiders scored four tries to take a 24-10 lead into half time and added another four tries afterwards whilst shutting out the Laugharne hopes of a revival.
Bustling flanker Gareth Clifford, full back Alun Jenkins, experienced No 8 Colin Davies and centre Marcus Castle scored the home tries, two of them converted by outside half Iestyn Crompton.
For Laugharne there was an early penalty by Tom Jameson, who also converted a good team try claimed by back rower Mike Williams, but they few chances thereafter as the Cardigan cover was really well organised.
Home hooker Aled Phillips opened the Cardigan scoring after the break with a close-range try and then powerful centre castle added his second and third scores before replacement Llyr Griffiths, the club captain, completed the try count.
Two conversions by Llyr Jones completed the Cardigan scoring as they are now six points behind leaders St Clears, but with a vital two games in hand!
Gareth Clifford - got Cardigan off to a good start
Marauding Mariners slam Saints
Milford Haven 95 - St Davids 5
Milford Haven put on a show under the lights as they hammered St Davids in the first ever senior rugby game to be played on the new 4G surface at The Obs last night (Thursday).
The Mariners ran in 15 tries, and fell just five points short of three figures against a Saints side who battled throughout, but were unable to match the pace and power of the home side as they looked to attack from everywhere.
Mariners’ pressure pays off
The visitors did well to withstand some early pressure from Steve Barnett and Alan McClelland's men, but then Milford centre Jimmy Thomas capitalised on a loose kick in midfield to slice through for a try that No 10 Craig Barnett converted.
Two more scores then quickly followed, as flanker Ben Groves burst under the posts after a neat inside pass from Barnett, and the outside half added the extras before jinking his way over for a try he again converted.
Saints miss chances – and pay the price
The Saints then enjoyed their first real spell of pressure that culminated in a penalty 25 metres out, but centre Daf Williams pulled his effort wide of the posts.
Milford continued to make use of the pitch as they ran the ball at every opportunity, and centre Dan Jenkins burst down the left to score, before Barnett grabbed his second try with another neat finish.
Flanker Alun Harries was then rewarded for good support play as he rounded off some good handling for his side’s last try of the half, with Barnett adding his fourth conversion to make it 38-0.
But to their credit, The Saints rallied before the break, and after Milford winger Craig Thomas was sin binned, it took some resolute defence from The Mariners to keep their line intact as props Jon Rellie and Ben Evans, plus winger Tanapan Phumkhonsan, all went within inches of a score for the visitors.
Good Mariners’ start to second half
However, The Mariners regained the momentum just seconds after the interval, as the first contribution of replacement forward Dai Sweeny was to power over for a try - and from the resulting restart, scrum half Daniel McClelland opted to run the ball from the deep and it resulted in a try for winger Dean McSparron.
Barnett then struck from 40 metres out for his hat trick, and duly converted to make it 57-0.
St Davids responded though with their only try of the night, as scrum half Fraser Watson sniped through a gap 22 metres out and just evaded the cover defence to score.
Milford bounced back immediately as winger Craig Thomas did well to stretch out and reach the line after cutting inside from the right wing, and Groves then completed his try treble with two quick-fire scores, one of which Barnett converted.
Plenty of points as pressure paid off
The Mariners carried on playing open rugby and took advantage of now depleted St Davids backline as Jenkins grabbed his second with a break from just outside his own 22.
Jamie Barnett, on for brother Craig, converted before another replacement in flanker Ryan Mansell added the 14th try out wide.
The Saints themselves did press for another consolation try but two close range lineouts went astray, and from the game’s final play, it was Sweeny who rounded off a break from second row Archie Smithies to score out wide, and then nail the conversion himself with a drop goal attempt.
The win takes Milford second, three points off leaders St Clears, and three points ahead of third placed Cardigan – although The Teifisiders have two games in hand on the top two.
Dean McSparron, Ben Jenkins, Dan Jenkins, Jimmy Thomas, Craig Thomas, Craig Barnett, Dan McClelland, Darren Lewis, Luke Ryan, Adam Rees, Chris Hall, Archie Smithies, Ben Groves, Alun Harries, Mark Wonnacott.
Replacements: Jonathan Coe, Ryan Mansell, Jamie Barnett, David Sweeny, Jake Barrett.
John Miles, Tanapan Phumkhonsan, Rhys Price, Daf Williams, Anton Matthews, Owain Beynon, Fraser Watson, Jon Rellie, Noel Lyons, Will Davies, Chris Jenkins, Dan Jenkins, Curt Buchanan, Scott Riches, Gethin Bateman.
Replacements: Carl Evans, Ben Evans, Dan Murphy, Andrew Batten, Steve Griffiths
Craig Barnett - three tries and a total of 31 points for Milford against St Davids
No match at The Athletic Ground
Neyland P v Tregaron P
**Fixture to be arranged in the near future