Rugby Reports 27th April 2019

2019 Division 3 West A Champions Milford Haven


2019 Division 3 West A Champions Milford Haven
Mariners' skipper Jamie Lewis recieves glassware from WRU representative Gordon Eynon
Guard of honour for the retiring Mariners' stalwart Mark Wonnacott


Feature Match:


Division Three (West) A:


Mariners take the title in style


Milford Haven 85 - Pembroke Dock Harlequins 5

After four seasons of knocking on the door, Milford Haven have been promoted from Division Three West A as league winners after dismantling Pembroke Dock Harlequins 85-5 in their final game of the season.

Milford ran in 13 tries at The Obs, with Sam Dolling grabbing four of them, meaning they cannot be caught by Aberaeron despite the latter still having a game to play.

And the euphoria afterwards was evident after club captain Jamie Lewis lifted the silverware with the retiring Mark Wonnacott, in what was a fairy-tale finish for undoubtedly one of the club’s best players in recent history.

For player/coach Nathan Williams, it also rounded off a successful homecoming after opting to retire from professional rugby and take charge of the Mariners last summer.

“I’m really proud,” he told Pembrokeshire Sport.

“The only reason I took this on was because Milford are my home town club and I could see the potential here. They’ve had some ups and downs these past few years and got close to the title so for the players to have this is fantastic.

“I think what proved so important was our depth. We’ve used more than 30 players this season and they’ve all done a big job for us.”

   No 8 Wonnacott, who walked onto the field to a guard of honour from both sets of players, added:  “Playing for this club has meant a lot to me and I’m over the moon to be able to finish like this.

“I’m going to enjoy this day and remember it for a very long time.”

Mariners skipper Jamie Lewis recieves glassware from WRU representative Gordon Eynon

Depleted Quins no match for Milford:

The result itself was never in doubt from the moment a depleted Quins team kicked things off with just 14 players, soon reduced to 13 when hooker James Balkwill picked up an early head injury.

To the credit of Neil Machin’s side, they still tried to play throughout and did muster a first half try from second row Ben Gibby, and given they had eight players aged 20 or younger there are at least signs of potential if they can get enough numbers to commit for next season.

But it was Milford’s day as flanker Dolling had his four tries and back row partner Ryan Mansell continued his try streak with three of his own.

Other scores came from No 9 Dan McClelland, winger Craig ‘Yoda’ Thomas, second row David Round, centre Dan Birch and replacement forwards Brandon Cooper and Zac Davies.

Milford Havens wonderful servant Mark Wonnacott retires with a guard of honour

Winger James Trueman landed 10 conversions as the home side turned a 42-5 half time lead into an eventual 85-5 win.

WRU representative Gordon Eynon was on hand to present the Mariners with the league trophy afterwards, and there were jubilant scenes on the field as players and supporters celebrated together, with no shortage of champagne on offer either!

Milford Haven: Jamie Lewis (capt), Craig Thomas, Dan Jenkins, Dan Birch, James Trueman, Efan Morgan, Dan McClelland, Mike Cockburn, Luke Ryan, Adam Rees, David Round, Chris Hall, Sam Dolling, Ryan Mansell, Mark Wonnacott. Replacements: Ben Jenkins, Brandon Cooper, Zac Davies, Lee Riley, Dean McSparron.

Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Sam James, Josh Brown, Rhys Bradney, Steffan Sheehan, Kieran Machin, Gethin Bradney, Joe Gray, Nick Drewett, James Balkwill, Ben Gibby, Mike Culley, Will Nicot, Jordan Palmer, Hywel Baker.

Sam Dolling grabbed four tries for champions Milford Haven


Division Two (West):


Scarlet runners finish promotion season in real style


St Clears 15 - Pembroke 40

Toby Smith - another 20 points Pembroke gained their second successive promotion in typical style as they ran in six tries at St Clears and although they couldn’t quite make it another piece of silverware as Penclawdd beat Pontyberem to take top spot it was nonetheless an amazing achievement for Geraint Lewis, Kyle Davies and their talented squad.

The only downbeat moment came when influential skipper Scott Powell suffered a dislocated knee but fortunately club doctor Owen Cox was on hand to put it back into place so hopefully the damage will be limited and everyone will wish Scott a speedy recovery.

Scarlets make a strong start

The Scarlets made a strong start against a Saints’ side in the bottom two but determined to finish the season on a high note, with scrum half Tom Lewis on hand to score after Toby Smith took a quick tap penalty and fed winger Tom Harding-Jones, who supplied the scoring pass before Toby Smith added the extra points.

Geraint Lewis - delighted Scarlets coach Then second row Dom Colman rounded off sustained pressure with a typically powerful surge to the line from 20 metres out and again No 10 Smith was able to convert before he also added the third try and then conversion after Colman had linked with Johnny Palmer, Seamus Wiseman and Alex Thomas before popping up the perfect scoring pass.

St Clears managed their first scores when James Davies notched a penalty and prop Gavin Walters powered over the line - but they were soon on the back foot again as Scarlets’ flanker Rhodri Waters rounded off some good handling and Toby Smith converted.

Smith brothers strike for tries

Smith then grabbed his second try from a length of the field move where centre Dan Colley featured but Smith showed he was human by missing the conversion!

Then Sam Smith decided it was time to join brother Toby on the try sheet and stormed over for the final try, which Toby converted.

Kyle Davies - his assistant coachThere was still time for the battling Saints to score their second try when centre Andrew Kirkbride crossed the line but in the final analysis it was all about Pembroke’s terrific feat in gaining second successive promotions as they replace Tenby United in Division One (West) and getting ready to face the likes of Whitland and Crymych as a result!

Geraint Lewis:

“It has been another amazing season where we have had terrific support from the players, defying some injuries but having a big and strong enough squad to keep moving forward.

“The club as a whole, led by chairman Daryl Willington, has been hugely supportive and our hardy band of supporters, especially at away matches, couldn’t be faulted.

“We know we face even greater challenges next season but we will give it our best shot as we aim to move forward.”

Pembroke: Luke Hartland: Tom Harding-Jones; Dan Colley; Jack Parkinson (James Davies); Barry Alderman-John (Geraint Powell): Toby Smith; Tom Lewis: Lloyd Davies; Seamus Wiseman (Jim Brace); Johnny Palmer: Dom Colman (Will Edwards); Scott Powell (Capt) (Jack Smyth): Rhodri Waters; Alex Thomas; Sam Smith

Toby Smith - another 20 points 
Geraint Lewis - delighted Scarlets' coach - Kyle Davies - his assistant coach

Tenby won first game of campaign on last day of the season

Tenby won first game of campaign on last day of the season


Division One (West):


Seasiders finally succeed in the last match of a long season


Kidwelly 20 - Tenby United 24

Jordan Asparassa - try in first Tenby win of the seasonA late try from Jordan Asparassa ensured Tenby United ended a tough campaign on a real high in Kidwelly.

Having lost all their 21 games before this, it seemed a case of same old story for the Seasiders as they trailed 20-17 with nine minutes left - but they managed to break out of defence and it was flanker Andrew Cooke who slipped the scoring pass to the centre as he sped over from long range.

The visitors started well as Lloyd Thomas landed a penalty and the No 10 also converted after full back Jack Tucker had gone over out wide.

Jonathan Williams did get a try for Kidwelly that James Owen converted but Tenby extended their lead when second row Tom Barrass capped a promising season by taking an off load from Cooke to cross over. Thomas converted.

But despite turning around with the wind behind them and a 17-7 lead, Tenby were under the cosh for much of the second half.

Kidwelly, who have also been relegated, stormed back into a 20-17 lead with tries from Alan Squires and Josh Evans and a penalty from Owen.

And then came that Asparassa try and after repelling heavy pressure at the death, the Seasiders could celebrate a win at long last.

It meant some kind of reward for head coach Gareth Thomas, who stepped up to take the job when the club was struggling last summer, and his assistant Jonathan Evans said "It's nice we can sign off on a win and take something positive into the summer."

Tenby United: Jack Tucker, Jerome Mansbridge, Jordan Asparassa, Moritz Neumann, Ryan Hill, Lloyd Thomas, Shane Rossiter, Rob Clarke, Dan Allen, Ethan Morgan, Luke Dedman, Tom Barrass, Andrew Cooke, Jason Ronowitz, Jack Broadhurst. Replacements: Harry Bolton, Connor Ennis, Ryan Jones, Huw Evans, Wyndham Williams

Jordan Asparassa - try in first Tenby win of the season


Neyland look to attack from deep in their own 22

Neyland look to attack from deep in their own 22


Division Three (West) A:


Aberaeron are runners after beating All Blacks


Neyland 14 - Aberaeron 29

It took a second half charge from Aberaeron to secure a win at Neyland - but the All Blacks were much improved from the side beaten 69-3 by the same side in their last game.

This signalled the end of Neyland's season and they finish fifth after a mixed campaign that saw them blood youngsters and play some superb rugby, but also struggle for numbers at times after being hit by a string of injuries.

Neyland led after centre Tom Hughes produced a good finish from 22 metres out and George Evans converted - but Aber hit back to lead 12-7 half time as Rhodri Thomas and Ollie Sawyer crossed, with Thomas adding the extras to the latter try.

'Gaga' Richards' team, who suffered yellow cards to Alex Codd and Iestyn Evans in that first period, were back in front after the interval though when a break from No 9 Evans set up a try for half back partner Ollie Hughes.

Evans again converted but to their credit, Aberaeron finished strongly despite that draining midweek defeat in Laugharne that ultimately ended their title chances.

Morgan Llewellyn, Matt Roberts, and Tudur Jenkins all grabbed tries and Thomas kicked another conversion to ensure a second place finish for the Mid-Wales team.

"It wasn't a bad performance from us," said Neyland team manager Peter Davies.

"We felt there was some questionable refereeing but that's not an excuse."

Aberaeron assistant coach Aled Davies meanwhile, was pleased with how Aber bounced back from the Laugharne game.

"They were a lot more dogged today and I'm proud of the way the boys played after the disappointment of Wednesday night."

Neyland: Patrick Bellerby, Nathan Williams, Tom Hughes, Alex Codd, Henry McBeth, Oliver Hughes, George Evans, Chad Monk, Jack Harries, Eugene Grice, Sam Cataki, Luke Griffiths-Dawes, George Williams, Owain Evans, Iestyn Evans. Replacements: Steve Hamer, Craig Bennett, Jack Richards.


Championship Division:


Otters end on a downbeat note


Maesteg Quins 28 - Narberth 22

Narberth ended a terrific season on a slightly downbeat note as they travelled to play Maesteg Quins in their final match of a long campaign and went down to defeat to a team they recently beat 16-11 at home – and had to settle for a losing bonus point which means they must now wait to see how Ystrad Rhondda get on in their final match to find out if they finish second or third.

After the teams’ recent tussle at the Lewis Lloyd Ground it was evident that The Otters faced a team that has improved in the second half of the campaign and this was exactly how it turned out as both sides scored three tries but the Quins had the better of the kicking duel.

Rhydian Jenkins, Michael Owen and Callum Powell scored tries for the home side whilst Liam Hutchings, Nick Gale and Yannik Parker crossed the whitewash for The Otters.

In the kicking stakes there were 13 points for Cam McLoughlin whilst Narberth’s ace kicker Nick Gale only had the chance to land seven points so that The Otters made the journey home with little to show for their considerable efforts!

Nick Gale - more points for Narberths top scorer

Nick Gale - more points for Narberth's top scorer