Blues battle well in abject conditions

Haverfordwest RFC


Haverfordwest RFC
Blues try scorers Craig Barnett and Karl Busch


Midweek Rugby:


Division Three (West) A:

Haverfordwest 14 - Llanybydder 6

Craig Barnett scored a cracking tryHaverfordwest overcame a strong challenge from Llanybydder to take the verdict over a gritty visiting side which was boosted by three players on permit - and both teams deserve credit for trying to play their rugby at pace despite the abject weather conditions which made the ball like a piece of soap.

Dyfrig Dafis had scored four tries for Aberaeron on the previous Saturday but changed colours to form a strong midfield partnership with Llyr James as the visitors tried to utilise early possession but all they could muster was a well-struck penalty by No 10 Steff Richards after skipper Ricky Davies and scrum half Carwyn Evans had made charges for the line but found the home back row of Jack Clancy, Steve Thomas and Ashley Mathias up for the challenge.

Inspiration provided by ‘Barney’

The Blues needed a hint of inspiration to get their game going and it came almost straight away in the form of Craig Barnett after a seemingly innocuous chip ahead by skipper Mikey Jones was spilled and 'Barney' kicked 30 metres ahead, added a second carefully-placed right boot from a similar distance and won the race for the touchdown before Jones landed the conversion.

Both teams had other chances as the Blues' tight five of Jamie Zambas, Matthew Clayton, Rhodri Harries, Karl Busch and Paul Thomas more than held their own against bigger opposition that included Tom Adams, Zac Lowther and John Evans.

‘Bydder’ begin well again but Busch strikes back

Second row Karl Busch scored the second Blues tryBut neither team was able to add further first-half points  as a series of big hits halted some nice Blues' moves instigated by Gareth Owens, Matty Phillips, Josh Atherton and Rhys Baker - and again at the start of the second period it was Llanybydder who went on the front foot but could only muster a second Richards penalty.

The Blues used Gareth John, Kyle Williams, Liam Mainwaring and especially Terry Lovell off the bench as the homesters captured the lion’s share of possession with the elements slightly in their favour - and good discipline after about ten phases from a driving maul saw Carl Busch deservedly cross under the posts for Barnett to land the easy conversion.

Floodlight failure fails to halt The Blues

With 13 minutes left the floodlights on the clubhouse side failed and after discussion involving referee Craig Morgan and both coaches it was agreed to wait 15 minutes and the game eventually finished with The Blues claiming a welcome win and Llanybydder making the long journey home with little to show for a lot of effort in an entertaining clash of styles!

Haverfordwest coach Steve Barnett:

“It was a good win for us but the floodlight failure came at a bad time because we were well on top and I thought we might even pick up a bonus point for scoring two more tries. It was inevitably a time in the awful conditions where we had to rebuild and couldn’t manage those scores but I was well pleased by the verdict and thought the whole of our strong squad showed resilience in attack and defence.”

Haverfordwest: Rhys Baker: Craig Barnett; Matty Phillips; Gareth Owens; Josh Atherton: Mikey Jones (Capt); Lee Summons: Jamie Zambas; Matthew Clayton; Rhodri Harries: Karl Busch; Paul Thomas: Jack Clancy; Steve Thomas; Ashley George. Replacements: Terry Lovell; Gareth John; Kyle Williams; Liam Mainwaring; Jamie Barnett.

Llanybydder: Ieuan Rees: Luc Evans; Dyfrig Dafis; Llyr James; Matthew Jenkins: Steff Richards; Carwyn Evans: Zac Lowther; Harri Wilson; Tom Adams: Josh Jones; John Evans: Bedwyr Davies; Aled Evans; Ricky Davies (Capt). Replacements: Richard Davies; Dafydd Williams; Dylan Watkins; Ross Headon.

Referee: Craig Morgan (Pontarddulais)