Crymych win a KO Cup Final Classic

KO Cup winners Crymych


KO Cup Final:


Crymych 31 - Aberystwyth 23

Referee: Martyn Jones
Assistant Referees: Tom Carew & Colin Phillips
Venue: Pembroke Road, Haverfordwest
Crymych were worthy winners of the Pembrokeshire Knockout Cup for the 2021/22 season after a titanic battle against an Aberystwyth side which also played its part in entertaining a large crowd on a pitch that looked a picture at Haverfordwest RFC.
Play was fast and furious throughout as both teams showed high skill levels, total commitment and a never say die spirit that saw Crymych rule the first-half roost to deservedly lead 24-5 but then had  to withstand a ferocious fight-back from Aberystwyth after the interval that had the Crymych supporters nibbling their finger nails.

Winning skipper Carwyn Phillips

Aber start well as referee Jones keeps the game flowing

Referee Martyn Jones, ably assisted by assistants Tom Carew and Colin Phillips, made sure that the game flowed as much as possible by applying the advantage rule well and the pace level never dropped from the time that Aberystwyth made the first impression with a powerful surge by powerful winger Ben Jones after he had been put into a small gap on the right flank by centre Carwyn Evans.
In that tense opening spell Crymych, with skipper Carwyn Phillips, Rhys Richards, Llyr Davies and hooker Steffan Harries; called in as a late replacement, catching the eye with their tackling, with the whole pack edging the ball-winning stakes, especially with their speed to the break down.

Crymych collect plenty of points

The Preseli Men had their first chance from a superb run by winger Eilir George where the final pass went awry but success at the break down allowed Crymych to claim their first points when Gavin Thomas put a penalty kick into the corner and after Jonathan Phillips and Rhys Davies had charged towards the line from the ensuing lineout drive, up popped livewire flanker Dafydd Gibbs who was first to react and touched down for Gavin Thomas to add the extra points.
Thomas added a well-struck penalty soon afterwards but from the kick-off a strong run by Ben Jones saw Aberystwyth camped in the Crymych 22 and after several lineout surges play was swept into the left corner by Llyr Thomas and Steff Rees it was No 8 Lee Evans who was credited with the unconverted try.
But then Crymych responded with a corker of a try after Osian Davies, Ifan Phillips, Adam Phillips and Daf Phillips set up the chance for Gethin Gibbs to slice into the Aberystwyth 22 and his canny rubber kick bounced perfectly for Eilir George to cross the whitewash before Gavin Thomas again converted.
From the kick off there was a lengthy delay after Crymych centre Dafydd Gibby was clearly taken out in the air and Aber’s pacy attacker Ben Jones was yellow-carded for ten minutes before the Crymych flanker was stretchered off.
During Jones’ absence Crymych added another try following good forward control that saw flanker Osian Davies plough over the line and Thomas converted to give his side that 24-5 interval advantage.

Arwel Lloyd on charge

Rees gives Aber the chance to fight back but Crymych resist well

But if the Crymych faithful thought it was all over they were soon made aware that Aberystwyth hadn’t given up hope because within two minutes of the restart outside half Stef Rees fired over a 45-metre penalty and shortly afterwards fired over an even bigger bomb from half way as his pack played with real determination.
Crymych brought on replacement props Jason Nichols and Ryan Rees and they made an impact to help restore their ball-winning capabilities and The Preseli Men went close through Osian Davies the final pass was knocked on - but then they made amends from the resulting five-metre scrum as they jerked Aberystwyth back off their own ball and skipper Carwyn Phillips claimed the touch down for Thomas to again add the extras.

Aber pressure pays off . . .

Again Aberystwyth showed their determination to claw their way back and they powered their way into the right corner where skipper Arwen Lloyd rounded off a period of pressure as he powered over in the corner - and Steff Rees landed a superb conversion.
Trailing by  13 points, Aberystwyth reduced the deficit with another try, this time from Ben Jones after powerful work up front by Dan Banks,  prop Guto Jones and the flanker of the same name, Owain Bonsall and Steffan Rattray but the vital difficult conversion was missed so that the Mid Wales’ side were still more than a single score adrift.

Man of the match Arwel Lloyd

But Preseli Men keep their nerve to take the silverware

And so it was Crymych who defended well late on to prevent any more scoring and both teams were congratulated for their efforts by Brian ‘’Beaky’ Davies, the chairman of the Pembrokeshire League before Carwyn Phillips was presented with the trophy by  Huw Hughes, of sponsors HNO Hughes and Associates.
Aber skipper Arwel Lloyd was adjudged man of the match and received his special trophy from John Griffiths, vice chairman of the Pembrokeshire and District Rugby Union and opposing captain Carwyn Phillips collected it in behalf of a delighted Crymych contingent at a cracking contest!
And finally, congratulations go to Haverfordwest RFC for their hosting of the final, with excellent organisation in all areas and a good surface to play on.

Runners up Aberystwyth

Crymych:  Adam Phillips: Eilir George; Ifan Phillips; Gethin Gibbs; Tomas Lewis: Gavin Thomas; Dafydd Phillips: Rhys Richards; Stefan Harries; Jonathan Phillips: Rhys Davies; Llyr Davies: Osian Davies; Dafydd Gibbs; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements:  Ryan Rees; Jason Nichols; Aled Hughes; Rhydian Howells; Huw Rees; Osian Hill; Ifan Davies.

Aberystwyth: Matthew Hughes: Ben Jones; Jac Jones; Carwyn Evans; Ian Ellis: Steff Rees; Llyr Thomas: Will Caron Lewis; Owain Bonsall; Guto Jones: Arellano Lloyd (Capt); Dan Banks: Guto Jones; Stefan Rattray; Lee Evans. Replacements:  Dylan Benjamin; Celt Lewis; Rhodri Evans; Ioan Lewis; Bryan Shepard; Simon Evans; Charles Thomas.

Tom Carew, Martyn Jones, Colin Phillips