Rugby Reports - 13th January 2024


Championship Division (West):


Otters outlast battling Preseli Men


Narberth 30 - Crymych 21

Richard Rees with Sally Morris after playing his 100th game for Narberth (Steve Thomas)Narberth man of the match Adam Williams with sponsor Darren Phillips (Steve Thomas)Narberth completed the double over closest neighbours Crymych in this clash at The Lewis Lloyd Ground and a late penalty from Otters No 10 Jon Rogers left The Preseli men without even the consolation of a losing bonus point as his side pouched maximum points for scoring four tries to keep them firmly on top of the section table.
The match was a credit to both camps for the pace and total commitment towards possible victory, especially in an electric opening where the teams were locked on 14-all after only 14 minutes of quality play - but in the final analysis it was The Otters who always held the edge after a terrific start when quick handling amongst forwards and backs saw Ashley Sutton and Rhys Harries set No 9 Alex Williams in for a try converted by Rogers.
But The Otters knocked on from the restart and excellent ball retention up front, and with Daf Phillips and Eilir George posing a threat at half back, it was livewire flanker Gethin Davies who sliced through for Crymych before Adam Phillips kicked the conversion.
Otters try scorers Josh Hamer and Hedd Nicholas (Steve Thomas)The Preseli Men took the lead after 11 minutes as a further period pf pressure saw Ianto Davies, Alfie-Evans Fecci and Daf Phillips put skipper Carwyn Phillips over for a deserved try and Adam Phillips again slotted the extra points.
Narberth were level within three minutes as Crymych also made an error from the kick-off and from the ensuing scrum pressure play was swung left and after winger Dean James had hone close it was centre Hedd Nicholas who was on hand before Rogers converted.
After 21 minutes The Otters scored another cracking try when Tom Clarke and Josh Hamer secured ball on the ground and from a drive to the corner it was Hamer who was credited with the try before Rogers hit the post with the wide-angled conversion.
Crymych had their chances from several periods of pressure but it was a Rogers’ penalty that put Narberth 22-14 ahead at half time.
The second half didn’t live up to the first 40 minutes as both teams made plenty of errors but after 64 minutes The Otters won a penalty but turned down an easy three points and kicked to the corner and good work by skipper Tom Powell, by then called off the bench alongside Lewys Gibby, put Ashley Sutton over for a try that seemed to make the game safe at 27-14.
But someone forgot to read the script as Gethin Davies, playing on permit from Carmarthen Quins, stormed over for his second try and Phillips added the extras – and suddenly the visitors were back in with a chance.
The atmosphere around the ground changed palpably but The Otters maintained their defensive composure and after missing one long-range penalty Rogers scored that vital three points in the 86th minute on the electronic scoreboard, which denied Crymych a deserved losing point at The Otters celebrated their 13th win from as many starts.
Narberth: Ashley Sutton: Dean James; Ilan Phillips; Hedd Nicholas; Rhys Harries: Jonathan Rogers; Alex Williams: George Rossiter; Tom Clarke; Sean Janes: Will Blackburn; Rhys Williams: Rich Rees; Josh Hamer; Roy Osborn. Replacements:  Ricky Guest; Bradley Davies; Tom Powell; Lewys Gibby; Ianto Griffiths.

Crymych:  Adam Phillips: Ianto Davies; Tomos Phillips; Laurence Headlam; Tomos Lewis: Eilir George; Dafydd Phillips: Ifan James; Lee Griffiths; Alfie Evans-Fecci: Llyr Davies; Matthew Freebury: Osian Davies; Gethin Davies; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements: Carwyn Rees; Aled Hughes; Iestyn Wood; Jon Hill; Ifan Phillips.

Division One (West):


Borderers battle to a bonus point


Whitland 14 - Gowerton 20

Geraint Jones - three penalties for Whitland centreWhitland continue to make a little headway but they lost at home to second-placed Gowerton nonetheless after trailing 15-9 at half way and matching their promotion chasing rivals in a tight second half.
Centre Geraint Jones kicked three penalties in the first half as Gowerton responded with tries from hooker Aled Simons and scrum half Ben Thomas, alongside a conversion and penalty by full back Samson Lawson – and their second half unconverted try was scored by winger Matthew Davies.
But The Borderers played with a commitment that belied their lowly league placing and after losing 50-0 at Gowerton this was certainly a move forward!
Whitland: Shane Rossiter: Cian Williams; Geraint Jones; Dom Davies; Dan Richards: Jonathan Thomas; Trystan Rees: Chris Marks; Marc Jones; Trystan Bowen: Raff Williams; Beji Kirk (Capt): Dan Bennett; Cian Evans; Zac France-Miller. Replacements: Rhys Jenkins; Sam Clarke; Lewis Tingay; Luke Marsh; Gino Setaro.
Gowerton: Samson Lawson: Matthew Davies; Brandon Jones; Gregor Devine; Niall Davison: Rob John; Ben Thomas: Tom Northey (Capt); Aled Simons; Berian Williams: Josh Thomas; Ethan Harris: Adam Williams; Dan Jones; Lewis Bradley. Replacements: Joe Simons; Tom Ham; Jack Solomon; Josh Bowen; Craig Thomas.

Division Two (West):


Seagulls suffer through lack of experience


Mumbles 34 - Fishguard & Goodwick 7

Liam Wilkes - scored only try for FishguardFishguard & Goodwick suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of tenth-placed Mumbles, who were comfortable winners for the fourth time this campaign, whilst for The Seagull this was fifth defeat in 10 starts.
It is worth bearing in mind that Nathan Jenkins’ squad have the majority of them being young and beginning to find their feet at this level  - so it will take time for them to reach their potential and so such results are part of that development – and their only score was a first half try from hooker Liam Wilkes which skipper James Griffiths converted.
At the other end there were Mumbles tries by Ethan Morgan, Matthew Hughes, Jamie Lee, Luke Morgan and Joshua Smith, with Will Evans landing three conversions and a penalty to move them up the table as their reward.
Fishguard & Goodwick:  Creegan Foot: Dan Evans; James Reynolds; James Griffiths (Capt); Joe Dunn: Jake Jenkins; Max Jones: Will Delaney; Liam Wilkes; Iwan McVeigh: Cai Llewellyn; Rhys Lewis: Will Lewis; Sion Colella; Jac Delaney. Replacements: Matt Driver; Bryn Thomas; Ben John; Ryan Foot; Rhys Symons.

Rossiter lands Seasiders a vital victory over fellow top four candidates


Tenby United 39 - Lampeter 37

Harry Rossiter - 24 points in tense Tenby winTenby United, sitting in fourth place, completed a hard-fought double over second-placed Lampeter and caused home coach Jonathan Evans to admit that on both occasions their opponents could feel hard-done by as they followed their 16-20 home loss with this defeat by the odd point in 76 at Heywood Lane.
In an amazing topsy-turvy game, the lead actually changed hands NINE times and had both sets of supporters with raw nerves at the end as young fly half Harry Rossiter landed a last-gasp penalty with his side trailing by 37-36 as part of the 26 points he kicked for The Seasiders.
The Seasiders were 17-24 adrift at the interval after twice taking the lead with tries from Joe Andrews and Gwion Jones, both converted by Rossiter, but on each occasion Lampeter fought back with tries from  Osian Jones, Dafydd Jones and Guto Ebsworth, all three converted by Osian Jones to go with a neat dropped goal.
After the interval Harry Rossiter and Jones continued to swap penalties before Lampeter scored a converted try from Ifan John but back came The Seasiders as Luke Dedman powered through and Rossiter inevitably added the extra points to reduce the deficit to a point.
Rossiter then Rossiter kicked his side ahead but back came jones to give Lampeter the edge again until that final moment when it went Tenby United’s way.
Seasiders centre Luke Waygood was chosen at The Seasiders man of the match  as reward for his work in attack and defence but as one old-timer said afterwards, he had never seen a match like that in 50 years of watching rugby in Pembrokeshire!
Tenby United: Gwion Jones:  Joe Andrews; Jack Gooding; Luke Waygood; Luke Hartland: Harry Rossiter; Tom Lewis: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Rhys Grigg; Luke Dedman (Capt): Hywel Baker; Dan Colley; Jake Roberts. Replacements: Joe Poole; James Morgan; Archie Treadaway-Williams; Brad Cramb; Jake Henson.

Mariners win despite playing with 12 men at the finish


Amman United 12 - Milford Haven 13

Ieuan Davies - vital try for Milford HavenIn a topsy-turvy match played on the nearby school pitch Milford Haven edged out home club Amman United by a single point to deny them their first win of the season – with The Mariners showing their resilience as they edged home by a single point despite suffering a red card in the first half, another in the second period and finally a yellow card late on which reduced them to 12 players!
So it wasn’t the finest hour for Milford in terms of discipline but for a brave rearguard action it would take some beating as skipper Zac Davies led by example and Lee Rily, Dan Jenkins, Ben Groves and others showed a willingness to stay in front, with Ben Groves playing his heart out and earning their man of the match plaudits for the way that he moved from flanker to prop as they didn’t go for uncontested scrums and played without their flankers for some time.
The Mariners led 13-5 at half time as winger Ieuan Davies scored their only try after taking a clean catch at an attempted clearance and running straight back at the opposition to claim a solo try that fellow winger James Trueman converted to go with two well-struck penalties.
For Amman United there were tries from Dan Jones and Gav Lewis, plus a conversion from Adrian Thomas but the next stage in The Mariners development has to have a little more focus on playing the positive rugby they are capable of and not getting into problems with the referees.
Milford Haven: Lee Riley: Ieuan Davies; Dan Jenkins; James Williams; James Trueman: Ollie Rothero; Dan McClelland: Ben Jenkins; Luke Ryan; Jimmy Buirds: Ethan Aldred; Jay Goodall: Zac Davies (Capt); Ben Groves; Ryan Mansell. Replacements: Scott Buirds; Chris Jenkins; Dean McSparron; Aaron Harries; Ryan Williams.

Jon Mason on a charge for Haverfordwest (William John)

Division Three (West):


Blues pick up bonus point win at Quins


Pembroke Dock Harlequins 5 - Haverfordwest 27

Haverfordwest maintained their quest for the section silverware as they made the journey to Bierspool and came away with a bonus-point victory over Pembroke Dock Harlequins, who made a slowish start to the game, trailed by 15 points at the break and could never claw their way back into contention, despite some good platforms but which came to nothing as the final pass seemed to go astray.
The Quins only try came when they were 22-0 in arrears as winger Thomas Wheeler rounded off some good handling along the back division to cross wide out but then outstanding No 8 Jonathan mason rounded off some powerful work by the rest of his pack with a late unconverted try.
The Blues opened the scoring with a try by flanker Mike Phillips and others came from Liam Eaton, before the flay half had to leave the field injured, and skipper Karl Busch, who again led by example and deserved his score.
Haverfordwest made sure of their bonus point for four tries when replacement Kern Cunningham, making a welcome return after a long spell out of the game, crossed the whitewash and Matty Phillips, playing at full back instead of his normal slot in the back row, added the extra points.
This success keeps The Blues in contention for promotion as they now have nine wins from 10 starts – whilst this was The Quins’ ninth defeat alongside three wins – but they couldn’t be criticised for their work rate or commitment in this tough match for them against a strong Blues’ side.

Kern Cunningham scores on return for Haverfordwest

Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Ben Hathaway: Owain Turner; Jordan Asparassa; Adam Jones; Thomas Wheeler: Jack Price; Keiran Machin (Capt):  Mark van Rhyn; George Bellmaine; Tom Clarkson: Andy Edwards; Taylor Rees: Jordan Palmer; Danny Wilkes; Ben Gibby. Replacements: Alfie Ball; Rhys Daley; Callum Jones; Jack Mallitte; Lewis Hunter. S Beynon; T Ramsden; P Muller; Darcy Langstone.
Haverfordwest: Matty Phillips: Dane Pindair; Jake Evans; Iestyn Arnold; Lee Summons: Liam Eaton; Ioan Hawkridge-Jones: Dan Berry; Jamie Zambas; Terry Lovell: Jack Clancy; Karl Busch (Capt): Dylan Williamson; Mike Griffiths; Jon Mason. Replacements: Dan Morphy; Paul Dungey; Rhydian Watkins; Morgan Layton; Kern Cunningham.

Plenty of action at Bierspool

Scarlets win Palmer Cup in ‘Game of Two Halves’


Llangwm 21 - Pembroke 26

Man of the Match - Pembroke - centre James JonesThe old cliché of ‘A Game of Two Halves’ was never more appropriate than in this traditional Palmer Cup match, played annually over two legs by Llangwm and Pembroke in memory of members of the Palmer family who had links with both clubs.
The Scarlets were hot favourites after beating The Wasps 46-20 at home and they looked to be strolling to an even bigger win this time as they led 21-0 at half time and added another five points straight after the restart – but then the home side, spurred on by a vociferous crowd, played like demons up the slope and grabbed three tries, all converted by teenage outside half Harry Makepeace, but in the final analysis it was just too big a challenge and had to settle for a losing bonus point.
No 8 Will Edwards, outside half Rhys Johns, winger Josh Griffiths and No 15 Zac Evans  (his first try since coming out of youth), three converted by scrum half Jarred Sharratt, scored The Scarlets points and although The Wasps failed to score, they did have half chances but the final pass went astray.
All that changed after Pembroke had claimed their bonus point try as The Wasps finally opened their account with a try by winger Matthew Hughes after he had sold a dummy and sped to the posts, whilst others followed from scrum half Steffan Thomas and replacement prop Callum Jenkins, who was driven over the line by back rowers Ashley James and James Lewis and received the biggest cheer of the afternoon for his efforts!
The Scarlets are a developing side but three of their old ‘war horses’ in Scott Powell, Johnny Palmer and  Seamus ‘Moose’ Wiseman certainly played a part in their team’s victory, with James Jones voted as their ‘Man of the Match’ for his yeoman work in midfield – and Llangwm chairman Dan Chesmer presented the Palmer Cup to Pembroke skipper Lloyd Davies after what turned out to be an entertaining tussle between these old rivals.
Llangwm: Dylan Philpott: Matthew Hughes; Owen Jones; Ollie Gerson; Owen Evans: Harry Makepeace; Steffan Thomas: Aled Rogers; Phil Llewellyn; Ieuan Power: Gavin Jones; Sam Rickwood: Morgan Scott-Walker; James Lewis; Ashley James.  Replacements: Callum Jenkins; Gethin Thomas; Charlie Wilson; Yale Grice; Flynn Tjoonk.
Pembroke: Zack Evans: Josh Griffiths; Stephen Brown; James Jones; Barry Alderman-John: Rhys Johns; Jarred Sharratt: Lloyd Davies (Capt); Seamus Wiseman; Johnny Palmer: Dan Gosnold; Scott Powell: Dai Beynon; Morgan Rees; Will Edwards. Replacements:  Jamie Brayford; S Beynon; T Ramsden; P Muller; Darcy Langstone.

Pembroke - Old Warhorses - Seamus Wiseman, Scott Powell and Johnny Palmer

Aber stay top with seven-try success


Aberaeron 49 - Neyland 14

Neyland battled hard at Aberaeron, who remain in top spot after they gained their 10th win in 12 outings as they led 35-7 at the interval and added two more converted tries afterwards as The All Blacks stubbornly defended well and had two tries by gritty No 9 Owen Hamer as their reward, both converted by his half back partner George Evans.
Left winger Matthew Harries put Aber in front after quick hands by his backs and  nippy scrum half Cian Jones sniped over for the second – and then No 8 Wil James and winger Steffan Jones raced over, with skipper Morgan Llywelyn getting his name on the try sheet alongside three conversions from the trusty left boot of centre Rhodri Jenkins.
Steffan Jones added his second try after the oranges and full back and captain Morgan Llewellyn rounded things off with his second try, both again converted by Rhodri Llewellyn to maintain his 100% record, as The All Blacks made the long journey home with nothing to show in terms of league table points but having fulfilled the fixture despite injuries aplenty in their squad.
Aberaeron: Morgan Llewelyn (Capt): Matthew Harries; Dyfrig Dafis; Rhodri Jenkins; Steffan Jones: Steffan Rees; Cian Jones: Owain Wozencroft; Rhys Jones; Kuba Poplonski: Richard Francis; Llyr Davies: Hefin Williams; Osian Davies; Wil James. Replacements: Sion Evans; Ryan Williams; Gethin Dafis; Bleddyn Thomas; Ifan Davies.
Neyland: Callum O’Riorden: Matthew Coles; Alex Codd; Adam Peel; Liam Rees: George Evans; Owen Hamer: Ben James; Alex Swales; Luke Griffiths-Dawes: Mark James; Lewis Hallett: Owain Evans (Capt); Dan Hart; Iestyn Evans.  Replacements: Ebs Sokoiwasa; Joel Thomas; Asha Gledhill; Robert Codd.

John Lumb - 4 tries in huge Cardigan win


Lumb leads Cardis try fest


Cardigan 87 - Llanybydder 5

Talented winger John Lumb scored four tries as he helped Cardigan boost their ‘points for’ total with this crushing victory over a Llanybydder outfit which deserves every credit for battling until the final and at least had the consolation of an unconverted first half try by right winger Aled Owens as the Cardies led 33-5.
But the flood gates really opened afterwards as Cardigan added a further 53 points as they ended up with 13 tries, plus nine conversions by No 10 Jac Davies and one by his replacement Llyr Jones.
As well as Lumb’s two tries in each half there first half scores for No 8 Tom Taylor and prop Nathan Bowen, plus a penalty try, which was the bonus try and others flowed in the second half by full back Alun Jenkins (2), centre and captain Emyr Harries, No 10 Davies, left winger Iwan John and a second score for No 8 Taylor.
Cardigan: Alun Jenkins: John Lumb; Marcus Castle; Emyr Harries; Iwan John: Jac Davies; Ben Rogers: Nathan Bowen; Luke Palmer-Davies; Ben Hughes: Dean Harries; Sion Phillips: Aaron Tonkinson; Jackson Tucker Lynch; Tom Taylor. Replacements: Rhodri Parry-Jones; Will Brice; Kester Adams; Llyr Jones; Jack Taylor.

Match postponed - Laugharne still in Welsh Cup


Laugharne P St Davids P

*St Davids taking the chance to play Newcastle Emlyn 2nds in a friendly*