Rugby Reports - 20th January 2024

Mud aplenty at Haverfordwest (William John)


 Featured Match - Division Three (West) A:


Blues win vital table-topper


Haverfordwest 11 - Cardigan 6

Delighted Blue - Dan BerryThis top of the table clash was inevitably something of an arm wrestle in the dire conditions and it was Haverfordwest who grabbed the only try from outstanding flanker Matty Phillips that proved to be the only difference between Haverfordwest’s 10th win from 11 starts and Cardigan’s second defeat in one game more.

The only previous defeat for The Teifisiders came when they lost 20-18 at home to The Blues and they will look back on a few chances that they missed but found good handling difficult – as did The Blues after Phillips had given them the lead in the 11th minute and although Owain Roberts missed the conversion he added a penalty after 23 minutes.

Cardigan outside half Llyr Jones reduced the deficit after the break with his first penalty and added a second on target to raise the visitors’ hopes but Roberts had the final word with his second three-pointer that set the seal on a vital success – and it is fair to say that all the players, match official and two hardy sets of supporters deserved medals, just for being there!

Haverfordwest:  Ollie Roberts: Craig Barnett; Jack Evans; Iestyn Arnold; Archie Thomas: Liam Eaton; Ioan Hawkridge-Jones: Dan Berry; Jamie Zambas; Terry Lovell: Adam Clarke; Karl Busch (Capt):  Mike Griffiths; Matthew Phillips; Jon Mason. Replacements:  Dan Murphy; Jack Clancy; Dylan Williamson; Paul Dungey, Matthew John.

Cardigan: Alun Jenkins: John Lumb; Marcus Castle; Emyr Harries (Capt); Jack Taylor; Jac Davies; Llyr Jones: Nathan Bowen; Luke Palmer-Davies; Ben Hughes:  Dean Harries; Sion Phillips: Aaron Tomkinson; Jackson Tucker Lynch; Tom Taylor. Replacements: Ben Cox; Will Brice; Kester Adams; Geraint Williams; Iwan John. Travelling reserves: Ben Rogers; Rhodri Palmer Parry Jones; Llyr Jones (scrum half).

Difficult conditions indeed (William John)

Championship Division (West):


Emlyn ease home in local derby thriller


Newcastle Emlyn 27 - Crymych 24


Crymych’s hopes of a win in this local derby at Ddol Wiber seemed likely to be about to happen as they fought back from a14-point deficit to lead 17-14 and then 24-22 but then they conceded a late try and had to settle for a losing bonus point and a second one for getting within seven points as some reward for so much effort.

Emlyn were awarded an early penalty try to alongside a try by winger Dan Davies, which he also converted after a clever blind-side switch created the overlap but Crymych responded right on half time as their forwards showed some good work with their ball retention and after No 10 Eilir George eventually spotted a gap he sliced through to the line for full back Adam Phillips to add the extras.

The Preseli Men than had unconverted tries from young second row Iestyn Wood and a second from George but then Emlyn fought back with a try from winger Llyr Jones, converted by Dan Davies – but then Crymych regained the initiative when prop Alfie Fecci-Evans ploughed over the line.

But with time running out Emlyn established a platform in the Crymych 22, and flanker Gethin Davies became their hero of the hour with the late try that saw them edge home!

Crymych: Adam Phillips: Ianto Davies; Tomos Phillips; Ifan Phillips; Laurence Headlam: Eilir George; Daf Phillips: Aled Hughes; Carwyn Rees Allfie Evans-Fecci: Llyr Davies; Iestyn Wood: Jon Hill; Gethin Davies; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements: Lee Griffiths; Dan Page; Matthew Freebury; Trystan Griffiths; Ifan Davies.

Division One (West):


All square as Borderers battle well


Felinfoel 16 - Whitland 16

Whitland try scorer - Gino SetaroWhitland’s relatively young team continued to show an improvement as they battled hard to gain a draw at fellow stragglers Felinfoel and at one stage looked as if they might pouch all four points for a win as they led 16-13 in the closing stages but conceded a late penalty which home kicker Aled Roberts slotted between the posts to deny The Borderers victory.

Whitland trailed 13-10 at the interval as Jay Guard scored a try for Felinfoel which was converted by Roberts alongside two well-struck penalties – but full back Jones notched a penalty and converted a try by flanker Lewis Tingay, who was outstanding up front alongside Dan Bennett, Zac France-Miller, Cian Evans and skipper Benji Kirk.

Jones added another two penalties after the interval but then up stepped Rogers to level matters and in the final analysis, and in view of the prevailing conditions, perhaps a draw was the fairest result!

Whitland: Geraint Jones: Morgan Lewis; Gino Setaro; Dom Davies; Trystan Rees: Jonathan Thomas; Luke Marsh: Chris Marks; Marc Jones; Trystan Bowen: Den Bennett; Benji Kirk (Capt): Lewis Tingay; Cian Evans; Zac France-Miller. Replacements: Morgan Thomas; Tomos Walters; Sam Clarke; Rhys Nicholas; Oli Bujega.

Division Two (West):


Seagulls swoop to take the points


Fishguard & Goodwick 10 - Tenby United 5

Jac Delaney - vital try for FishguardMatches between old protagonists Fishguard & Goodwick and Tenby United are traditionally hard-fought and this latest tussle was no exception as the home side had the edge in terms of first-half territory but still trailed 5-3 at half time – before they grabbed the only score of the second half, leaving The Seasiders having to settle for a losing bonus point.

There was no scoring in the first quarter as fortunes ebbed and flowed before The Seagulls opened their account after 29 minutes when skipper James Griffiths landed a penalty – but The Seasiders had the final word before the oranges when they were awarded a close-range penalty and flanker Dan Colley maintained his amazing try-scoring form from a quickly-taken tapped penalty before the home troops had time to regroup.

The second half was no less combative but with Sion Colella, Ben John and Liam Wilkes leading the home pack by example they finally added a try after 66 minutes after a penalty to the corner allowed The Seagulls to put in a concerted forward drive from which No 8 Jack Delaney scored and Griffiths converted.

Tenby tries hard to claw their back in the closing stages but the home defence stood firm and it was The Seagulls who edged through as reward for their determined play, especially in their ball-winning capabilities when the ball was loose on the ground.

Fishguard & Goodwick: Creegan Foot: Ed Bendall; James Reynolds; James Griffiths (Capt); Dylan Scott: Jake Jenkins; Max Jones: Will Delaney; Liam Wilkes; Iwan McVeigh: Ben John; Rhys Lewis: Will Lewis; Sion Colella; Jack Delaney. Replacements: Matthew Driver; Ben Thomas; Steve Goss; Dan Evans; Dan Clancy.

Tenby United:  Gwion Jones: Joe Andrews; Jack Gooding; Luke Waygood; Luke Hartland: Harry Rossiter; Tom Lewis: Ethan Morgan; Dan Allen; Rob Luly: Liam Pugh; Luke Dedman (Capt): Hywel Baker; Dan Colley; Jake Roberts. Replacements: Joe Poole; George Rossiter; Rhys Grigg; Lloyd Thomas; Brad Cramb; Will James.

Mariners complete a deserved double


Milford Haven 27 - Pontyberem 12

James Trueman - more points for Mariners wingerMilford Haven completed a deserved double over Pontyberem after gaining a 25-24 win when the teams met earlier in the season – but this success was more clear-cut as The Mariners led 12-0 at half time, even though they had played against the strong wind blowing up The Haven.

Their points in that opening period came from a try from close range by replacement Scott Buirds, on early for the injured Ethan Aldred, and a penalty try awarded after scrum half Dan McClelland looked certain to score but was halted by a high tackle.

Whenever Ponty tried to attack they were repelled by a Mariners’ back five of James Williams, James Truman, Dan Jenkins, Efan Morgan and Lee Riley – and after the break they again showed their attacking capabilities as skipper Zac Davies and winger James Trueman also crossed for further scores, as well as a conversion and penalty from Trueman.

Pontyberem kept plugging away and were rewarded with tries from Dan Morgan and Brychan Thomas, one converted by scrum half Tom Lloyd.

Milford Haven: James Williams: James Trueman; Dan Jenkins; Efan Morgan; Lee Riley: Ollie Rothero; Dan McClelland: Ben Jenkins; Luke Ryan; Jimmy Buirds: Ethan Aldred; Jay Goodall: Ben Groves; Zac Davies (Capt); Dewi Williams. Replacements: Dai Sweeny; Chris Jenkins; Ryan Williams; Scott Buirds; Dean McSparron.


Division Three (West) A:


Saints pack power sets up bonus-point success


St Davids 20 - Neyland 7

Nathan Foster - Saints skipper scored a tryWith St Davids lying in seventh place in the table and Neyland just ahead of them it was expected that this would be a close game but in the final analysis it was The Saints who utilized the weather better via their strong pack to pick up a comfortable win that included a bonus point for scoring four tries.

 The Saints led 10-0 at half time, despite playing into the elements, as their pack was led by Tom Clarke, Rhys Price and skipper Nathan Foster and tries came from outside half Morgan Griffiths after 11 minutes and winger Luke Bamford (20 minutes), both unconverted.

The All-Blacks’ battle plan was dented midway through the period when outside half George Evans departed with a shoulder injury, with Alex Codd switching to partner Owen Hamer and Kieran Cookson taking his place in a hard-working back row that included Ben Williams and skipper Owain Evans.

The Saints played the deteriorating conditions well after the interval and further tries came from skipper Foster (51 minutes) and centre Ben Joyce (75 minutes) to set up the bonus point but The All Blacks had the final word when they were awarded a penalty try after St Davids had twice failed to retire from close-range penalties and Steve Evans’ squad at least had something to take home as reward for a lot of effort by their young team.

St Davids: Fred Dorn: Harvey Godkin; Ben Joyce; George Raymond; Luke Bamford: Morgan Griffiths; Zac Morgan: Ethan Griffiths; Rhys Price; Ryan John: James Goldsmith; Aled Davies: Jack Jones; Nathan Foster; Tom Clarke. Replacements: Ben Lloyd; Rhys Samuels; Mike Gurney; Bob Froy; Rhys Meredith Barrett.

Neyland: Matthew Coles: Callum O’Riorden; Jordan Allen-Wright; Adam Collins; Liam Rees: George Evans; Owen Hamer: Ben James; Alex Swales; Luke Griffiths-Dawes: Andrew Slark; Iestyn Evans: Alex Codd; Owain Evans (Capt); Ben Williams. Replacements: Ebs Sokoiwasa; Joel Thomas; Lewis Hallett; Kieran Cookson; Jasper Endean.

Llan celebrate first win against struggling Wasps


Llanybydder 42 - Llangwm 13


There were great celebrations in the Llanybydder clubhouse on Saturday evening as they finally broke their duck against visitors Llangwm, after 12 successive league defeats, including a 26-12 loss when they played The Wasps at Pill Parks.

A Llangwm player told that this was the poorest performance by Llangwm in the season as they never seemed in good form from the outset after their long trip – but admitted that in the long run it was to Llan’s credit that they played with far greater commitment and were worthy winners.

Props Callum Jenkins and Ieuan Power grabbed close=range tries for The Wasps after No 10 harry Makepeace had landed an early penalty.

The five try scorers for the home side were Iestyn Evans, Steffan Rees, Joshua Jones, Max Rolling and Llyr Tobias, who also landed four conversions and three penalties for a personal haul of 22 points before a hot shower and a few celebratory pints were firring reward for the Mid Wales team!

Llangwm: Dylan Philpott: Matthew Hughes; Owain Jones; Ollie Gerson; Jack Roberts: Harry Makepeace; Steff Thomas: Aled Rogers; Phil Llewellyn; Ieuan Power: Gavin Jones; Jake Thomas: Morgan Scott-Walker; James Lewis; Ashley James. Replacements: Callum Jenkins; Charlie Wilson; Flynn Tjoonk; Joe Newton; Giovanni Hitchings.

Aber’s pacy backs seal double success against The Scarlets


Pembroke 5 - Aberaeron 34


Morgan Llewellyn - led Aberaeron with two triesPembroke had already lost 57-0 when they played Aberaeron earlier in the campaign and they suffered another heavy defeat at Crickmarren after they trailed 0-15 at half time and were never really in with a shout afterwards, despite being on top in the set-scrums throughout but never able to control the pace and guile of the Aber backs, even on a fairly heavy pitch.

The only Pembroke score came from veteran second row Scott Powell from a pick and go but The Scarlets skipper Lloyd Davies, who played well alongside his front row colleagues Seamus Wiseman and Johnny Palmer, said afterwards that his team could have few complaints about the final verdict.

Aberaeron scored tries by Ollie Sawyer, Bobby Jones, Ifan Davies and outstanding skipper Morgan Llewellyn (2), who posed a constant threat with his runs from deep positions, and centre Rhodri Jenkins landed three conversions and a first-half penalty to keep their team firmly in the promotion race after their 11th win in 13 games put them deservedly on top of the section table.

Pembroke: Zack Evans: Darcy Langstone; James Jones; Rhys Johns; Barrie Alderman-John: Luke Alderwick; Jarred Sherratt: Lloyd Davies (Capt), Seamus Wiseman; Johnny Palmer: Dan Gosnold; Scott Powell: Dai Beynon; Will Edwards; Robin Badham. Replacements: Tim Ramsden; Owain Johns; Ryan Bolton; Charlie Shields.

Aberaeron: Morgan Llewellyn: Dyfrig Davis; Ollie Sawyer; Rhodri Jenkins; Matthew Harries:  Steffan Rees; Steffan Jones: Owain Wozencroft; Simon Evans; Rhys Jones (prop): Bleddyn Thomas; Llyr Davies: Heflin Williams; Gethin Davis; Bobby Jones. Replacements: Bruce Gaskell; Ryan Williams; Steffan Dale; Rhys Jones (scrum half); Ifan Davies.

Championship Cup:


Otters through to semi-final without playing


Narberth v Dunvant


**Dunvant unable to field a team so Narberth go through