Rugby Reports - 21st October 2023


Championship (West) Division:


Josh Hamer - man of the match for Narberth with Steve Jenkins of LandH Evans


Otters maintain their winning ways


Narberth 48 - Newcastle Emlyn 21

Rhys Williams - first try for NarberthIt’s now five wins from five league matches for Narberth as they outlasted old rivals Newcastle Emlyn after leading 27-14 at half time and keeping a tight rein on things afterwards to ensure a bonus-point victory whilst their opponents with nothing to show for playing their part in an entertaining match.
The Otters certainly couldn’t have started better as they were 12-0 up in less than ten minutes and 19 points to the good midway through the period.
From the kick-off The Otters secured possession moved the ball right and winger Ashley Sutton crossed in the corner – and then No 10 Jon Rogers sliced through to the posts and added the simple conversion with his trusty left boot.
Rogers also goaled their third try, this time claimed by the in-form Dean James – but Emlyn showed why they are in the top half of the table as they battled their way into the game from a kick to the corner and line-out drive  as they scored a try by Dai Davies which Dylan Davies converted.
Rogers landed a penalty for The Otters before Emlyn claimed their second try as a quick tap by Aled Davies saw him go over and Dan Davies again converted.
The Otters had the final word of the half, however, as Ilan Phillips, Hedd Nicholas and Ashley Sutton put Llew Jones over for a corner try.
There were warning signs for Narberth at the start of the second period when Emlyn reduced the deficit to only seven points when centre Aled Davies crossed the whitewash and his namesake Dan converted – but this set-back stung the homesters into raising the tempo and regaining control.
Ilan Phillips sped through for a try which Rogers converted and second row Rhys Williams claimed his first score of the season, this time converted by Ianto Griffiths – who also added the extras when Llew Jones added his fourth try in two weeks but sadly sustained what looked like a nasty shoulder injury right at the end – and wishes this talented youngster a speedy recovery.
Narberth: Llew Jones: Dan James; Ilan Phillips; Hedd Nicholas; Ashley Sutton: Jon Rogers; Lewys Gibby: Lewis Davies; Tom Clarke; Bradley Davies: Rhys Williams; Alex Jenkins: Richard Rees; Josh Hamer; Roy Osborn (Captain). Replacements: Kyle Hamer; Tom Slater; Tom Powell; Josh Evans; Ianto Griffiths.

Crymych push league leaders all the way


Crymych 26 – Brecon 22

Tomos Phillips - try hat-trick for Crymych centreCrymych went down to their second home defeat in succession but like their previous week’s tussle with Narberth they played really well and although coach Elgan Vittle and his squad have a winning mentality they can take consolation from the fact that they picked up two bonus points against a Brecon team sitting on top of the table and having beaten some sides by far greater margins.
The Preseli Men will look back on the fact that they were already 17 points adrift after the first quarter against a very experienced opposition who included the likes of Osian Davies and Gavin Walsh, who have played Premiership rugby.
Winger Ben Griffin, No 8 Logan McIntosh, scrum half Carl Blacker, centre Ollie Lewis and flanker Sion Williams eventually scored tries for Brecon alongside two conversions and a penalty from outside half Jake Newman.
The Preseli Men had a try from full back Eilir George as their only score in the first period but they kept plugging away and strong-running centre Tomos Phillips grabbed a hat-trick of tries, one from an interception and the other two from quick hands by his fellow backs.
Talented outside half Ifan Phillips again played well as he kicked well out of his hands and was always looking to keep play fluid – and he landed three conversions to earn their second bonus point for finishing within seven points of their opponents’ scoreline.
Crymych: Eilir George: Ned Bennett; Macs Page; Tomos Phillips; Ianto Davies: Ifan Davies; Tristan Jones: Luke Griffiths-Dawes; Lee Griffiths; Ryan Rees: Llyr Davies; Matthew Freebury: Osian Davies; Gethin Davies; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements: Jon Hill; Dylan Phillips; Rhydian Howells; Laurence Headlam; Dafydd Phillips.

Division One (West):


Borderers lose basement battle in final 30 seconds


Whitland 19 - Felinfoel 20

Geraint Jones - more points for WhitlandWhitland had high hopes of moving a little out of the danger zone at the foot of the section table, especially with home advantage, as they entertained a Felinfoel side still without any points after three defeats – but they endured the heart-break of having to settle for only a losing bonus point after Felinfoel notched a dropped goal with only 30 SECONDS before the final whistle.
The Borderers were good value for a 13-6 interval lead as Trystan Rees sliced through for a try and Geraint Jones notched the conversion, along with two penalty kicks on target.
But Felinfoel kept plugging away as Geraint Jones landed two more penalties which put The Borderers 18-17 ahead with time running out – but then came that fateful last-gasp drop goal from Tom Cadel and The Borderers were sucked a little deeper into the basement battle as a result!
Whitland: Harry Fuller: Trystan Rees; Gino Setaro; Geraint Jones; Alan Small: Scott Newton; Rhys Nicholas: Chris Marks; Marc Jones; Ceiron Evans: Benji Kirk (Capt); Raff Williams: Dan Bennett; Cian Evans; Zac France-Miller. Replacements: Shane Webster; Trystan Bowen; Rhys Evans; Wil Davies; Dom Davies.

Division Two (West):


Mariners go close but just miss out


Pontyberem 25 - Milford Haven 24

Jay Goodall - good try for Milford second rowMilford Haven travelled to Pontyberem with high hopes of a third win of the season against a team rooted to the foot of the table with only a solitary draw from five matches but although The Mariners were always very much in contention they conceded too many penalties and had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Their tries came from No 8 Ryan Mansell, second row Jay Goodall and centre Dan Jenkins, all converted from outside half Ollie Rothero alongside a penalty.
Scrum half Dan McClelland, Ben Groves and skipper Zac Davies also worked hard and veteran full back Lee Riley suffered an interesting few moments as he beat several would-be tacklers on a typically mazy run but then felt the impact of a bruising tackle from a home prop which left him momentarily a little confused!
For Pontyberem there were useful performances from No 8 and captain Gareth Davies, prop Dan Sauro and full back Dafydd Rees – and they were clearly delighted by their first league win, albeit by the narrowest of margin as their tries came from winger Llyr Lewis, Josh Farnell and Dafydd Lloyd, plus two conversions and two penalties by No 10 Rhodri Lewis!
Milford Haven: Lee Riley: Ieuan Davies; Dan Jenkins; Evan Morgan; Dean McSparron: Ollie Rothero; Dan McClelland: Ben Jenkins; Luke Ryan; Shaun Devonald: Jay Goodall; Ethan Aldred: Ben Groves; Jac Davies (Capt); Ryan Mansell. Replacements: Iestyn Howells; Dylan Evans; Dai Sweeny; Jack Johnson; Ryan Williams.

Division Three (West) A:


The Blues rule this lineout via Adam Clarke

Blues too strong up front for battling Quins


Haverfordwest 41 - Pembroke Dock Harlequins 19

Haverfordwest finally got back to playing some rugby as they entertained Pembroke Dock Harlequins in only their third league game of the campaign and made it a win hat-trick to use their pack superiority over a youthful Quins’ pack and pouch a bonus point in the process.
But although heavily out-gunned up front The Quins battled hard and never gave up as they grabbed three tries of their own and only just missed out on a losing bonus point – after conceding two tries in the first five minutes, both from close range drives as front rowers Terry Lovell and Jamie Zambas claimed the touch downs, the second converted by Owain Roberts.
The Quins fought back in unusual style as a Blues’ move broke down near half way from a clear knock on that fell into the hands of Ben Hathaway but all 29 other players assumed the ref would call a scrum but Emyr Thomas correctly allowed advantage to be played and a delighted Hathaway strolled through to the posts and added the extra points!
The Blues responded almost immediately with another close-range try, this time by No 8 Liam Brown, converted by Roberts; Mikey Jones marked his welcome return to the club with a try and Zambas ploughed over for his second to give the home side a 29-7 interval lead.
The third quarter saw Haverfordwest a huge territorial advantage but a mixture of good defending by the Quins and the taking of wrong options saw there were no additions to the scoring, other than a second try for No 8 Brown.
The Quins opted for uncontested scrums and the appearance of Jack Price, despite recovering from a rib injury, boosted their performance as he linked well with Craig Barnett, Jordan Asparassa and Thomas Wheeler to produce a try after Ben Hathaway had kicked ahead and Rhys Bradney claimed the touchdown for Hathaway to convert.
Scott Candler crossed for a late Blues’ try but there was still time for the Quins to end the scoring when Price threw out a long pass left and Asparassa pounced for an unconverted try.
Haverfordwest: Owain Roberts: Scott Candler; Jack Evans; Iestyn Doble; Johnny White: Mikey Jones; Liam Eaton: Dan Berry; Jamie Zambas; Terry Lovell: Karl Busch; Adam Clark: Mike Griffiths; Matthew Phillips; Liam Brown. Replacements: Ben Llywellyn; Jack Clancy; Dylan Williamson; Lee Summons.
Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Ben Hathaway: Owain Turner; Gethin Bradney; Jordan Asparassa; Tom Donovan: Craig Barnett; Morgan Rogers: Aaron Spencer; Jordan Palmer; Alfie Ball: Andrew Edwards; Liam Scourfield: Danny Wilkes; Mike Davies; Jack Mallitte. Replacements: Dean Wilcox; Rhys Doyle; Jack Price; Thomas Wheeler; Rhys Gammer.

Jack Clancy on a charge for Haverfordwest

Action pictures by William John


Aber’s backs shine despite giving ground up front


Neyland 14 - Aberaeron 39

Iestyn Evans - outstanding for Neyland - and scored their tryNeyland battled hard against Aberaeron and more than held their own in the set pieces but founder the greater experience, pace and guile of their opponents a little too hot to handle at times.
Yet The All Blacks were still very much in with a shout at half time as they were only 14-22 adrift but the visitors settled their defensive patterns after the break and added another 17 points without reply.
Dan Hart,  Ben James, Alex Swales Jack Harries and Mark James, Owen and especially Owain and Iestyn Evans all worked tirelessly up front and it was Iestyn Evans who scored an excellent support try alongside three penalties by George Evans, played well at half back alongside the busy Owen Hamer but Aber able to record a bonus-point win with tries from Steff D Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Dyfrig Dafis, Morgan Llewellyn (2) and Julian Roberts, plus three conversions and a penalty by Steff Rees, with Bruce Gaskell selected as their man of the match for his overall contribution to the Aberaeron cause.
Neyland: Liam Rees: Lucas Jones; Jordan All-Wright; Jasper Endean; Delme Bateman: George Evans; Owen Hamer: Ben James; Alex Swales; Jack Harries: Mark James; Iestyn Evans: Dan Hart; Owain Evans; Ben Williams. Replacements: Delme Bateman; Ebs Sokoiwasa; Kieran Cookson; Callum O’Riordan; Simon Phillips.

Scarlets get ahead on Palmer Cup retention


Pembroke 46 - Llangwm 20

Rhodri Walters - another three tries for outstanding Pembroke No 8Pembroke took a big step towards retaining the Palmer Cup, played for annually with old rivals Llangwm on a two-leg basis, carrying a 26 point-advantage into the return tussle at Pill Parks.
Both sides deserve credit for aiming to play running rugby and The Wasps were actually ahead at half time before The Scarlets’ greater strength and experience told in the final quarter.
Making a welcome return to the home fold after a lengthy absence was several-times skipper Scott Powell and the old warrior featured for 50 minutes alongside Will Edwards, Seamus Wiseman, Jamie Brayford and skipper Lloyd Davies, whilst Craig Williamson was chosen as their man of the match for his energy alongside Dai Beynon and Rhodri Walters, who was again amongst the tries with a hat-trick as reward for his support play.
Luke Alderwick again continued his points accumulation from the No 10 berth with two tries, four conversions and a penalty for a personal haul of 21 points, with promising young centre Charlie Sheils also getting on the try list alongside full back Rhys Bradney.
For The Wasps there was effort aplenty up front, especially from the back row of Matthew John, James Lewis and Ashley James, with centre Owain Jones catching the eye and winger Jack Roberts scoring two tries to confirm his growing reputation as a finisher.
Finley Elrick scored the other Wasps’ try and half back partner Dylan Phillips contributed a conversion and penalty.
Pembroke: Rhys Bradney: Josh Griffiths; Charlie Sheils; Lewis Davies; Barry Alderman-John: Luke Alderwick; Elliot Lewis: Lloyd Davies (Capt); Seamus Wiseman; Jamie Brayford: Dai Beynon; Scott Powell: Will Edwards; Craig Williamson; Rhodri Walters.
Replacements: Owain Johns; Dan Gosnold; Robin Badham; Jack Fielding; Simon Stanford.
Llangwm: Ollie Gerson: Jack Roberts; Matthew Hughes; Owain Jones; Owen Rees: Dylan Philpott; Finley Elrick: Dan Hughes; Phil Llewellyn; Aled Rogers: Dave Reynolds; Jake Thomas: Matthew John; Ashley James; James Lewis. Replacements: Joe Newton; Ben Elrick; Sam Rickwood; Steven Race; Will Ridge.

Laugharne too strong for Saints


St Davids 10 - Laugharne 36

Laugharne continued their good start to the season with this comfortable bonus-point win at St Davids, who played well in parts but were never able to sustain their challenge as the visitors outscored them by six tries to one.
St Davids were already 19-3 adrift at half time after winger Bob Froy had kicked them into an early lead and all they could muster after the oranges was a try by outside half Owain Swain, converted by Aaron Foster.
Liam Price played well for Laugharne and sped through for two tries, with others coming from Tom Jameson, Antonio Setaro, Lee Glanville and Steff Rees, who also landed three conversions as they now sit second in the table with a 100% win record after four matches.
St Davids: Fred Dorn: Luke Bamford; Harvey Lavin; Will Savage; Bob Froy: Owain Swain; Zac Morgan: Ethan Griffiths; Rhys Price; Charlie Lavin: Tommy Reynolds; Iestyn Owen: Brad John; Nathan Foster; George Raymond. Replacements: Dan Murphy; Ben Lloyd; James Goldsmith; Aaron Foster; Harvey Godkin.

John Lumb - Five tries for Cardigan power-house


Lumb grabs five tries as Cardis crush Llan


Llanybydder 10 - Cardigan 64

John Lumb has for some time been a potent force in the Cardigan back line and showed off his pace and high skill levels as his team travelled to struggling Llanybydder and came away with five of their ten tries.
It is a trying time for what has always been a popular club amongst Pembrokeshire opponents and the writing was already on the wall at half time as The Teifisiders were already 33-10 ahead and their tries had come from centre Marcus Castle (3) and Lumb (2) alongside four conversions from full back Shaun Leonard.
To be fair to Llanybydder they had tried hard to make headway and their efforts were rewarded with unconverted tries by Carwyn Blayney and Owain Bonsall.
But as the Cardigan pack got more and more on top so the points piled up and Lumb sped through for three of their first four tries of the half, the other claimed by winger Jack Taylor, two converted by Leonard.
After nine tries from a back division well-orchestrated by Jac Davies and Llyr Jones, it was No 8 Tom Taylor who grabbed the final try as Cardigan stay top of the table, with five wins from as many matches at the start of their campaign.
Cardigan: Shaun Leonard: John Lumb; Marcus Castle; Emyr Harries; Jack Taylor: Jac Davies; Llyr Jones: Ben Cox; Rhodri Parry Jones; Ben Hughes: Sion Phillips; Dean Harries: Luke Jones; Kester Adams; Tom Taylor. Replacements: Llyr Jones; Aaron Tomkinson; Kieran Greenland; Deian Davies; Alun Jenkins.