Rugby Reports - 9th March 2024

Lewys Gibby races clear to score a try for Narberth. Picture Myrddin Dennis 

Championship Division (West):


Otters run riot as Gibby and Harries claim four tries apiece


Ystalyfera 7 - Narberth 67


Narberth man of the match Will BlackburnNarberth produced another terrific all-round performance to run in 11 tries against 10th-placed Ystalyfera, with eight of them shared between scrum half Lewys Gibby and winger Rhys Harries as they dominated matters from start to finish, with their forwards producing another solid effort and their backs simply to pacy for ‘Fera as they were already 43-7 ahead at the interval and with all The Otters’ points coming from their back division.

12th loss fromThe easy success kept Narberth firmly at the top of the table with 17 wins from as many starts and with a huge points differential that includes an earlier home defeat of Ystalyfera of 57-5 that completed a huge double by  124-12.

The writing was on the wall from the early moments as centres Hedd Nicholas and Ilan Phillips punched holes through small gaps and setting the back three of Ianto Griffiths, Harries and Dean James on the attack so that scrum half Gibby grabbed two early tries before James added a third and Harries made sure of an interval bonus point before good work by Joe Mort, Glenn Owens and Sion Lloyd set up the platform for a home try by scrum half  Kaden Davies which was converted by full back Cellan Carter-Jones.

Outside half Jon Rogers called the shots as well as he has done all season and added four first-half conversions as Ilan Phillips grabbed a try brace and the ubiquitous Gibby completed his hat trick.

Rhys Harries grabbed four tries for The OttersWith important games in the pipeline, like the championship cup semi-final, Narberth took their feet off the gas a little in the second half but with Brad Davies, Kyle Hamer and Sean Janes having done the early and good control of the ball from Richard Rees, Josh Hamer, Rhys Williams, Alex Jenkins and especially Will Blackburn, who was voted man of the match for his ball-carrying efforts, there were further tries  by Gibby (his fourth) and the final three by Rhys Harries as he rounded off some good moves to help Narberth march on towards the section silverware.

Narberth: Ianto Griffiths: Dean James; Ilan Phillips; Hedd Nicholas; Rhys Harries: Jonathan Rogers; Lewys Gibby: Bradley Davies; Kyle Hamer; Sean Janes: Will Blackburn; Alex Jenkins: Rhys Williams; Josh Hamer; Richard Rees. Replacements: Tom Clarke; Tom Slater; Rhys Williams; Ashley Sutton; Alex Williams.

Narberth run riot at Ystalyfera. Picture Myrddin Dennis

Preseli Men miss out in Dunvant


Dunvant 36 - Crymych 13

Adam Phillips - all 13 points for CrymychCrymych made a slow start at Dunvant and found themselves 19-3 down at the break as their only score was a penalty from full back Adam Phillips – but they fought back to put pressure on the home side with ten quick points before Dunvant restored their advantage and gained revenge for a 19-7 defeat when the teams met at Parc Lloyd Thomas earlier in the season.
There was no shortage of effort from Crymych skipper Carwyn Phillips, half backs Ifan and Dafydd Phillips, Osian Davies and Carwyn Rees amongst others like talented youngsters Iestyn Wood and Alfie Evans-Fecci and their ten points were all claimed by full back Phillips with a good try which he converted, alongside his second penalty of the match.
But Dunvant had a try brace apiece from winger Jack Cheyney and full back Dan White, plus others by No 8 Jacon Hopkins and outside half Joar Blanck, who also kicked three conversions.
This defeat was Crymych’s 11th from 19 starts but they still sit in 7th out of 12 teams in their first experience of this tough section of Welsh Rugby – and coach Elgan Vittle and his squad have done well in the circumstances.
Crymych: Adam Phillips: Tristan Jones; Lawrence Headlam; Jon Hill; Ianto Davies: Ifan Phillips; Dafydd Phillips: Aled Hughes; Lee Griffiths; Alfie Evans-Fecci: Iestyn Wood; Matthew Freebury: Osian Davies; Carwyn Rees; Carwyn Phillips (Capt). Replacements: Trystan Griffiths; Luke Freebury; Llyr Davies; Owain Davies.

Division One (West):


Borderers battle hard against second-placed Gorseinon


Whitland 10 - Gorseinon 26

Zac France-Miller powered over for another Whitland tryGorseinon gained their expected victory at Parc Llwyn Ty Gwyn to maintain second spot in the table but they didn’t find it easy, especially in a tight second half where the Borderers actually outscored them – and the final margin was far less than the 64-11 Whitland conceded earlier in the campaign, to confirm their improvement as the season has gone on.
Geraint Jones had kicked a first-half penalty for the homesters as Gorseinon had tries from James Evans, Johnny Atkins and Alan Evans, all converted by Jack Gronow – but they could only claim that vital bonus-point try thereafter as Lewis Bell crossed the whitewash.
For The Borderers there was total commitment up front from Raff Williams, Lewis Tingay, Cian Evans, skipper Benji Kirk and Zac France-Miller’ who was again their try scorer before Geraint Jones added the extra points, plus Ollie Bujega, Jonathan Thomas and Trystan Rees amongst a hard-tackling back division.
Whitland: Geraint Jones: Oli Bujega; Gino Setaro; Trystan Rees; Owyn Griffiths: Jonathan Thomas; Rhys Nicholas: Jonny Phillips; Marc Jones; Trystan Bowen: Raff Williams; Benji Kirk (Capt): Lewis Tingay; Cian Evans; Zac France-Miller. Replacements: Iestyn Comey; Dan Bennett; Scott Newton; Morgan Lewis; Dom Davies.

Division Two (West):


Seasiders smash Amman United – serious contenders for promotion


Amman United 7 - Tenby United 59

Iori Badham - three tries on debut for Tenby UnitedTenby United moved into second place in the table with their promotion hopes receiving a huge boast from leaders St Clears as The Saints comfortably beat second-placed Loughor and in doing so allowed The Seasiders to draw level with them on the same number of points but with one fewer defeat than Loughor.

So it is all to play for over the final six matches apiece and The Seasiders enjoyed an easy win over bottom-placed Amman United, who have won only once in 14 games, including a heavy defeat at Heywood Lane, where Tenby won 79-12.
Leading the way for Jonathan Evan’s team was young full back Iori Badham, a Tenby boy but also playing ‘up the line’ – and he showed his skills in a runaway first half where they led 45-0 and he scored three of their seven tries alongside others from winger Geraint Powell (2), No 8 Jack Brown and No 10 Lloyd Thomas, who also kicked five conversions.
Thomas certainly deserves a mention alongside Badham for controlling play, as does prop Rob Luly, who was playing his 150th match for the club and giving his usually committed display in set-pieces and in the loose.
Tenby’s second-half tries came from winger Gwion Jones and centre Jack Gooding, both converted by Thomas – and sandwiched in between was the solitary home score by flanker Alun Lewis, converted by outside half Iestyn Griffiths, as reward for the homesters giving 100% on what was another tough day for them.
Tenby United: Iori Badham: Gwion Jones; Jack Gooding; Luke Waygood; Geraint Powell: Lloyd Thomas; Tom Lewis: Ethan Morgan; Kyle Rossiter; Rob Luly: Tom Barrass; Luke Dedman (Capt): Harry Owen; Liam Pugh; Jack Brown. Replacements: George Rossiter; Dan Allen; Hywel Baker; Jake Roberts; Luke Hartland.

Mariners ease home in tight finish


Milford Haven 17 - Tycroes 3

Dan McClelland - solo try for MilfordMilford Haven grabbed two late converted tries against bottom-two Tycroes at The Obs to gain revenge for an earlier 38-29 reverse when the teams met – and it was a good win because they were 10-3 adrift at half time and needed to raise their tempo, which they did.
The Mariners went 3-0 ahead with a penalty by full back James Williams but Tycroes then took the initiative as outside half Carwyn Richards levelled matters and then added the extra points to a try from flanker Dylan Lewis.
Whatever the home coaches said to The Mariners’ squad at the interval it certainly worked because they not only raised the tempo but dramatically reduced the number of basic errors – and they took the lead with a try by influential scrum half Dan McClelland as he spotted a gap from a quickly-tapped penalty and dived through it so that James Truman, on as a replacement, was able to add the simple conversion.
Richards had added a second three pointer for Tycroes but Milford had the final word when Ben Groves rounded off a concerted drive and Truman again notched the extra points – and another bonus for Steve Martin’s boys was the arrival of new recruit Jack Morgan alongside Ieuan Matthews and Dewi Williams in the back row.
Morgan has moved to Milford Haven to work and his power and energy can only be of benefit as the season rolls to its end with The Mariners looking to build on their current of seven wins for 17 starts.
Milford Haven: James Williams: Robbie Jones; Jamie Lewis; Dan Jenkins; Lee Riley: Efan Morgan; Dan McClelland: Aaron Milne; Luke Ryan; Ben Jenkins: Jay Goodall; Zac Davies (Capt): Jack Morgan; Ieuan Davies; Dewi Williams. Replacements: Dai Sweeny; Ben Groves; Dean McSparron; Ollie Rothero; James Trueman.

Seagulls go close but just miss out


Carmarthen Athletic 15 - Fishguard & Goodwick 12

James Griffiths - more points for Fishguard captainFishguard & Goodwick lost by just three points in a hard-fought battle against old rivals Carmarthen Athletic but although in eighth place they still have matches aplenty over the four teams below them in the table to brush aside the spectre of relegation.
The Seagulls found themselves 3-0 down early on as Jordan Whitney landed a home penalty but took the early lead with a nicely conceived try by skipper James Griffiths after he pouched a kindly bounce from a clever little chip ahead by No 10 Jake Jenkins.
But The Athletic regained the initiative when Robbie Thomas went over for a try and Whtiney added their second to go with the conversion and put his team in control at the break.
The second half was equally as tight, with the only points coming from an unconverted try by scrum half Andrew Williams, who caught the eye on his return to action – but although The Seagulls had their chances they made errors and were unable to turn pressure into mor scores – and in the final analysis had to settle for a losing bonus point!
Fishguard & Goodwick: Creegan Foot: Joe Dunn; Dylan Scott; James Griffiths (Capt); Dan Cleary: Jake Jenkins; Andrew Williams: Will Delaney; Liam Wilkes; Iwan McVeigh: Ben John; Cai Llewellyn: Will Lewis; Rhys Lewis; Jac Delaney. Replacements: Osian Rowe; Matt Driver; Ryan Foot; Jack Phillips.

Jack Evans scores a try for The Blues. Picture Will John

Division Three (West) A:


Blues back with a big win


Haverfordwest 47 - Pembroke 5

After a couple of weeks’ inactivity Haverfordwest came out with all guns blazing against Pembroke in this traditionally hard-fought derby and were already assured of a bonus point for scoring four tries before the interval, as The Blues led The Scarlets 26-5.
Pembroke deserve every credit for battling hard until the final whistle as skipper Lloyd Davies and gritty No 9 Jarred Sherratt led them by example but The Blues had too much firepower and after second row Jack Clancey had supported well to claim an early unconverted try there were two excellent tries from long distance by pacy centre Jack Evans, both from 40 metres out and with outstanding flanker Matty Phillips the catalyst with his pace allied to the quick hands of those around him.
Then talented young scrum half Ioan Hawkridge-Jones sliced to the posts after great creativity from Archie Thomas, Laim Eaton, Iestyn Arnold and Scott Candler and it was full back Thomas who landed his third successful conversion.
Just before that Pembroke finally gained the score they deserved when from a period of pressure, a clever Sherratt chip to the right corner allowed experienced winger Simon Stanford to gather a nice bounce and reach the line – although Luke Alderwick’s conversion hit the woodwork and bounced clear.
The second half followed a similar pattern as no-one could fault Pembroke’s part in an entertaining game sensibly reffed by the experienced Julian Thomas (Pontyates) but it was Haverfordwest who added further scores from Scott Candler (released by Archie Thomas) a penalty try and a late score from Liam Eaton, which he also converted.
Haverfordwest: Archie Thomas: Gabriel Thicker; Jack Evans; Iestyn Arnold; Scott Candler: Liam Eaton; Ioan Hawkridge-Jones: Dan Berry; Jamie Zambas; Terry Lovell: Jack Clancy; Karl Busch (Capt): Paul Dungey; Mike Griffiths; Matty Phillips. Replacements: Dan Murphy; Andrew Edwards;  Dylan Williamson; Lee Summons; Johnny White.
Pembroke: Zach Evans: Simon Stanford; Rhys Johns; Ryan Bolton, Barrie Alderman-John: Luke Alderwick; Jarred Sherratt: Lloyd Davies; Dan Gosnold; Johnny Palmer: Will Edwards; Dai Beynon: Evan Phillips; Leon Stuart; Rhodri Walters. Replacements: Seamus Wiseman; Tom Cabot;  Ethan Brown; Darcy Langston, Ryan Hill.

Jarred Sherratt sets The Scarlets backs on a run. Picture Will John

St Davids celebrate another piece of silverware


All square at The Athletic Ground – but Saints take silverware


Neyland 21 - St Davids 21

 St Davids skipper Nathen Foster receiving the John Preece Cup from Richard Preece Neyland fought out a committed draw at The Athletic Ground but after the match it was The Saints who gained their second piece of silverware in recent matches as they followed up the Willington Slate against Pembroke with skipper Nathen Foster receiving the John Preece Cup from Richard Preece in memory of his father John, who had been a great worker for The All Blacks but whose roots wire in St Davids.
The trophy is played over the two legs of the league matches and as Neyland president Robert Johns said at the presentation, The Saints had won 20-7 at home and so were overall victors by 13 points.
In an entertaining and hard-fought encounter, Neyland led 7-0 and 14-7 thanks to tries by No 10 Alex Codd and veteran winger Delme Bateman, both converted by young winger Liam Rees – but The Saints levelled matters both times via a penalty try for a high tackle and another try for scrum half Zac Morgan, which flanker Jack Jones converted.
The second half followed a similar pattern as scrum half Owen Hamer’s reward for another good performance was a  try which Rees converted – but The Saints had the final word when player/coach Morgan Griffiths sliced through and Jack Jones converted.
Neyland: Chris Morgan: Delme Bateman; Dan Hart;  Adam Peel; Liam Rees: Alex Codd; Owen Hamer: Luke Griffiths-Dawes; Alex Swales; Jack Harries: Ben James; Declan Harwood: Gavin Campbell; Owain Evans (Capt); Ben Williams. Replacements: Ebenezer Sokoiwasa; Craig Power; Nick Wilson; Joel Thomas.
St Davids: Luke Bamford: Harvey Godkin; Ben Joyce; Will Savage; Bob Froy: Morgan Griffiths; Zak Morgan:  Ethan Griffiths; Adam Williams; Ryan John: Iestyn Owen; Ben Lloyd: Jack Jones; Nathan Foster (Captain); George Raymond. Replacements: Ben Evans; Gethin Bateman; Michael Gurney; Morgan Davies; Harvey Lavin.