Rugby Reports - 9th October 2021 - by Bill Carne

Kyle Hamer breaks a tackle for the Mariners 


WRU Plate District H1


Preseli Men edge home in exciting tussle


Milford Haven 26 - Crymych 33

The large crowd which turned up to watch the match between Milford haven and Crymych could only be impressed to the commitment of both teams, and the pace at which it was played for the whole 80 minutes, although The Mariners’ former players who gathered for a reunion would have been disappointed at the fact that although they kept plugging away it was Crymych who ultimately sealed success.
The game started with a bang as Milford played down the slope and claimed an unconverted try in the first minute from Dan Jenkins – but Crymych bounced back with a penalty by No 10 Gavin Thomas and a cracking try by full back Osian Hill as reward for his pace and elusive running before he went off with an ankle injury, with Thomas adding the extra points.

From then on fortunes ebbed and flowed, with The Preseli Men leading 27-19 at half time and ultimately taking the spoils as they held their nerve in defence.
But Milford’s determination to play at pace throughout the tussle saw Jenkins add his second try alongside others by evergreen winger Lee Riley and centre Dan Birch, alongside one conversion by scrum half Dan McClelland and two by player/coach Steve Martin as Jay Goodall, Kyle Hamer and Dewi Williams played well as a back row unit and newcomer Kyran Gray will serve them well at outside half.
Centre Ilan Phillips and No 9 Ianto Davies also got on the try sheet for The Preseli Men and Gavin Thomas slotted three conversions and three penalties alongside a three-pointer by Ilan Phillips to ensure they kept ahead.
So Crymych made the journey back through the Preselis with the win against their name but The Mariners could take some comfort from the fact they picked up two bonus points for their part in the game.
Milford Haven: Steve Martin: Lee riley; Dan Jenkins; Dan Birch; Ieuan Davies: Kyran Grey; Dan McClelland: Aaron Mayne; Luke Ryan; Rhys Davies: Zac Davies; Jay Goodall; Ben Groves; Kyle Hamer; Dewi Williams. Replacements: Ben Jenkins; Aaron Davies; Sam Dolling; Liam Wilkes; Chris Hall.

Crymych: Osian Hill: Gethin Gibby; Declan Harries; Ilan Phillips; Tomos Lewis: Gavin Thomas; Ianto Davies: Steff Harries; Aled Hughes; Ryan Rees: Matthew Freebury; Llyr Davies: Carwyn Phillips (capt); Rhydian Howells; Trystan Griffiths. Replacements: Jonathan Phillips; Rhys Richards; Luke Freebury; Dafydd Phillips; Tomi Jones.

Gavin Thomas gets the Crymych back line moving

Aber coast to victory despite Scarlet’s brave efforts


Pembroke 8 - Aberystwyth 40

Matthew Hughes - called the shots for AberAberystwyth maintained their 100% start to this competition with a comfortable victory at Crickmarren against a Pembroke side which played far better than the final scoreline might suggest but were unable to take half chances and paid the inevitable price.
The Scarlets also lost Luke Hartland in the first half with a dislocated shoulder   and Aber played with 14 men for over half the match as No 8 Lee Evans was sent off, as he was when his side played recently in Fishguard.
But the Mid Wales team were already 21-8 ahead as half backs Charles Thomas and especially No 10 Matthew Hughes called the shots and coach Ifan Thomas was pleased with the way that his side maintained their focus in the second period to keep a blank sheet whilst also adding a further 19 points as reward for their incisive running and passing that saw winger Ian Ellis, playing on permit from Neath, race over for an excellent hat-trick, with pacy centre Carwyn Evans adding two more to the brace he plundered at Fishguard.
Charles Thomas also sniped over for a close-range try and Hughes marked another classy performance with five out of six conversions to leave Aberystwyth just a point behind current leaders Whitland, but with two games in hand.
For Pembroke, open side flanker Alex Thomas capped a good display with their only try alongside a penalty by No 10 Luke Alderwick, Scott Powell led by example, as usual, whilst Fraser James carried well and No 9 Lewys Gibby always posed a threat but didn’t have the quality ball he would have liked.

Seasiders rue missed kicking chances


Tenby United 18 - Whitland 20

Nico Setaro - played a key role in Whitland winOld rivalries between Tenby United and Whitland have always been intense and this most recent match at Heywood Lane was no exception before The Borderers went home delighted with a narrow victory and The Seasiders were left to reflect on the fact that they outscored their opponents in terms of tries but missed regular place kicker Lloyd Thomas.
In sharp contrast, veteran Borderers’ outside half Nico Setaro again showed his worth to their battle plan as he controlled matters to score 15 of their points, ten of them with his trusty boot, and made sure his team played to their battle plan.
But it was Tenby who took the early led with an unconverted try from open-side flanker Will Swales as reward for his energy alongside Jack Brown and Jack Broadhurst, popping up in midfield and making a 20-metre run to the line – but Setaro then intervened with a try at the posts which he also converted.
The Seasiders snatched the initiative back with a penalty from Brown but Setaro notched a penalty before the homesters regained the lead with an unconverted try Jack Broadhurst from a solid platform provided by Geoff Martin, Dan Allan, Ethan Morgan, Tom Barrass and skipper Luke Dedman.
Fortunes continued to ebb and flow and pacy young winger Ollie Hughes cross for another Whitland score that Setaro goaled – and Tenby had the final word with a third unconverted try, this time from winger Adam Quill.
But it wasn’t quite enough to see The Seasiders home and in the final analysis they had to settle for a bonus point for their part in a see-saw battle which kept both sets of supporters hopeful until the final whistle blew.

WRU Bowl – District H1


Cardis edge through in a tense encounter


Cardigan 13 - Neyland 12

Llyr Jones - vital eight points in Cardigan winNeyland came within a whisker of an away win at Cardigan but The Teifisiders used their experience to good effect to edge home by a single point in an absorbing clash enjoyed by a sizeable crowd at the King George Vth Ground.
In a nip and tuck game it was The All Blacks who took an early seven point lead but the teams were level by half time and although the visitors scored the only try of the second half, which went unconverted, a penalty either side of this score saw Cardigan claim their third win in four starts whilst Neyland finished their cup programme with a creditable three wins from their five outings.
It was hard-working second row Nathan Banner who rounded off a strong surge by the All Blacks’ eight to score their first try, which was converted by outside half George Evans – but The Teifisiders responded with a try by right winger Hedd James as he sped over from 22 metres for No 10 Llyr Jones to add the extra points.
The visitors lost key attacking full back Patrick Bellerby with a leg strain but the second half was just as close and Llyr Jones nudged Cardigan ahead with a penalty but Neyland recaptured the initiative when prop Luke Griffiths-Dawes ploughed over for a try before The Teifisiders had the final word as pressure in which flanker Rhodri Davies showed why he earned the man of the match award saw Llyr Jones slot a penalty.
For Neyland, Alex Codd and George Evans were strong in midfield, Griffiths-Dawes played well in the front row, as did flanker Alex ‘Budgie’ Swales.

Josh Thomas on his way for a try for Haverfordwest

Blues blast Quins in runaway second half


Haverfordwest 53 - Pembroke Dock Quins 10

Pembroke Dock Harlequins could only manage to field a bare 15 players for their match against unbeaten Haverfordwest but they played with great spirit to trail by only 8-3 at half time.
But the toll of tackling in defence as The Blues sought more scores – and the floodgates opened afterwards as the home side amassed a further 45 points, although the loudest cheer from a big crowd was reserved for a late moment when The Quins attacked after a tapped penalty and quick hands by Euan McDonald, Jake Griffiths and Jamie Williams saw full back Aaron Cookson dive over for a try which Euan McDonald converted.
It was McDonald who had opened the scoring with a well-judged penalty to give The Quins an early lead but from then on defence was important as The Blues   levelled matters with a penalty by coach Matthew John after regular kicker Mikey Jones suffered a leg injury.
They added an unconverted try when quick hands from Owen Hamer, John and Lee Davies put centre Josh Thomas in for an unconverted try.
The Blues started the second half with a banh as they sped into a 22-8 lead within ten minutes and scored regularly thereafter as the back row of Gareth John, skipper Matty Phillips and especially no 8 Lewis Tingy were heavily involved as they linked with Owen Hamer, coach John and a back division eager to run from every angle.
Left winger Jack White scored twice and might have added a couple more as outstanding second row Will Blackburn also crossed the whitewash alongside Tingy and Brad John, whilst Josh Thomas claimed his second score and prop Terry Lovell showed exceptional handling skills with a bout on interpassing with John in the left corner before Lovell crashed over in the corner.
Flanker Gareth John brought back memories of yesteryear as he slotted a penalty and three conversions to complete the scoring and leave The Blues going into the next stage of the competition with five wins in their five matches.

Matthew John makes a break for Haverfordwest

Saints snatch the verdict in basement battle


Llangwm 12 - St Davids 16

Gethin Bateman - delighted as player - coach with a St Davids successMatches between Llangwm and St Davids are traditionally hard-fought and this well-attended tussle was no exception as The Wasps took an early lead in both teams’ quest for a first win of the season before the visitors gained the upper hand and managed to hold on to their advantage to the final whistle.
It was second row David Round who opened the Llangwm account as the rounded off a period of pressure with a try that was converted by Luke Hayman – but The Saints fought back with a try from influential half back Rhys Owens after a superb midfield break by skipper Rhys Price, who really caught the eye with his all-round performance.
Owens gave The Saints the lead as Owens landed a penalty and Anton Matthews added a second try after coming on as an early replacement for Dafydd Collins, whilst Owens landed his second penalty.
Jack Roberts played well on the wing for The Wasps and talented young outside half Finlay Elrick also caught the eye and was rewarded with a try – but The Saints had strong defensive performances by centres George Raymond and Gavin Jenkins in his first full game, whilst Aled Davies was busy in the back row, Ben Evans was outstanding at prop and player/coach Gethin Bateman put his experience to good effect in the lineout battle.

The homesters were in with a shout right up until the final whistle but it was The Saints who broke their duck – and left the disappointed Wasps to rue a couple of missed chances which ultimately cost them dearly.

WRU Championship Cup:


Otters suffer in tough first half


Narberth 7 - Neath 19

Narberth’s hopes of a winning start in the championship play-offs were never likely to come to fruition after they trailed by 19 points in a disappointing first half – but The Otters at least deserve some credit for keeping the All Blacks out after the break and scoring the only seven points of a much tighter second period.
In a pointless first half The Otters looked a little disjointed as they suffered some careless handling, which lost them hard-won possession, and missed a few key tackles so that they conceded tries by full back Aaron Bramwell, No 8 Owen Morgan and prop Gareth Lloyd, the final two converted by David Langdon after he had hit the woodwork with his first attempt.
Narberth were without some key players like points’ machine Nick Gale and tireless prop Tom Kaijaks but they after a few choice words at the interval raised the tempo as the back row of Tom Powell, Guto Davies and skipper Richard Rees won some loose ball and half backs Jonathan Rogers and Rhys Lane tried to keep their pack moving forward against a very big Neath eight.
The Otters finally scored the only try of the period when replacement Ryan Scourfield, fresh out of youth rugby and looking full of running, crossed the whitewash and Rogers added the extra points.
Narberth now travel to play Glamorgan Wanderers next Saturday, who also lost to Maesteg Celtic on this opening day of the play-offs – and The Otters know they face another challenge on the outskirts of Cardiff!
Narberth: Ianto Griffiths: Aled Rees, Jake Jenkins; Joe Hutchings; Jordan Roberts: Jonathan Rogers; Rhys Lane: Brad Davies, Rhodri Owens; Tom Slater: Alex Jenkins; Steff Phillips: Richard Rees (Capt),; Tom Powell; Guto Davies. Replacements: Tom Clarke; Ifan James; Rhys Williams; George McDonald; Ryan Scourfield.