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Wanderers walloping of Crymych marred after fracas

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By Jonathan Twigg

THE WRU National leagues have copped some criticism since its inception in 1995, although this game in the shadow of Stradey Park, previous home of the Scarlets, showed the raw side of Club rugby at its uncompromising best and unfortunately its worst on Saturday (Jan 20).

Llanelli Wanderers emerged 44-12 victors over Crymych as both sides saw it as a crunch relegation encounter, the first at the ground since the renovation work undertaken by the community club.

The game was marred when Crymych prop Jason Nicholls took a punch when exposed in the scrum in the final minute and resulted in a trip to Morriston hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured eye socket, nose and cheekbone.

Both sides entered the fixture with players associated to their respective clubs; no permits, no dual registration which were not normally selected and both came to play the conditions set before them at the ‘Ranch’. It was Crymych who took on the challenge of playing against the wind and the slope, finding the tenacity of home flanker Steffan Tafetsauffer, No 8 Nicky Harries and scum half Josh Weeds difficult to deal with in the opening exchanges.

The visitors lost influential scrum half Jonathan Rogers at the end of the first quarter, which was pointless despite continual penalties awarded by Cwmtwrch based referee Efryn Morris-Roberts to the home side through the ten and twelve channels. Morris Roberts, originally from Bala and teaching in Ystradgynlais was frim in his opinions as the underfoot conditions played their part. He didn’t endear himself to the visiting support who question those marginal decisions vociferously and as the game wore on perhaps with tinted spectacles.

Outside half Jonathan George eventually landed a penalty after 22 minutes from in front of the posts to open the home sides account, which spurred the visiting ‘mountain men’ into action. Replacement scrum half Gareth Davies was a livewire and chose to take a quick tap penalty thirty metres from the Wanderers try line, feeding second row Rhys Davies who combined with flanker Aled Harries to send outside half Jake Jenkins the ball.

He drew in centres Carwyn and Ifan Phillips to make ground with ball in hand allowing No. 8 Guto Davies to pounce for the games opening try, converted by outside centre Ifan Phillips.

Crymych were on top at this stage, the home side reduced to 14 men after Harries was deemed to have overstepped the tolerance level of Morris Roberts, which allowed the visitors to secure a second try. Scrum half Davies once again took a quick penalty finding the try scorer Davies close at hand. Jenkins and the Phillips’s boys in midfield created space for full back Tomos Phillips who glided over unopposed for an unconverted try.

What epitomises club rugby best is the ability to expect the unexpected and on small decisions much wider consequences occur. As the half ended the Crymych forwards, minus teenage hooker Lee Griffiths who had been injured five minutes before lost possession when they should have put the ball clear of the touchline.

Photo by Darren Harries

The resultant turnover led to a penalty and the games second yellow card when flanker Sion collella trudged off for handling in the ruck.

Front ball to skipper James Bannister led to a drive down towards the new changing quarters, with replacement Ben Phillips touching down for an un converted try, as George effort clipped the upright for the second time in the half and 12-10 scoreline in favour of Crymych.

Replacement back row dynamo Zak France-Miller started the second period well carrying the ball, linking with his scrum half as their side tried to absorb the loss of Collella.

However, France -Miller saw his pass intercepted seven minutes into the half, which allowed centre Rhydian Morgan to scoot into the corner under pressure for an unconverted try. The Maroon shirted home side were on the charge as Bannisters second row colleague Ben Williams trampled 20 metres towards the line which put Morgan in for his second try of the afternoon, again unconverted by George.

The yellow card against Crymych had yielded three tries and fifteen points but perhaps most importantly the games and possibly Division 1 West survival in the Wanderers favour.

Crymych had lost their way, playing unstructured rugby at a tempo not suited to their game meaning they were losing the close quarter exchanges drawing incandescent commentary from diehard followers.

The home pack were buoyant with ball in hand and destructive in defence stopping the visitors in their tracks, ensuring they played the game deep in Crymych territory.

Last years Divisional runners up plundered in for their bonus point try from scrum half Josh Weeds after George had booted a penalty and Morris-Roberts reversed a free kick for back chat. Full back Lloyd Thomas crossed to finish a flowing handling move and George converted whilst also crossing the whitewash to make his travel from Cardiff worthwhile.

Flanker Sianco Morgan and man of the match Morgan crossed, the later completing a try hat trick which suggested the Max Boyce ballad relating to Morgan the Moon.

The Wanderers equivalent would have been atop of Pen Waun Twmpath after the game, 502 feet above sea level, bathed in white light and chewing a stick of Porthcawl rock. Toasted at the Ranch by Bethania and his colleagues with copious amounts of the local ale, Morgan’s team now stand 14 points clear of their opponents having lost just a single game since November 4, although a dark cloud may be hovering because of the Nicholls rumble.

They head across the Loughor bridge to tackle Gorseinon on Saturday (Jan 27); meanwhile Crymych must forget their WRU National Bowl quarter final at home to Ystalafera in March and reflect on their indiscipline as another crunch relegation fixture looms high when last seasons Division 1 West champions Kidwelly make an appearance at Parc Lloyd Thomas.

Sport

Pembrokeshire claim Wynne Lloyd Final victory

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THE Wynne Lloyd Inter-District Youth Cup Final went the way of Pembrokeshire who beat Ceredigion 36-28 in a thrilling game at Parc Y Scarlets on Sunday (May 20).

It was first blood to Pembrokeshire who scored the opening try of the game through Jack Tucker but the conversion was wide.

Ceredigion then answered back as Iestyn Evans scored the try before Dylan Morgan added the extras to put Ceredigion 7-5 ahead.

The action was back and forth and Pembrokeshire soon went back ahead as Gino Setaro (Whitland) scored and Dan Evans added the extra two points.

Pembrokeshire began to pull away as Jack Broadhurst (Narberth) scored their third try of the game with the conversion going in off the post from Evans.

Geraint Powell (Narberth) then increased Pembrokeshire’s lead with Evans again sending the conversion through the posts to give his side a 26-7 half time lead.

Ceredigion fought back at the beginning of the second half as Iwan Bowden scored the try and Dylan Morgan added the extras.

Morgan then scored a try of his own and converted to bring Ceredigion back to within five points with the score at 26-21.

They then took the lead as Dylan Davies scored the try that brought them level and Dylan Evans then added the extra two points giving Ceredigion a 28-26 lead.

Whitland’s Dan Evans put the Pembrokeshire side back ahead with a penalty from 40 metres out and they led by a single point with time running out.

As Ceredigion pushed for a late try that would have seen them claim victory, it was Pembrokeshire who got the final score of the game as Prop Cole Barry (Haverfordwest), who had been on the field for eighty minutes, went over for the try and Evans put the seal on the victory with another conversion.

Nigel Owens was the man in the middle for the game and afterwards he Tweeted: “A pleasure to referee Ceredigion Yth 28 v Pembrokeshire Yth 36. Top quality game of rugby with some class players on both sides. Well done all, a credit to rugby.”

Also running the line were Pembrokeshire’s Thomas Carew and Ross Grieve.

Ceredigion Coach Justin Lloyd said: “It was a great occasion to be a part of for Ceredigion as we’ve only been set up for a few years and we’ve done really well to get to the final.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game against a strong Pembrokeshire side but I am super proud of the performance.

“Any neutrals who were watching the game would have seen a game played in Scarlets style. Both teams weren’t afraid to take any risks.”

Pembrokeshire coach Kenny Davies added: “It was a hell of a game of rugby and a great advert for west Wales rugby. Playing at Parc Y Scarlets with Nigel Owens being the referee made it an excellrnt occasion for all involved.

“We started the game well and were leading 26-7 at half time but they came back into it to lead. We then had a 40metre penalty from Whitland’s Dan Evans and we finished strongly to win it.

“Thanks to everyone involved, including Ceredigion, and I hope the players got a lot out of it”.

Photos by Darren Harries

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Cricket: Division 1 round up

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TOP of the table Neyland earned a fifth win of the season as they declared on 258-3 before bowling Johnston out for 72 on Saturday (May 16).

Nick Koomen and Henry Durrant were in unstoppable form as they both finished on unbeaten centuries before they were called in.

Johnston struggled in their reply as Andrew Miller took five wickets for the loss of 19 runs while Gary Lloyd also took two wickets for the loss of 21 runs.

 

WHITLAND scraped home by the finest of margins in their game at Burton as they reached their target with just one wicket still in hand.

Burton batted first and posted an excellent total of 220-4 from their 45 overs thanks in part to Richard James who top scored with 95 and Toby Hayman who batted well for his 50.

Whitland’s Matthew Davies took two wickets but conceded 65 runs while Steffan Jones (1-44) and Iestyn Scourfield (1-43) were the other wicket takers.

In reply, Burton took wickets at important moments as Jonathan Strawbridge was dismissed for 38 when he could have scored more.

Morgan Scale did his best to derail the Whitland innings with three wickets for the loss of 42 runs while Johnnie Scale (2-31) and Luke Hayman (2-34) both took two wickets.

Steffan Jones top scored for the visitors with 40 but it was Whitland’s final pair that were the heroes as they guided their side over the line with Matthew Davies scoring the winning runs.

 

CRESSELLY eased to a nine wicket win over St Ishmaels thanks to a half century from Adam Chandler.

Openers Peter Bradshaw and Jack Nicholas made a good start for the visitors putting on 35 runs for the first wicket. However, Tish soon slipped to 39-3 and Bradshaw and Harry Nicholas had to steady the ship and shared 45 runs for the fourth wicket in a good partnership.

Nicholas, who had hit four fours in a knock of 33, was then trapped leg before by Simon Cole. Bradshaw was finally removed as he was bowled by Matthew Lewis for a score of 42.

Lewis then took over as he had Palmer caught by Iwan Izzard for 19 and Kevin Bowen caught and bowled for a score of 6. The Cresselly bowled finished with excellent figures of 4-28.

Daniel Sutton and Adam Chandler shared 62 runs for the first wicket partnership as they made a good start.

Sutton was caught off the bowling of Jordan Milich for a score of 34 but Tish were unable to take any further wickets as Chandler (62 not out) and Simon Cole (36 not out) guided Cresselly to their target in the twentieth over.

 

HAVERFORDWEST remain unbeaten in Division 1 as they beat Kilgetty by seven wickets.

Kilgetty batted first but were all out for 139 as Johnny White (4-16) took four wickets before Town reached their target with time to spare.

Kurtis Marsh top scored for the visitors with 41 while Kyle Marsh added 26 runs while Lee Summons claimed three wickets for the loss of 62 runs for the home side.

Top run scorer Simon Holliday scored 62 before Lee Summons guided Town home, finishing unbeaten on 22.

 

LLANGWM kept their 100% home league record intact with a convincing 59 run victory over Lawrenny at Pill Parks with teenager Phil Llewellyn producing his maiden century.

It was a high scoring game as the home side blasted 276-2 with Llewellyn top scoring on 116. Noah Davies made 46 while Matthew Kiff finished not out on an excellent score of 83.

Brad McDermott Jenkins and Rob Williams claimed the wickets for Lawrenny but they struggled to keep the scoring down.

Williams then scored 60 in reply while Simon Cole added 69 runs but Llangwm’s bowlers were in superb form. Noah Davies took three wickets for the loss of 56 runs while Matthew Kiff also took three wickets.

Ollie Davies (2-37), Luke Brock (1-46) and Llewellyn (1-20) also took valuable wickets as they claimed an excellent win.

 

ON Saturday, May 26, Burton take on Cresselly while Kilgetty are at home as they take on leaders Neyland.

Lawrenny host Johnston, Tish play Llangwm and Whitland are at home as they take on Haverfordwest.

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Division 1 review: Neyland on top

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WITH four wins from four, Neyland are currently top of Division 1 of the Pembrokeshire League going into the fifth round of games.

Last week (May 12) it was Paul Murray who again starred for Neyland scoring 76 not out to help his team to a five wicket win over Cresselly.

Adam Chandler top scored for the visitors with 64 while Iwan Izzard scored 31 and Dan Sutton added another 30 runs as Cresselly posted 167-6.

Andrew Miller took four of the six wickets to fall and finished with figures of 4-34.

Nathan Banner added 37 runs for the home side but it was Murray who could not be stopped as Neyland earned a fourth victory in a row.

SIMON Holliday took his tally of runs for the season to 398 as he finished not out on 81 to help Haverfordwest to a nine wicket victory over Johnston on Saturday (May 12).

The in-form batsman also took two wickets as Johnston were bowled out for 125.

Johnston batted first after winning the toss but they were reduced to 68-8 with only four of their batsmen making it into double figures. Some late hitting also made sure they got past 100 runs.

Lee Summons also finished not out with a knock of 34 that included four fours and a six. Holliday hit 12 fours and a six in his innings.

Lee Summons bowling for Haverfordwest at Johnston

LLANGWM had to hold on for a draw in their game with Kilgetty on Saturday, as they fell short of their target.

Kilgetty batted first and made an excellent total of 225-5 from their allotted overs with Kurtis Marsh top scoring on 82 for the home side.

Ross Hardy also played well for his knock of 40 while Jack Parkinson finished well as he was not out on 51.

Will Beresford scored 39 and Richard Brock finished not out on 41 but it was not enough for Llangwm as they finished thirty runs short of their target.

Parkinson also performed well with the ball in hand as he took three wickets for the loss of 27 runs.

WHITLAND were denied an outright win by a stubborn St Ishmaels last wicket partnership as their game ended in a draw on Saturday.

Batting first, the Borderers were soon in trouble at 23 for 3. It was then that captain Iestyn Scourfield and Mathew Davies came together in a stand of 128.

Scourfield had 6 fours in his knock of 56, while Davies had 12 fours in his 80 not out. Nathan Evans gave the innings late impetus with a hard-hitting 35.

Leading the bowling attack for Tish was Andrew Palmer with 3 for 40.

After the interval, St Ishmaels lost wickets at regular intervals with only Dan Howells (35), Andrew Palmer (27) and Harry Nicholls (15 not out) getting into double figures.

Whitland were, however, unable to take the final wicket to gain the win, despite the best efforts of left-armer Ben Harvey with 4 for 27 and spinner Dylan Blain with 4 for 45.

The visitors finished well short of their target with 134 for 9.

LAWRENNY earned their second win of the season on Saturday, as they beat Burton by 27 runs.

The home side batted first but were all out for 158 following some good bowling from Burton. Lawrenny then produced a similarly excellent bowling display to pick up the victory.

Harry Thomas top scored for his side with 39 runs while Simon Cole was not far behind on 38.

Rob Williams finished not out on 27 as he helped his side post a total which they would have been confident of defending.

Burton’s Morgan Scale was the pick of the bowlers as he took four wickets for the loss of 27 runs.

In reply, Richard Jones top scored for the visitors with 37 runs while Morgan Scale added a further 27 runs.

That was as good as it got for Burton as Rob Williams bowled excellently to take four wickets for the loss of only 21 runs. Harry Thomas also bowled well to finish with figures of 3-21.

On Saturday (May 19), Burton are at home to Whitland and Cresselly will look to bounce back from defeat last week when they take on St Ishmaels.

Haverfordwest take on Kilgetty, Llangwm face Lawrenny at Pill Parks while leaders Neyland take on bottom side Johnston.

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