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Tenby trounce Tycroes

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By Jonathan Twigg

TENBY TOURERS sponsored Tenby United completed their home fixtures on Saturday (Apr 7) with an emphatic 47-5 demolishment of relegated Tycroes, running in six tries alongside 17 points from the boot of full back Craig Barnett.

Referee Lloyd Hughes from Taibach, Port Talbot was empathetic in keeping the game flowing on an excellent surface despite the horrendous recent weather, allowing both teams the opportunity to run with ball in hand with advantage, his demeanour one of autocratic control which has seen the engineer perform at championship level this season.

The red and blacks have stumbled in recent times, perhaps due to a shortage of front row forwards since injury ruled prop out Lewis Davies, although the return of former player Andrew Evans from Loughborough has helped the home side.

They had to elect to go for a passive scrummage set piece for the final minutes of the game much to the disgruntlement of the travelling visiting support, meaning very little as the game had been comprehensively put to bed.

Hooker Joe Poole was the Heywood Butchers man of the match for his all round play which saw Tenby dominate the line out, his throwing accuracy supported by robust action on the fringes of the gain line and high tackle count, which undid the Ammanford village sides dominant start.

Poole, a student at Swansea University also had a magnetic pair of hands to offload passes before contact, a mantra which coaches Chris James and Andrew Morgan have instilled throughout the team.

Led by Johnnie Morgan at outside half it took a quarter of an hour for his side to open the scoring, weathering the black shirted visitors driving play, where they turned down three points from in front of the posts after outside half James Owen long range penalty attempt after three minutes bounced off the cross bar from the halfway line.

Man of the match: Tenby Hooker Joe Poole

Flanker Andrew Cooke, like Poole was in the thick of the defensive number 8 Darryl John was held up over the try line, the ensuing scrum set piece saw the home eight establish a game marker from which they had a platform from which to build, winger Jordan Asparrassa scooting down the touchline as he combined well with diminutive scrum half Matthew Morgan.

Both had excellent games running with ball in hand and willing to take the opposition on from the front foot, rewarded with touchdowns and without Poole’s work rate off the ball may well have tucked into the steaks from Heywoods Butchers themselves.

Skipper Luke Hansford scored the opening try just after the first quarter, as his fellow forwards controlled possession driving forward in pods, well drilled and setting the ball back on a plate for Morgan to use.

The flankers touchdown close to the posts came when he clambered through the strewn bodies to cross, full back Craig Barnett landing the conversion, which he did again four minutes later after robust centre Pat Roberts broke through some weak opposition tackling to run in from 20 metres as the ground beneath him held firm after the sterling work undertaken by Boots of Lydstep who manicure the ground.

A killer third try came two minutes before the interval, when Barnett entered the line at pace and timed his pass beautifully to draw the final man and allow winger Yannik Parker to pin back his ears and cross unopposed, Barnett completed the scoring meaning the second period was about the ‘Seasiders’ ensuring maximum points with a bonus point fourth try.

This was achieved within five minutes of the restart, centre Moritz Neuman the catalyst, working well with his skipper Morgan at outside half, Poole linking into the traffic alongside Roberts and number 8 Roy Osborne, who was credited with the all-important score.

An appreciative crowd led by the match sponsors Scaffold 2000 alongside the ‘scoreborad regulars’ minded little that Barnett’s conversion struck the left upright as Tycroes visibly tired allowing Tenby to dictate the play, at pace and with vision as the Morgan brothers, alongside Parker took opportunities to turn the opposition on their heels.

Evans and his fellow prop Ethan Morgan continue to ensure set piece parity as Luke Dedman and replacement second row Jack Clancy stood tall in the line out, Poole with a nigh on perfect throwing record and Cooke able to link play between forwards and backs superbly.

Centre Elean Griffiths was instrumental in stemming the tide for Tycroes, but neither he or his back three could stem the try count, Asparrassa showing a clear pair of heels to touchdown and scrum half Morgan breaking clear with runners either side as options, he sold a lovely dummy to full back Scott Bowen to race clear from 25 metres.

Barnett had converted before Tycores centre Matthew Lemon scrambled over wide out after some sustained driving from his forwards with number 8 John a strong ball carrier, some pride restored for the divisions bottom of the table side.

Coaches Chris James and Andrew Morgan have brought an attacking game plan to Heywood Lane over the past two seasons, encouraging the ball when possible to be kept out of contact areas and running space, Cooke and Roberts combining well which released Asparrassa once again, to score, Barnett missed the difficult conversion as Tenby had to opt for passive scrums for the final throws of the game and from a defensive set piece on their own five metre line Osborne picked up at the base and set his back division in motion.

Handling at pace with the vision to attack space they spread the ball through the hands and when play switched back across the field second row Deadman was able to race 20 metres from the half way line, drawing the cover defence and popping a pass to Osborne to round off a length of the field play which he started, Barnett adding the coup de grace before Hughes shrill blast ended the home fixtures for the season at Heywood Lane.

James on conclusion of the game said: “No negatives from the performance as we put together a complete team performance, where the players were never afraid to back their own skills set. We have been on a losing run stretching over the international period but always maintained confidence in our style of rugby and we can look forward to our final four fixtures on the road without fear.”

The first of those sees them travel to the Ranch on Saturday (Apr 21) to take on Llanelli Wanderers before heading to Parc Lloyd Thomas the week after to tackle Crymych, both sides sitting below Tenby in the league table and needing a full head of steam to overhaul them.

Sport

Scarlets make five changes for Cardiff Blues clash

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Scarlets show five changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash with Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets (15:00; Premier Sports),

Interim head coach Dai Flanagan has reshuffled his side, giving opportunities to centre Ioan Nicholas and lock Josh Helps.

It will be 23-year-old Nicholas’s first PRO14 appearance since October 2019, having been frustrated by injury this season. Helps comes into the starting XV for the first time since November.

In the back three there is one change with Johnny McNicholl replacing fellow Wales international Steff Evans on the left wing. The only other switch behind the scrum is the inclusion of NIcholas for Tyler Morgan to partner Jonathan Davies in midfield. Angus O’Brien and Kieran Hardy continue their half-back partnership.

Up front, Ryan Elias again swaps with Ken Owens and resumes the captaincy after leading the side for the first time in the opening round match against the Dragons. He packs down in between Rob Evans and Alex Jeffries, the scorer of the only try of the game in last weekend’s 22-6 win over the Ospreys.

Helps and Lewis Rawlins combine in the second row, while injuries to Blade Thomson and Uzair Cassiem see Ed Kennedy handed the No. 8 jersey. Kennedy, Aaron Shingler and Jac Morgan make up the back row.

There are two of Warren Gatland’s 2021 Lions selections on the bench in Ken Owens and Gareth Davies. Steff Thomas, Javan Sebastian, Morgan Jones, Iesyn Rees, Dan Jones and Joe Roberts provide the rest of the replacement cover.

Both the Scarlets and Blues have a win apiece after the opening two rounds of the Rainbow Cup.

Scarlets team v Cardiff Blues (Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup; Parc y Scarlets, Sat, May 15, 15:00 Premier Sports)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ioan Nicholas, 11 Johnny McNicholl; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Kieran Hardy; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ryan Elias (capt), 3 Alex Jeffries, 4 Josh Helps, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Jac Morgan, 8 Ed Kennedy.
Reps: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Iestyn Rees, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Joe Roberts.

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Newtown hold on to beat Haverfordwest

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NEWTOWN secured seventh place in the JD Cymru Premier Play-off conference as they beat Haverfordwest County 2-1 at the Bridge Meadow.

The Robins had beaten the Bluebirds 6-1 at Latham Park a few weeks ago but it was much different this time around.

Newtown took the lead as early as the second minute as they won a corner which was sent into the box for Tyrone Ofori who flicked the ball in.

The Bluebirds battled for a way back into the game and came close when the ball was played over the top for Jack Wilson but it just ran away and the Newtown keeper Dave Jones was able to gather the ball.

On 17 minutes, the Bluebirds won a corner which Elliot Scotcher sent into the box and Danny Williams headed in to the far corner to make it 1-1.

Newtown were then given a free kick in a dangerous position which captain Craig Williams sent into the box. Kieran Mills-Evans chested the ball down at the back post and Bluebirds keeper Wojciech Gajda made a good save to push the ball away.

There was another chance for Newtown soon after as Tyrone Ofori saw his header pushed wide by Gajda.

From the resulting corner, Shane Sutton headed home to put Newtown back in front.

The Bluebirds then had a chance to get level but Dan Summerfield sent a rasping drive just over the bar.

With half an hour gone, Alaric Jones sent a ball into the box but Corey Shephard saw his header saved by Dave Jones.

Both sides battled away with Scotcher sending a drive over from the edge of the box.

However it remained 2-1 to the visitors as the half time whistle went.

Newtown had a great chance to extend their lead at the start of the second half as Williams sent a corner into the box but Mills-Evans headed just wide.

The Bluebirds looked to get back in the game but despite getting into some promising positions, they were unable to test the Newtown keeper.

With twenty minutes to go a Bluebirds throw was headed on to the back post. Danny Williams headed towards goal and thought it had gone over the line but Dave Jones made a fantastic save to keep Newtown ahead.

Sub Cameron Keetch then had a great chance to level for the home side but he headed wide.

As the game entered the final stages, rain became harder making things difficult for both sides. Newtown were still searching for a third and nearly had it when the ball was played in to Breese into the box but he shot wide.

The Bluebirds were also looking for a late equaliser but as time ran out they resorted to long balls which Newtown were able to deal with.

The visitors kept the ball in the corner late on but the Bluebirds were able to get the ball out as they looked for one last chance.

It never came and the visitors held on to secure seventh place in the table.

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Neyland through in Village Cup after beating Bronwydd

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NEYLAND made it through to the next round of the Village Cup as they beat Bronwydd by 98 runs on Sunday (May 9).

No cricket had been possible in Pembrokeshire on Saturday because of heavy and persistent rain but some great work meant that their cup game could go ahead.

Before the game got underway, a minutes silence was held in respect of former Bronwydd CC player Aled John, who recently passed away.

Bronwydd won the toss and elected to field first which came as no surprise and they were able to restrict Neylad to a score of 160-9 in their 40 overs.

After losing Patrick Bellerby and Ashley Sutton early on, to the bowling of Clive Tucker, Neyland were sitting on a score of 23-2.

However, a stand of 54 between Nick Koomen and Brad McDermott-Jenkins put the hosts in a good position.

Koomen had reached 38 with six fours but he was then bowled by Josh Rencken and wickets continued to fall.

Nathan Banner departed for a second ball duck when he was bowled by Matthew Bagshaw and the same bowler then did the same to Ross Hardy.

McDermott-Jenkins had hit six fours in his score of 40 but he then fell to the bowling of Rencken and Neyand had slipped to 99-6.

Andrew Millers (1), George Evans (11) and Lewis Page all fell to the bowling of James Dickson as Neyland were in danger of being bowled out.

It was left to brothers Sean and Patrick Hannon to steady the ship as they shared 29 runs for the final wicket.

Both finished on scores of 15 not out with Sean hitting a six while Patrick’s score came from only 14 balls.

It meant that Bronwydd would need 161 to progress to the next round.

They made a steady start to their reply but when Josh Rencken was caught by Patrick Bellerby off the bowling of Nathan Banner on a score of 19, wickets began to tumble.

Jacob Jenkinson made a score of 15 but he was then stumped by Sean Hannon off the bowling of Andrew Miller.

Miller also picked up the wicket of Oliver Furneaux before Ross Hardy trapped James Dickson leg before to leave the visitors on 51-5.

Hardy then did the same to Carwyn Jones and he also bowled Iwan Davies as the game started slipping away for Bronwydd.

Miller then picked up his third to finish with figures of 3-11 from his eight overs while Hardy returned to pick up his fourth to finish with impressive figures of 4-5 from seven overs, five of which were maidens.

McDermott-Jenkins wrapped the game up with the wicket of Colin Tucker as the hosts secured an excellent win.

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