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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.

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Ruthless Mariners power past Saints

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MILFORD Haven put in a ruthless display as they scored seventeen tries to beat St Davids 119-5 at the Obs on Saturday (Jan 5).

The Mariners were right at it from the kick off and did not let up as they held a 63-5 lead at the break.

James Trueman scored a hat trick of tries for the home side and he also went on to kick each of his 17 conversion attempts for a club record haul of 49 points.

Dan Jenkins also crossed for three tries while Dan Birch, Sam Dolling and Brandon Cooper all scored twice for the home side.

The Saints, to their credit, kept going and were rewarded in the first half when Josh Strangwood crossed for a try.

Jamie Lewis, Dewi Williams, Ryan Mansell, Dan McClelland and Steve Martin all got their names on the scoresheet to seal an emphatic victory.

The win keeps Milford top of the table by a point from rivals Neyland and on Saturday (Jan 12), they will face a sterner test as they travel to Laugharne.

The Saints remain third from bottom in the table and on Saturday they are at home to third placed Haverfordwest.

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Trundle leaves Bluebirds

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HAVERFORDWEST County have confirmed that star signing Lee Trundle has left the club.

The news was announced on Sunday, December 30, and the former Swansea City player has since signed for Welsh League Division 3 side Trefelin BGC.

In a statement released by the Bluebirds they thank Lee for his time at the club in which he scored 12 goals in all competitions.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Due to increasing work commitments, Lee Trundle has decided to leave Haverfordwest County and his last game was on Friday evening (Dec 28) at Ton Pentre where he scored two goals taking his tally for the Bluebirds to twelve in all competitions this season.

“Whist his stay at our club was shorter than we would have hoped, we fully understand his decision and everyone at the football club would like to thank Lee for his time here and the way he has conducted himself both on and off the field of play. Lee leaves with our sincere best wishes.”

Lee commented on Haverfordwest County’s Facebook page saying: “Good luck the rest of the season boys. Great club run by great people. Wish you all the best on the race for the league title this year.”

Fans of the club have also commented saying they are ‘gutted’ to see him leave and that he will be missed.

As well as Swansea, Lee has also played for Wrexham, Bristol City and Leeds United in his career.

It was announced in May 2018 that Trundle would be joining the Bluebirds having helped Llanelli Town to promotion to the Welsh Premier League.

Lee now joins a team that sit top of Division 3 and his inclusion is likely to give a further boost to their promotion hopes.

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Late Smith penalty seals Pembroke win

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A LATE penalty from Toby Smith earned Pembroke a 15-13 victory in a hard-fought encounter with Pembrokeshire rivals Fishguard on Saturday (Dec 29).

It was an excellent game between two good teams with Pembroke feeling a little rusty having not played for three weeks while the heavy pitch suited a Fishguard side who were looking to avenge their narrow 16-17 defeat at home to Pembroke earlier in the season.

There was no sign of rustiness however as the home side started the game well and could have gone ahead but Johnny Palmer was held up over the line.

Sean Dalling also looked to be free but he was ankle tapped near the line and the Seagulls were able to recover.

Having weathered the early storm the Seagulls then took the lead as Andrew Williams touched down under the posts. Kial Keane then added the extra two points.

Pembroke responded well and were soon back on level terms as Dan Colley ran a good line off Toby Smith to touch the ball down under the posts. Smith then added the extras.

The home side then went ahead as a good break by Tom Lewis set up captain Scott Powell who crashed over. This time the conversion was missed by Pembroke held a 12-7 lead.

They could have had a third try soon after as Dan Colley touched down but it was ruled out for a marginal forward pass.

The Seagulls then narrowed the gap as Keane scored a penalty and the score at half time was 12-10 in Pembroke’s favour.

In the second half Fishguard came at Pembroke well and they took the lead with another penalty from Keane to make it 12-13 to the visitors.

It was an evenly contested half but it was Pembroke who had the final say as Smith sent a penalty through the posts in the last minute to seal a 15-13 victory.

Pembroke’s win keeps them fourth in the table and they will look for another win on Saturday (Jan 5) as they host Carmarthen Athletic.

Fishguard will look to get back to winning ways as they travel to Burry Port who sit just below them in the table.

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