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Pembroke go top with derby success

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PEMBROKE moved to the top of League 3 West A with a comfortable 40-0 win over rivals Pembroke Dock Quins on Saturday (Dec 30) in front of one of the biggest crowds seen at Crickmarren for many years.

The Quins fielded a young side that has grown in confidence and experience as the season has progressed, whilst the home side, with a full squad available, came to this match brimming with confidence having only lost one League fixture during the season and being in the middle of an excellent Cup run.

However, as all regular supporters appreciate, form in these local derbies is not always the best indicator of the potential outcome. So the large, partisan, holiday crowd assembled with huge expectations of their respective squads.

The home side started well and were camped in the Quins half for most of the first ten minutes, testing their defensive resolve. The Quins forwards battled hard in the loose and managed a number of early defensive turn overs to deny the home side opportunities to press home their territorial advantage.

Then at the end of the first quarter, Pembroke were awarded a penalty for an infringement in the loose; from the ensuing scrum the ball was moved and after a number of phases, quick ball was fed to Sam Smith on the charge and he pierced a crowded defence to score near the posts, to a crescendo of noise form the home supporters. The try was converted by Sean Dalling.

Both sides then lost a player a piece, after Dom Coleman and Quins hooker Neil Brace had a brief altercation mid field and were yellow carded by referee David Emmanuel.

Over the next ten minutes the Quins pressed into Pembroke territory, but could not pierce an equally aggressive and determined home defence.

With only five minutes to go in this half, Pembroke pushed forward through a number of well-constructed phases, which saw prop Lloyd Davies link and make good ground in mid field before passing to the backs to move it wide; from a ruck close to the Quins line, quick ball was scooped up by Sam Smith, who fed a hungry Lloyd Davies on the charge to crash over for an unconverted, team try.

With their tails up in the last seconds of the half, Pembroke then created another opportunity, after counter attacking from deep in their half, winger Simon Stanford was put into space and he nimbly, swerved and sped past a number of defenders to score a superb individual effort from 35 metres out, which was ably converted by Toby Smith; leaving the score at half time deservedly at 19-0 to the home side.

The third quarter started much the same as the first, with Pembroke pushing the Quins into rear guard action and missing a golden opportunity to increase their score only minutes in, when Pembroke’s winger Barry John dropped the ball crossing the line, after a superb counter attacking drive from their own half.

After fifteen minutes both sides made a number of changes to put on fresh legs as the heavy ground took its toll.

Then right at the end of the third quarter, after a sustained attacking period, Pembroke’s dominant pack released quick ball from a ruck in the Quins twenty two, this was scooped up by replacement flanker Rhodri Walters, who made ground and fed scrum half Tom Lewis, who burst through a flat footed defence to go in under the posts for a well taken, unconverted try.

Minutes later Quins denied the hosts another try opportunity, when after No 10 Smith had kicked a Pembroke penalty deep into Quins territory, the visitors stole Pembroke’s lineout five metres out.

Pembroke maintained the pressure and minutes later were awarded a scrum five metres from the visitors line; scrum half Tom Lewis picked up the quick ball, broke wide and flat, fed Toby Smith running an acute angle and he ran through a bewildered defence to score from this training pitch move, which he duly converted himself.

The teams then lost another player each to yellow cards, as Cyle Weatherall and Hywel Baker were dismissed for their part in a short brawl.

Then with five or so minutes to go, Pembroke’s adventure was rewarded with another excellently constructed final try; from broken play in the middle of the field, the home side gathered possession, moved it wide, then back into mid field and finally wide again to replacement full back Ryan Wilkins, who gleefully crossed wide right for a converted try to cap a dominant, bonus point home performance.

Given the heavy ground, which had taken its toll on all of the players, both sides had served up a very entertaining spectacle for the large festive crowd, who showed their appreciation for both teams at the end of the game, which saw the home side victorious.

Sport

Otters earn big win over Tata Steel

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ON Saturday (Nov 27) Narberth travelled to Tata Steel where it was a sunny cold day.

The Otters made an impressive start to the game as within five minutes they scored their first points of the match.

From a ruck situation about 30 metres from the Tata line scrum half George MacDonald switched play to the blind side, passed to hooker Rhodri Owens who took the ball on and then slipped a pass to winger Jordan Roberts.

When tackled, the ball was quickly recycled, taken on again by forwards Bradley Davies and Alex Jenkins and MacDonald was then on hand to float a long pass out wide to centre Jake Jenkins who passed to full back Nick Gale who put No.8 Steff Phillips over in the corner for a lovely try. Gale hit the upright with conversion attempt (0–5).

From another kick-off Narberth attempted to run the ball out of defence and winger Aled Rees was adjudged not to have released the ball in the tackle. A penalty was awarded making the score 3 -11

Ten minutes into the second half another excellent long kick downfield by Otters fly half Ianto Griffiths was collected by the Tata full back.

He made the mistake of trying to run out of defence with very little support to hand. He was unceremoniously dumped on the floor by a great tackle from centre Jenkins and 2nd Row Tom Powell, subsequent turn-over ball resulted in another try (3-23).

The Otters unfortunately released their grip on the game, this inevitably happens when changes are made. Rhys Lane replaced No. 9 MacDonald, Rhys Williams replaced Tom Powell, Tom Curry replaced Rhodri Owens, Ifan James replaced Bradley Davies and Jon Rogers went to fly half with Ianto Griffiths moving to centre.

Subsequently the Otters conceded several penalties which ultimately resulted in the Tata No.7 going over for a try after a lineout close to Narberth’s try line. (10–28).

Later, from an attacking scrum No.8 Steff Phillips picked up the ball, running wide He slipped the ball back inside to Rhys Lane who passed to captain Richard Rees. He was stopped close to the line, Guto Davies was on hand to force his way over the try line. Gale converted (10–35).

In the last move of the game, a delicate chip over the top of the Tata scrambled defence saw the ball bounce against the upright and pop up nicely into the hands of Guto Davies, completing his hat trick of tries. Gale again. Final score (10–42).

Narberth coaches were very pleased with the result and felt that the players had worked hard early on to gain the ascendency. It augurs well for Saturday’s (Dec 4) home match against Ystalyfera.

Image: Alex Jenkins winning line out ball. Photo by Stephen Thomas

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Sport

Crymych claim derby win over Pembroke

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CRYMYCH claimed a Pembrokeshire-derby win over Pembroke on Saturday (Nov 27) as they came away with a 34-21 win.

It was Crymych who held the lead after a tight first half as the home side ran in two unconverted tries to Pembroke’s single converted try.

Crymych’s first half tries were scored by outside half Ilan Phillips and Carwyn Phillips.

Pembroke’s try was scored by Luke Alderwick who then added the extra two points.

That made it 10-7 at the break and both sides continued their battle into the second half.

Tomos Lewis scored two second half tries for the home side while Llyr Davies and Laurence Headlam also got on the scoresheet.

Adam Phillips added two conversions for Crymych.

Pembroke scored two further tries, through Lewis Gibby and Rhodri Walters, both converted by Alderwick.

However, they were unable to find a fourth which have given them a bonus point.

On Saturday, December 4, Pembroke host Whitland while Crymych travel to Llangennech.

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Herbie and Monkton share the points

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HERBRANDSTON maintained their unbeaten home record after an incident packed 3-3 draw with Monkton Swifts seconds on Saturday (Nov 27).

Playing with the benefit of a strong wind, Herbie made a bright start and found themselves 2-0 up inside 20 minutes after well taken goals from Scott Reid and Callum Stannett.

Keeper Jordan Boswell kept Monkton in the game with some good saves.

On the half hour mark a slip in the box from young full back Max Howells presented Monkton with the chance to reduce the deficit. Striker Dylan Davies making no mistake and sending goalkeeper Owen Thomas the wrong way from 12 yards.

Herbie responded well and were rewarded with a fine strike from midfielder Marc Gelona.

There was an alleged off-the-ball incident shortly before half time but it went unnoticed by the referee.

Monkton came out after the break and pulled a goal back within 5 minutes. Thomas’s attempted clearance fell to Davies, and with the keeper out of position he coolly chipped into the empty net.

With their tails up the visiting Swifts pushed for an equaliser, which came in the 61st minute. A free kick into the box fell to substitute 16-year-old Mark Jones who finished from close range.

Herbie responded again and could have collected all 3 points when Reid was sent through on goal. The striker unusually sending his shot over the bar from close range.

The home side had to play the last few moments with 10 men after Gelona went off with a concerning hip injury.

Both sides looked for a winner but had to settle for a share of the points.

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