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Scarlets’ late surge sees off Ospreys

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Pro-14 Conference B

Ospreys 14 – Scarlets 16

 
A LATE try from Angus O’Brien secured the derby day spoils in a nail-biting Guinness PRO14 Boxing Day clash against the Ospreys.
The Ospreys, playing as the official ‘home’ team at Parc y Scarlets, had led for the majority of a tense contest.
But with 71 minutes on the clock, a superb off-load from replacement Blade Thomson paved the way for full-back O’Brien to slice through and dive over for the crucial score.
Man of the match Dan Jones added the conversion to put the Scarlets in front for the first time and the West Walians were able to finish the match on the front foot to claim the annual festive bragging rights and a crucial win to keep them in the hunt in the Conference B standings.
O’Brien hadn’t been named in the original match-day 23, but was brought in at the 11th hour as a replacement for Johnny McNicholl.
In blustery conditions, Scarlets enjoyed the early pressure, but despite hammering away at the Ospreys line were unable to come away with any points.
Instead, it was the Ospreys who were first on the board after 14 minutes through the boot of fly-half Stephen Myler.
The opening quarter was proving a cagey affair with both sides unable to get any momentum going.
A moment of individual brilliance from scrum-half Reuben Morgan-Williams, who dummied and sprinted clear from 40 metres, extended the Ospreys’ lead on 22 minutes, but the Scarlets’ response was swift with Jones landing a penalty straight from the kick-off.
Jones hit the upright with another attempt, then a pin-point cross-field kick from Steff Hughes just evaded the grasp of wing Steff Evans with the line at his mercy.
A powerful scrum on the stroke of half-time led to a long-range penalty chance, but O’Brien’s strike drifted wide with the Ospreys going in ahead 8-3 at the break.
Myler extended his side’s lead early in the second half, but Jones kept Scarlets in it with his kicking out of hand and off the floor.
Two more penalties from the Carmarthen fly-half to one from Myler made it 14-9 going into the final 10 minutes.
Then the Scarlets struck.
With Thomson having a big impact off the bench, the back-rower plucked a ball out of the sky as the Scarlets surged forward. He was involved again soon after, producing a sublime pass to O’Brien who cut a great angle to the posts.
With only two points in it, the Scarlets showed their composure to make their way downfield and set up camp in ‘home’ territory for the final minutes, denying the Ospreys any chance to snatch the win.

Glenn Delaney reflected on the absence of fans from the stadium.
“You go back 12 months and there were 15,000 people here and I don’t think I have experienced anything like it. This place was electric.
“I say it every week, we are very fortunate to be in the position we are and we are only here by virtue of the supporters of this great club. We want the fans back here as soon as possible.
“Hopefully, they found a chance to shout at the TV screens, get involved and share the experience. The derby season is passionate, the only thing we are missing is the people. We must get the people back into the game, they would have loved the occasion.”
On the performance, while Glenn Delaney was ‘delighted’ with the win, he added: “There is plenty for us to work on. We stayed in the game and that’s what you have to do in a derby.
“There were a lot of things we weren’t happy about in terms of our skillsets and penalty count, we were very ill-disciplined and we need to correct that. We were putting pressure on ourselves. We were trying to play and we were quite close on a couple of occasions, a couple of pass-kicks almost went to hand.
“Probably not having a game for a week or so showed, our timing was a bit off; we have had a couple of disjointed weeks, we looked a bit rusty. I thought the Ospreys were excellent, put us under pressure and took their points well.”
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Lawrenny end Neyland’s Duggie dominance with quarter final win

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LAWRENNY are through to the semi-finals of the Duggie Morris Cup after beating Neyland by seven wickets on Friday night (Jun 11).

It means there will be a new name on the trophy for the first time since 2017 after Neyland won the 2018 and 2019 tournaments. The Duggie Morris was not played in 2020.

Rain had caused the game to be postponed on Thursday and it was no surprise when Lawrenny elected to field on winning the toss on Friday.

Jamie Lewis had Nick Koomen caught early on and Rob Williams bowled Ashley Sutton on an unlucky 13.

It left the holders on 18-2 but Gregg Miller and Nathan Banner rebuilt the innings with a fine stand of 72 for the third wicket.

Miller hit four fours and a six in a score of 40 from 32 balls but he was then caught by Joe Kidney off the bowling of Kurtis Marsh.

That sparked a mini-collapse as Neyland soon found themselves on 93-5.

Banner had hit two fours and a six in his score of 30 but he was caught off the bowling of Ryan Morton and soon after, Ross Hardy fell in similar fashion.

The runs seemed to dry up for Neyland and Morton soon claimed the wickets of Brad McDermott-Jenkins and Sean Hannon to take the score to 110-7. Morton’s excellent bowling saw him claim figures of 4-31.

Patrick Hannon and George Evans finished not out on scores of 5 and 8 respectively as they helped Neyland to 123-7 from their 20 overs.

In reply, Harry Thomas and Kurtis Marsh shared an opening stand of 50 runs to put the home side in a strong position.

Brad McDermott-Jenkins made the breakthrough for Neyland as he had Thomas caught by Nathan Banner on a score of 24.

Ross Hardy then trapped James Phillips leg before for a second ball duck to take the score to 51-2.

Marsh and Steve Lewis then shared another 43 runs as they edged Lawrenny towards their target.

Marsh reached his half century but then saw Lewis caught by Banner off the bowling of Jack John on a score of 11.

That was as good as it got for Neyland as Marsh and Ryan Morton took Lawrenny to victory.

Morton hit two fours and a six in a score of 20 from 18 balls but Marsh was the star of the innings with nine fours and a six in a score of 65 from 45 balls.

Lawrenny will now play Llangwm in the semi-final at Pembroke Dock in the week commencing June 28.

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Pembroke ease past Penygroes in Welsh Cup

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PEMBROKE are through to the next round of the Welsh Cup after they beat Penygroes by 10 wickets on Sunday (Jun 6).

Penygroes batted first but were all out for 66 as Charlie Perkins took four wickets for the home side.

Perkins made the breakthrough early on as he had Rhodri Morgans caught by Paul White.

Andy Megrath and Rudi Botes did share 28 runs for the second wicket but the wickets began to tumble.

Perkins bowled Botes and William Welsh before having McGrath caught by Jack Davies to leave the visitors on 29-4.

Lloyd Boddington added 10 before he was caught and bowled by Paul White who then also claimed the wicket of Sion Thomas who had also scored 10.

Jamie Kaijaks, Sam Davies and Will Randell all picked up wickets as they bowled Penygroes out inside 22 overs.

Pembroke took just nine overs to reach their target with openers Luke Butler and Will Davies untroubled by the Penygroes bowlers.

Butler hit five fours in his score of 32 from 20 balls while Davies hit four fours in a score of 27.

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Carew bowl Narberth out to reach Duggie Morris semis

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CAREW are through to the last four of the Duggie Morris Cup after they beat Narberth on Tuesday night (Jun 8).

Carew batted first after winning the toss and they amassed a total of 146-8 from their 20 overs.

Luke Hicks scored 25 for Carew and captain Shaun Whitfield scored 24. Gareth Lewis also scored 17 for the visitors.

Lewis Hough was the pick of the bowlers for Narberth has he finished with excellent figures of 4-15 from his three overs.

Captain Ben Hughes also claimed 2-18 from his four overs.

In reply, Narberth opener Richie Adams made a good score of 45 and Jordan Howell added 38 but Carew’s bowlers were on top form.

Sam Harts finished with figures of 4-25 while Shaun Whitfield also claimed 3-20. Rhys Davies also took three wickets for the loss of 23 runs.

Carew now await the winners of the tie between Whitland and Kilgetty, who play tonight, in the semi-finals.

That game is scheduled to take place the week commencing June 28 and will be played at Haverfordwest Cricket Club.

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