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Scarlets U18 girls crowned regional champions

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Scarlets u18 Girls 14
Cardiff Blues u18 Girls 12

THE SCARLETS GIRLS UNDER 18’S squad secured an unprecedented third consecutive regional championship after beating an excellent Cardiff Blues team 14 – 12 at the Swansea University playing fields on Sunday (Mar 15).

Throughout the campaign the Scarlets have shown outstanding attacking qualities and flair, but the bedrock of this victory was their solid and determined defence.

The Girls in Red almost got off to the perfect start when after an early raid deep into the Blues half the ball was spread wide to Haverfordwest winger Katie Thicker. After some great footwork and pace, Thicker rounded the blues defence on what seemed to be a clear run to the line, however due to some confusion in the pitch marking thanks to a football game the day previously, Thicker grounded the ball short and the Blues managed to scramble it away to touch.

The Scarlets then had a sustained period of pressure in the Blues 22. Only resolute defence held out the Scarlets. However on 25 minutes the Blues defence was finally breached.

After a series of quick rucks by the forwards the ball was spread wide, centre Beth Jones timing her pass to perfection to release full back Angharad de Smet to burst through and cross the line to score under the posts. Outside Half Natasha Roberts added the extras to give the Scarlets a 7 – 0 lead.

From the kick off the Blues went on the attack. Strong runs by powerful No 8 Georgia Fricker and outstanding Blind side flanker Sam Morris were met by some equally powerful defence. With captain Alisha Butchers leading the line ably supported in their defensive duties by Morfudd Ifans and diminutive scrum half Sioned Williams.

The second half Started as the First had ended, with the Blues immediately on the attack. Again the defence of the girls in red was determined and resolute. However 10 minutes into the second half the Scarlet resolve was finally broken down.

After gathering a line-out in the Scarlets 22, the Blues forwards drove powerfully upto the line and after excellent use of the pick and go, Blues scrum half Bronnie Rees was on hand to ground the ball for the Blues first score, the try duly converted by full back Millie Williams.

As they have proved time and again during this campaign, this Scarlets team have the capability to strike back immediately and so they proved again. After re-gathering the kick off, the ball was moved at pace to the left and powerful winger Libby Jones received the ball and sprinted the 40m to the try line almost unopposed, again grounding the ball under the posts. Roberts adding what would prove to be a crucial extra 2 points. 14 – 7 to the Scarlets.

Again the Blues went on the attack. Resolute defence once again held the girls in pink out, but a series of unnecessary penalties by the Scarlets gave their opponents a prime position to attack from. After another powerful drive from the forwards the ball was moved along the back line and Blues winger Claire Morgan forced her way over in the corner. Unfortunately full back Williams pulled the conversion wide and the games scoring was concluded.

Both teams had opportunities late on, but the defence of both teams held firm. As the final whistle sounded, much to the relief of the Scarlets coaching team, the celebrations began in earnest.

The game was an outstanding affair and credit must be given to both teams and their coaching staff and more importantly the players themselves who never stopped from the first to the last minute.

The Scarlets received the Championship Shield at half time of the Wales women v Ireland match.

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Sport

Foel’s Championship dream halted

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FELINFOEL’s hopes of promotion to the WRU Championship were brought to an end on Sunday (May 12) as they were beaten in the play-offs by Ystalyfera.

Ystalyfera had won the first leg 34-28 on their home soil but Felinfoel were still very much in the tie and they had the backing of an 800-strong home crowd in the reverse fixture. Fans packed in to the ground and they witnessed an epic encounter.

Felinfoel held the lead at one time but their opponents hit back to seal a 20-30 win to win overall by 64 points to 48.

Felinfoel played some attractive rugby during the first half with wingers Eray Wilson and Elliot Dawe scoring tries wide out one of which was converted by Aled Roberts. Ystalyfera scored a penalty and a converted try making the half time score 12 points to 10.

Photos by Darren Harries

The second half opened brightly for Felinfoel with Roberts kicking a penalty and Wilson scoring a further try. With the score at 20 points to 10, matters were looking favourable for the home team.

It was at this stage that the Ystalyfera forwards took complete control of the match denying Felinfoel of any possession for the final 20mins of the match. With a strong scrummage and dynamic driving maul they continued to exert pressure onto the home team.

Ystalyfera were rewarded with a further two converted tries, penalty goal and drop goal and deserved their victory 20 points to 30, and promotion to the championship.

Both teams are to be congratulated in the way in which the game was played. Both sides gave their all and provided an entertaining encounter.

Both sets of supporters gave loud vocal support to each team and were sporting throughout the match.

At the end of the match Felinfoel coach Mike King who is leaving after two years in charge was given a rousing send off by players and supporters alike.

After the game Felinfoel took to twitter saying: “After another successful season, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to all sponsors for supporting the club throughout the season once again. Without you we would not exist. Thank you to all the supporters who have been with us through thick and thin.

“Lastly, thank you to head coach Mike King who will be leaving us. He has set the foundations of the club and has turned this club around for the better. All at Felinfoel RFC can’t thank you enough. We wish you all the best in the future.”

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Sport

Morgan marches seconds home

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DAFEN Seconds earned the bragging rights over Llanelli Seconds on Saturday (May 11) as they cruised to an eight wicket win.

Dafen won the toss but elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they bowled their opponents out for just 118 inside 22 overs.

Aadil Mukhtar finished with excellent figures of 5-21 while Oliver Evans supported well taking four wickets for the loss of 40 runs.

Needing just thirty overs of their reply, Dafen Seconds eased to victory as Jac Morgan finished not out on 64 to see his side over the line.

Photo by Darren Harries

The win for Dafen keeps them joint top of the table with Briton Ferry Town after two games while Llanelli sit bottom of Division 3 and are still searching for their first win.

On Saturday (May 18), Dafen Seconds are at home against Dyffryn while Llanelli Seconds are away to Neath thirds.

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Sport

Jones duo sink Bronwydd

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LLANGENNECH earned their first win of the season on Saturday (May 11) as they beat Bronwydd by 14 runs in a low scoring game.

Llangennech won the toss and elected to bat but they lost Chris Hickey early on when he was caught by Jacob Jenkinson off the bowling of Colin Tucker.

Matthew Jones scored 11 before he was caught and bowled by Tucker before David Williams was caught by Tom Gleeson off the bowling of Matthew Vaughan for a score of 14.

James Taube made the same score but was then caught by Phillip Howell off the bowling of Dafydd Morgan. Morgan also bowled Martin Gregory to leave Llangennech on 83-5.

Opener Scott Lloyd’s score of 30 had come off 127 balls and he was eventually caught by Vaughan off the bowling of Callum Collins-Davies.

Richard Clement was the third Llangennech batsman to make a score of 14 before getting out as he was caught by Jenkinson off the bowling of Gleeson.

Michael Jones was then run out before Gleeson claimed his second wicket as he had Simon Clement caught by Oliver Furneaux.

Vaughan then wrapped up the innings as he had Bav Patel caught by James Cale to leave Llangennech all out on 124. Photo by Darren Harries

Bronwydd’s opening pair of James Cale and Philip Howell shared 15 runs but Howell was out for a score of 8 to the bowling of Michael Jones.

Oliver Furneaux was next to fall when he was trapped leg before by Matthew Jones on a score of 11.

Chris Hickey then gave Owain Phillips his first wicket as he caught Jacob Jenkinson and the bowler then claimed his second as he had Cale caught by David Williams on a score of 17.

That left Bronwydd on 44-4 but Iwan Davies and Dafydd Morgan shared 40 runs for the fifth wicket to keep their side in the game.

Davies hit three fours and a six in his knock of 33 but he was then trapped leg before by Michael Jones. He then also bowled Callum Collins-Davies for a duck to reduce Bronwydd to 84-6.

Matthew Jones then had Dafydd Morgan caught on a score of 8 before then trapping Tom Gleeson leg before.

Hickey then took two more catches of Matthew Vaughan and Colin Tucker to give Matthew Jones his five-wicket haul and Bronwydd were all out for 110.

Gareth John had finished not out on 18 but it wasn’t enough for victory for the visitors.

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