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Scarlets U18 girls crowned regional champions




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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Raiders seal first ever win




West Wales Raiders 44

Coventry Bears 16

Lucas Marshall, Stebonheath Park,

A LATE rally by Coventry Bears was not enough to deny a jubilant West Wales Raiders their first-ever win at the 45th time of asking.

The old South Wales Ironmen tasted victory against Gloucestershire All Golds in the first match played at Stebonheath Park back in July 2017, but never before have the side won under the Raiders banner. And it was certainly worth the wait as the Raiders dominated much of the game against a Bears side that doesn’t have the best record when travelling to South Wales. The other game the Ironmen won in 2017 was against Coventry, whilst the Bears only won by 10 points at Llanelli last season.

Dewi Billingham made his Coventry debut while trialist Zak Williams made his first appearance since returning to the Bears. But both former Raiders stars were unable to come back to haunt their former employers.

Try time: Raiders celebrate another try. Photo by Darren Harries

Much of the damage was done in the first half with the Raiders taking control from the kick-off and eventually going in 20-0 up at the break.

It took only six minutes for Raiders to break the Bears defence when good work down the left put Dalton Desmond-Walker in for the opener. Phil Cowburn added the extras but was off target just moments later after Ash Bateman was on the end of some quick passing to go in on the right.

When Morgan Evans went in for the Raiders third, again converted by Cowburn, their loyal band of supporters started to believe they were on course for victory.

It could have been even worse for the Bears, but strong defence saw them hold the visitors up over the line on three occasions mid-way through the half. Although there was no denying Archie Snook with one of the final plays of the half after Welsh International Steve Parry had split the Bears defence to put the centre through. Cowburn once again failed with the conversion but the Raiders still celebrated their most positive 40 minutes in almost two years.

After the break, it was the Bears who struck first through Reece Rance, but any hopes of a comeback were soon extinguished by three quick-fire tries.

First, former Bears player Mitch Shaw scooted over, before Bateman and Snook both got their second try of the afternoon to all but secure the victory for the Llanelli-based outfit.

Parry then went in for the Raiders’ eighth try of the day to put the icing on a long-awaited cake.

But the Bears were by no means done and added two further tries of their own to make the scoreline look a little less dominate than the game suggested.

Tries from Errol Carter and South Wales youth system graduate Cobi Green, along with two Joe Sanderson conversions rounded off the scoring for the visitors.

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Dafen see off Porthcawl




DAFEN Seconds earned their sixth win of the season on Saturday (Jul 6) as they beat Porthcawl by 75 runs.

Porthcawl won the toss and elected to field and they were able to bowl Dafen out for 182.

Opener Oliver Evans made a score of 19 and Chris Randell scored 25 as a number of Dafen batsmen made good starts.

Jonathan Griffiths scored 22 and there were also scores of 15 from Tom Lavender and 16 from Luke Dunning.

Matthew Thomas made a late score of 18 while Andrew Randell top scored with 43 runs.

Nicholas Morgan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for the loss of 30 runs from his 6.3 overs.

Mark Bevan also bowled well to finish with figures of 3-37.

Photos by Darren Harries

That set Porthcawl 138 to win but they lost a number of batsmen for single figure scores as they struggled to put runs on the board.

Andrew Randell had Nicholas Morgan caught by Jac Morgan and Matthew Thomas had Rhodri Phillips caught by Chris Randell.

Chris Richards made a score of 13 before he was bowled by Rhys Marchant who then also bowled Rob Warren and had David Lewis caught by Chris Randell, both for ducks.

Tim Richards also fell for a duck when he was caught off the bowling of Matthew Thomas.

Mark Lewis had scored 25 but he also fell to the bowling of Marchant.

Steffan Flood also scored 25 before he was bowled by Chris Randell and Joshua Aubrey added 20 late on before he also fell to the bowling of Randell.

That meant that Porthcawl were all out for 107, giving Dafen seconds an excellent win.

On Saturday (Jul 13), Dafen seconds are away to local rivals Llanelli seconds.

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Rees century sees Llanelli to win




LLANELLI’s Iwan Rees scored a century on Saturday (Jul 6) to help his side to victory over Briton Ferry Steel.

Briton Ferry won the toss and elected to bat but they were restricted to 186-8 in their innings.

Steven Devonald struck early on to remove Evan Hynes but Lloyd Clement and Jamie Griffiths shared 44 runs for the second wicket.

Jac Rees had Griffiths caught by Craig Howells on a score of 24 and soon after Craig Evans was bowled by Aled Gilley for a duck.

Clement had made a score of 41 but when he was bowled by Rees, the Steel found themselves on 81-4.

That soon became 88-5 as Steve Maddock was caught by Marcus Leaf off the bowling of Gilley.

Photo by Darren Harries

Iwan Rees then had Steffan Evans caught by Howells and Rhys Norgrove fell in similar fashion.

Jason Hughes and Thomas Williams shared 56 runs for the eighth wicket as they looked to give their side a total to defend.

On the last ball Williams was caught by Rees off the bowling of Gilley on a score of 24 which left Hughes not out on 67.

Llanelli openers Iwan Rees and Ioan Phillips shared 42 runs for the first wicket before Phillips was caught by Rhys Norgrove off the bowling of Jay Webb.

That was as good as it got for the Steel though as they were unable to claim any further wickets.

Craig Howells hit seven fours as he finished unbeaten on 53 while Rees starred with 14 fours to finish unbeaten on 104.

The win gives Llanelli 19 points and keeps them third in the table. On Saturday (Jul 13), they travel to local rivals Dafen.

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