Newport Civil Service 1
Llanelli Town 4
WITH the continued absence of Bruno Forkuoh with an abdominal strain, the Reds are finding it increasingly difficult to break down opponents from the leagues lower reaches. Whilst possessing plenty of talent in their ranks, the added skills and guile of Forkuoh would’ve made the last few weeks decidedly easier. As it was, the laboured win against Treowen was compounded by a less than convincing display against a home side who now find themselves welded to the foot of the table, following the withdrawal of Cardiff Grange Harlequins from the league.
The first half in particular was not great for the Reds, who barely tested goalkeeper Chris Jones, while their opponents took the lead with twentyone minutes on the clock, when some sloppy defending let in Tom Berry for a run on goal before finishing past Craig Richards. The visitors could have found themselves chasing the game even further with their opponents failing to capitalise on some half-chances, mostly from set-pieces.
Town’s limited attacking options ended with one attempt by Ross Jones, who shot off target following a build up involving Richard Lewis, Luke Jones and Anton Owens. However, after the shock of conceding the opening goal, they were soon back on level terms, although it did have an element of good fortune with a Steve Berry free kick driven into the area flicking off the head of a defender and past a helpless Jones. The bobbly playing surface was not conducive to a passing game, and route one was the preferred method of choice, but the home side seemed the most likely to score, and Berry might have done better when challenging Richards to a driven ball into the goalmouth by Jac Hardman, failing to make a clean contact with the keeper able to block and gather.
The games turning point came in first half stoppage time as Civil Service were reduced to ten men as David Mellon picked up his second caution from referee Gary Mabley. When the second period got underway, the Reds had reorganised the side with Steve Stone replacing Luke Jones and Richard Thomas now occupying a wide position on the right and Owens pushed up front. These changes proved to be effective, with Thomas putting them ahead within two minutes when his cross-come-shot to the far post deceived Jones and ended up in the net after being found by Mark Napieralla.
He was then involved in turning provider with a cross into the middle to the head of Owens which was just over the bar, while Thomas himself shot narrowly wide after making space on the edge of the box. With the game now firmly in their control, the visitors were given another opportunity of extending the lead with the award of a penalty when Owens was clattered by a combination of Jones and Gareth Wynsome when he pursued a ball into the area, with the latter becoming the second home player to be dismissed on 56 minutes. Lewis took the kick only for Jones to keep it out, but the rebound fell kindly to Thomas who made no mistake for his brace. Now comfortably ahead, the visitors could well have added to their tally on a number of occasions, with Stone seeing his header from a Thomas delivery come back off the post, but he got his reward in the 65th minute, forcing the ball home from close in after Napieralla had his initial attempt blocked. The Reds made a couple of changes before the close, with Rhys Powell and Kellan Jenkins replacing Lewis and Owens respectively, and they did create some further opportunities but could not cash in on them, but they will be happy with the result if not with their overall display. Next Saturday, Pontypridd Town are the visitors to Stebonheath with a 2.30 p.m. kick off, while on Wednesday, 1st April, they will host today`s opponents, Newport Civil Service, kick off 7.45 p.m.
Raiders well beaten by Town
By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
WORKINGTON Town eased to a 58-12 over West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 8) with their ten tries all coming from different players.
The away side did enough to win the game despite their many errors that would cost them a lot more against a higher placed side.
Town took an early lead after Gordon Maulding found a gaping hole in the Raiders’ backline and easily ran 10 metres to score. Carl Forber converted.
From kick-off, they doubled the score. No Raiders’ player had the answer to Fui Fui Moi Moi’s strength as he burst past the back-line. No issues again for Forber.
A short kick-off worked well for Raiders as they regained possession from kick-off and they nearly scored. Steve Parry was held a metre from the line on the final tackle of the set.
As frustrations started to boil over, the referee stopped his watch on 25 minutes to give Raiders a team warning for persistent offending, and now was the time for Town to take advantage. Stevie Scholey was close, but from the next tackle, Sean Penkywicz dived over. Forber converted.
Town scored their fourth on the half hour. Perry Singleton was on the end of a good passing move, straight from a scrum on Raiders’ ten-metre line. Forber’s kick was just wide.
Then just before half-time, after winning a penalty on Raiders’ 40-metre line, Stevie Scholey ran through for Workington’s fifth. Forber converted again for a 28-0 lead at the break.
Town had an early second half try chalked off for a forward pass but after Raiders gave away a penalty for off-side, Ryan Fieldhouse twisted his way over the line for a try that Forber improved.
Then on 51 minutes, Raiders finally broke their duck for what was the best try of the game. Phil Cowburn broke from the half-way line, offloaded to Ashley Bateman who lost the ball under pressure, but Cowburn was on hand to pick up the loose ball, score under the sticks and convert his own try.
However, following another Raiders dropped ball and a penalty from the next tackle, Workington addressed the balance as Declan O’Donnell crashed over underneath the sticks and Forber easily converted.
From kick-off, a Welshman finally got on the scoresheet after Sam Hopkins catching his own chip and run to the line for Town’s eighth try.
Forber kicked the goal, then set up the next try, opening up a gap for Oliver Wilkes to celebrate his 100th career try. Forber converted.
Raiders weren’t giving up. They won another goal-line drop out and continued to put on the pressure. Steve Parry was held up over the line and from the next tackle, Morgan Evans ran through a hole in the Town defence. Cowburn converted.
But after Town won the ball from kick-off, they went over from their tenth and final try of the afternoon as debutant Blain Marwood eased his way past the tiring home defence with his first touch of the ball for the club after another good Forber offload.
The man of the match converted to cement the win.
Llangennech seconds beaten
LLANGENECH Seconds were beaten by five wickets by Pontardawe on Saturday (Jun 8).
They batted first after Pontardawe elected to field but they could only manage a score of 114-8 from their 40 overs.
Llangennech soon found themselves struggling on 22-3 after Michael and Robert Lloyd and David James fell to the bowling of Jeff Hapgood (2) and Jason Rourke (1).
Iwan Hicks and Rhys Howells shared 56 runs for the fourth wicket but that came to an end when Howells was run out by Daniel McCudden on a score of 24.
Hicks and Lloyd Francis shared another 28 runs for the fifth wicket but Lloyd Jenkins struck to remove Francis on a score of 10.
Jenkins then also took the wicket of Owain Soady-Jackson for a duck as they slipped to 108-6.
That soon became 109-7 as Hicks, who hit four fours in a good knock of 51, was caught by Rourke off the bowling of Jenkins.
Andy Megrath was later run out as Llangennech limped to 114-8.
Llangnnech struck early in Pontardawe’s reply as the looked to put the pressure on.
Nathan Lewis had opener Sean Harris caught by Iwan Hicks on a score of 10.
Fellow opener Daniel McCudden fell for the same score when he was also caught by Hicks off the bowling of Lloyd Francis.
Nathan Dinsley made a score of 21 but he was then bowled by Llyr Soady-Jackson.
Iwan Hicks then had Lloyd Jenkins caught by Lewis as they reduced Pontardawe to 87-4.
That became 93-5 as Richard Felton, who had scored 23, was bowled by Hicks.
That was as good as it got for Llangennech however, as Mark Williams and Jeff Hapgood saw Pontardawe home with the latter not out on 15.
Dafen edged out by Maesteg
DAFEN suffered defeat against Maesteg Celtic on Saturday (Jun 8), as they were bowled out 19 runs short of victory.
The home side had elected to field on winning the toss and that looked to have been a good decision as they bowled Celtic out for 118.
However, six wickets from Matthew Davies helped them bowl Dafen out for 101 to earn victory for the visitors.
Maesteg lost opener Davies early on as he was bowled by David Dunfee who then also had Nick Poole caught by Philip George on a score of 23.
Dunfee then also had James Richards caught by Matthew Evans before Paul Morris was run out by Christopher Davies.
That left the Celtic on 40-4 but a stand of 42 between Ellis Bird and Morgan Griffiths took them towards three figures.
Bird was then trapped leg before by Jonathan Randell who then also had Jordan Richards caught by Simon Davies.
That saw the visitors slip to 85-6 but Griffiths shared a stand of 25 with Glen Lawler.
Griffiths had hit six fours and a six in his knock of 59 but he was then caught by Kai Rees off the bowling of Chris Hudson.
Elliot Colston was then removed in the same manner before Lawler was bowled by Matthew Donoghue on a score of 13.
Hudson then had Adam Lawler caught by Christopher Davies as Maesteg’s innings came to an end.
At the halfway stage Dafen would have been confident of victory but Maesteg bowled well as they reduced the home side to 33-5 in their reply.
Opener Jonathan Randell was out to the bowling of Matthew Davies as was Aman Gandhi for a duck.
Matthew Evans made ten before he was bowled by Adam Lawler before David Dunfee was bowled by Davies for another duck.
Christopher Davies did make 14 but he was caught by Luke Wilson off the bowling of Lawler.
Matthew Donoghue and Simon Davies looked to stop the flow of wickets and they shared a good stand worth 64 runs.
Davies hit six fours in his score of 38 but he was then caught by Morgan Griffiths off the bowling of namesake Matthew.
Maesteg made light work of the tail as Phillip George was out to Davies and Donoghue was caught by Lawler off the bowling of brother Glen on a score of 24.
Davies then claimed his sixth wicket as he trapped Kai Rees leg before for a duck.
Chris Hudson was also out for a duck to the bowling of Wilson as Dafen’s inning came to a close with them all out on 101.
On Saturday (Jun 15), Dafen will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Division 1 leaders Cowbridge.
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