LLANDOVERY travelled to the Parc y Scarlets desperate for a victory to say goodbye to departing coach Lyndon Lewis after they had failed to secure a victory in his final home game against Ebbw Vale in the previous round of fixtures. Lewis leaves at the end of the season to take the role of assistant coach at Aberavon, a club for which he is a former captain, and will be replaced at the Towy Valley side by his Assistant Euros Evans.
Llanelli came into the game hoping to give their fans something to smile about at the end of a dismal campaign. Their end of season form until this game had been particularly poor having failed to win in their last six games, shipping over two hundred and forty points in the process. It was possible for the Reds to overtake their Scarlets’ region counterparts to finish eighth in the table before kick off, however they needed to secure a bonus point win of more than eight points.
As it was Llandovery outscored their hosts by four tries to three and also got within in seven of their score to secure two bonus points of their own (one losing and one four try) to ensure they kept eighth place, though it will be of little consolation to either side as both will have had desires on making the top half back in September.
Llandovery’s season has been blighted by regular bouts of ill-discipline on the field and today was no different. Despite having the majority of the possession and at times playing some fine running rugby, it was the award of three yellow cards, two of which came inside the same minute that cost the Drovers the full quota of points once more. Incoming coach Euros Evans will have recognised this as one of the key areas the side needs to improve for the next campaign.
To kick Llandovery when they were down it was one of their own, fullback Gareth Walters, a graduate from the Drovers academy that led Llanelli to what seemed an unlikely victory as he produced seventeen points. With one try, a one hundred percent conversion rate and two penalties he almost single handedly dragged his sorry Llanelli side to a much needed, but undeserved victory, their first since early February.
Owain Morgan also grabbed a try for Llanelli to give his side a 20-12 lead at the interval, but the game was to be turned on its head by its stand out player, winger Aaron Warren. He added to his first half score to complete a fine hat-trick in the second half and was a constant menace to the hosts with his powerful running and slight of foot. If Llandovery’s centres had noticed how much mayhem he was causing, as everyone else in the ground had, they may have given him more ball rather than squander chance after chance when the overlap beckoned.
Their failure to convert these chances into points came back to bite them in a way that is all too familiar in sport. Their ill-discipline saw two yellow cards inside a minute with two of their pack, flanker Shaun Miles and lock Matthew Harbut, being sent to the stand for continued infringing at the breakdown, the most criminal offence for a forward, on par with spilling a restart.
Llanelli looked to make their extra men count up front and with the extra power they now possessed they worked an opening for number eight Morgan to crash over and secure his second and his sides third of the game out wide in the corner. With the imperious Walters notching the conversion the Reds had secured what had seemed an unlikely win for the majority of the contest.
Both sides will welcome new faces and say goodbye to old in the close season in a bid to improve their fates for the next campaign and on this showing, they are some way off matching the levels reached by the likes of Pontypridd, Cross Keys and Ebbw Vales this campaign.
15 Gareth Walters 14 Kyle Evans 13 Andrew Rees-Spowart 12 Richard Thomas11 Elliot Dawe 10 Stuart Morris 9 Jon Rogers 1 Rhys Fawcett 2 Taylor Davies 3 Gareth Havard 4 Adam Powell © 5 Ed Price 6 Liam Puckett 7 Shaun Edwards 8 Owain Morgan
15 Mike Evans 14 Rhys Williams 13 Matthew Jacobs 12 Rhodri Jones 11 Aaron Warren 10 Steffan Marshall 9 Lee Rees: 1 Jamie Kaijaks 2 Luke Lewis 3 Greg Cunniffe 4 Bryn Griffiths 5 Matthew Harbut 6 Phil Day (captain) 7 Richard
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.
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.
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.
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.
Daly makes special visit to Ashburnham
TWO time Major Champion John Daly aka the “Wild Thing” paid a visit to Ashburnham Golf Club last weekend as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
Daly fresh from a top 5 finish on the USPGA Senior tour entertained the crowds with some extraordinary shot making during an exhibition match involving members and local businesses.
Following golf JD took part in a Q&A and rounded off the night in style by joining in with local band “The Lost Comets”.
Ian Thomas, Club Captain was thrilled with the day and said that the occasion was truly memorable and a fantastic way to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary.
John Daly himself was full of praise for Ashburnham: “I loved the course, the people and the back 9 layout in particular was just awesome.”
Television highlights of the day were aired on S4C’s Heno programme Monday, July 1.
John Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991 and the Open Championship in 1995.
The 53-year-old also has 18 professional wins to his name.
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