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Reigning champions back on form

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Team Photo: Scarlets Ladies pictured before the game (Pic. Riley Sports)

Team Photo: Scarlets Ladies pictured before the game (Pic. Riley Sports)

Blues Ladies 7

Scarlets Ladies 46

AFTER AN UNCONVINCING, but ultimately successful display in difficult conditions against the Dragons in the last round of the Women’s Senior Regional Championship, the Scarlets Women’s Senior squad arrived at The BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park in determined mood to return to the attacking free-flowing rugby that proved to be a championship winning formula last season.

The Scarlets came out of the blocks firing, putting the capital region players under intense pressure from the off and were duly rewarded in the second minute when the Blues were guilty of holding in the ruck, and the ever reliable boot of Jodie Evans settled any nerves there may have been by slotting the kick from 35 meters out.

The opening try of the day came 8 minutes later when after some powerful inter-play between the forwards and backs, impressive full back Dyddgu Hywel slice through the Blues defensive line to score near the posts. Evans adding the extras.

From the restart, the girls in red again went on the attack. After yet another infringement at the contact area by the Blues the Scarlets were awarded a very kickable penalty, however this time captain Sioned Harries opted to take a quick tap which saw her feed centre Elen Evans to race towards the line only to be brought down just short of the white wash. The Scarlets recycled the ball quickly and scrum half Kavenagh fed blindside flanker and former under 18s captain, Alisha Butchers who drove across the line to score despite the attention of several Blues defenders. Evans once again converted the try.

The next Scarlets score came soon after. Once again the forwards created the perfect platform for the exciting Scarlets backs to exploit. The Blues were finding it difficult to handle the powerful phase play of the Scarlets eight and eventually a gap was created in the Blues line, outside half Hannah Jones needed no second invitation and raced in for the score under the posts, with Evans once again adding the extras.

To their credit, the Blues girls came back into the game and after a series of penalties found themselves camped on the Scarlets line. The attacking prowess of the Scarlets Girls had been evident throughout the game, but their defensive qualities came to the fore at this stage, showing determination and no small amount of aggression to eventually secure the turnover and make their way up field. Some fantastic interplay between all the players eventually led to Whitland No 8 Natalie Walsh being released to score the bonus point try on the stroke of half time. When Evans slotted the conversion the score was 31-0 to the Scarlets.

The Scarlets started the second half in the same way that they had finished the first with a 15-minute blitz in which they scored 3 tries. Barely 5 minutes after the break, ever impressive centre Elen Evans showed pace and power to cross for the Scarlets 5th try of the day. Less than five minutes later the Reds were at it again. Jodie Evans showing that she is more kicker when after some slick handling she cut through the Blues defence to score wide out. The next, and as it turned out final score for the Scarlets came on 55 minutes when once again the irrepressible Scarlets team interlinked to release full back Hywel for her second and the Scarlets’ 7th score of the day.

The girls in red could have scored more, but were guilty of squandering some guilt edged opportunities. To their credit the Blues kept going and were rewarded in the last play of the game when winger Rafike Taylor scored a great individual try under the posts which was duly converted.

The Scarlets next face local rivals, the Ospreys on December 20 at a venue to be confirmed, in what could be the defining game of the season so far, and based on this result the Scarlets can go into that game with confidence, but will need to raise their game further if they wish to maintain their unbeaten record going into the Christmas break.

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Sport

Williams-duo sink Porthcawl

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LLANELLI Seconds earned victory on Saturday (Aug 10) as they beat Porthcawl by 42 runs.

Porthcawl won the toss and elected to field and they were able to bowl Llanelli out for 170.

Rhys Westcott and Lewis Jones got Llanelli off to a steady start before Westcott was caught by Steffan Flood off the bowling of Nicholas Morgan on a score of 19.

Morgan then also caught and bowled Daniel Lewis before Dafydd Daniel supported Jones with a score of 17.

Daniel also fell to the bowling of Morgan who then claimed his second caught and bowled of the match when he caught Jordan Evans.

Morgan wasn’t done there as he had Richard Williams caught by Anthony Dixon.

Jones had made his way to a score of 85 but he was then caught by Isaak Cronje off the bowling of Stephen Richmond.

Spencer Morgan then claimed the final two wickets to leave Llanelli all out on 170 after 43 overs.

Photo by Darren Harries

Richard Williams struck early on as he had Nicholas Morgan caught by Dafydd Daniel.

Richard then also had Mark Lewis caught by Harri Rees before Joshua Williams had Steven Doherty stumped by Morgan Jones.

Richard then had Chris Richards caught by Daniel to reduce Porthcawl to 45-4.

Anthony Dixon had made his way to a score of 30 but he was caught by Daniel Lewis off the bowling of Joshua Williams.

That left the visitors on 49-5 and it soon became 60-6 as Joshua had Steffan Flood caught by Harri Rees.

Joshua then also claimed the wicket of Spencer Williams before Isaak Cronje was run out by Daniel.

Joshua then bowled Matthew Pugh as Porthcawl were staring at a heavy defeat on 77-9.

Stephen Richmond and Mark Bevan did their best to keep the score ticking over with Richmond reaching a score of 44.

He was eventually caught by Owain Baxter off the bowling of Lewis Jones and although Llanelli gave away 21 runs in extras, Porthcawl were all out for 128.

It was just a second win of the season for Llanelli seconds who will now look to finish the season on a high.

On Saturday (Aug 17), they travel to Dyffryn.

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Felinfoel see off Drefach

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FELINFOEL earned their eighth win of the season on Saturday (Aug 10) as they beat Drefach by four wickets.

The game was reduced to 48 overs-a-side after earlier rain and the toss was won by Felinfoel who elected to field.

Rob Seymour got Drefach going with four fours in his score of 16 from 12 balls but he was then caught by Andrew Thomas off the bowling of Julian Griffiths.

Soon after, Griffiths had Ben Mitchell caught by Rohan Nangalia.

Anthony Mathias then bowled James Carter and trapped Neil Harris leg before as Drefach slipped to 40-4.

Dafydd Humprheys and Billy McBryde then shared 44 runs for the fifth wicket before McBryde, who hit four fours and a six in his score of 29, was caught by Nangalia off the bowling of Matthias.

Humprheys and Ciaran Llewellyn then shared 57 runs for the sixth wicket as they continued to put runs on the board.

Llewelyn hit six fours in his score of 31 but he was then caught by Rhys Jones off the bowling of Tom Jones.

Humphreys then reached his half century but then saw Leigh Davies caught by Nangalia off the bowling of Craig Richards.

Richards then also Roy Llewelyn before before Chris Bowen bowled Elis Jones.

Photo by Darren Harries

That left Humphreys not out on 63 which included four fours and a six.

Set 182 to win, Felinfoel lost Andrew Thomas early on when he was bowled by Ben Mitchell.

Craig Richards and Rhys Jones then shared an excellent second-wicket stand worth 106 runs.

Jones hit five fours on his way to a score of 43 before he was stumped by Neil Harris off the bowling of Leigh Davies.

Three balls later, Roy Llewelyn bowled Richards on a score of 73 that included 11 fours.

Drefach then picked up a third wicket as Davies bowled Julian Griffiths for a duck to reduce Felinfoel to 124-4.

Tom Jones also fell to the bowling of Llewelyn as Drefach looked to keep the pressure on.

Rhys Harries hit three fours in a score of 16 but he was then bowled by James Carter as Felinfoel were further reduced to 155-6.

Chris Bowen and Rohan Nangalia had other ideas though as they guided their side to their target.

Bowen finished not out on 16 while Nangalia was not out on 19 from 12 balls after hitting three fours.

On Saturday (Aug 17), Drefach travel to play fourth placed Aberdare while Felinfoel are away to second placed Skewen.

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Llangennech earn crucial win

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LLANGENNECH moved themselves out of the bottom two of Division 1 on Saturday (Aug 10) as they beat Llanelli in a rain-affected match.

The hosts won the toss and elected to field and they were able to restrict Llanelli 129 all out in their 33 overs.

Llanelli lost opener Ioan Phillips for a duck early on when he was caught by David Williams off the bowling of Michael Jones.

Iwan Rees and Marcus Leaf then shared 58 runs for the second wicket as they looked to get their side into a good position.

Leaf hit eight fours in his score of 40 but he was then also caught by Williams off the bowling of Aamir Ikram.

Ben Edward was then caught by Michael Jones off the bowling of Owain Phillips.

Robert Bowen hit two fours and a six in his score of 18 but he was then bowled by Jones as Llanelli were reduced to 102-4.

It did not get much better for the visitors from then on as Matthew Jones had Rees caught by Williams on a score of 40.

Photo by Darren Harries

He then had Alex Symmons caught by Williams on a duck before also trapping Aled Gilley leg before.

That brought the score to 108-7 and it was soon 109-8 as David Richard was bowled by Simon Clement.

Clement also bowled Vaughan Thomas before Jac Rees and Carwyn Phillips shared 16 runs for the final wicket.

Phillips was then run out as Llangennech were set just 130 to win the game.

Llangennech lost Scott Lloyd early in their reply when he was caught by Iwan Rees off the bowling of Alex Symmons.

However, a stand of 73 between Matthew Jones and James Taube all but secured the win for the home side.

Taube hit seven fours and three sixes in his score of 55 from 32 balls but he was then bowled by Aled Gilley.

Jones had hit three fours in his score of 24 but he was then caught by Vaughan Thomas off the bowling of Rees.

Rees then trapped Hedd-Wyn Jones leg before to leave Llangennech on 107-4 but Llanelli were unable to take any further wickets.

David Williams and Chris Hickey hit three fours each as they finished unbeaten on scores of 20 and 15 respectively to see their side over the line with time to spare.

With other sides seeing their games abandoned, the win lifts Llangennech up to sixth place in the table, 17 points above now second from bottom Briton Ferry Steel.

On Saturday (Aug 17), Llanelli will look to get back to winning ways when they take on second placed Tata Steel while Llangennech travel to bottom of the table Gowerton.

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