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Llanelli fall to bottom with defeat

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Declan Smith: Clearing Llanelli’s lines (Pic. Riley Sports)

Declan Smith: Clearing Llanelli’s lines (Pic. Riley Sports)

LLANDOVERY gained a vital win which left the Fosters Challenge Cup Pool 1 wide open, with the Drovers now level on points with Neath, and one point adrift of Carmarthen Quins, although the tables top two sides meet on Saturday in a game that will put one of them in pole position. Llanelli now sit one point further back at the foot of the table, knowing that Wednesday’s return to Church Bank is now something of a must win game if they are to progress into the knockout phases of the new competition. With a howling wind swirling around the pitch, conditions were far from perfect with running rugby at a premium, and a lack of accurate kicking leading to a largely scrappy affair, in which the scoring was finished with some 35 minutes still to play.

Llanelli went in at the interval leading by two points thanks to tries from Matthew Owen and Greg George. However Llandovery went one better, notching three tries through Rhodri Davies, Richard Rees and Dafydd Hughes. With 13 minutes gone, having dominated the opening exchanges, the Drovers took the lead with Rhodri Davies crossing the line, however with the wind gusting against him, James Davies was unable to convert. With 26 minutes gone, Steffan Marshall was sent to the bin after slowing play down at the breakdown, and the visitors sought to take advantage, with Matthew Owen crossing out wide. Billy McBryde somehow managed to knock over a magnificent conversion from the touchline in tough conditions to give his side the lead.

With a numerical advantage Llanelli would’ve been hoping to increase their lead, but it was the 14-men who went ahead, as Richard Rees went over after a fine move in midfield, James Davies knocked over the extras, and Steffan Marshall returned to put the hosts in charge. The visitors regrouped and went in at half time in front when Greg George went over for a converted try, but after the interval a dour affair took over and the hosts ran out victors. Just four minutes into the second half, Dafydd Hughes crossed, concluding the scoring for the game, and giving the hosts a much needed boost. Llanelli will be hoping for revenge when the two sides meet again on Wednesday night at Church Bank.

Teams: Llandovery: 15. Lee Rees 14. Mike Evans 13. Rhodri Jones 12. Craig Woodall 11. James Davies 10. Steffan Marshall 9. Rhodri Davies: 8. Andrew Green 7. Richard Rees 6. Joe Powell 5. Colin Markham 4. Jake Baker 3. Berian Watkins 2. Dafydd Hughes 1. Jamie Kaijaks  Replacements: 16. Scott Jenkins 17. Bradley Davies 18. Jake Simm 19. Shaun Miles 20. Tom Ball 21. Ryan Morgans 22. Joe Morgan 23. Dan Brooks

Llanelli: 15.Ryan Davies 14.Shaun Pearce 13.Paul Davies 12.Mathew Pearce 11.Matthew Owen 10.Billy McBryde 9.Declan Smith: 8.Greg George 7.Nathan Hart 6.Dan Binks 5.Ben Davies 4.Christian Long 3.Tom Kaijaks 2.Torin Myhill 1.Rhys Fawcett  Replacements: 16.Sam Martin 18.Richard Bassett 19.Liam Puckett 20.Steve Williams 21.Justin James 22.Dan Guarneri 23. Jack Anderson

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Skilton’s half century beats Felinfoel

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A HALF century from Llandarcy’s Paul Skilton helped his side to victory over Felinfoel Seconds on Saturday (May 18).

Llandarcy invited Felinfoel to bat first after winning the toss and that proved to be a good decision as they soon had them in trouble on 41-5.

Opener Nicholas Jones made 18 for Felinfoel but he was bowled by Steven Moul.

Meirion Rees and Josh Powell both fell cheaply to the bowling of Chris Harland as did Ben Williams and Shaun Caton.

Jamie Cranham and Adam Edwards then offered some resistance to the Llandarcy bowlers with a stand of 48 for the sixth wicket.

Cranham hit six fours as he scored 32 but he was then caught off the bowling of Robert Jones.

Edwards and Ian Meredith then shared 52 runs for the seventh wicket as they looked to give their side something to defend.

Meredith made 21 with five fours but was then also out to the bowling of Jones. He then also took the wicket of Steve Johns for a duck.

That left Edwards not out on 35 (six fours) as he took Felinfoel to their total of 153-8.

Photo by Darren Harries

Steve Johns then struck twice as Llandarcy began their reply as he had Ian Davies caught by Jamie Cranham and Steven Moul caught by Josh Powell.

That left them on 12-2 but opener Chris Pickford was joined by Paul Skilton and the pair shared 65 runs for the third wicket.

Pickford hit seven fours in his knock of 35 but he was then bowled by Nicholas Jones. Josh Powell then bowled Ben Owen for a duck to reduce Llandarcy to 78-4.

Another good stand between Skilton and Paul Maunder followed as they all but secured victory. Maunder made 25 before he was caught by Cranham off the bowling of Jones.

Skilton and Anthony Fletcher went on to see Llandarcy to their target with plenty of time to spare.

Fletcher was not out on 11 while Skilton had hit ten fours and a six to finish not out on 63.

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Dafen edged out by Dyffryn

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DAFEN Seconds’ were denied victory on Saturday (May 18) as Dyffryn edged to a 1-wicket win after their target was revised under the Duckworth Lewis method.

Dafen had made an excellent total of 263-6 in their innings but after a break for rain, Dyffryn were given a revised target of 185 from 35 overs.

Jac Morgan scored 19 early on for Dafen but was then out to the bowling of Chris Davies. Scott Phillips made 25 with three fours and a six before he was also out to Davies.

Chris Randell also batted well for his score of 31 but he was then bowled by Kyle Green.

Green also bowled George Lavender leaving Dafen on 185-5 but opener Oliver Evans and Andrew Randell smashed their side past 250 runs.

Evans hit eight fours and two sixes as he scored 80 before he was run out.

Photo by Darren Harries

Randell smashed six fours and three sixes as he finished not out on 51 to help set Dyffryn a challenging target.

However, rain meant that Dyffryn would need a revised target of 185 to win.

Andrew Herbert took two wickets early on for Dafen to leave them on 21-2 but scores of 31 from Alun Evans, 20 from Jon Lewis and 43 from Rhodri Morgan kept Dyffryn on target.

All three fell to the bowling of Rhys Marchant and after James McKenna was bowled by Scott Phillips, Dyffryn were 128-6.

Darren Wood made 17 before he was out to the bowling of Cieran Latham and he also had Kyle Green caught by Chris Randell.

Lewis Day had made 21 for the visitors but when he was out to the bowling of Gleb Roberts it looked as if Dafen would take the win.

However, Grant Pearce and Chris Davies had other ideas as they steered Dyffryn over the line with four balls to spare.

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Llanelli too good for Llandysul

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LLANELLI put in a good all-round team performance as they batted well to make a good score before bowling Llandysul out to earn a 52-run win.

Llandysul won the toss and elected to field but they could only watch as the home side racked up nearly 300 runs.

Iwan Rees and Ioan Phillips got Llanelli off to an excellent start as they shared 91 runs for the first wicket.

Rees hit five fours in a score of 41 but he was then stumped by Andrew Barrett off the bowling of Joseph Swift.

Phillips and Ryan Nicholas then shared a stand of 60 for the second wicket as they continued to put runs on the board.

Nicholas made 26 but was then caught by Luke Swift off the bowling of Steffan Jones.

Photo by Darren Harries

More good batting followed as Phillips and Rhidian Morgan shared 59 runs for the third wicket.

Morgan smashed five fours and two sixes as his score of 40 came from 28 balls but he then found the hands of Llewelyn Hughes, giving Ashleigh Cox his first wicket.

Phillips had hit 11 fours in his knock of 96 but was unlucky to miss out on a century as he was caught by Ben Edkins off the bowling of Cox.

Marcus Leaf fell cheaply to the bowling of Luke Swift and he later had Steven Devonald caught by Cox.

Devonald had hit five fours in a score of 38 from 25 balls as Llanelli went on to set Llandysul 280 to win.

Llandysul were keen to make a good start in their reply and although they lost Bleddyn Morgan early on when he was caught by Ryan Nicholas off the bowling of Chris Thomas, a stand of 50 for the second wicket between Meurig Jones and Ashleigh Cox gave them a good platform. Jones made 26 before he was bowled by David Richards.

Cox had reached his half century but then saw Ben Edkins bowled by Steven Devonald on a score of 17.

Richards then had Llewelyn Hughes caught by Chris Thomas for a duck as Llandysul slipped to 115-4.

Cox was closing in on his century but was also losing partners as Carwyn Evans made 15 before he was trapped leg before by Iwan Rees.

Photo by Darren Harries

Cox reached his century with nine fours and a six but was then bowled by Thomas on a score of 104.

That left Llandysul on 190-6 but when Steffan Jones departed having scored 28, trapped leg before by Thomas, their innings began to fall apart.

Devonald took the wicket of Luke Swift and then also ran out Joe Swift before Jac Rees wrapped up the innings with the wicket of Arfon Jones.

The win gives Llanelli 20 points and they remain top of Division 1.

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