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Butchers try can’t prevent Scarlets loss

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Scarlets Ladies Under 18s 10
Blues ladies Under 18s 12

Megan Davies: Whitland winger runs in the opening try (Pic. Riley Sports)

Megan Davies: Whitland winger runs in the opening try (Pic. Riley Sports)

THE SCARLETS Under 18’s girls lost their unbeaten record this season in a tough and uncompromising encounter against a physical Blues outfit last Sunday (13 Dec) at Llanelli Wanderers RFC. Both regions scored two tries a piece, with the only difference being an excellently taken conversion by Blues outside half Millie Williams.

The game opened with both defences to the fore, the physicality in the tackle from the both teams was immense and any scoring opportunities were limited. Indeed, it took until the final two minutes of the first half for the first score to be registered. After a spell of pressure from the Blues, the Scarlets girls managed to play away from their own 22, some slick handling along the back line, saw speedy Scarlets winger Megan Davies sprint clear of the cover Blues cover defence to score wide out.

Scrum half Lucy Packer narrowly missing the conversion sending the hosts in with a slender 5-0 lead. The Scarlets started the second half well, but gradually the power of the Blues pack began to take its toll. Powerful Blues No8 Georgia Fricker made some telling carries into the hitherto solid red defensive line, and gradually the Blues moved up the pitch. The Scarlets, not for the first time, were guilty of poor discipline at the contact area, and from one such infringement outside half Williams’s pinpoint accuracy gave the Blues a line out on the Scarlets 5-meter line.

To their credit the Scarlets halted the initial drive, but the ball was quickly recycled and Blues lock Mel Palmer powered over for the score. Williams added the vital extras to give the visitors a 5-7 lead. Once again the Scarlets came back into the game, with the forwards and backs finally managing to get their offloading game going. The inter-play between the Scarlets forwards and back was outstanding finally releasing replacement outside half Megan Beech to score the try; once again Packer pulled her kick just wide of the upright.

Unfortunately for the Scarlets this was as good as it got as the Blues forward pack took control. The Blues began to dominate territory and their powerful scrum continually took possession away from the home team. The Scarlets continued to defend valiantly, but finally the Blues spun the ball wide for winger Bethan Picton to score the decisive try with 10 minutes to go. Unfortunately, in the build up to the score, Scarlets back rower, Nia Walter sustained an injury to her neck and play was suspended while she received medical treatment and as the light worsened the game was brought to a premature end.

Thankfully Walters’s injury was not severe and was allowed home after an in-depth medical assessment. The Scarlets, failed to live up to their previous performances in the Championship and indeed for most of the game were lethargic in their play, but that is to take nothing away from the Blues girls who were outstanding throughout and thoroughly deserved the win. The Scarlets remain at the top of the Championship table going into the Christmas break thanks to their results in the previous rounds, but will have to improve on this performance when the take on the revitalized Ospreys when the two teams meet in the new year..

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Raiders seal first ever win

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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

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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

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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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