LLANELLI ensured they will be in round two of this years Swalec Cup with a hard fought victory against a brutal Tata Steel side in what can only be described as atrocious conditions, in which a large section of the pitch was under an inch of water by the end of the 80 minutes.
The game was moved to the Championship side’s ground to protect the surface at Parc y Scarlets, where the Scarlets met Connacht on Sunday, and the players ended up sloshing about in ankle deep water by the end, in a bruising encounter, in which the Principality Premiership side just about showed their class. Llanelli centre Nathan Edwards got the decisive try as he touched down with twenty minutes to play to add to a previous penalty try to ensure that the side from Parc y Scarlets avoided a potential early banana skin.
There was an early burst from the hosts as winger Kristian Jenkins gave the Championship side a fine start, but eventually the visitors fought their way to an impressive victory. With the rain pelting down at a horizontal angle as the howling wind brought it in, both sides struggled to handle the ball, but the home side will have been pleased with their start, as they got to grips with the wet ball quicker than their visitors. However with every second that passed, the pitch got worse and worse, and it is testament to the referee that the game was able to continue to a result, as he could quite easily have called the tie off and created even more of a fixture backlog. Jenkins’ try came just before the ten minute mark, and Steve Lewis stepped up to knock the hosts into an early 7-0 lead, but this was to prove to be their only points as a frustrating 70 minutes against a resolute Llanelli defence followed.
Llanelli had decided to wear their white kit to attempt to make it easier for the two sides to be told apart, however this proved to be unsuccessful as time wore on and both sides resembled the old grey Wales change kit, which made the breakdown area a nightmare to referee. The visitors began to turn the screw and after a wave of attacks inside the twenty-two were halted illegally, referee Justin Evans had no choice but to award the penalty try, with Billy McBryde knocking over the conversion to level the scores.
The second half began in relatively glorious conditions as the rain eased slightly and Tata almost took the lead after a fine move resulted in Phillips putting fullback Lloyd Rogers into a gap, but the rampaging 15 was stopped just short of the line, as his legs failed to move quick enough in the bog that had assembled under his studs. Despite a brave effort from the Tata steel defence, Edwards eventually found a gap after several probing runs off the shoulder of McBryde and with twenty minutes to play he romped over in the corner to give his side the lead. McBryde missed a difficult conversion, slipping slightly as he struck the ball. With just five minutes to play victory, and a place in the hat for round two was secured as McBryde knocked over a penalty to end what was a real game of attrition.
Llanelli Team: 15. Gareth Walters, 14. Shaun Pearce, 13. Nathan Edwards, 12. Matthew Pearce, 11. Ryan Davies, 10. Billy McBryde, 9. Josh Guy, 8. Elliott Rees, 7. Owain Morgan, 6. Nathan Hart, 5. Liam Puckett, 4. Adam Powell, 3. Tom Kaijaks, 2. Torin Myhill, 1. Rhys Fawcett
Replacements: 16. Sam Martin, 17. Greg George, 18. Jack Payne, 20. Lewis Johnson, 21. Justin James, 22. Josh Lewis, 23. Paul Davies
Skilton’s half century beats Felinfoel
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.
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.
Dafen edged out by Dyffryn
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.
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.
Llanelli too good for Llandysul
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.
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.
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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