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Premiership heavyweights hammer Emlyn

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Swalec Cup

Newcastle Emlyn 7

Ebbw Vale 61

Newcastle Emlyn: line up before kick off

Newcastle Emlyn: line up before kick off

AS THIS RESULT shows, the gulf between the upper end of the Principality Premiership and the lower reaches of the WRU Championship is huge.

The only other time these two sides have met was nineteen years ago when Emlyn were languishing in Division Six West and although the defeat then 0-43 was not as great as Saturday’s that game was completely dominated by the visitors.

Statistics wise Ebbw Vale are the most successful side in the Premiership when it comes to winning first phase possession.

Their pattern of play was simple and highly effective, driving through the forwards and then, when it was moved wide, using their big centres to carry the ball up at speed to cross the gain line and recycling for the forwards to carry on forward.

However it was Emlyn who applied all the early pressure and drove down to the visitors’ twentytwo metre line, where they were awarded a penalty when Ebbw desperately killed the ball at a ruck.

Unfortunately for the home side winger Dan Davies pushed his attempt just wide of the posts. Ebbw Vale’s response was powerful and determined, setting up camp in the Emlyn twenty two they placed the home side’s scrum under a great deal of pressure.

Vale number eight Ethan Doyle controlled the ball and the drive very well at the second attempt and he was awarded a pushover try converted by outside half Ian Smerdon, who had an almost faultless day with the boot converting seven out of his eight attempts at goal.

Urged on by the large crowd, Emlyn continued to pressurise Ebbw Vale and another run by Davies brought play close to the visitors line.

This time it was an Ebbw Vale player who felt the blast of referee Neil Jones’ whistle as prop Robert Sevenoaks was carded for handling the ball at a ruck on their line. Emlyn captain Alex Williams declined the kick at goal and went for the quick tap penalty only to be held up short of the line. Emlyn recycled a couple of times but could not find a way over the try line, eventually knocking the ball on and Ebbw cleared their line.

The visitors extended their lead when Emlyn disputed a penalty awarded against them at a ruck on their own twenty two line and quick thinking by Ebbw Vale scrum half David Lewis Jones saw him tap the ball and cross for an unconverted try, while a number of Emlyn players were awaiting an explanation for the decision. They then extended their lead just before half time with a well-controlled catch and drive from a line out with flanker Luke Crockett being accredited with the score, converted by Smerdon.

The second half began with Ebbw Vale bringing on club captain Damien Hudd in the second row to bring even greater control to their game. Playing for position they soon extended their lead through tries by prop Sevenoaks, from a driving line out, and full back Daniel Haymond who sneaked in at the back of a driving maul to claim the score. Both were converted by Smerdon to take their lead up to forty points.

Half way through the half Emlyn finally got on the scoreboard with probably the best try of the game. From a line out on their own ten-metre line, Ryan Morgans took an excellent two handed catch and delivered it to scrum half Mike Jones from the top of his jump. Jones passed to centre Mitchell Jones who sent out a twenty-metre pass to outside half Barry Thomas who had looped round his centres. Thomas passed to full back Leonard who timed his pass to winger Dan Davies to perfection.

The speedster rounded his opposite number, with the cover coming across he passed back inside to Leonard, two passes later the ball was in the hands of the supporting Mike Jones. With twenty metres to go the scrum half put his head back and sprinted to score under the posts for Dan Davies to convert.

With both sides emptying their benches the game lost some of its structure as both sides opted for running the ball rather than kicking for position.

Ebbw added further converted tries through Crockett and replacement centre Jordan Howells. With time running out Emlyn looked to have added another score when a delicate chip over the advancing Ebbw Vale defenders saw the ball bounce in the in-goal area.

Following up at pace winger Dan Davies looked certain to score but a nudge on him by an Ebbw player meant he just missed the ball as he went to dive on it. The final score came with the last play of the game when winger David Williams crossed under the posts for a try converted by replacement David Langdon.

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Sport

Raiders well beaten by Town

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By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park

WORKINGTON Town eased to a 58-12 over West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 8) with their ten tries all coming from different players.

The away side did enough to win the game despite their many errors that would cost them a lot more against a higher placed side.

Town took an early lead after Gordon Maulding found a gaping hole in the Raiders’ backline and easily ran 10 metres to score. Carl Forber converted.

From kick-off, they doubled the score. No Raiders’ player had the answer to Fui Fui Moi Moi’s strength as he burst past the back-line. No issues again for Forber.

A short kick-off worked well for Raiders as they regained possession from kick-off and they nearly scored. Steve Parry was held a metre from the line on the final tackle of the set.

Photo by Darren Harries

As frustrations started to boil over, the referee stopped his watch on 25 minutes to give Raiders a team warning for persistent offending, and now was the time for Town to take advantage. Stevie Scholey was close, but from the next tackle, Sean Penkywicz dived over. Forber converted.

Town scored their fourth on the half hour. Perry Singleton was on the end of a good passing move, straight from a scrum on Raiders’ ten-metre line. Forber’s kick was just wide.

Then just before half-time, after winning a penalty on Raiders’ 40-metre line, Stevie Scholey ran through for Workington’s fifth. Forber converted again for a 28-0 lead at the break.

Town had an early second half try chalked off for a forward pass but after Raiders gave away a penalty for off-side, Ryan Fieldhouse twisted his way over the line for a try that Forber improved.

Then on 51 minutes, Raiders finally broke their duck for what was the best try of the game. Phil Cowburn broke from the half-way line, offloaded to Ashley Bateman who lost the ball under pressure, but Cowburn was on hand to pick up the loose ball, score under the sticks and convert his own try.

Photo by Darren Harries

However, following another Raiders dropped ball and a penalty from the next tackle, Workington addressed the balance as Declan O’Donnell crashed over underneath the sticks and Forber easily converted.

From kick-off, a Welshman finally got on the scoresheet after Sam Hopkins catching his own chip and run to the line for Town’s eighth try.

Forber kicked the goal, then set up the next try, opening up a gap for Oliver Wilkes to celebrate his 100th career try. Forber converted.

Raiders weren’t giving up. They won another goal-line drop out and continued to put on the pressure. Steve Parry was held up over the line and from the next tackle, Morgan Evans ran through a hole in the Town defence. Cowburn converted.

But after Town won the ball from kick-off, they went over from their tenth and final try of the afternoon as debutant Blain Marwood eased his way past the tiring home defence with his first touch of the ball for the club after another good Forber offload.

The man of the match converted to cement the win.

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Sport

Llangennech seconds beaten

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LLANGENECH Seconds were beaten by five wickets by Pontardawe on Saturday (Jun 8).

They batted first after Pontardawe elected to field but they could only manage a score of 114-8 from their 40 overs.

Llangennech soon found themselves struggling on 22-3 after Michael and Robert Lloyd and David James fell to the bowling of Jeff Hapgood (2) and Jason Rourke (1).

Iwan Hicks and Rhys Howells shared 56 runs for the fourth wicket but that came to an end when Howells was run out by Daniel McCudden on a score of 24.

Hicks and Lloyd Francis shared another 28 runs for the fifth wicket but Lloyd Jenkins struck to remove Francis on a score of 10.

Jenkins then also took the wicket of Owain Soady-Jackson for a duck as they slipped to 108-6.

Photo by Darren Harries

That soon became 109-7 as Hicks, who hit four fours in a good knock of 51, was caught by Rourke off the bowling of Jenkins.

Andy Megrath was later run out as Llangennech limped to 114-8.

Llangnnech struck early in Pontardawe’s reply as the looked to put the pressure on.

Nathan Lewis had opener Sean Harris caught by Iwan Hicks on a score of 10.

Fellow opener Daniel McCudden fell for the same score when he was also caught by Hicks off the bowling of Lloyd Francis.

Nathan Dinsley made a score of 21 but he was then bowled by Llyr Soady-Jackson.

Iwan Hicks then had Lloyd Jenkins caught by Lewis as they reduced Pontardawe to 87-4.

That became 93-5 as Richard Felton, who had scored 23, was bowled by Hicks.

That was as good as it got for Llangennech however, as Mark Williams and Jeff Hapgood saw Pontardawe home with the latter not out on 15.

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Sport

Dafen edged out by Maesteg

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DAFEN suffered defeat against Maesteg Celtic on Saturday (Jun 8), as they were bowled out 19 runs short of victory.

The home side had elected to field on winning the toss and that looked to have been a good decision as they bowled Celtic out for 118.

However, six wickets from Matthew Davies helped them bowl Dafen out for 101 to earn victory for the visitors.

Maesteg lost opener Davies early on as he was bowled by David Dunfee who then also had Nick Poole caught by Philip George on a score of 23.

Dunfee then also had James Richards caught by Matthew Evans before Paul Morris was run out by Christopher Davies.

That left the Celtic on 40-4 but a stand of 42 between Ellis Bird and Morgan Griffiths took them towards three figures.

Bird was then trapped leg before by Jonathan Randell who then also had Jordan Richards caught by Simon Davies.

That saw the visitors slip to 85-6 but Griffiths shared a stand of 25 with Glen Lawler.

Photo by Darren Harries

Griffiths had hit six fours and a six in his knock of 59 but he was then caught by Kai Rees off the bowling of Chris Hudson.

Elliot Colston was then removed in the same manner before Lawler was bowled by Matthew Donoghue on a score of 13.

Hudson then had Adam Lawler caught by Christopher Davies as Maesteg’s innings came to an end.

At the halfway stage Dafen would have been confident of victory but Maesteg bowled well as they reduced the home side to 33-5 in their reply.

Opener Jonathan Randell was out to the bowling of Matthew Davies as was Aman Gandhi for a duck.

Matthew Evans made ten before he was bowled by Adam Lawler before David Dunfee was bowled by Davies for another duck.

Christopher Davies did make 14 but he was caught by Luke Wilson off the bowling of Lawler.

Photo by Darren Harries

Matthew Donoghue and Simon Davies looked to stop the flow of wickets and they shared a good stand worth 64 runs.

Davies hit six fours in his score of 38 but he was then caught by Morgan Griffiths off the bowling of namesake Matthew.

Maesteg made light work of the tail as Phillip George was out to Davies and Donoghue was caught by Lawler off the bowling of brother Glen on a score of 24.

Davies then claimed his sixth wicket as he trapped Kai Rees leg before for a duck.

Chris Hudson was also out for a duck to the bowling of Wilson as Dafen’s inning came to a close with them all out on 101.

On Saturday (Jun 15), Dafen will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Division 1 leaders Cowbridge.

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