Ebbw Vale 36
LLANELLI FAILED to collect a season double over high-flying Ebbw Vale, as the in-form hosts recorded their seventh successive league win.
On a cold afternoon at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw applied early pressure and their reward came after 10 minutes when, after patient phase play, Ashley Sweet stretched out a long arm to gain his team’s first try. Dan Haymond converted.
Undeterred, Llanelli hit straight back and when Ebbw strayed offside, former Steelman Josh Lewis kicked for the corner. The ensuing lineout led to a well marshalled catch and drive of which the Steelmen would have been proud, and number 8 Trystan Lloyd got the touchdown. Lewis converted to level the scores.
The first half was evenly matched, and the visitors looked to send the ball wide at every opportunity, obviously feeling that Scarlet Mike Tagicakibau was a threat.
Ebbw’s drift defence kept them at bay though and the Steelmen were next to score when David Williams crossed wide out. The half time score was 14- 8, but there were ominous signs for the visitors whose pack could not contain the Ebbw eight – at least, not legally.
Early in the second half, Ebbw gave a masterclass in the lineout drive, leading to the inevitable ‘Catch’n’Kynes’, so named after robust flanker Ronny Kynes. As Ebbw increased the intensity of their play Llanelli folded somewhat and a series of infringements gave Ebbw opportunities to stretch the lead.
Chris Thomas muscled over from a ruck close to the visitors’ try line to bag the bonus point and Chris Levesley took his team out of sight when he crossed for the fifth try after lovely hands from Chris Thomas and Adam Jones – whose centre partnership with Nathan Preece has clicked at just the right time. Iain Smerdon goaled the last two to make the score 36-8.
Llanelli now enjoyed their best period of the match, winning good possession and putting Ebbw under immense pressure. However, the Steelmen’s defence was magnificent and all the attacks were ended with turnovers that enabled the threat to be stifled. Rhys Clarke and Cameron Regan were prominent in this aspect of the game, as was captain and Man of the Match Damien Hudd.
A positive to take for Llanelli was that their try brought up 500 league points this season, but the four-match winning sequence in the Premiership was well and truly ended. Only Pontypridd have scored more points in the league this year, but it is clear where the reds problems lie, as only Bridgend have conceded more.
This week sees Aberavon visit the Parc, and Dai Flanagan will be hoping his side can bounce back.
Llanelli: 15. Dion Jones, 14. Ashley Evans, 13. Steffan Hughes, 12. Jonny Lewis, 11. Mike Tagicakibau, 10. Josh Lewis, 9. Josh Guy, 8. Trystan Lloyd, 7. Owain Morgan, 6. Jack Jones, 5. Chris Long, 4. Adam Powell, 3. Gareth Havard, 2. Taylor Davies, 1. Rhys Thomas
Replacements: 16. Tom Kaijaks, 17. Torin Myhill, 18. Jack Payne, 19. Jack Davies, 20. Greg George, 21. Justin James, 22. Matthew Pearce, 23. Ryan Davies
Rees stars as Llanelli beat Bronwydd
LLANELLI’s Iwan Rees took three wickets and then top scored with the bat to help his side to victory over Bronwydd on Satuday (Jun 22).
Bronwydd won the toss and elected to bat but they were all out for 144.
They lost James Dickson early when he was trapped leg before by Steven Devonald for a duck and Gareth John was also out cheaply as he was caught by Rhidian Morgan off the bowling of Devonald.
Iwan Davies and Jacob Jenkinson then shared 33 runs for the third wicket but it was Rees who struck as he had Jenkinson caught by Craig Howells.
Davies hit seven fours as he scored a half century but he was then out on a score of 58 to the bowling of David Richards.
Rees then trapped Philip Howell leg before and Aled Gilley then bowled Oliver Furneaux on a score of 22.
Rees then bowled Callum Collins-Davies to leave Bronwydd on 110-7.
Carwyn Jones and Tom Gleeson took over in the middle and they shared 21 runs for the eighth wicket.
Jones scored 17 before he was bowled by Gilley and Gleeson scored 15 before he was caught by Morgan off the bowling of Alex Symmons.
Steven Devonald then claimed his third wicket as he trapped Matthew Vaughan leg before to bring the innings to a close.
Iwan Rees and Ioan Phillips then shared 40 runs for the first wicket as Llanelli got off to a good start in their reply.
Tom Gleeson picked up the first wicket as he bowled Phillips but Rees and Craig Howells batted on. They shared 97 runs for the second wicket to all but seal the victory.
Rees had hit 12 fours in his score of 75 but he was then caught by Matthew Vaughan off the bowling of Callum Collins-Davies.
Howells and Steven Devonald then saw Llanelli to their target with Howells hitting five fours and a six as he finished not out on 37.
That saw Llanelli achieve victory by eight wickets and on Saturday (Jun 29), they will look for another win when they travel to Maesteg Celtic.
Bronwydd will aim to bounce back in their next game at home to bottom of the table Gowerton.
Dafen too good for Steel
DAFEN proved too strong for Briton Ferry Steel on Saturday (Jun 22) as they earned a five-wicket win.
Dafen won the toss and elected to field which proved to be a good decision as they bowled Steel out for just 93.
Openers Evan Hynes and Lloyd Clement had shared 19 runs for the first wicket but Chris Hudson brought that to and end as he bowled Hynes.
Clement had scored 13 but he was then also bowled by Matthew Evans. Hudson then had Gavin Pugh caught by David Dunfee for a duck and Dunfee then had a hand in the next wicket as he ran out Jason Hughes for another duck.
That left the home side struggling on 31-4 and it soon became 44-5 as Steve Maddock was caught by Daniel Vaughan off the bowling of Jonathan Randell.
Rhys Norgrove offered some resistance with a score of 16 but he was then bowled by Randell. Dunfee then removed Tom Williams in similar fashion to leave the Steel on 67-7.
Rhys Maddock made a score of 10 before he was caught by Chris Hudson off the bowling Randell.
Andrew Herbert then had Daryl Phillips caught on a score of 13 by Vaughan and Herbert then brought the innings to a close when he trapped Leigh Williams LBW.
Dafen made a slow start to their reply and they lost early wickets as opener Chris Davies was caught off the bowling of Daryl Phillips.
Simon Davies was also bowled by Phillips as Dafen slipped to 14-2.
Opener Matthew Evans had scored 19 but he was then caught and bowled by Phillips leaving them on 32-3.
George Lavender and Jonathan Randell shared 18 runs for the fourth wicket before Randell was also caught and bowled by Phillips.
Lavender then shared 27 runs with David Dunfee for the fifth wicket as they edged towards their target.
Dunfee was bowled on a score of 14 by Rhys Norgrove but that would be the last wicket to fall.
Matthew Donoghue finished not out on 14 while Lavender was unbeaten on 25 as Dafen reached their target inside 22 overs.
The Steel were also guilty of giving away 17 runs in extras.
On Saturday (Jun 29), Dafen are at home to Llandysul.
Felinfoel edged out
FELINFOEL just missed out on victory on Saturday (Jun 15) as opponents Skewen edged to a three-wicket win.
Skewen won the toss and elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they were able to bowl Felinfoel out for 155.
Felinfoel lost Andrew Thomas early on when he was trapped leg before by Steve James.
Craig Richards and Rhys Jones shared 55 runs for the second wicket before James struck again as he bowled Richards on a score of 34.
Rhys Jones scored 32 before he was bowled by Luke Martin and Julian Griffiths scored 25 before he suffered the same fate as Jones.
Martin also bowled Ian Meredith and he then trapped Rober Nangalia leg before.
When Dean Kriescher trapped Rohan Nangalia leg before it left Felinfoel on 128-7, having seemingly been in a good position at 118-3.
Stuart Parmenter was then bowled by Kriescher and he then took the catch to dismiss Stephen Jones.
Rhys Harries batted on while he watched his team mates fall but he was eventually out for a score of 26 to the bowling of Kriescher.
That meant that Skewen would need 156 to win but Felinfoel did their best to derail their run chase.
Anthony Matthias bowled David Jenkins and Craig Richards had Callum Davies caught by Andrew Thomas as Skewen slipped to 17-2.
Richards then claimed his second wicket as he had Daniel Rees caught by Ian Meredith and Johnny Morris was bowled by Julian Griffiths.
That left Skewen on 49-4 but Dean Kriescher and John Jones swung the game in their favour with a stand of 57 for the fifth wicket.
Rhys Harries then bowled Jones on a score of 25 and he also had Jordan Jones caught by Stuart Parmenter.
Julian Griffiths then bowled Andrew Rogers but Kriescher was the hero for Skewen as he finished unbeaten on 76 with nine fours and a six to see his side over the line.
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