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Quins push league hopefuls close

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Drink break: Quins relax after a tough first half

Drink break: Quins relax after a tough first half

Principality Premiership

Cross Keys 38

Carmarthen Quins 20

CROSS KEYS completed the double over Carmarthen Quins in the Principality Premiership on Saturday afternoon, crossing for 5 tries and securing a bonus point in the process.

Playing down the slope, Keys went on the attack from the start and following a lineout just inside the Quins twenty-two the ball was moved from one side of the pitch to the other and found it’s way to wing Mathew Powell, who benefitted from an excellently created overlap to cross in the scoreboard corner to give Keys the lead in the 5th minute. Full back Owen Howe was unable to add the conversion from out wide.

Keys continued to attack with great intent and after a string of close range lineouts were impeded illegally by the visitors and the Quins were reduced to 14 men after 14 minutes of play as prop Nathan Williams, who appeared for Keys from the Dragons several time in the past was sent to the sin bin after he pulled down a driving maul close to his own try line.

The one man advantage was soon to benefit Keys greatly when from a lineout just 5 metres out the ball was worked back in field and found its way in to the arms of Keys hooker Darren Hughes who dragged several bodies over the line with him near the posts to cross for Keys 2nd try of the day with a little over 15 minutes played. Owen Howe this time added the conversion as Keys were, at this stage full value for their lead.

With Quins still down to 14 men and unable to create any real chances, Keys continued to attack from across the field and they looked almost certain to extend their lead further when outstanding flanker Ieuan Jones launched a chip and chase in the middle of the park, and midway in the Quins half. Jones looked to have created the scoring chance to gather his own kick but he appeared to have been hacked down near the posts as the try looked almost certain. Instead of penalising the Quins defender that appeared to take Jones out, referee Shaun Brickell awarded a scrum to Keys on the 5 metre line which eventually led to a penalty try being awarded to Keys as a result of one too many offences from the under pressure Quins scrummage. The penalty try was awarded with 25 minutes played.

The frantic opening eventually calmed and Quins, who were now restored to 15 men were finally able to exit their own half and create some chances. The visitors exploited an overlap, as Keys switched off in defence out wide and Quins wing Morgan Griffiths crossed the whitewash to score his sides first points of the game with a little over 30 minutes played.

Quins seemed to now have the upper hand and Griffiths closed the gap further on the stroke of half time when he again exploited an overlap to cross in the corner. Craig Evans this time failed to add the touchline conversion. Keys prop Richard Cornock was shown the yellow card for an offence at a ruck in the build up to the try, meaning he would spend the opening 10 minutes of the second half in the sin bin.

Despite being a man down, Keys started the second half well and just 5 minutes in to the half they secured a bonus point with their 4th try. Flanker Ieuan Jones, who was perhaps cruelly denied a wonderful individual try in the first half kept the ball firmly in hand and an excellent drive from the Keys pack saw Jones crash over for the try. Owen Howe added the conversion with Keys once again firmly in control.

With time ticking on, the match then continued without any real incident or chance really being created by either side. Both Keys and Quins choosing to kick for territory rather than try anything silly on an increasingly heavy pitch.

With just under 5 minutes remaining Keys crossed for their 5th and final try as a result of an excellently timed tackle from centre Lewis Barnett, on permit from Penallta for Keys, and the tackle then led to an excellent steal from Keys replacement prop Anthony Lott, who fed Tom Lampard whose excellently timed pass freed Barney Nightingale, who then realised replacement wing Elliott Jones who raced away line to score the try and put the game to bed. Owen Howe added the relatively straightforward conversion with around 2 minutes remaining.

To their credit Quins didn’t give up and crossed for their 3rd try with the final play of the game when Gavin Thomas broke to score nothing more than a consolation try for his side which was unconverted.

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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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