West Wales Raiders 38
London Chargers 36
WEST WALES RAIDERS ended the three year undefeated reign of London Chargers with a stunning two point victory at Stebonheath Park on Saturday (May 14).
The Chargers boasted a wealth of experience with a internationally assembled squad full of seasoned New Zealand and Australian players, and headed into the game on the back of a mammoth 80 points to nil victory over Coventry Bears in their previous outing, but the endeavour of the Raiders proved to be too much for the English side.
The game started as it meant to go on at a frantic pace and a brutal defensive encounter but it was the Raiders who drew first blood with mercurial pivot Luke Williams scoring under the posts and converting his own try.
London responded quickly and with a well worked move went over in the corner but missed the conversion, again the Raiders answered and pivot Williams put a great cross field kick for Curtis Ford to leap and take to score in the corner, Luke Williams failed to convert.
With the score at 10 points to 4 the Londoners turned on the style that they are renowned for and scored three converted tries in quick succession leaving the Raiders and their supporters very quiet.
It was a change in positional play that then saw Raiders hooker Dafydd Phillips find a gap, wrong foot the defence and pass to supporting prop Kyle Bryan to score, the half time score saw West Wales Raiders behind by four, at 18-22..
The second half talk from the London coach must have been inspirational as they came into the second half showing great attacking flair and proving a handful.
As a result the Chargers were first to score as some tired defence allowed them in under the posts for a converted try making the scores 18-28 after 50 minutes.
The Raiders then began to find their rhythm and a change in tactics allowed dummy half Liam Johnson to find a gap and go over at short range, the fight back had begun and aggressive defence forced the Londoners to be tackled twice over their try line and giving Raiders repeat sets the pressure paid off and winger Curtis Ford worked hard to squeeze in at the corner.
With the scores poised at 28-28 another positional change allowed the Raiders to apply further pressure around the Chargers ruck and hooker Dafydd Phillips sniped his way around three defenders to go a full sixty meters and score under the posts with the try converted the score was then 34-28 to the Raiders.
London then found themselves with a scrum on the Raiders ten-metre line after a mistake from a looping pass. The scrum gave the Londoners the building block to choose whether to go left or right and with the choice that they had, they went in to score in the corner, with the kick being a difficult one London couldn’t add the 2 points.
With only four minutes remaining on the clock when the Chargers probed the Raiders tiring defence and scored out wide in the corner with what seemed to be the winning try.
However the Raiders would not give up and after London where forced to drop out under the sticks again the Raiders put on a last gasp attack, captain Nathan Beck putting up a huge up and under and second rower Morgan Jefferies leaping to claim the spoils and go over the line as the referees whistle blew to end the game Raiders 38 London Chargers 36
Raiders coach Jon Ellis was ecstatic after the game, and commented: “What an unbelievable game that was, it was none stop for eighty minutes and our players showed some great tenacity and a never say die attitude west Wales is renowned for, a great spectacle for rugby league and it will be good to see our fan base grow and grow.
“London Chargers are a class act, a great set of blokes, Raiders play an attractive free flowing style of rugby league which is great to watch so get down to Stebo and watch us.”
Dafen see off Porthcawl
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.
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.
Rees century sees Llanelli to win
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.
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.
Daly makes special visit to Ashburnham
TWO time Major Champion John Daly aka the “Wild Thing” paid a visit to Ashburnham Golf Club last weekend as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
Daly fresh from a top 5 finish on the USPGA Senior tour entertained the crowds with some extraordinary shot making during an exhibition match involving members and local businesses.
Following golf JD took part in a Q&A and rounded off the night in style by joining in with local band “The Lost Comets”.
Ian Thomas, Club Captain was thrilled with the day and said that the occasion was truly memorable and a fantastic way to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary.
John Daly himself was full of praise for Ashburnham: “I loved the course, the people and the back 9 layout in particular was just awesome.”
Television highlights of the day were aired on S4C’s Heno programme Monday, July 1.
John Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991 and the Open Championship in 1995.
The 53-year-old also has 18 professional wins to his name.
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