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Raiders end Chargers 3 year unbeaten run

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Half time team talk: Raiders players heed advice

Half time team talk:
Raiders players heed advice

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.”

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Foel’s Championship dream halted

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FELINFOEL’s hopes of promotion to the WRU Championship were brought to an end on Sunday (May 12) as they were beaten in the play-offs by Ystalyfera.

Ystalyfera had won the first leg 34-28 on their home soil but Felinfoel were still very much in the tie and they had the backing of an 800-strong home crowd in the reverse fixture. Fans packed in to the ground and they witnessed an epic encounter.

Felinfoel held the lead at one time but their opponents hit back to seal a 20-30 win to win overall by 64 points to 48.

Felinfoel played some attractive rugby during the first half with wingers Eray Wilson and Elliot Dawe scoring tries wide out one of which was converted by Aled Roberts. Ystalyfera scored a penalty and a converted try making the half time score 12 points to 10.

Photos by Darren Harries

The second half opened brightly for Felinfoel with Roberts kicking a penalty and Wilson scoring a further try. With the score at 20 points to 10, matters were looking favourable for the home team.

It was at this stage that the Ystalyfera forwards took complete control of the match denying Felinfoel of any possession for the final 20mins of the match. With a strong scrummage and dynamic driving maul they continued to exert pressure onto the home team.

Ystalyfera were rewarded with a further two converted tries, penalty goal and drop goal and deserved their victory 20 points to 30, and promotion to the championship.

Both teams are to be congratulated in the way in which the game was played. Both sides gave their all and provided an entertaining encounter.

Both sets of supporters gave loud vocal support to each team and were sporting throughout the match.

At the end of the match Felinfoel coach Mike King who is leaving after two years in charge was given a rousing send off by players and supporters alike.

After the game Felinfoel took to twitter saying: “After another successful season, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to all sponsors for supporting the club throughout the season once again. Without you we would not exist. Thank you to all the supporters who have been with us through thick and thin.

“Lastly, thank you to head coach Mike King who will be leaving us. He has set the foundations of the club and has turned this club around for the better. All at Felinfoel RFC can’t thank you enough. We wish you all the best in the future.”

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Morgan marches seconds home

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DAFEN Seconds earned the bragging rights over Llanelli Seconds on Saturday (May 11) as they cruised to an eight wicket win.

Dafen won the toss but elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they bowled their opponents out for just 118 inside 22 overs.

Aadil Mukhtar finished with excellent figures of 5-21 while Oliver Evans supported well taking four wickets for the loss of 40 runs.

Needing just thirty overs of their reply, Dafen Seconds eased to victory as Jac Morgan finished not out on 64 to see his side over the line.

Photo by Darren Harries

The win for Dafen keeps them joint top of the table with Briton Ferry Town after two games while Llanelli sit bottom of Division 3 and are still searching for their first win.

On Saturday (May 18), Dafen Seconds are at home against Dyffryn while Llanelli Seconds are away to Neath thirds.

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Jones duo sink Bronwydd

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LLANGENNECH earned their first win of the season on Saturday (May 11) as they beat Bronwydd by 14 runs in a low scoring game.

Llangennech won the toss and elected to bat but they lost Chris Hickey early on when he was caught by Jacob Jenkinson off the bowling of Colin Tucker.

Matthew Jones scored 11 before he was caught and bowled by Tucker before David Williams was caught by Tom Gleeson off the bowling of Matthew Vaughan for a score of 14.

James Taube made the same score but was then caught by Phillip Howell off the bowling of Dafydd Morgan. Morgan also bowled Martin Gregory to leave Llangennech on 83-5.

Opener Scott Lloyd’s score of 30 had come off 127 balls and he was eventually caught by Vaughan off the bowling of Callum Collins-Davies.

Richard Clement was the third Llangennech batsman to make a score of 14 before getting out as he was caught by Jenkinson off the bowling of Gleeson.

Michael Jones was then run out before Gleeson claimed his second wicket as he had Simon Clement caught by Oliver Furneaux.

Vaughan then wrapped up the innings as he had Bav Patel caught by James Cale to leave Llangennech all out on 124. Photo by Darren Harries

Bronwydd’s opening pair of James Cale and Philip Howell shared 15 runs but Howell was out for a score of 8 to the bowling of Michael Jones.

Oliver Furneaux was next to fall when he was trapped leg before by Matthew Jones on a score of 11.

Chris Hickey then gave Owain Phillips his first wicket as he caught Jacob Jenkinson and the bowler then claimed his second as he had Cale caught by David Williams on a score of 17.

That left Bronwydd on 44-4 but Iwan Davies and Dafydd Morgan shared 40 runs for the fifth wicket to keep their side in the game.

Davies hit three fours and a six in his knock of 33 but he was then trapped leg before by Michael Jones. He then also bowled Callum Collins-Davies for a duck to reduce Bronwydd to 84-6.

Matthew Jones then had Dafydd Morgan caught on a score of 8 before then trapping Tom Gleeson leg before.

Hickey then took two more catches of Matthew Vaughan and Colin Tucker to give Matthew Jones his five-wicket haul and Bronwydd were all out for 110.

Gareth John had finished not out on 18 but it wasn’t enough for victory for the visitors.

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