West Wales Raiders 16
North Wales Crusaders 56
By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
NORTH Wales Crusaders’ play-off hopes took a boost on Saturday after taking advantage of West Wales Raiders’ many errors to earn to a large win.
The Wrexham-based side will go into their last two games full of confidence but know they’ll have a tougher outing at Newcastle Thunder in a fortnight.
Their first try came on 11 minutes when Ben Stead forced his way through, and the lead was soon doubled after Dave Eccleston dived through a gaping hole in Raiders’ back-line. Stead converted to put the score on 10-0.
West Wales were close to getting a try back midway through the first half after winning a repeat set near to the North Wales line. Ash Bateman was close following a good run from Archie Snook, but the ball was forced off him when diving for the line.
Crusaders made them pay. From the resulting scrum, a 90-metre set culminated in Warren Thompson scoring under the sticks and Stead converting.
Raiders hit back on the half-hour. Regaining the ball on halfway after Snook bravely collected a kick from close range, Phil Cowburn sneakily slipped the ball back to Mitch Shaw who dived under the sticks. Cowburn converted.
Crusaders struck back when Steven Roper couldn’t believe his luck and even hesitated when he saw a gap he could easily run through to score a try. He added the extras himself.
There was controversy with the next score. The referee initially awarded a scrum to Crusaders but after consultation, he gave Crusaders a penalty and Matthew Reid scored from that set.
And it went from bad to ridiculous on the half-time hooter after Sam Baker spilled the ball inside his own goal area allowing Alex Eckley to touch down easily. Roper missed both kicks but Crusaders were 30-6 up.
They added to their lead on 47 minutes in a try they had to work hard for. Raiders were defending well but Joe Ryan finally managed to break through before Lewis Fairhurst converted.
Raiders were unlucky not to a try back on the hour when Baker was pushed into touch when diving for the line. Crusaders went straight back up-field and after winning a penalty, Dante Monte-Samuels crashed over. Fairhurst’s kick just made it through the posts despite the wind taking it wide and Crusaders were 42-6 up.
There were five full Wales internationals in the game, two of them with Crusaders, but it took until the 68th minute before one got on the scoresheet. Rob Massam, the North Wales winger was sent over in the corner. Fairhurst missed the kick.
Then, after regaining the ball from kick-off, one of the West Wales trio scored and it was typically Steve Parry, diving low from dummy half. Cowburn sliced the kick wide.
In the set after that was a rare Crusaders error. Snook did well to beat his marker to score, much to the delight of his mother on the PA system! Cowburn converted.
But it was Crusaders who ended on a high as Massam crossed for two more in the left corner. Shaw did cross for Raiders in the last move of the game but it was chalked off for a forward pass.
Dafen seal dramatic win over Evans and Williams
DAFEN picked up only their third win in the West Wales Premier League on Saturday (Jan 22) as a 102nd minute goal from Joe Bowen gave them a 3-2 victory.
After an even start it was Dafen who broke the deadlock as Lennon Evans scored shortly before the half hour mark.
It remained 1-0 to the visitors until the 73rd minute when Alex Goddard scored to double Dafen’s lead.
With seven minutes to go the hosts were awarded a penalty and Mark Howells made no mistake to bring his side back in the game.
On 90 minutes Dafen manager Richard Stephens was sent off by the referee and just four minutes later Bruno Forkuoh scored to level the game for the home side.
The drama wasn’t over there though as in the eleventh minute of injury time, Evans and Williams’ Phillip Tinnuche was also sent off.
And there was still time for Bowen to score the winning goal, in the 12th minute of time added on, sparking joyous scenes amongst the players.
Dafen remain second bottom but they now sit two points behind ninth placed Morriston Town.
Defeat for Evans and Williams sees them slip behind West Wales Premier League leaders Penlan, who won again on Saturday.
On Saturday, January 29, Dafen host Giants Grave while Evans and Williams travel to Seven Sisters Onllwyn.
PHOTO by Darren Harries
Burry Port hold off Milford to maintain unbeaten record
BURRY PORT secured their fourth win in as many games on Saturday (Jan 22) as they beat Milford Haven 24-17 at The Observatory.
It was a frantic first half which saw Burry Port take a 24-12 lead into the break and despite a second half try from the home side, the Blacks were able to hang on for the win.
Tries for the Blacks came from Rich Parker, Josh Evans, Dylan Evans and Tom Rees.
Steff Powell was successful with two of four conversion attempts.
Milford had one try from Jamie Lewis and Dan McClelland with one conversion giving the hosts some hope of a second half comeback.
Zac France-Miller pulled an unconverted try back for the Mariners but they were unable to find another score despite their efforts.
The Blacks held on and their bonus-point win moves them up to fifth place in the League 2 West table and maintains their 100% record.
The Mariners earned a bonus point for their efforts which moves them up to third from bottom in the table.
On Saturday, January 29, Burry Port host Loughor while Milford Haven are away to Kidwelly.
Llanelli Snooker League: Convincing win for Burry Port Legion
BURRY PORT Legion notched a convincing 6-1 victory in the Llanelli Snooker first division against visiting Pontyberem Workmens.
Following frame wins from Rob Davies, Richard Nurse, Garnet Lane, Keri Phillips and James White (40 break); just Emyr Bowen’s frame averted the whitewash.
Snooker World Whites were 5-2 winners against Llanelli Cons, after Jamie Gimblett, Callum Jackson, Sam Hinton and Ben Thomas had won.
Dai Roberts and Ashley Edwards claimed frames for Matchroom Whites in a 5-2 reversal against Llanesco, for whom Luke Lloyd, Peter Shoulder, Dale Bohn and Chris Lloyd were on song.
Nicky Walters, Mark Hughes and J.Shields were on top for Upper Tumble Blues who saw off a man-short Ponthenri Social 5-2; Nigel Lewis and Mark Regola replied.
Burry Port Reading Room Blues, for whom Adrian Gower, Steve Greaney and Neil Roberts (25) won, needed the aggregate to edge a 4-3 victory at Morfa, whose winning trio were Rob Hughes, Andrew Hatto and Gavin Lewis.
Elsewhere, Pontyberem Workmens’ also required the extra point to nick a 4-3 success against Trimsaran, after Keri Davies (35 clearance break), Kevin Sullivan and Mike Footman had won; Lewis Lloyd, Jamie Tudor and Wayne Thomas won for Trim.
Cross Hands B overcame Gorseinon Workmens’ 4-3, following wins from Adrian Phillips, Mal Jones and Paul Martin; for the Brighton Road side, Mike Davies, Johnny Wilcox and Jordan Davies were on the ball.
In Division 2, Jeff Howells, Scott Bunford, Elwyn Williams and Adam Rees gave Cross Hands A a 5-2 win at Pontarddulais Cons B; Bont’s frame winners were Mark Aberstraw (40 break) and Rob Davey.
Huw Morgan, Howard Wood, Steve Pearson and Brian Jenn earned the bragging rights for Llandybie Social B in the village derby against Llandybie RFC, whose winning duo were Shane Wright (22 clearance) and Joshua Jordan.
Upper Tumble Reds suffered a 7-0 thumping away at the Gremlin Club; for the latter, Ray Barney (33 clearance), Alex Jenson (25), Ryan Burt, Kevin Gronow, Lee Collins and Gavin Stollery were all on top.
Meanwhile, J.Townsend’s frame win avoided the dreaded brush as Bryn & Trallwm crashed 6-1 at the hands of Snooker World Blues; for the Ammanford cuemen, Linden Cox, C.Waters, A.Jones, Callum Fuge and S.Rees all won.
New Lodge edged home 4-3 against Matchroom Blacks, courtesy of Roy Morgan, Andrew John and Gary Williams; Thomas Williams, James Anthony and Adrian Davies hit back for the visitors.
Paul Landek and James Varney were CGMD ‘s winning pair as the Fishermens’ went down 5-2 on their trip to Tycroes RFC; for the rugby club, Marc Walters, Steve Ruck, Arwyn Rees and Ffion Jones claimed the points.
In Cup news, Gremlins defeated New Lodge 4-3, while Reading Room Reds knocked out Bryn. Matchroom Reds beat Burry Port Legion 4-3, whereas Upper Tumble Social went out 4-1 at the hands of Matchroom Whites.
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