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Reigning champions back on form

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Team Photo: Scarlets Ladies pictured before the game (Pic. Riley Sports)

Team Photo: Scarlets Ladies pictured before the game (Pic. Riley Sports)

Blues Ladies 7

Scarlets Ladies 46

AFTER AN UNCONVINCING, but ultimately successful display in difficult conditions against the Dragons in the last round of the Women’s Senior Regional Championship, the Scarlets Women’s Senior squad arrived at The BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park in determined mood to return to the attacking free-flowing rugby that proved to be a championship winning formula last season.

The Scarlets came out of the blocks firing, putting the capital region players under intense pressure from the off and were duly rewarded in the second minute when the Blues were guilty of holding in the ruck, and the ever reliable boot of Jodie Evans settled any nerves there may have been by slotting the kick from 35 meters out.

The opening try of the day came 8 minutes later when after some powerful inter-play between the forwards and backs, impressive full back Dyddgu Hywel slice through the Blues defensive line to score near the posts. Evans adding the extras.

From the restart, the girls in red again went on the attack. After yet another infringement at the contact area by the Blues the Scarlets were awarded a very kickable penalty, however this time captain Sioned Harries opted to take a quick tap which saw her feed centre Elen Evans to race towards the line only to be brought down just short of the white wash. The Scarlets recycled the ball quickly and scrum half Kavenagh fed blindside flanker and former under 18s captain, Alisha Butchers who drove across the line to score despite the attention of several Blues defenders. Evans once again converted the try.

The next Scarlets score came soon after. Once again the forwards created the perfect platform for the exciting Scarlets backs to exploit. The Blues were finding it difficult to handle the powerful phase play of the Scarlets eight and eventually a gap was created in the Blues line, outside half Hannah Jones needed no second invitation and raced in for the score under the posts, with Evans once again adding the extras.

To their credit, the Blues girls came back into the game and after a series of penalties found themselves camped on the Scarlets line. The attacking prowess of the Scarlets Girls had been evident throughout the game, but their defensive qualities came to the fore at this stage, showing determination and no small amount of aggression to eventually secure the turnover and make their way up field. Some fantastic interplay between all the players eventually led to Whitland No 8 Natalie Walsh being released to score the bonus point try on the stroke of half time. When Evans slotted the conversion the score was 31-0 to the Scarlets.

The Scarlets started the second half in the same way that they had finished the first with a 15-minute blitz in which they scored 3 tries. Barely 5 minutes after the break, ever impressive centre Elen Evans showed pace and power to cross for the Scarlets 5th try of the day. Less than five minutes later the Reds were at it again. Jodie Evans showing that she is more kicker when after some slick handling she cut through the Blues defence to score wide out. The next, and as it turned out final score for the Scarlets came on 55 minutes when once again the irrepressible Scarlets team interlinked to release full back Hywel for her second and the Scarlets’ 7th score of the day.

The girls in red could have scored more, but were guilty of squandering some guilt edged opportunities. To their credit the Blues kept going and were rewarded in the last play of the game when winger Rafike Taylor scored a great individual try under the posts which was duly converted.

The Scarlets next face local rivals, the Ospreys on December 20 at a venue to be confirmed, in what could be the defining game of the season so far, and based on this result the Scarlets can go into that game with confidence, but will need to raise their game further if they wish to maintain their unbeaten record going into the Christmas break.

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Sport

Trimsaran secure top spot

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TRIMSARAN secured top spot in WRU Bowl Group G2 as they beat Furnace United 18-15 on Saturday (Oct 9).

A big crowd showed up at Caeffair for the top of the pool clash between the two sides and they were not disappointed.

Furnace kicked the game off and from the start it was the cherries who were in the ascendancy and were rewarded with an early shot at goal to make it 3-0 to the visitors.

Furnace were forcing Trim into mistakes and taking advantage of their ill-discipline. They were rewarded with another shot at goal which was missed. It was turning out to be a typical local derby game with both teams cancelling each other out for much of the first half.

The Trimsaran pack started to outmuscle the visiting pack at the set piece as the game approached the last 10 minutes of the first half and they were awarded a kickable penalty which outside half Corey Phillips converted to draw Trim level.

With half time approaching Trimsaran number 8 burst through the Furnace defence after some sustained pressure in Furnace territory and found second row Lee Thomas outside him who touched down with a superb long arm stretch to score the games’ first try. With the conversion missed it was 8-3 to the home team at half time.

Trimsaran kicked off a dramatic second half. Seven minutes into the second half Furnace were applying some pressure in the Trimsaran 22 when suddenly the referee in charge blew his whistle and halted play.

To the surprise of everyone in attendance he red carded Trimsaran second row and tryscorer Lee Thomas. This handed Furnace a numerical advantage early in the second half but some brilliant defence from Trim kept the cherries at bay.

10 minutes later Furnace finally had their first try of the game to even up the scoreboard at 8-8.

It only took a further 5 minutes for Furnace to retake the lead after a great finish from their Full back Myles Harries after a break down the right wing by Furnace before spreading the ball in the field of Play for Myles to touchdown.

With a man advantage it seemed Furnace were going to make it count. 5 minutes later Furnace were shown a yellow card after a dump tackle. This evened the game up and with the penalty Trim kicked to the touchline and drove their way over from a maul with prop Iwan Green emerging the try scorer.  The conversion was successful and once again we were all level at 15-15.

With 12 minutes to go both teams would have fancied their chances at getting within range and securing a win.

Trim kept their tails up and with some good play and a great break they got themselves up to kicking range. Furnace give the penalty away for offside and outside half Corey Phillips kept his nerve to give Trim the lead 18-15 with 5 minutes to go.

Trim were looking to control the final stages of the game and see it out but got penalised just inside their half and Furnace attempted a penalty which fell just short to equalise the game.

With 3 minutes left there was a scuffle near the halfway line and the referee again brought his red card out and give it to Trimsaran number 8 Steff Roberts in which seemed to be a case of mistaken identity as he was accused of striking an opponent but it didn’t appear to be him.

This gave Furnace one last chance to steal the victory from Trim. Some brave defence from the lineout from the home team looked to have turned the ball over but another pen was awarded to Furnace who kicked their way into the 22 and with a 2 man advantage fancied their chances to snatch victory. Trim competed well in the lineout though and forced a knock on from the cherries and with it a loud roar of delight from the vocal home support.

A fantastic Derby game played out by both teams which sees Trim secure top spot in group G2 with one game to spare.

That game takes place this weekend when Trimsaran welcome New Dock Stars to Caeffair on Saturday (Oct 16).

PHOTOS BY DARREN HARRIES
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Burry Port Reserves hold off Seaside

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BURRY PORT Reserves closed the gap to second placed Seaside Reserves on Saturday (Oct 9) as they beat them 2-1.

The home side took the lead early on when Dean Thomas scored a penalty after 12 minutes.

Seaside hit back though and were level on 39 minutes when Nathan Lewis found the back of the net.

It remained 1-1 at half time but 13 minutes into the second half, Burry Port regained the lead.

Ioan Williams, who had only come on to the pitch a minute earlier, scored the goal which would ultimately prove to be the winner.

It earned Burry Port a third straight win in Carmarthenshire AFL Reserve Division 1 and they now sit three points behind Seaside.

Other results in the Division on Saturday saw leaders Loughor Reserves thrash Drefach reserves 7-1 while Gorseinon Athletic Reserves beat Trallwm Reserves 4-1.

Pontlliw Reserves were also 4-0 winners away at Killay Reserves.

On Saturday, October 16, Burry Port will look for another win as they take on Gorseinon while second plays first as Seaside host Loughor.

PHOTO BY DARREN HARRIES

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Kidwelly edge past Burry Port

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KIDWELLY beat Burry Port by just two points on Saturday (Oct 9) as they took ownership of the Lewi Jones Cup.

The Cup is played for in memory of Lewi Jones and is up for grabs when the holder meets another competing club.

A big crowd gathered for the game in Burry Port and they witnessed two good sides give their all for the win.

It was Kidwelly though who eventually came out on top winning by 11 points to 9.

Captain James Owens scored two penalties for Kidwelly while the crucial try was scored in the corner by Luke Thomas.

The Blacks scored three penalties but will take a losing bonus point for their efforts.

As well as winning the Lewi Jones cup for the first time, Kidwelly also move to within two points of the Blacks in WRU Plate Group G1.

On Saturday, October 16, Kidwelly are in action again as they host Llanelli Wanderers.

Burry Port are next in action the following weekend (Oct 23) when they travel to Felinfoel.

A big crowd gathered for the game. PHOTOS BY DARREN HARRIES
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