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Llanelli set champions back on track

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jackcondyPontypridd 38
Llanelli 6

SARDIS ROAD was a ‘House of Pain’ for Llanelli once again on Saturday (5 Dec) as they emerged from the encounter with nothing to show for their efforts, despite being well in the game with fifty minutes played, trailing by just eight points to six. Pontypridd had lost their last three games in the league, and this run (unprecedented in recent years) had seen them drop to fourth in the table, but Llanelli duly obliged to set the reigning champions back on the right track, as they were torn apart in a thirty minute second half blitz which saw the hosts run in four unanswered tries.

In a tight and nervy first half, the hosts wasted a good opportunity to go into the lead on the quarter of an hour mark, as fullback Geraint Walsh through wildly over winger Alex Webber’s head when he was in the clear to score, after an overlap was created through good phase play. Just over five minutes later though they were over, as Webber, who will have good memories of playing Llanelli as he became the historic first scorer of a 6-point try at the Parc in September, crossed for the opening score.

The winger chased down his own kick to gather and dive over the line, to the delight and relief of the large home crowd. With confidence understandably low, Ponty were far from their best but having been so dominant they wouldn’t of expected Llanelli to get back into the game on the stroke of half time. Josh Lewis kicked for the corner when the visitors were awarded a penalty, and with everyone predicting what has now become a routine catch and drive in the Premiership, they instead went through a number of phases, before centre Steffan Hughes, in only his second game back after injury, chipped a delightful ball through the home defence, which Lewis gathered to score.

He failed to convert his own try, meaning the hosts were two points to the good at the interval. Llanelli took the confidence gained from this try into the second half, and were enjoying a great deal of possession, when, against the run of play, Ponty did what champions do, and crossed the line themselves. When Webber caught an interception pass in his own 22 he raced clear, and although he was held up short, the ball was worked wide for Godfrey, who dived over for another converted score.

This proved to be the turning point in the game and with the black and whites now firmly in control, they crossed again as flanker Jake Thomas converted a simple opportunity with twenty-five minutes to play. With credit to Llanelli they kept battling, and didn’t concede again until the 77th minute, when the diminutive Webber grabbed his second try, to secure the bonus point for the home side, with Lewis Williams notching the conversion.

With just minutes remaining, Godfrey made a miserable half hour even worse for the reds as he crossed for his second to round off what on paper seems a much easier win for the hosts than it actually was.

Speaking on the loss, Llanelli coach Dai Flanagan said: “We were on top at the start of the second half; our style of play challenged Ponty in the wider areas and we were able look threatening. “We fronted up for long periods against the champions and no doubt we threatened them. “It was a massive step up performance wise from the last game against Newport, even though the scoreline doesn’t reflect it.” A two week break from league action will see Llanelli focus on the Fosters Challenge Cup, before they return on Boxing Day with a tough trip to Bridgend.

Teams: Pontypridd: 15.Geraint Walsh. 14.Alex Webber. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Lewis K Williams. 9.Tom Williams: 8.Dan Godfrey 7.Rhys Shellard 6.Jake Thomas 5.Chris Dicomidis. 4.Shaun O’Rourke. 3.Mitchell Auger. 2.Ashleigh James. 1.Bradley Thyer. Replacements: 16.Lloyd Williams. 17.Harri Millard. 18.Dale Stuckey. 19.Huw Dowden. 20.Wayne O’Connor. 21.Hemi Barnes. 22.Corey Domachowski.

Llanelli: 15.Dion Jones 14.Andrew Spowart 13.Nathan Edwards 12.Steffan Hughes 11.Gareth Walters 10.Josh Lewis 9.Josh Guy: 8.Jack Condy 7.Trystan Lloyd 6.Tom Phillips 5.Jack Jones 4.Adam Powell 3.Ben Leung 2.Taylor Davies 1.Rhys Thomas Replacements: 16.Rhys Fawcett 17.Torin Myhill 18.Tom Kaijaks 19.Christian Long 20.Liam Puckett 21.Justin James 22.Billy McByde 23.Paul Davies

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Rob Evans and Steff Hughes leaving Scarlets

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SCARLETS has confirmed that Rob Evans and Steff Hughes are amongst the nine players who will be leaving the club at the end of the 2021-22 season.

It has already been announced that Liam Williams has signed for Cardiff Rugby and Angus O’Brien is rejoining the Dragons for next season, while James Davies revealed in April that he is retiring from the game on medical grounds.

As well as Rob and Steff, the Llanelli-based side will also be saying its farewells and thanks to Tyler Morgan, Marc Jones, Tom Phillips and Tomi Lewis after Saturday’s final URC match of the season against DHL Stormers.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “I’d like to thank all these players for everything they have given to the Scarlets jersey.

“Boys like Rob, Steff, Cubby and Liam have played more than a century of games for the club and they will be fondly remembered by everyone here, staff, team-mates and supporters.

“They can be extremely proud of what they have achieved and I am sure they will have great memories of representing the Scarlets over the years.

“Every season players move on and we always respect the decisions that are made. With a reduced playing budget, we have had to cut our squad for next season and that has meant we have had some difficult decisions to make.

“The players have continued to give their full commitment, as they have always done, and I’m sure our supporters will give them the reception they all deserve at our final game against the Stormers on Saturday. I wish them all well for what comes next.”

SCARLETS LEAVERS 2021-22

ROB EVANS
The Pembrokeshire loose-head came through the Scarlets Academy and after playing for Carmarthen Quins in the Welsh Premiership made his senior debut against Sale Sharks in January 2013. Rob has made 156 Scarlets appearances and scored 13 tries, including one in Glasgow that secured a memorable away semi-final victory in the PRO14. Was a member of the side that lifted the Guinness PRO12 title in 2017 and will be remembered as a larger than life character around the squad during his 10 seasons at Parc y Scarlets. Capped 39 times for Wales,

LIAM WILLIAMS

Liam Williams is bringing to an end his second spell with the Scarlets. The 31-year-old Wales international full-back and British & Irish Lion has played 119 games for the club and has scored 34 tries, one of which set the Scarlets on their way to PRO12 glory in the final in 2017. Liam is joining Cardiff Rugby for next season.

STEFF HUGHES

Steff Hughes has made 104 appearances and scored seven tries for the Scarlets since making his debut at centre in an LV=Cup game against Saracens nine years ago. A former Wales U20s captain, the Llanelli product has skippered the Scarlets on numerous occasions, including the memorable European pool win in Bath in 2020. His two tries in a thrilling home clash against Connacht in the same season helped secure Champions Cup qualification once again.

JAMES DAVIES

James Davies has retired from rugby on medical grounds after battling concussion issues. ‘Cubby Boi’ made his Scarlets debut in 2013 and went on to make 101 appearances in a Scarlets jersey. Delivered a superb try-scoring display in the PRO12 title-winning triumph over Munster and went on to win 11 caps for Wales. Cubby also represented Wales 7s at the Commonwealth Games and Team GB at the 2016 Olympics.

MARC JONES

The experienced hooker joined the Scarlets from Sale in the summer of 2018 after making more than 150 appearances for the Sharks. The 35-year-old played 46 times for the Scarlets over four seasons, scoring four tries.

ANGUS O’BRIEN

Angus O’Brien made his Scarlets debut in 2018 and has made 45 appearances, scoring 112 points, including seven tries. The fly-half is returning to play for his home region, the Dragons, ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

TOM PHILLIPS

A former Wales U20s Grand Slam-winning captain, Tom has played 30 matches for the Scarlets since making his senior debut in 2015. Suffered a serious knee ligament injury in the opening URC match of the season in Edinburgh.

TYLER MORGAN

The Wales international centre has been at the Scarlets for two seasons, making his debut in the Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat in Toulon in 2020. The 26-year-old has made 22 appearances, scoring one try.

TOMI LEWIS

A Wales sevens international,Tomi has made two senior appearances for the Scarlets. Returned to action this season after a lengthy absence recovering from knee surgery and has been playing in the Indigo Premiership for Llandovery RFC.

Physiotherapist Carys Moggridge is also leaving the Scarlets to take up a role with the Welsh Rugby Union.

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Matchroom Whites win Worthington Cup

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MATCHROOM Whites have won the Llanelli Snooker League’s Worthington Cup team final, after a 4-1 victory in the final against Morfa Social

A highlight of the match was another fine Tyler Rees break of 89, although the maximum was on at one point.

Tyler Rees’ winning streak wasn’t over though, as he teamed up with his Matchroom teammate Chris Davies to win the final of the Doubles tournament, defeating Dean Bowen and Mark Sargent; more nice breaks in this one, Rees firing another 68, while Chris Davies added a fine 71.

Meanwhile, more success for the Matchroom came with Matchroom Blacks’ 4-1 Division 2 Olympic Cup final victory at the expense of Reading Room Reds, with Ryan Maides, Adrian Davies, Rhys Morgan and Thomas Williams winning; just Phil Payne offered any winning resistance for the Burry Port side.

Meanwhile, Ammanord Snooker World’s leftie Anthony Krysa is through to the final of this year’s Singles, after a 3-0 victory against Kev Gronow of the Gremlin Club; Krysa made some nice breaks, including a fine 75 knock.

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Llanelli Snooker League: Trimsaran clinch runners-up spot

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THE curtain came down on the Llanelli Snooker League with the final league fixtures seeing Trimsaran clinch the runners-up spot behind champions Matchroom Reds.

Trim secured two 6-1 wins, a rearranged victory over Cross Hands B, as well as a 6-1 victory against Pontarddulais Workmens’, the undoubted highlight a superb 110 break from Jamie Tudor; Lewis Lloyd, Kieran Proctor (49 break), Wayne Thomas (29 & 25) and Alan Emanuel added wins, Keri Davies (50 break) the only Bont reply.

Relegated bottom – Ponthenri Social went out with a bang, defeating Upper Tumble Blues 6-1, courtesy of Jeff Howells, Mark Regola, Kevin Lewis, Nigel Lewis and Dylan James; only John Shields replied.

Peter Shoulder and Chris Lloyd were on top for Llanesco, beaten 5-2 by Matchroom Whites; Tyler Rees (45 & 35 breaks), Chris Davies, Wayne Bowen and Dai Keenan won for the “Gwyns”.

Elsewhere, Snooker World Whites hammered Llanelli Cons 7-0, D.Jones, A.Krysa, Ben Thomas, A.Whitfield, Sam Hinton and John Meadows completing the rout.

Alex Dickie prevented the “whitewash” as Cross Hands B crashed again, 6-1 at Gorseinon Workmens’; Charlie Bolton, Mike Dodd, Johnny Wilcox, Roy Wilcox and Jordan Davies all won for the Brighton Road side.

Kevin Selwood, Kieran Evans, Paul Rees and Alun Harris gave Pontyberem Workmens’ a 5-2 win against Burry Port Legion (Con Club), who hit back via Garnet Lane and Rich Nurse.

Morfa Social’s winners in a 5-2 win at Reading Room Blues were Scott Ashford, Andrew Hatto, Barry Follows and Greg Davies; Adrian Gower and Neil Roberts struck for the Burry Porters.

In Division 2, champions Gremlins were defeated 6-1 at Upper Tumble Reds, for whom Nigel Beynon, Nolan Allison, Alan Griffiths, Kevin Evans and Mike Sainty (53 break) won; just Matthew Dagnall won for the title-winners.

Matchroom Blacks secured the runners-up spot following a 4-3 win against New Lodge, thanks to Rhys Morgan (37 break), Ryan Maides and James Anthony; Gary Williams, George Langford and Phil Thickett replied.

Steve Pearson was Llandybie Social B’s solitary frame winner in a 6-1 defeat as Llandybie RFC took the village honours after Steffan Crump, Sion Isaac, Josh Jordan, Callum Isaac and Kalem James all won.

Bryn A edged a 4-3 success at Snooker World Blues, courtesy of Roy Richards, Clive Richards and Connor Sharples (32); Peter Howatson, Chris Waters and Steff Rees won for the Ammanford side.

Tycroes RFC end the season bottom after a 5-2 loss at CGMD, whose winners were Ray Evans, James Varney, Mike Llewelyn and Brian Chappell; Marc Walters and Arwyn Rees won for the away side.

Meanwhile, Tony Shadrach and Geraint Thomas were Pont Cons frame winners in a 5-2 loss at Cross Hands A; for the latter, Howell Pritchard, Jeff Howells (23) Matthew James (22) and Dai Bunford were on the ball.

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