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Emlyn win it late on

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Newbridge 17

Newcastle Emlyn 18

Photo credit: Spencer Love photography

Photo credit: Spencer Love photography

IN INJURY TIME the home side took the lead for the first time in the match with an excellent team try, only for Emlyn, showing tremendous grit and determination, to come back at them and clinch victory with a penalty try with the very last move of the game.

The win demonstrates just how much the red and whites have improved since the start of the season and is a credit to all the hard work done by players and coaches throughout the season.

Played in absolutely monsoon like conditions both sides attempted from the outset to defy the conditions and play running rugby. Credit must be given to the ground staff at the Welfare Ground who produced a surface which was firm underfoot.

Emlyn played into the elements in the first half, but instead of kicking for position the home side decided to run everything at the visitors.

The first score of the game came after twenty minutes when, after ten consecutive rucks and pick up and drives, Newbridge were forced to dive in and kill the ball as play had almost reached their line, and Emlyn full back Shaun Leonard kicked the penalty.

The Emlyn pack started to dominate the game and second rows Ryan Morgans and Dyfed Morgan worked well with hooker Dai Jones and began to win a good line out ball with their two handed catching. From one line out, on his own ten metre line, Mike Jones broke through the Newbridge back row and found Ryan Morgans in support. The athletic second row surged forward and took the ball up to the home twenty two metre line, unfortunately his supporting runners were unable to hold on to what might have been a scoring pass.

From the resulting scrum Newbridge looked to clear their lines with a big kick down field through their outside half Kieron Meek. Unfortunately for him his opposite number Barry Thomas was up on him in a flash and not only charged the kick down but won the race to dive on the ball and score in the corner. Needless to say the conversion into the driving wind and rain was an impossible kick.

It was all Emlyn now as the pack took almost complete control of the game. The Emlyn front row of Jack Parry, Dai Jones and Gethin Davies started driving Newbridge backwards at scrum time, and open side flanker Owain Powell was his usual busy self in the loose.

Outside half Thomas, when the ball did reach him, showed commendable control and used inside centre Steffan Evans as an effective ball carrier.

Emlyn looked to move the ball wide on the half way line but instead of short passes someone decided to throw a long miss pass out to winger Dan Davies. Newbridge scrum half Lloyd Peart was the only home defender and he went for the interception, knocked the ball on and then fly hacked it forward and comfortably dived on the ball over the Emlyn line.

Unfortunately for the red and whites there was one person on the field who did not see the knock on, and referee Newman awarded a try, which Meek converted.

This did not deter Emlyn and they continued to put the pressure on and after another series of drives a Newbridge player was yellow carded for foul play and full back Leonard kicked the penalty to extend Emlyn’s lead.

The end of the half saw conditions worsen considerably as the rain intensified, creating puddles of water all over the field and raising the question as to whether the match would be completed.

In the second half, Newbridge began to pose questions for the Emlyn defence which fortunately was more than up to the challenge.

Meek narrowed the lead to just a point with a penalty after fifteen minutes but the Emlyn pack continued to dominate the set piece.

As the game went into injury time it looked as if the one point lead would have to suffice for the red and whites.

From a line out on the home side’s ten metre line Emlyn competed on the Newbridge throw and unfortunately tapped the ball back.

In attempting to pick up and pass, the ball slipped out of Powell’s hands straight to a Newbridge forward. Some excellent handling saw the ball moved across the field and after concerted pressure Mike Kavenagh eventually crossed for a try, converted by Meek.

Emlyn were awarded a five metre scrum and went for the push over try. Newbridge wheeled the scrum and were penalised, Emlyn went for another scrum and push over try. This time Newbridge wheeled the scrum in the other direction and tried to pull the scrum towards touch.

Fortunately referee Newman was having none of it and had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try which Leonard converted to give Emlyn yet another hard fought away win.

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Sport

Gealey holds nerve to send Stars to victory

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NEW DOCK STARS earned their first win of the season on Saturday (Jan 15) as they beat Bynea 29-30 in a thrilling encounter.

The Dock held a 20-12 lead at half time and were ahead going into the final stages.

Bynea thought they had won the game when a late score put them 29-27 in front.

However, the Stars hit back with time running out and Adam Gealey scored a penalty to win the game for his side.

That gave him a personal haul of 15 points having already scored with two penalties and three conversions.

Dylan Jones scored two tries for the visitors and Jordan Evans got the other.

Bynea’s George MacDonald scored a hat trick of tries and Finlay Cooke also crossed the whitewash once.

James Branson added three conversions and one penalty.

It was a thrilling encounter as both sides belied their positions at the foot of the table.

On Saturday, January 22, the Stars travel to Llandybie while Bynea host Betws.

Photo by Darren Harries

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Sport

Furnace seal second win

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FURNACE UNITED earned their second win of the League 3 West B season on Saturday (Jan 15) as they beat Llandybie.

Daf Green scored for the Cherries with other tries coming from Joe Qualters-Jones, Myles Harries, Joe Pugh and Jonny Roberts.

Green was successful with three of five conversion attempts and he also added a penalty.

Furnace held a 13-5 lead at half time as Llandybie scored an unconverted try in each half.

Ioan Rees and Josh Watkins scored the tries for the visitors.

On Saturday, January 22, Furnace United travel to Llandeilo while Llandybie host New Dock Stars.

PHOTO by Darren Harries

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Sport

Saunders stars as Llangennech beat Gowerton

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LLANGENNECH remain unbeaten in League 1 West after they won 33-16 away at Gowerton on Saturday (Jan 15).

Liam Hutchings put the visitors ahead with the first try of the game and Tom Neale added the extras.

Gowerton then got themselves on the scoreboard with a penalty but Llangennech were soon back on the attack.

Jordan Saunders was next to go over and Neale again added the extras.

Gowerton reduced the arrears once more with another penalty and the visitors held a 14-6 lead when the half time whistle went.

Gowerton scored another penalty early in the second half to keep themselves in the game.

However, Llangennech kept applying the pressure and they soon had their third try with Saunders going over for his second and Neale adding his third conversion to make it 21-9.

Saunders then completed his hat trick to also earn his side a bonus point.

Gowerton responded with a converted try to bring the score back to 16-26 but it was the visitors who had the last word.

Greg George scored their fifth try of the game and Neale converted to complete the scoring.

Saunders was named man of the match for his try hat trick and the win sees them move on to 25 points, six points above second placed Newcastle Emlyn.

The sides are next in action on Saturday, January 29, when Llangennech host third placed Felinfoel while Gowerton travel to Aberystwyth.

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