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Promoted Merthyr hand Emlyn a lesson

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WRU Championship

Merthyr 78

Newcastle Emlyn 19

Alex Howman: Scored three tries for Merthyr

Alex Howman: Scored three tries for Merthyr

PRE-MATCH expectations at Emlyn before their visit to the ‘Ironmen’ of Merthyr were at best a bonus point for scoring four tries. The home side showed a number of changes to the side that visited Dol Wiber and won 19 – 7 in December.

The challenge facing the red and whites was even greater when it became apparent that a win would secure Merthyr promotion to the Premiership for next season. With their Patron, Sir Stan Thomas watching from the stands they were always going to put on a show to impress their generous benefactor.

To their credit Emlyn, from the start, took the attack to the home side and always looked to keep the ball alive in their search for four tries. In a hugely physical game it was the size and power of the home side that was the difference between the two sides.

Any mistake, forced or unforced, by Emlyn was heavily punished by Merthyr who looked to counter attack from any position on the field. This was not a game of one side kicking for position and going for tries via driving mauls and push over scrums, both sides looked to play the ball out of the tackle and move it across the playing field.

It was the visitors who started the more promisingly in a first half which gave no hint of the carnage that was to come in the second half. The home side were penalised on the Emlyn ten metre line and quick thinking Emlyn scrum half Dafydd Evans took a quick tap penalty, moved the ball along the line to wing Llyr Davies.

The winger beat his man on the inside and, when the cover defence were closing in, put in a clever grubber kick which went into touch five metres from the home line. It took Emlyn two line outs, both caught by second row Ryan Morgans, before they were able to drive over the line for an unconverted try accredited to number eight Brynmor Jones.

The home side came back at Emlyn from the restart and soon responded with a try, from line out possession, by second row Craig Locke converted by full back Mathew Jarvis.

The hosts next try came when an Emlyn movement broke down in Merthyr’s twenty two, the ball was moved out to winger Alex Howman who passed inside to the ever present flanker Osian Davies who crossed under the Emlyn posts for a try converted by Jarvis

On the half hour they extended their lead as hooker Rhys Williams sprinted through a gap to score a try converted by Jarvis.

Alex Howman then scored for Merthyr before Emlyn hit back when Shaun Leonard gathered a chip and chase to cross the whitewash.

The second half was a completely different matter as the home side really turned on the gas, running in a total of eight tries against an Emlyn defence which at times was torn to pieces by this powerful Merthyr outfit.

On this showing they will comfortably hold their own in the Premiership and will probably be challenging for a top four spot by the end of next season. Second half tries were scored by Alex Howman twice, Tom Daley, Mathew Jarvis, Dean Gunter, Martin Luckwell, Miles Normandale, and Osian Davies, five of which were converted by Jarvis.

Emlyn have a crucial game on Saturday away to fellow relegation candidates Glynneath, knowing a win could go a long way to help secure their status in the Championship for next season.

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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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