Newcastle Emlyn 19
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.
Gascoigne entertains Llanelli
OVER 400 people were at attendance in the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 18) to see former England legend Paul Gascoigne talk about his life and footballing career.
Gazza had the crowd in stitches with his stories from his past and was visibly emotional with the crowd’s warm reaction to him being there.
At one point a member of the crowd asked him if he could play one last game for one team who would it be… his answer was Swansea City to the crowds delight.
His next event will be in Tenby on September 17. The event was kindly sponsored by RDH Contractors and Sylan Lakes holiday cottages in five roads.
Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’
EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’.
Giggs stepped back from his role in November 2020 following after being arrested.
49-year-old Giggs has been charged with assault and using controlling behaviour towards an ex-partner. A claim that Giggs has denied.
In a heartfelt statement on his decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.
“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.
“I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.
“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date.”
Following Giggs arrest in 2020, former Wales captain Robert Page took over as interim manager.
Under Page Wales beat Ukraine to earn themselves a place at Qatar World Cup for the first time in 64 years.
Giggs faces one charge of using controlling and coercive behaviour August 2017 and November 2020, one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm of his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville on November 1, 2020.
He also faces a charge of common assault on the victim’s sister.
Giggs denies all charges against him and will stand trial on August 8.
The trial is expected to last five days.
Following the announcement, a FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men’s national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football,
“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this year.”
Llanelli edged out as Ynystawe pull off mammoth chase
A SCORE of 331-4 would normally be enough for a team to pick up victory, but South Wales Premier Division 2 leaders Ynystawe had other ideas as they pulled off a remarkable chase on Saturday (Jun 4).
Llanelli had been asked to bat first after Ynystawe had won the toss and their total was underpinned by a brilliant unbeaten century from Iwan Rees.
The opener hit sixteen fours and four sixes in his knock of 153 which came off 146 balls.
He had good support from Steven Devonald who scored 29 and Rhydian Morgan who scored 20 (2 fours, 1 six).
Rees and Rhys Harris shared the best stand of the match as they put on 157 runs for the fourth wicket.
Harris hit 12 fours in his score of 87 from 74 balls but he was out to the bowling of Rhys Palmer.
Rhys Westcott also finished unbeaten on 18 from 11 balls as Ynystawe were set 332 to win the game.
In reply, opener Nathan Lee scored 20 before falling to Jac Rees who also then took the wicket of Morgan Hodges on a score of 23.
Carl Roberts played well for his half century, hitting eight fours in his score of 56 before being trapped leg before by Aled Gilley.
Andrew Beasley was run out on a score of 15 and that left Ynystawe on 140-4.
Thomas Morgan and Luke Garthwaite shared 93 runs for the fifth wicket. Both reached their half centuries but Morgan was out to Iwan Rees on a score of 50.
Rees also bowled Ceri Durke and Rhys Palmer was run out by Rhydian Morgan having hit a four and a six in a quickfire score of 15.
That left Ynystawe 275-7 and they only had six overs left to get their target.
Garthwaite was on a score of 75 when Palmer fell and he took control as he smashed his way to a century.
He finished unbeaten on 118 from 67 balls after hitting 20 fours and two sixes. The last of his fours won the game for the home side as they ended up winning with two overs to spare.
On Saturday, June 11, Llanelli host Cowbridge while Ynynstawe travel to Penarth.
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