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Raiders gain edge in inaugural Heartbeat Shield

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Before kick off: Raiders line up

Devon Sharks 10

West Wales Raiders 38

WEST WALES Raiders put themselves into a strong position in the first leg of the inaugural Heartbeat of Sport Memorial Shield as they put a less experienced Devon Sharks team to the Sword at Brixham Rugby Club.

Despite not having a game on the weekend, the Raiders decided to field a travelling squad of mostly reserves and development players to give them the opportunity to play against a team with aspirations of being a part of the Conference League South.

With an early kick off for the game scheduled, the Raiders arrived keen to get going with a fast start, and this proved to be the case as a young Raiders side put pressure on the Sharks from the off.

The first score came when some incisive play and quick handling led to the Sharks defending tight, creating space out wide for Dafydd Phillips who romped over. A difficult conversion for Daf Daniels proved to be no problem as he increased the visitors lead with the extras.

Daniels turned from convertor to scorer moments later when he crossed the line himself following a great deal of pressure from the Raiders players. Some smart handling by Rhys Davies saw the prop offload neatly from out of the tackle, catching the defence by surprise to release Daniels to gallop home. Daniels then converted his own score.

With the scoreline already looking comfortable for the Raiders at 12-0 after only 10 minutes of play, the visiting west Wales side took their foot off the gas momentarily and allowed the English side to get a foothold in the match. The lapse in concentration saw the homesters prop Josh Boaler rumble over after a smart inside pass, which caught the visitors firmly off guard. Sam Hedges knocked over the extras.

With moments of the first half remaining, the Raiders were looking like they were going to be made to rue their high number of missed opportunities, but their nerves were settled before heading back into the dressing room as mistake from the Sharks undid all their hard work in the half.

Raiders winger Liam Johnson was the beneficiary as he gobbled up a stray pass to extend his sides lead again, strolling home to stretch the lead.

This boost was countered immediately however as Marcus Phillips crossed right on the bring of half time to leave the score at 10-20, although this turned out to be the hosts last points of the match.

Throughout the game the horrendous weather had been an issue with the ball resembling a bar of soap at times, and after a period of dry and warmth at half time it was understandable that the players started the second period with little vigour or inspiration.

A slow period of 20 chanceless minute ensued as both sides called the changes in their ranks and emptied their benches.

Eventually life was breathed into the game by Raiders debutant Mathew O’Flanagan, who dived over for his first try, to his own personal delight, but also to the coaching staff, who knew the game was now all but won.

With fifteen minutes left the Raiders could’ve brought up the 50-point mark with the amount of chances they had, but they had to settle for 38 as they managed to cross just twice more, despite the Sharks being out on their feet.

It was a tough afternoon for the young Raiders at times, but ultimately they came through their test with flying colours as they triumphed in appalling conditions.

After the game Raiders owner Andrew Thorne commented: “It was great to see everyone involved enjoy the first test in the newly created link between both clubs, rugby league is growing and games like these help clubs grow.

“Devon Sharks hosted us well and it’s great to see how far rugby league is reaching. I was also pleased to see 6 under 17s players and 5 debutants who held themselves throughout the game which is great for the future of club”.

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Special game marks start of Trimsaran’s centenary year

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TRIMSARAN took on Llanelli on Saturday (Sept 11) as they opened their centenary season and there were some special guests in attendance.

World Cup final referee Nigel Owens came out of retirement to take charge of the game while Jonathan Davies OBE also came back to his first club.

Davies presented the Trimsaran players with their new shirts before the game.

There were around 500 supporters in attendance for the match which saw Llanelli eventually running out 78-12 winners.

Trimsaran battled well but it was Llanelli who showed their class as they ran away with the game in the second half.

In the middle: Nigel Owens took charge of the game

After the game, Trimsaran took to Twitter to thank everyone who had made their day so special.

On Twitter they wrote: “Great game played in great spirits. Llanelli showing their class and running away with it in the second half. Massive thank you for coming down to help us celebrate our centenary season yesterday.

“Huge thank you to everyone who came to support. Around 500 supporters came down and helped us celebrate and watch a great game of rugby. It was great to see so many there and to see the clubhouse bouncing all night

“Thank you to Jonathan Davies OBE for presenting the boys with their jerseys before the game and to Nigel Owens and his 2 assistant referees for coming down.

“Thank you to all our sponsors yesterday, to all the hard working committee, volunteers and everyone involved with Trimsaran Rugby, without you the game wouldn’t have been possible.

“Thanks to Ricky King and Chris Wilds for all their hard work in getting the field looking superb Trimsaran Rugby

“And a final thanks to the Trimsaran Rugby players who put their bodies on the line and showed how much playing for this team meant to them against a Welsh Prem outfit, the boys certainly done themselves proud and could have scored another 1 or 2 themselves.”

The club had been due to celebrate their centenary season a year ago but that was delayed because of the covid-19 pandemic.

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Llangennech bowl Gowerton out to end chase and seal fifth win

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LLANGENNECH finished the season off with a win on Saturday (Aug 28) as they prevented Gowerton from reaching their target.

Llangennech won the toss and chose to bat first and they made a good total of 276-7 from their 50 overs with runs throughout the order.

James Taube and Nathan Richards made an excellent start as they shared 91 runs for the first wicket.

Gowerton finally made the breakthrough when Richards was trapped leg before by Matthew Mason on a score of 39.

Taube made his way to a score of 43 but he was then stumped by David Gascoyne off the bowling of Tom Clarke.

That left the score on 94-2 but Aaron Wood and Nathan Jones added 55 runs for the third wicket.

Wood made his way to a score of 20 but he was then caught by Callum Eakins off the bowling of Matthew Mason.

Jones and David Williams then shared 83 runs for the fourth wicket as they took Llangennech over 200 runs.

Jones hit four fours and a six in his score of 61 but he was then run out by Lee Nicholas.

Williams had smashed seven fours and three sixes in a score of 57 from 29 balls but he was then caught by Nicholas off the bowling of James Cable.

Richard Clement made a late score of 13 before he was run out by Daniel Allen and Hedd-Wyn Jones scored 14 before being bowled by Cable.

Those wickets halted Llangennech’s momentum but they were still able to finish their innings on 276-7, with 25 from Mr Extras.

Gowerton were soon in trouble in their reply as they slipped to 8-2. Michael Jones had Lee Nicholas caught by Jack Page and Bevan Daniels caught by Hedd-Wyn Jones.

That soon became 18-3 as Michael Jones bowled Luke Evans.

David Gascoyne and Matthew Mason looked to lead the recovery as they shared 37 runs for the fourth wicket.

Gascoyne made his way to a score of 27 but he was also caught by Hedd-Wyn Jones off the bowling of Michael Jones to leave Gowerton on 55-4.

Daniel Allen hit a four and a six in his quick fire score of 11 but he fell the same way as Gascoyne as Gowerton fell into further trouble on 88-5.

However, Mason and Callum Eakins shared 90 runs for the sixth wicket to keep their side in the game.

Mason hit nine fours and three sixes on his way to a score of 95 but he was unlucky to miss out on a century when he was caught and bowled by James Taube.

Tom Barrett added 10 before falling to the bowling of Jack Page before Eakins and Will Collinson added 40 runs for the eighth wicket.

Eakins hit six fours in his score of 45 but he was then trapped leg before by Page as Gowerton’s hopes of victory began to fade.

Page then had Collinson caught by Nathan Richards on a score of 20.

That left Gowerton nine down and still needing 38 runs for victory.

They were unable to get those runs though as Owain Phillips had James Cable caught by Page to bowl Gowerton out for 243.

It gave Llangennech victory by 33 runs and their fifth win of the season.

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Champions Llanelli finish season in style

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LLANELLI Cricket Club finished the season in style on Saturday (Aug 28) as they beat Bronwydd 103 runs.

They were presented with the South Wales Cricket Association trophy prior to their match and after winning the toss and electing to bat, they went on to make a score of 287-7 from their 50 overs.

They lost Craig Howells for a score of 19 early on before Iwan Rees and Steven Devonald shared 146 runs for the second wicket.

It was an excellent stand between the pair with Rees hitting eight fours on his way to a score of 75.

He was then caught by Tom Gleeson off the bowling of Rhufon Phillips as Bronwydd finally made the breakthrough.

Devonald and Rhys Harris continued to put runs on the board though as they shared 59 runs for the third wicket.

It also saw Devonald reach his century but Llanelli then lost two quick wickets.

Harris was caught by Gruffudd Owen off the bowling of Gleeson on a score of 24 and then bowled Rhydian Morgan for a duck, leaving the hosts on 247-4.

Devonald and Matthew Roberts added a further 38 runs for the fifth wicket before Devonald’s excellent innings came to an end.

He had hit fifteen fours and a six in his knock of 131 from 126 balls but he was then bowled by James Dickson.

Roberts was then run out by Owen on a score of 16 as Llanelli’s momentum stalled towards the end of their innings.

It saw them finish on a total of 287, giving Bronwydd a tough target to chase.

James Cale and Josh Rencken shared 43 runs for the first wicket but Cale was bowled by Iwan Rees on a score of 12.

Rencken and Jacob Jenkinson shared 67 runs for the second wicket as they looked to put their side in a strong position.

However, after Jenkinson was bowled by Twm Westcott on a score of 26 more wickets began to fall.

Rencken had reached a score of 47 but he was then bowled by David Richards.

Westcott then had Philip Howell caught by Rhydian Morgan before Richards bowled James Dickson to leave Bronwydd on 115-5.

Oliver Furneaux and Gruffudd Owen shared 48 runs for the sixth wicket but they were quickly running out of time.

Owen was bowled by Rees on a score of 20 to leave the visitors on 163-6 and they could only add 21 more runs to the total.

Furneaux finished unbeaten on 37 but Bronwydd ended their innings on 184-6.

It meant Llanelli could celebrate their title win in style.

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