First Team
Kick Off: 
Match Report: 




LLANHARAN          20


31        DINAS POWYS






Llanharan Try Scorers: Stuart Griffiths, Morgan Williams (2 x conversions and 2 x penalties by Chris Williams)


On a very wet Diaryfield, Llanharan played host to Dinas Powys in another early kick off ahead of the second Autumn International between Wales and Georgia.  Fielding a similar team to the side that went away to Treorchy but showed plenty of heart and dogged determination, Llanharan were hoping to reignite league efforts against the newly promoted Dinas outfit. 

The Black and Blues started well, knocking on the door early on but failing to register the vital score.  Playing into the wind and down the slope away from the clubhouse, Llanharan initially played brightly, building momentum through good ball management.  Phase after phase, the ball was recycled well but unfortuantely kept too narrow at times which played into the visitors’ hands.  Several strong carries through second row Tom Buckle, No 8 Huw Thomas and hooker Sam Llewellyn formed the basis of go forward ball but were ultimately repelled by a rush defence that managed to clear the pressure following a knock on in the tackle.

First blood was struck by the away side who found themselves inside the Llanharan twenty two after a series of penalties and strong running.  A driving lineout on the 5 metre line was initially well defended but the subsequent scrum caused problems, with the strong Dinas pack providing a solid platform for an energetic backline.  A well rehearsed training ground move saw a blocking move in midfield prevent the defence from tackling the ball carrier and allow the Dinas winger to score comfortably close to the posts. 

With their tails raised, Dinas continued to pile on the pressure in the forwards via the scrum although the Llanharan lineout continued to cause problems in both attack and defence  As Dinas attacked the Black and Blue, a side step saw a Chris Sharkey tackle  slip up to the neck of an opoosing player.  Comical protests from Dinas players and supports worthy of any football ground did enough to convince the referree that a yellow card was warranted despite the inoccuous nature of the incident that saw the Dinas player carry on without any fuss.  Turning the screw, Dinas built upon this opportunity by attacking with flair and good support play from subsequent good field position that was secured through a useful touch finder from the penalty.  Dinas registered the second try by stretching the play – spinning the ball wide from left to right and back again as they attacked toward the clubhouse.  After eventually cutting the stretched Llanharan defence, the ball was lifted back inside to another yellow and blue shirt to score a second try for the away side. 

The Diarymen rallied briefly from the try and after good pressure from the restart, found themselves in the Dinas twenty two.  Good jinking runs from the likes of ever reliable Chris Poole and Morgan Williams coupled with some direct running from centre Ross Pritchard saw good penetration into the heart of the Dinas defence.  Witnessing an identical high tackle to that which saw Llanharan reduced to 14 men, the referee deemed that the tackle started "lower on the chest" before slipping up and therefore decided against a yellow card.  The reward for Llanharan from the resulting penalty were three points through the boot of Chris Williams.

Before Llanharan could build upon the first points of the game, a well pass from outside half Chris Sharky upon his return to the pitch, was well read and intercepted to put Dinas three scores in front.  With the half quickly running out, the Black and Blue showed some sign of life when a fight broke out from the scum, with both packs getting stuck in.  With nothing more than meagre fisticuffs from both sides, the referee rightly found his whistle to blow for half time, although the "afters" continued to feature throughout the game in the vast majority of play.

The half time team talk wrote itself with coach Kevin Jones rocketing the boys for giving the game away through poor decision making, ill discipline and a lack of the same committment that saw a competitive Llanharan side push Treorchy the week before.   In reaction, the second half began much brighter for Llanharan who began to play with far greater energy - reflected with the vast majority of play in the Dinas half of the field.  As the Black and Blue continued to try and play, the away side found themselves penalised for high tackles, offside in defence and repeated infringements at the breakdown.  Despite appeals through the Captain, the referee remained unperturbed.  Through the boot of Chris Williams, the Dairymen registered a further 3 points early on to find themselves 13 points adrift.

Once again, threatening to build upon the penalty and get the scoreboard ticking over, Dinas struck a hammer blow to the home side with a brief foray into the Llanharan twenty two.  Whilst Llanharan failed to show a ruthless streak in attack, Dinas were by no means less forthcoming as the scoreline went on to show.   A solid attacking scrum gave a good platform from which to launch another pre planned attacking move.  The ball spun out to the outside half and was kicked across field to the advancing winger who took the ball after several bounces to beat Sion Summers cross field scramble, to score in the corner. 

Credit to the lads, they continued to fight with spirit and put further pressure on the away side.  Finding themselves in the opposition twenty two, the referee adjudged that loose head Matt Phillips (yours truly) had infringed on two occassions and saw fit to award a yellow card.  Perhaps I should get binned more often because the game certainly sparked into life!  With 14 men on the pitch, Llanharan launched two try scoring attacks in five minutes through Morgan Williams and Stuart Griffiths. 

After returning a clearance kick from Dinas after the restart, Sion Summers went on a great run to bring the action back into the away twenty two.  After several phases of play, the forwards worked well to force the issue as the Black and Blue attacked the clubhouse corner of the field.  Good work from Chris Williams at scrum half drew the opposition defence as the ball went back inside to winger Morgan Williams, who crossed the line to score from close range.

The pick of all the tries and perhaps the try of the season to date came from Stuart Griffiths from the first passage of play from the resulting restart.  The ball was secured in the forwards and fed by Chris Williams across the backline to outside half Chris Sharky who in turn fed Ross Pritchard.  Throwing a miss pass that split the defensive line, Sion Summers once again came on at pace to beat his man on the outside.  A looping run from Stuart Griffiths in support drew the full back wide enough so that when Summers fed the ball inside, Griffiths was able to take the ball at pace before stepping his man, put on the after burners to score under the posts.

With a sniff of a come back, Lady Luck could have done us a favour but decided not to shine too kindly upon the Dairfymen after that.  After an exhange of play that saw the ball in the hands of the Dinas outside half, a punt downfield saw Sion Summers knock the ball on in the Llanharan twenty two.  With yours truly still in the sin bin, Llanharan were forced to put another man in the scrum which only served to stretch the defence.  A simple run and mismatch in defence saw Dinas Powys score the final try of the game and safely secure the victory. 

A 3 week break awaits the Dairymen due to International fixture conflicts and cup games for upcoming opposition.  After a further defeat, players, coaches and supporters all realise how vitally important this window will be to the remainder of the season.  With players due back from injury, an opportunity to train and put right the many wrongs from recent performances should see the Dairymen rise to the challenge of overcoming our often self destructive nature in order to give ourselves a fighting chance to win games against beatable opponents.

Saturday, November 18, 2017