BRIDGEND ATHLETIC APR 27 2013
WELCOME TO THE DAIRYFIELD
Croeso I Maes Llaethdy
I would like to extend a warm welcome to the players, coaches, officials and supporters of Bridgend Athletic to the Dairyfield for this afternoon's SWALEC Championship game.
Ebbw Vale certainly proved that they are going to be worthy winners of the championship, their performance against us contained everything you like to see on a rugby field - power, pace and creativity. Although it was a record home league defeat for us the players that went out onto the park gave everything they had, and considering there were a total of 10 regular players unavailable for selection, the young players that stepped up from the 2nd XV to fill many of those voids against such a talented side will no doubt become better players for it. Our spirits were however certainly lifted by that bonus point mid-week away win at Newbridge, a performance that already has me optimistic about next year
This is our last game of this inaugural season of the championship. There’ve been one or two disappointing results of late, but that Newbridge win shows why we can all be very proud of this young squad of players, I know the coaches have nothing but praise for the way they have stuck together as a group, and the way they have worked extremely hard for one another. Club captain Nathan Huish has certainly shown what a fine player he is, an inspiration to everyone, on and off the field. So, let’s make sure we all give them the support they deserve by cheering them on to what will hopefully be another win to finish off what has been all in all an outstanding season. With the 1st XV management team in place, planning has already started for next season and with pre-season training starting in June the old excitement and goose bumps are already starting for the genuine Llanharan supporter.
Congratulations to the 2nd XV on winning the Bridgend & District League, and good luck also in their quest for a League Cup, a play off between the top four sides in their division.
Thank you also to all the club sponsors, your support this year has been invaluable to the development and progress of the club, to the match day helpers - we could not function
without the many hours of help that you all contribute.
This following request hopefully does not fall on deaf ears again! Over the past year we have repeatedly asked for people to help out with the Supporters Club and to join the present committee, it would be nice to see people making a commitment at the AGM in July to help take the club forward.
Welcome to our ball sponsor Mostyn Thomas and match official Mr Kelvin Shorte. I hope you all have an enjoyable afternoon and with the after match hospitality in clubhouse.
Enjoy the summer break, keep an eye on our website for some fun events that are going to take place during the coming weeks.
What a turn around this late in the season. To play up in Newbridge is never easy, but to come away with a bonus point win after coming back from 14 points down just goes to show what the boy are capable of with a little self belief. It was also good to see the new faces coming in and the boys making the step up from our Seconds to play. They fitted into the team well and showed their ability to play in the championship next season.
As the famous saying goes, it’s not over until Tom Piper sings, we just have one more push again today before it is all over. It would be nice to finish the season on a win and I am sure that if the we dig deep again and play to our potential another win will be on the cards.
On another note, on behalf of the team and myself I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support throughout the season. When our backs have been against the wall and when things have not gone our way you have been there rain and shine cheering us on. The boys and I appreciate you support - you have helped pull us through this season. I look forward to your continued support next season.
BITS OF BLACK AND BLUE
It would have been all too easy to start with a lament after Ebbw Vale, but that brilliant win at Newbridge lends proper and positive perspective to any analysis. Let’s again remind ourselves that twelve months ago we would have been quite ready to settle for what we have achieved – championship security with something to spare. Well done guys! It could have been even better, but the coaches and the team have been somewhat stinted by the absence of so many personnel for various reasons over large parts of the year. Look at the list at the back of the programme – 54 players used tells its own tale. In mid week we saw an exciting illustration of what our young cohort of talented performers can do – the future is bright. Today we want to end this campaign on a high, and so too do Bridgend Athletic who’ve had a decent enough year in the new competition, despite losing at home to Tata on Wednesday, and will want to avenge that dramatic reverse we inflicted on them at Waterton some weeks back. And, of course, it’s Wimpey’s last time with the sponge after years of service – let’s see him off in style boys, finish with a flourish!
When we met in SWALEC ONE WEST last season
Oct 15 2012 LLANHARAN 22 BRIDGEND ATHLETIC 10 (HT12-10)
We broke our Dairyfield duck with a solid performance.
Three successive home defeats had been close enough to bring a bonus point in each, but it was a try scoring bonus we came close to collecting as they pounded the visitors’ line in the closing stages. The win lifted us off the bottom of the table with coach Matthew Lloyd declaring: “There are still things we can work on, but this is a useful platform on which to build.”
Llanharan: 15 Luke James (try)_14 Loren Quick (Ben Lloyd 70)13lloyd Thomas12 Dai Atkins (Capt.)11Josh Austin 10 mike Thomas 9 Chris Williams (3 con 1 pen)1 Sam Pick (2 tries)2 Rhys Cleverly(Alex Field68)3 Tom Piper4 Nick Eaves 5 Bill Carey6 Mathew Strong7 Scott Malone (Nikki Allen 55) ( Carl Leather 78)8 Justin Benfield.
Unused replacement: Tom James
Athletic try Aled Thomas, con and pen Craig Butler
11th Feb 2013 BRIDGEND ATHLETIC 27 LLANHARAN 19 (HT 9-12)
We looked to have every chance of getting something out of this game as we approached the final quarter four penalties apiece, despite being without several front liners. But a yellow card for Clevo upset the balance, and by the end of the ten minutes sanction we were trailing 20-12, then making matters worse by conceding a try almost immediately after. A final flurry was too little too late against an Athletic side that started the match in bottom spot, but ended with renewed confidence for a climb away from danger. Matthew Lloyd was pragmatic after the game, honestly declaring that we did not deserve to win, though he was right to also temper his criticism with reflections on decisions that didn’t help the side in the second half
Llanharan:15 Mike Thomas 14 Loren Quick13 Rhys Lakin12 Dai Atkins (Capt.) 11Josh Austin 10 Codey Rees 9 Chris Williams 1 Sam Pick (James Greenfield 40)2 Rhys Cleverly (Nick Kibble 68)3 Nick Kibble (Nathan Huish 35)4 Nick Eaves 5 Andrew Rosen 6 Carl Leather7 Scott Malone8 Justin Benfield. Unused replacements: Ben Jones, Ross Pritchard
Athletic tries – Mike Hathaway 2. Pens 5 and con – Steve Lewis.
Llanharan try – James Greenfield. Pens 4 and con – Chris Williams
Today’s cover (all by Richie J): Main – Hurling Huish, with Dai, Ross and Bugsy in support; sides – Clattering Cleverly, Raging Rosen and Waltzing Williams
Blackwood v Newbridge; Bonymaen v Cardiff Met; Pontypool v Tata Steel;
The Wanderers v Beddau; Whitland v Bargoed; Narberth v Ebbw Vale.
A new feature this week which will continue next season
What was happening this Saturday ten years ago?
Division One April 26th 2003 - Beddau 19 Llanharan 27 (HT 7-17)
Mark Roper’s second try was our 100th of the season in just 30 games (60 in 32 the previous season!) We were helped by sendings off – Gareth Jones a red card for stamping, although it seemed a case of mistaken identity, and yellows for Chris Perry and Dean Barnes. Our win ended a run of four defeats for us.
Beddau tries: H.Williams, C.Thomas, S.Edwards. Cons 2: S.Perry.
Llanharan tries: M.Roper 2, J.Myatt, A.Carter, R.Radford. Con: Carter
Team: A.Carter, R.Radford, S.Edwards, N.Morgan, M.Rowlands, C.Anderson, G.Hall, O.Ford, C.Bevan, G.Alexander, G.Edwards, H.Alford, P.Wheeler, J.Myatt, C.Malone. Replacements used: M.Roper, A.Lake, R.Emms, A.Gardner.
Our final record: P 34 W 16 D 0 L 18 F 797 A 802 T 116 Pts 48
We were 10th in an eighteen strong division. Pontypool were champions, Treorchy finished bottom. Is it age or a sign of the rapid change that now affects personnel at our level, but I can’t remember who some of those were – except then likes of old Molly of course!
I have every admiration for today’s visitors as a club. Considering their limited facilities their achievements have been impressive. Their pitch is at the far end of Newbridge Fields where every prospective spectator is apparently only walking the dog (invisible!) and refuses to pay, where floodlit games have to be played at someone else’s ground, and with a clubhouse that they have done so much to upgrade but which is hampered as an after match gathering point by its central town car parking constrained location. We hear rumours that they are looking to play at Coychurch – even more of a local derby! How do they sustain such success, not just a steady championship outfit, but also a structured junior section and a Second XV that plays in a league we dropped out of because it was such a high standard? Well, a healthy backroom army of workers might go some way to explaining it. All tasks nailed down and no need of the multi tasking that our elderly bunch of helpers has to practise. Women too. We may outdo them for facilities, but boy, would we love to have all that off field non playing help! Our shortcomings in that area are an amazing contradiction when you consider our success and status over a long time.
Here’s one that resurrects itself every so often. Overheard recently – a strong suggestion that we should volunteer to drop down the leagues like Tonmawr. Cheaper and happier apparently. What a betrayal of the proud efforts of all those who have striven for decades to keep this club in its present envied position with facilities to match. Envied? Just ask other past contemporaries of ours now languishing in lower division obscurity. They’d think us crazy. Back to good old pre league days? Not so. League for all now – and what are Tonmawr players currently trying to do as they top their modest division if not battle back to the status they’ve relinquished. Financial? Set our rugby cost against income such as sponsorship, an income strongly related to championship membership - we’d lose out badly. More chance for our Seconds to play? Of course, the standard wouldn’t be that different lower down. We have only sustained our prominent position at the top end of community rugby by strengthening from outside – we even had outsiders in East District days, lest it be forgotten. Those of our Second team who are good enough, dedicated enough, and want to play enough do get the chance. Look at the current Appearances table. I make it twelve who have got on the field from a Second XV background, almost half century of appearances between them. In other words a no-brainer whichever way you look at it. So let’s head into what we hope will be summer with heads held high after a satisfactory first campaign in what we knew would be a tough competition. Onwards and upwards, men!
Have a good summer – good luck to the Seconds next week - see you in September
SPOTLIGHT ON BRIDGEND ATHLETIC
The Athletic took their place in the new championship on the basis of a solid record in Swalec One West. Last year they were a respectable 6th following on from the previous best ever third place finish. They were unbeaten in the league at home, but greatest source of pride would have been the away defeat of the Ravens by 32-30 at the end of the season, the Brewery Field club’s only reverse. They lost mid week to Tata but they have had a respectable campaign this time round.
They certainly have benefited from the experience in their off field ranks, with Paul Yardley in charge. John Apsee is head coach and he has the assistance of Paul Jones and David Williams in the forwards, with Stuart Morris looking after the backs.
Stuart was a popular choice as Player of the Year in 2010/11, his 19th and final season. He is, of course, the son of Barry who sadly passed away two years ago. Barry was an accomplished full back at Llanharan and he also did his bit off the field as our treasurer before progressing to become a major figure in the Mid Glamorgan set up.
The Athletic was reformed in 1972, after the Bridgend Youth team members in that year wanted to form a senior team so they didn't have to go their separate ways into senior rugby, hence the formation of the club which had previously existed up to 1939. They become full members of the WRU in 1983 and were promoted from Division 5 Central in 2001, were Four East Champions in 2002, then promoted from Division 3 to Two West in 2003, reaching Division 1 in 2004. They have suffered relegation from that league once, but bounced back in 2009, winning Two West.
The club’s success owes a lot to the effort put in with the younger age groups, the mini and junior section formed in 1991, and their highly successful mini tournament is a reflection of this appropriate emphasis.
It would be fair to say that all their achievements have been made with challenging facilities, and we hear talk of ambition with prospects of a new ground being talked about.
What drives them on? A strong back room of enthusiasts, no better example than founder member Phil Rees who recently won the Worthington Club Character award and with it £10,000 for clubhouse refurbishment. Well done Phil.
SUPPORTERS CLUB NEWS AND VIEWS
Oh well, there we are, another season almost over and what an interesting season it has been. Lots of highs and also a few lows, but that’s sport all over. Just when you think things can’t get any better or worse then one result can change everything. The Firsts have had a mixed season, the Seconds are having another good season and the Youth have struggled a bit but I think they will be a team to watch next season as they learn from this season and start challenging for trophies.
Today we welcome our near neighbours, Bridgend Athletic, to the Dairyfield for our last match of the season. Like us they have had an up and down season but have strung together some good results since we beat them a few weeks ago. So come on boys, let’s finish the season in style and you can send us all off on our summer hols with a victory.
Today is your last chance to vote for the Supporters Player of the Year, so if you have not voted yet make sure you see either Diane or Sue for your voting slip. The winner will be announced at the Club Dinner in June.
I know I keep on about it but unless there is anyone willing to give the Supporters Committee a hand next season on match days, then there will not be a Supporters Committee next season. There is a meeting next Tuesday, 30th April at 7.00pm, please try and attend and give us a hand.
Don’t forget you can have a go on Predictascore before the game. A chance to win £50.00 for just 50p. Finally, our usual warm welcome to all of Bridgend Athletic committee, players and supporters. Enjoy your day at Llanharan.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP/SWALEC CUP 2012/13
Player Games starts As rep Points Tries Con Pen dg Cup
PIPER.TOM 25 25 1 15 3 0 0 0 1
HUISH.NATHAN (C) 23 21 2 40 8 0 0 0 1
YOUNG. LEWIS 23 18 5 5 1 0 0 0 1
THOMAS.HUW 22 19 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
GREENFIELD.JAMES 21 21 0 5 1 0 0 0 1
THOMSON.HARLEY 21 21 0 94 4 16 14 0 1,1p
WILLIAMS.MORGAN 20 19 1 35 7 0 0 0 1
BENFIELD.JUSTIN 19 16 3 5 1 0 0 0 1
MARLEY.TOM 18 17 1 20 4 0 0 0 1,1t
CLEVERLY.RHYS 18 7 11 0 0 0 0 0 r
CAREY.BILL 17 17 0 10 2 0 0 0 1
EVANS.RYAN 16 16 0 34 4 3 2 2 1
ROSEN.ANDREW 16 11 5 0 0 0 0 0 0
MALONE.SCOTT 16 10 6 10 2 0 0 0 1
WALKER.RHYS 15 15 0 20 4 0 0 0 1
SUMMERS.SION 15 14 1 25 5 0 0 0 1
LOCKE.JAMES 14 14 0 5 1 0 0 0 0
THOMAS.CALLUM 13 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
PRITCHARD.ROSS 13 5 8 10 2 0 0 0 1
DAVIES.HARRY 11 10 1 10 2 0 0 0 0
JAMES.TOM 11 4 7 10 2 0 0 0 r
AUSTIN.JOSH 9 9 0 10 2 0 0 0 0
REES. CODEY 9 9 0 62 1 12 10 1 0
QUICK LOREN 7 7 0 5 1 0 0 0 r
HOLE.GAVIN 7 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0
HAINES.RHYS 6 0 6 5 1 0 0 0 0
ROACH.BEN 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
LLEWELLYN.ALED 5 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
PICK.SAM 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 r
LAKIN.DAI 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PASCOE.TOM 4 4 0 10 2 0 0 0 0
ALLEN.NIKKI 4 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1,1t
GRIFFITHS.RYAN 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PARTRIDGE.DAN 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PHILLIPS. JACK 3 3 0 5 1 0 0 0 1.1t
ROBERTS.STEVE 3 3 0 5 1 0 0 0 0
HART.RICHARD 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
OBRADOVIC-EAVES. NICK 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
LAKIN.RHYS 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
READ.RICHARD 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SMITH. GARIN 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
WILLIAMS.LEWIS 2 2 0 7 0 2 1 0 0
CASHMORE.GETHIN 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
GABRIEL DAVIES 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
JAMES MORRIS 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MARTIN. KIERAN 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
REES.KEEGAN 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
WALSH.GERAINT 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DAVIES.GAREN 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
FITZGERALD.MARK 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
LEATHER.CARL 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
LEWIS.JOSH 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
WILLIAMS.CHRIS 1 0 1 10 2 0 0 0 0
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE 2012-13
Team P W D L BP PTS
Ebbw Vale 23 22 0 1 21 110
Bargoed 22 17 1 4 15 85
Tata Steel (PT) 24 16 1 7 11 77
Cardiff Met 23 15 1 8 12 74
Narberth 25 14 0 11 12 68
Newbridge 23 14 1 8 9 67
LLANHARAN 25 11 0 14 16 60
Bridgend Ath 24 12 0 12 11 59
Beddau 23 9 1 13 13 51
Blackwood 22 10 0 12 10 50
Bonymaen 23 8 0 15 8 40
Pontypool 25 6 0 19 7 32
Glam Wands 23 4 2 17 8 28
Whitland 22 3 1 18 5 19
LLANHARAN V BRIDGEND ATHLETIC
15 JAMES MORRIS
14 RHYS WALKER
13 GARIN SMITH
12 GABRIEL DAVIES
11 MORGAN WILLIAMS
10 HARLEY THOMSON
9 ROSS PRITCHARD
1 TOM PIPER
2 RHYS CLEVERLY
3 NATHAN HUISH (C)
4 BILL CAREY
5 ANDREW ROSEN
6 HUW THOMAS
7 LEWIS YOUNG
8 JAMES LOCKE
TOUCH JUDGE: STEVE WHITEHEAD
15 JAMES OLDS
14 WILL WILLIAMS
13 CHRIS PRICE
12 MATT HATHAWAY
11 KYLE DOBBIN
10 STEVEN LEWIS
9 ALED THOMAS
1 MATHEW NORMAN
2 NATHAN HOLLMAN
3 HUW MORRIS
4 JAMES DOCHERTY
5 MORGAN EVANS
6 SEAN WILLIAMS (C)
7 BEN THOMAS
8 SEAN DERRICK
REFEREE: KELVIN SHORTE (RFU/CARDIFF)
I’TS ALL OVER FOR THE FIRSTS – BUT DON’T FORGET THE SECONDS AT HOME NEXT SATURDAY IN THE MID GLAM PREMIERSHIP PLAY OFF SEMI FINAL
DON’T MISS, “A NIGHT WITH DAVID CAMPESE” AT THE CLUB
MAY 10TH – TICKETS AT £20 FROM DAI JENKINS 07920 164509.
ALSO, ANNUAL PRESENTATION DINNER – IRISH LEGEND FERGUS SLATTERY, JUNE 1ST.
WANT TO BE A MATCH OR BALL SPONSOR?
PACKAGES OF ALL KINDS AVAILABLE – CONTACT DAI JENKINS OR KEITH TAYLOR.
MAJOR SPONSOR 2012/13 – EXCEL POWER CONSTRUCTION
CLUB CATERING SUPPLIED BY JAYNE’S CATERING SERVICES