Match Reports

First Team

125th Anniversary Game

LLANHARAN 0 BRIDGEND 45

Bridgend brought Llanharan’s 125th anniversary season to a close in unceremonious manner by inflicting a seven tries drubbing on their hosts.

If nothing else it served as a reminder to the Dairyfield faithful of what they must aspire to if they are to recapture those halcyon days back in 2004 when they too were a premiership club and actually beat their neighbours 24-23.

Now, of course, two divisions separate them and whilst the home side lacked nothing in effort and bravery, the difference in operational effectiveness was clear to see.

Even in the second quarter, when Llanharan had their best spell with Kieran Martin’s pack going well, they were being driven back in the tackle and saw their opponents snap up turnovers and utilise speed and skill to turn the tide.

The connection between the two clubs is a strong one, with the Brewery Field’s touchline team embracing former Dairymen in Ed Griffiths, Gareth Edwards and Grant Hall, the last two named actually playing for the Black and Blues in that far off victory.

On the field too the Bridgend squad was littered with those who have worn the Llanharan shirt, and it was one of them, scrum half Will Baird, who raced away for an early opener, soon followed by left wing speedster Dan Howells.

But as Llanharan settled down play moved very much to the other end.

A typical Chis Poole break just failed to link up, and Gethin Cashmore was then held up over the line after more quality Martin lineout ball.

A lightning break from Ross Pritchard backed up by Martin, followed by Morgan Williams’ finger time failure to take Scott Jones’s high kick to the corner flag made it very much game on.

However, Bridgend survived, with outside half David Lloyd shrugging off tackles to score and convert, only an excellent Jamie Williams tackle stopping Howells adding another.

At 17-0 adrift and up the slope Llanharan were clearly up against it after the turn around and, with a host of replacements understandably reflecting the occasion but also disrupting the team shape, the away team picked off four more tries at regular intervals though Owain Lloyd, Morgan Jones, Callum Powell and Mike Powell.

David Lloyd converted one and Ryan Evans, yet another old Dairyfield man, added three more, but Pritchard epitomised the Llanharan spirit as he brought down Jack Thompson with a great late tackle.to bring the curtain down on the season for Llanharan who must now wait anxiously as their One East Central competition plays itself out, relegation still an outside possibility.

All at the Dairyfield will be hoping the threat doesn’t materialise so that the promising signs in a campaign of essential rebuilding can be profitably developed.

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

LLANHARAN 30 HEOLYCYW 35

Llanharan may have lost this rip roaring local derby, but the two bonus points gleaned look to have preserved their One East Central status.

Cyw themselves and Porth Quins are now the vulnerable outfits in the face of Cardiff Quins’ three games in hand. The suburbs club would need victories in all three, and one is against Heolycyw, so one will be unable to overtake the Dairymen.

It has been a frustrating season as the home side have tried to rebuild after last year’s relegation. So many results have, like this one, been close and it is significant that their 13 bonus points is second only to champions Treorchy.

Head coach Jeff Pick did: “This was a cruncher of a game and we were never less than one score behind for very long.

“We played good rugby, but in the first half showed too much indiscipline and allowed our former player Mike Huckridge to kick penalties as well as gain the field positions his team made much of.

“Cyw were strengthened by five Bridgend boys, including other Dairyfield products in wing Rhydian Griffiths and the O’Driscolls, and their experience at a higher level told in the second half.

“Even so, we look to be safe and will play Bridgend on Wednesday night with a spring in our step and looking forward to further progress next year.”

Llanharan also reinforced their  lineup with imports, John Dawe (Bridgend) and then replacement Joe Page (Cardiff) making an impression.

Cyw made full use of the first half wind to take a 13-0 lead, but the Dairymen began a belated fight back to claw back points and trailed only 11-16 at half time.

Llanharan fought gamely in the second half and at 23-28 looked to be in with a chance but Cyw stretched the lead with a converted try before Morgan Williams, helped by Scott Jones’s kick, made sure of two crucial points for his team.

Llanharan’s bonus point tries came from Aled Llewellyn, Kieran Martin, Stu Griffiths and Morgan Williams with Scott Jones converting two to go with his two penalties.

15 Evan Parry-John

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

12 Chris Poole

11 Jamie Williams

10 Scott Jones

9 Dan Burton

1 Rhys Taylor

2 Gethin Cashmore

3 Matt Phillips

4 Lee Morris

 5 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 6 Owain Howe

 7 John Dawe

 8 Aled Llewellyn

Replacements

Adam Cole

Sam Grant

Joe Page

Alex Hughes

Adam Williams

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

MOUNTAIN ASH 26 LLANHARAN 34 (HT 14 14)

A five point haul will have gone a long way towards keeping Llanharan in One East Central and avoid a second successive relegation.

In a long spell with little success the Dairymen have promised much and delivered little.

Not so this time though as they produced a brilliant third quarter to seal victory, only an injury time rally allowing the home team some respectability with a four tries bonus point.

In truth both sets of supporters had despaired at an error strewn first half which nevertheless produced four touch downs.

Mount were first off the mark as a side-step led to Alex Hughes’s score, Declan Conway landing the first of his three conversions.

But in the 20st  minute Llanharan got on terms, with front row man Sam Grant spotting the gap and driving over, Jones embarking on a  100% kicking spree,

It was soon time for Mount to strike again, Alex Hughes’s try to the right of their scrum taking the lead to 14-7, only for the visitors’ top try man Chrissy Poole to level the scores after reacting well with a clearance charge down and follow up.

The second half restart was a revelation as centre Stu Griffiths in particular began to wreak havoc, with recent signing John Dawe profiting to make it 21-14.

Half backs Dan Burton and Scott Jones were controlling things nicely and far from sitting back on the lead Griffiths again took on the mid field and after twice being held up over the line it was skipper Kieran Martin whose long arms secured the try from the second

to grab the bonus point and a 28-14 lead

Llanharan were clearly playing for keeps as Martin’s decision to go for goal brought Jones another three points and put the Old Firm three scores behind at 31-14.

And the score proved wise, a revamped Cynon valley outfit getting a third try after a high tackle as Roberts went over again in injury time for Conway to convert.

 Replacement Adam Williams once more built on the ruthless winning mentality with a penalty and, although Roberts gained a bonus point consolation, for the Black and Blues it was clear that it was “mission accomplished”.

Safety is still not mathematically assured however, and Saturday’s final match at home to fellow strugglers Heolycyw could still be crucial.

 

5 Evan Parry-John

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

12 Chris Poole

11 Alex Hughes

10 Scott Jones

9 Dan Burton

1 Rhys Taylor

2 Sam Grant

3 Matt Phillips

4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 7 John Dawe

 8 Aled Llewellyn

Replacements used:

Gethin Cashmore

Owain Howe

Sam Pick

Adam Williams

Jamie Williams 

LLANHARAN 10 RHIWBINA 15

Llanharan took a losing bonus from this game against third placed Rhiwbina, but it was common consent that a draw would have been fair result.

Cardiff Harlequins occupy the last relegation spot and their win on Saturday has enabled them to close the gap to nine points with four games to play as against the Dairymen’s two.

Also in  the equation are Heolycyw and Porth Quins, below Llanharan but with three more to play in each case.

It could yet come down to Llanharan’s final game – against Heolycyw on April 15th – to determine whether they retain their One East Central status or suffer a second successive drop.

It could have been so different for them – but they gifted Rhiwbina three tries, missed kicks at goal, and suffered the agony of Morgan Williams’ last gasp “try” being disallowed for a foot in touch.

Adam Williams put the home side ahead with penalty and play moved back and fore as both sides showed attacking intent, Llanharan making light of a yellow card helped by the good work of their pack.

However, in the second half sweeping moves gave the away side a 10-3 lead, a third following a dropped ball hacked through to the other end when Llanharan were on the attack.

Undaunted, Kieran Martin’s men took the play to the Cardiff side. Chrissy Poole went over under the posts with Williams converting, and flying wing Williams’ touch down seemed to have brought worthy reward.

The foot in touch decision did not go down well in the Dairyfield ranks as the Rhiwbina touch judge did not give it and the referee was some distance away.

Llanharan, who travel to Mountain Ash this week, can only hope that such a travesty doesn’t cost them their One East Central place in the final analysis.

15 Evan Parry-John

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

12 Chris Poole

11 Alex Hughes

10 Scott Jones

9 Dan Burton

1 Matt Phillips

2 Rhys Taylor

3 Rhys Haines

4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 7 John Dawe

 8 Aled Llewellyn

Replacements

Gethin Cashmore

Sam Grant

Owain Howe

Adam Williams

Jamie Williams 

 

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

CARDIFF HARLEQUINS 24 LLANHARAN 22 (HT 17-5)

On the face of it, collecting two bonus points away from home may seem a decent return.

However, put in context for Llanharan, who scored four tries to three and finished within seven points of the opponents, it was frustratingly disappointing.

They went into the game against the bottom but one side fully aware of the need for a win, standing as they were 14 points ahead of the Cardiff outfit but having played two games more.

So with the team from the northern suburbs collecting a victory, the Dairymen found that gap reduced to 12 with just three games of their own to play.

It was what is becoming a familiar Llanharan story, a disjointed opening half, a gradual recovery, but a failure to capitalise on pressure whereas their opponents snapped up limited chances.

The Harlequins had a lot of early ball and attacked with abandon, but they were met with some resolute defence and in the 22nd minute it was the away team that opened the scoring.

Right wing Morgan Williams made the running as he broke free and, Jamie Williams added pace before full back Lee Davies finished off.

However, they were soon back under pressure, Peddle kicking a penalty and then scrum half Bartlett running behind the posts from a ruck on the line for Peddle’s conversion to make it 10-5 in the 34rd minute.

Llanharan were still at sixes and sevens when Jones went over just a few minutes later, with the conversion giving his side useful 17-5 lead.

But they responded well and innumerable phases were executed after number eight Morgan Griffiths launched himself at the line, only to end disappointingly with a knock on.

Strong words could be heard coming from the team huddle in the interval and it seemed to evoke a response with skipper Kieran Martin showing the way, charging down Bartlett’s kick at the base of the line out, collecting superbly and dashing over to reduce the gap to seven points just after the restart.

Some of the Black and Blues running offered a menacing threat, but they wasted good penalty lineout ball with a poor pass and then Williams again was through only to find support far behind.

Quins began to edge their way out of trouble, but left wing Jamie Williams snapped up an interception and raced half the length of the field to score.

With a tricky cross wind, the conversion crucially hit an upright and rebounded. However, at 17-15 the Dairyfield men seemed to be heading in the right direction with quarter of an hour to play.

The Diamond Field side still offered an imminent threat though, an ankle tap from Morgan Griffiths halting a dangerous thrust, only for Miller to snap up a loose ball and dart 20 metres to the line, Peddle converting for 24-15 lead.

Llanharan hit back immediately, Aled Llewellyn initiating pressure with a break from the scrum and Ross Pritchard crashing over, converting himself.

But time ran out leaving Llanharan with still something to do to ensure survival and avoid straight relegations.

Scores:

Quins: tries – Z.Bartlett, D.Miller, R.Jones. Cons 3 and pen – T.Peddle.,

Llanharan: tries – Lee Davies, Jamie Williams, Kieran Martin, Ross Pritchard. Con – Pritchard.

Team

15 Lee Davies

14 Jamie Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Chris Poole

11 Morgan Williams

10 Adam Williams (Alex Hughes 72)

9 Dan Burton (Ross Pritchard 38)

1 Matt Phillips

2 Sam Llewellyn

3 Gethin Cashmore (Rhys Haines 73)

4 Richard Hart

 5 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 6 Owain Howe

 7 Owain Davies (Aled Llewellyn 58)

 8 Morgan Griffiths

Unused Replacement

Rhys Taylor

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

MAR 11 2017

LLANHARAN 17 TREORCHY 34 HT 0-10

 

Treorchy won the bonus point that greatly enhanced their One East Central championship prospects, but the scoreline barely reflected the contribution Llanharan made to the game.

In fact, it was fairly even-Stevens for much of this encounter with the Zebras making the most of the limited opportunities that came either way to win the try count 4-3.

Home coach Kevin Jones said: “We are near to where we want to be, it is often a matter of execution when we can see the prospect of a try – we certainly found ourselves advancing on the Treorchy line for much of today’s game.

“But ultimately, following last year’s relegation, our bottom line has always been to avoid a further drop – I think we can do that and then it will realistically be two to three years more of development to think about regaining our Championship place”.

If his team wanted encouragement it certainly came from its pack. The scrums were dominant, with Rhys Taylor doing a fine job on the loose head as well as contributing conspicuously around the field. In the lines out skipper Kieran Martin, performing a competent job as replacement for the injured Huw Thomas, was supreme.

But the path forward for Llanharan, who have recruited many fine potential backs this year, is to develop a cohesive and coherent unit behind the pack.

The potential was clearly visible throughout the game, and nowhere more than in the opening phases where a sharp home side was quickly into its stride.

Llanharan attacked with verve as backs like Stuart Griffiths and Lee Davies made inroads.

However, it was Treorchy who took the lead in the 11th minute, having escaped from the Dairyfield pressure courtesy of a suspiciously looking forward pass, picking up a three points with an offside penalty from Jacob Lloyd.

Ten minutes before half time they extended the lead, Peter Hutchins running diagonally after a series of pressure lines out in the left corner, and Jacob Lloyd converting.

Llanharan knew though that they were far from out of it and began the second period with a stunning try from the Treorchy restart. The Black and Blues swept up the field, Chrissy Poole delivering an exquisite off load and Stu Griffiths carrying further with a characteristically strong break before Morgan Williams went over on the right.

But within eight minutes the error prone leaders had clinched a winning score. Lloyd Williams conjured up a try from nothing, before try number three came just a short while later with Hutchins running across the defence to send Owen Williams in.

Lloyd converted the first and Llanharan were 24-5 down.

Heads did not drop though, Jamie Williams running strongly up the left before Poole made the breakthrough he had so often threatened, finding Williams on his right for the wing to finish superbly in the corner. Adam Williams converted to reduce the lead to 24-12.

Martin’s pack was still performing strongly, only for their prospects to be diminished when referee Gerwyn Taylor yellow carded Aled Llewellyn for obstruction with ten minutes normal time left.

The Zebras lost no time in making the advantage count, Cory Dunn securing their bonus point with a try which took the score to 31-12.

The Dairymen were far from daunted though and a long pass from Morgan Williams out flanked the defensive formation for the tireless Owain Howe to dive over on the right.

Adam Williams’ kick hit an upright, but his team were still pressing for a bonus point score of their own as Poole and Burton all but made the telling breakthroughs.

But their hopes were finally dashed as Treorchy decided not to give them that satisfaction by opting for a 47 metres penalty which Lloyd put over in the dying seconds.

 Llanharan scores

Tries Morgan Williams 2, Owain Howe    con   Adam Williams

Treorchy scores

Tries Cory Dunn, Lloyd Williams, Peter Hutchings, Owen Williams cons Jordan Lloyd 4 pens Lloyd 2

Team

15 Lee Davies (Jack Pring 52)

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Chris Poole

11 Jamie Williams (Ales Hughes 62)

10 Adam Williams

9 Dan Burton

1 Rhys Taylor (Gethin Cashmore 78)

2 Sam Grant (Sam Llewellyn 72)

3 Matt Phillips

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 6 Owain Howe

 7 Morgan Griffiths (Bill Carey 70)

 8 Aled Llewellyn

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

MAR 4 2017

PORTH QUINS 31 LLANHARAN 6 HT 17-3

This was a defeat that left Llanharan looking over their shoulders at the drop spots.

They still hold a 14 points advantage over Cardiff Quins in the second from bottom place, but they will be anxious to register a few more victories before the campaign ends.

Their supporters will need no reminding that established clubs like Tondu and Blackwood suffered the same relegation fate in the championship prior to their own demise last year, and proceeded to fall through the hatch into the second division the year after.

However, there was no denying the Quins their victory and a bonus point as well, a result which boosted their own chances for avoiding relegation.

And there was no doubt after this showing that the Dairyfield men will have to quickly learn to perform without their talisman skipper Huw Thomas.

The brave number eight was floored by a blatant illegal tackle at Dowlais only to commendably, but perhaps unwisely, carry on.

He declared himself fit for the Ystrad Rhondda match two weeks later only to suffer pain again playing the only way he knows in taking the battle physically to the opposition, and was again forced to exit early.

Only this time, the medical diagnosis showed a dislocated shoulder and a premature end to the season, a poor return for his selfless commitment.

It meant that in the Rhondda on Saturday they were without the former Cardiff University man’s ball carrying presence as well as his abrasive defensive play.

Llanharan backs’ coach Kevin Jones had no complaints about the outcome however.

“It just didn’t happen for us,” he said.

“We played ourselves into threatening positions a number of times but could not finish off, while Porth were expert at defending their own line and then taking full advantage at other end.

“But we take it one game at a time and face leaders Treorchy on Saturday, when we will have worked hard this week on rectifying the weaknesses.”

On a heavy pitch the power of the home pack brought two tries, though one of the others was as good a score as would grace any encounter.

Llanharan had a lot of the second half play but lacked composure and sometimes physical presence.

Scores

Porth tries 4

Llanharan pens Adam Williams 2

 

 

Team

15 Chris Poole

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Gareth Dyer

11 Jamie Williams

10 Adam Williams

9 Ross Pritchard

1 Sam Grant

2 Sam Llewellyn

3 Gethin Cashmore

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Kieran Martin (Capt) 

 7 Owain Davies

 8 Morgan Griffiths

 

Replacements used

Rhys Taylor

Matt Phillips

Rhodri Jones

Jack Pring

 Replacement unused

Aled Llewellyn

 

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

LLANHARAN 12 YSTRAD RHONDDA 19 (HT 5-19)

A thrilling last move try by Lloyd Thomas, converted by himself, gave Llanharan a well-earned losing bonus point.

It came as second placed Ystrad were pressing for their own try scoring bonus in the dying minutes.

With hooker Sam Llewellyn sin binned, it looked odds on they would succeed as three consecutive penalty scrums put the pressure on.

But somehow Llanharan wrestled possession away from the third and Morgan Williams went haring away up field. Ystrad managed to get the ball back but replacement Thomas expertly pounced on an interception 40 metres out to race away and score, coolly adding the all-important kick.

It was deserved consolation for the home side, team manager Wayne’s Jervis, who himself had a spell with the Rhondda Fawr boys, praising their hard work.

To their credit they had denied the away team a score in the second half after it looked like a runaway victory was on the cards at half time.

Indeed, Huw Thomas’ men lacked cohesion and composure in the first forty minutes against a no nonsense and direct Rhondda outfit who threw everything into forceful attack.

A shaky start was punished in the 6th minute as number eight Liam Davies forced his way over.

They notched a second in an unusual way when referee Tim Davies awarded a penalty try despite the fact that the scrum was still intact and straight, and no offence appeared to have been committed.

It was a disappointment for the home front row of Rhys Taylor, Llewellyn and Matt Phillips who until then had held out well in the set piece.

Ironically, an identical set piece ten minutes later drew no whistle and the visitors knocked on attempting the try.

Rhys Truelove converted, but Llanharan were given a glimmer of hope with a try from the dangerous Jamie Williams who got the touch down to Stu Griffiths’ kick after the inspirational skipper Thomas had effected some good recovery work.

However, the Gelligaled XV made it 19-5 at half time, Llanharan falling for the old front of the lineout ruse by allowing scrum half Jack Foulkes to sneak through the blind side.

Llanharan started the second half missing a penalty under the posts and Ystrad soon pressed at the other end, only Thomas again and a good Rhodri Jones clearance preventing a score.

Then it was Llanharan’s time to threaten, their hard working pack with Kieran Martin, Richard Hart and Lee Morris providing quality lineout ball creating enough scope for talented runners like Chrissy Pole, Morgan Williams, Jamie Williams and Jack Pring to start making ground.

Yet it seemed there would be no reward especially as the physical commitment of Huw Thomas forced his departure five minutes from time, followed by the yellow card.

But they never gave up and Thomas’s try was the positive outcome of their resolve.

It was also pleasing to see Owain Howe make a successful return to senior action after five months out  with injury

Llanharan tries Jamie Williams, Lloyd Thomas con Lloyd Thomas  

Ystrad tries Liam Davies Jack Foulkes penalty try cons Rhys Truelove 2

Team

15 Lee Davies (Jack Pring 52)

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Chris Poole

11 Jamie Williams

10 Rhodri Jones (Lloyd Thomas 65)

9 Evan Parry-John 

1 Rhys Taylor

2 Sam Llewellyn

3 Matt Phillips

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Owain Davies/Owain Howe

 7 Kieran Martin

 8 Huw Thomas (Capt) (Gethin Cashmore 75)

Unused Replacements

Sam Grant

Rhydian Worgan

 

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

DOWLAIS 27 LLANHARAN 19 (HT 17-0)

Played on Merthyr’s hi tech 4G pitch, this was the proverbial game of two halves.

Settling first on the synthetic surface, the home team enjoyed the lion’s share of ball and with it territorial dominance, even though the bounce occasionally bamboozled both attackers and defenders.

With Llanharan suffering two yellows, the Dowlais side built up a telling points advantage despite the visitors’ great defensive effort.

However, it seemed the Dairymen had been thrown a life line just before half time when Maesteg referee Richard Brace had no hesitation in showing the red card to Dowlais skipper Adam Cullen for a reckless dangerous tackle which left opposing captain Huw Thomas distinctly the worse for wear.

To his credit the Builth product struggled bravely on after lengthy treatment, but the departure of his side’s talisman in the second half left Black and Blues  supporters wondering just who had gained most from the sending off.

As it was, Llanharan did their best to get something out of the game, but at times were too frenetic with the line a begging, putting to bed just three chances when it could have been double that number - Dowlais were even down to thirteen for the last five minutes thanks to a yellow card.

The opening 40 minutes belonged to the Merthyr outfit, waves of attack only kept out by desperate defence.

But a yellow for second row Richard Hart proved significant, as scrum pressure allowed Lloyd Hynes to feed full back Tom Griffiths and then add the conversion before Llanharan were back to full strength.

They were soon down to fourteen again as Evan Parry-John was binned and it was during his absence that Dowlais rattled up another ten points.

Outside half Hynes hit a penalty and then put the extras on Bleddyn Rees’s try, the wing pouncing on a bouncing kick for the touchdown.

The away team threatened only twice, Jamie Williams crowded out after a fifty yard Llanharan surge, and then a three scrum-fives sequence coming to grief on a penalty.

But Cullen departed just before the turn around and suddenly prospects of a comeback seemed realistic.

Indeed the first try came just two minutes after the restart, Morgan Williams putting the finishing touch after outside half Rhodri Jones had split the defence.

Williams was prominent again, combining with Parry-John in another attack, but Llanharan suffered significant blows to their hopes mid-way through the half with Hynes landing another three points and then, just after Thomas’s departure, Rees flat footing the defence with a diagonal run from the left wing to the posts.

The kick made it 27-5, but at last the Dairyfield men sprung to life. Fifteen minutes from time Williams did well to get over the line for his second, Rhodri Jones converting, followed by Kieran Martin touching down from Jones’s pass, Parry John this time adding the kick, and Llanharan were in the hunt for at least a double bonus point.

They did everything but score, an element of unnecessary desperation often denying them success, then suffered the ultimate frustration with just thirteen against them by twice conceding penalties in the home twenty two.

One of Llanharan’s problems in a year of rebuilding is an understandable inconsistency, especially with so many new young players, but constant changes in selection caused by injury and unavailability have not helped either, the starting line up going into this game at the Wern showing another six changes behind and one up front from the starting XV that went on to beat St Joseph’s so well the previous weekend.

This game added to the problem with back row Richard Lawrence a first half ankle victim and Thomas hoping this weekend’s break will aid a quick recovery

Dowlais tries – Bleddyn Rees 2, Tom Griffin. Cons 3 and pens 2 Lloyd Hynes.

Llanharan tries: Morgan Williams 2, Kieran Martin. Cons: Rhodri Jones and Evan Parry- John

 

15 Evan Parry-John

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Lloyd Thomas

 12 Gareth Dyer

11 Jamie Williams (Jack Pring 60)

10 Rhodri Jones

9 Adam Williams

1 Rhys Taylor

2 Gethin Cashmore (Sam Llewellyn 60)

3 Matt Phillips

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Kieran Martin

 7 Richard Lawrence (Morgan Griffiths 29)

 8 Huw Thomas (Capt) (Dai Pearson 58)

Unused Replacement

Huw Russell

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

LLANHARAN 19 ST JOSEPH’S 14

Llanharan’s coaches had demanded an improvement after the previous Saturday’s lethargic capitulation to Rumney – and got it as their side registered a good win.

Head coach Jeff Pick complimented the team, acknowledging a desire and passion that helped them fight back for victory.

It was achieved despite two cards, the latter a red for Lloyd Thomas twenty minutes from time under the contentious new high tackle laws, but they only spurred the team on to greater efforts.  

The result well illustrated the vagaries of the game – Rumney had been thrashed on their ground earlier in the season whereas it was the Dairyman who suffered such a fate when they met St Jo’s at Blackweir the following week.

For the crowd it was a very good game of rugby with Llanharan trying to move the ball on every occasion.

The first half belonged to the capital city outfit, their pack working hard in the scrums and lineouts.  Their tactics were based on a kicking game to achieve territorial advantage - and it looked like paying off until the home team broke away and Chris Williams scored an exciting try.

However, the visitors kept pressing and forcing mistakes, which they capitalised on for two converted tries making it 14-5 at half time.

The Llanharan response was emphatic with Huw Thomas galvanising his men into dominance, the whole team grafting and pulling together.

The pack was securing the necessary possession and two tries came – Richard Lawrence going over after more forward pressure and the Gareth Dyer marking his return to the team cashing in on a charge down.

Despite their numerical disadvantage there was a clear determination not to give the game away in the final quarter of the game.

Former skipper Pick deemed it the best performance of the season, against a Cardiff side that had been rattling up big scores.

He said there were good performances all round, but identified Matt Phillips in the front row of a strong scrum, Gareth Dyer for his straight running, Evan Parry-John who did well on the wing, and Bridgend dual Chris Williams for his sharp play behind the pack, as particularly praiseworthy.

Defence in general was very good with impressive line speed.

Tries – Chris Williams, Richard Lawrence, and Gareth Dyer.

 

15 Lee Davies

14 Evan Parry-John

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Gareth Dyer

11 Jamie Williams

10 Lloyd Thomas

9 Chris Williams

1 Rhys Taylor

2 Gethin Cashmore

3 Matt Phillips

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Owain Davies

 7 Richard Lawrence

 8 Huw Thomas (Capt)

Replacements used

Sam Llewellyn

Morgan Griffiths

Rhodri Jones

Unused

Sam Grant

Kieron Martin

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

LLANHARAN 6 RUMNEY20 (HT 3-10)

Back in early September Llanharan ran in six tries at Riverside Park in an impressive 43-11 demolition of the Cardiff side.

In this return encounter they failed to cross the line once and looked distinctly mediocre for much of the game.

The contrast is hard to explain. There have been changes of personnel, but nine of the starting line-up remained with three more on the bench.

Even the inclusion of two premiership duals in Chris Williams (Bridgend) and Ross Pritchard (Cross Keys) could not inspire the team to other than sporadic efforts.

To compound a bad afternoon, there was the distressing sight of club stalwart Paul Winter being ambulanced away with a triple fracture of the leg, something which could well have dampened spirits.

Llanharan though had the basics in place with a solid set piece, but could not establish the dynamics for effective territorial advance.

Their old East District foes on the other hand, undoubtedly buoyed by a WRU Plate run that has taken them to the quarter finals, had a lot more effectiveness in their play.

Up front and behind they had players who could not only make telling ground, but also link up productively, whereas the Dairymen struggled to get phases going for much of the afternoon.

They had the encouragement of a 3rd minute Chris Williams penalty and occasionally threatened with Chris Poole  making ground up one wing after good initial play by Morgan Williams, and James Williams on the other touchline just failing to find support with his bold reverse pass.

After Winter’s departure, Rumney came more into it. Poole brought off one good tackle, but a try was given away as the home side lost the ball in an attack and centre Paul King finished off.

The self-inflicted damage continued, a ball dropped over the line allowing Danny Clarke to gratefully pounce and give his side a 10-3 half time lead.

Clarke added a penalty just after the restart, and although Williams responded in kind, then ended the home side’s hopes as he converted a try from his skipper Mike Young, when another despairing Llanharan attack broke down.

To be fair, there were spells of improved intensity from Huw Thomas’s men, but this was one their old East District rivals were not going to let go of.

Backs coach Kevin Jones  could be heard in the post-match “warm down” warning his players that far better was expected if they were not to be drawn into another relegation scenario for the second successive season.

An eight points buffer currently keeps them clear of Cardiff Quins in the bottom two, while Rumney’s victory lifted them four points above the drop spot.

 

 

 

 

 

Scores:

Llanharan

Pens: Chris Williams 2

Rumney

Tries Paul King, Danny Clarke, Mike Young. Con: Clarke.  Pen: Clarke.

Team

15 Evan Parry-John

14 Chris Poole (Rhydian Worgan 69)

13 Stuart Griffiths

12 Morgan Williams

11 Jamie Williams (Ross Pritchard HT)

10 Lloyd Thomas

9 Chris Williams

1 Sam Grant

2 Rhys Taylor (Gethin Cashmore 20)

3 Matt Phillips (Sam Llewellyn 69)

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Paul Winter (Morgan Griffiths 26)

 7 Richard Lawrence

 8 Huw Thomas (Capt)

FRIENDLY

LLANHARAN 5 KENFIG HILL 12

After an extended Christmas break, the last thing each side wanted was a blank Saturday.

The fixture gap was caused by Llanharan’s exit from the Plate at the hands of Mold, while Kenfig Hill went out at an even earlier stage, losing 15-14 at home to Aberavon Quins.

As such the game undoubtedly provided a useful run out but it was Kenfig who stole the honours.

Home backs coach Kevin Jones identified the failure to turn first half superiority into points as the reason for defeat.

“They took their chances better,” he said.

Head coach Jeff Pick agreed:. “We were playing superb rugby in that first half and no one would have complained had we been 25 points up but Kenfig’s defence coupled with the crucial final pass going adrift cost us. We perhaps took it for granted that we would run up points after the turn around but penalties allowed them to get to the corner and pick up vital tries.”

Llanharan will also be worried about injuries to Lloyd Thomas and Lee Edgecombe, the latter dislocating a shoulder for the second time.”

But at least they did score the try of the match as brilliant hands saw Stuart Griffiths take his score well.

Next up on Saturday for Huw Thomas’s men will be Rumney, for many years prior to national leagues the club that vied with the Dairymen for top dog East District status.

 

No run out for the club Seconds Saturday as Heolycyw declared themselves unable to raise a team, another worrying sign of the state of community rugby, despite statements to the contrary from the WRU!