Match Reports

First Team

Pre-Season Friendly

Llanharan 15 Kenfig Hill 0

This was a heartening three tries to nil win for Llanharan after a summer of much intensive rebuilding.

Despite some poor weather, a lot of good rugby emerged, although it took the home team a time to get started.

However, although line breaks by Lima Union and Scott Jones would have brought five pointers on another day, they still scored two excellent tries.

Chris Poole got the first as Llan built phases from a scrum on the left, allowing the full back to break outside.

Another good one followed. There was again a lot of pleasing handling before Josh Austin, like Poole, back at the Dairy after a few years away, showed skilful foot work to slide in.

The Dairymen had the wind second half, but a changed line up could only add one more touchdown.

One West Central outfit Kenfig had a lot of ball, only to meet determined defence, and once more an excellent build up brought the try that decided the match.

Tom Buckle did much of the initial spadework at the breakdown, hacking through for Josh Austin to pick up and send the supporting Kieran Martin over on the inside.

Coach Jeff Pick was pleased with the outcome and will this week look to narrow down the squad from the 27 who got on the field last weekend.

“We will be looking at the various combinations around the field for Ynysybwl and hope to have a strong line up ready for the opener against Llantwit Fardre on September 3rd,” he said.

 

 

SSE SWALEC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

LLANHARAN 42 NARBERTH 24 HT 13-5

There was jubilation in abundance at the Dairyfield as Llanharan broke their duck with an inspired bonus point victory over Narberth.

Head coach Colin Malone, stepping down after eighteen years sterling service to the club, could not have wished for a better send off.

The victory was all the more impressive as the home side played out three quarters of the game with fourteen men after Rhys Haines’ somewhat harsh red card.

It was a showing full of commitment and determination, each player performing as though it was a cup final, and offering great encouragement to new head coach Jeff Pick and his assistants Kevin Jones and Wayne Jervis.

Yet the first five minutes suggested a less favourable outcome, the visitors’ Nick gale hitting the upright with a penalty and then striding over the line as he cashed in on some fatal hesitation.

However, the Dairymen were soon in the action as Richard Lawrence and Liam Union each went close to scoring, their team’s play stimulated by the lively Craig Burton at scrum half and brilliantly led by Huw Thomas.

They claimed their deserved first try just after Thomas and his effective back row partners Lawrence and Tom Wilson once more combined to allow outside half Jones to convert a penalty

The Black and Blues continued to create chances and made light of their numerical disadvantage after entering the second quarter.

Their reward came with the irrepressible Thomas going over from a scrum, Jones adding the kick for 10-5 lead.

He put over his second penalty before half time, and although Otters’ wing Jordan Roberts  was rightly sin binned for a deliberate knock on, advantage  wasn’t played and an Evan Parry- John touch down counted for nothing.

Jones struck a third three pointer soon after the turn around, but Gale’s mazy run brought him a well-earned try.

However, Llanharan were clearly in determined mood and Burton and Liam Union worked the ball behind the defence for Union to score again, the kick making it 23-10.

Not long after, Evan Parry-John intercepted and raced in from 45 metres and one sensed that at last it was going to be the home team’s day with a twenty points lead.

When Narberth did attack the found the breakdown work of the likes of Wilson and Kieran Martin a constant obstacle.

And it was the basement club that scored again, Union bringing up the bonus point helped by incisive approach work from Harry Griffiths and Jack Pring.

Jones took his haul to seventeen with the conversion and was himself near to grabbing a try after an exciting kick and chase.

With tiring limbs evident on both sides in a fast moving encounter, Narberth gained their own worthy bonus point thanks to John Mogs and Ollie Reyand, Gale converting the first.

But between the scores Gavin Parsons had raced in to ensure an emphatic win for his side.

It was a day when there was no suppressing Thomas’s ebullient Dairyfield team who left their delighted supporters with happy memories to take into the summer and grounds for confidence in the future.

Llanharan tries: Liam Union 2, Evan Parry-John, Huw Thomas, and Gavin Parsons. Cons 4 pens 3: Scott Jones.

Narberth tries: Nick Gale 2 (plus 2 cons), Johnny Mogs, Ollie Reyland.

 

Team:

15 HARRISON EVANS (JACK PRING 51)

14 LIAM UNION (GAVIN PARSONS 71)

13 HARRY GRIFFITHS

12 CHRIS WILLIAMS

11 LLOYD THOMAS

10 SCOTT JONES

9 CRAIG BURTON

1 RHYS TAYLOR (GETHIN CASHMORE 44)

2 SAM PICK (JAMES HOLMES 65)

3 RHYS HAINES ( Red Card 21)

4 OWAIN HOWE ( SAM LLEWELLYN 58)

5 KIERAN MARTIN

6 TOM WILSON

7 RICHARD LAWRENCE

8 HUW THOMAS (CAPT)

 

SSE SWALEC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

LLANHARAN 10   SWANSEA 48 HT 5-29

In their final game, Premiership bound Swansea were clearly going to turn on the style at the Dairyfield as they celebrated promotion back to the top flight at the second attempt.

For Llanharan, it was again a case of showing a brave face in adversity as they played out their penultimate fixture in a wretched winless season.

However, for a time it looked like the scripts had been swapped as Llanharan took a 5-0 lead, albeit with Swansea suffering a yellow sanction against full back Josh Flye for a tip tackle.

Helped by Kelvin Short’s card, they took their opportunities well, two turn overs leading to Rhydian Worgan squeezing over in the corner for a 5-0 lead.

It didn’t last though and Swansea went on to win comfortably, but the Dairymen will derive much encouragement from another hearty performance.

Nowhere was this typified better than in hooker Sam Llewellyn, chosen 2nd XV skipper back last summer, but elevated by the unforeseen loss of players in August. The front row’ man’s chin was on his boots with exhaustion near the end, yet seconds later he was driving into a mid-field tackle.

That is just what the coaching team will be looking for to rebuild Llanharan after being dealt the worst of hands with so many movements out of the squad last summer.

However, after that promising start, the end of the third quarter saw number eight Ollie Young  score an all too easy try from a long line out, Josh Flye converting to add to Phil Jones’s earlier penalty.

Another long kick presented the Whites with the next chance, Mike Sully sprinting 40 metres, despite apparent offside at the breakdown, Flye again converting.

Good hands gave Young a second as half time approached, Flye’s kick making it 29-5.

However, the Dairymen were by no means passive spectators and there were encouraging moments with Chris Williams, a smooth double act allied to Scott Jones, connecting well with skipper Huw Thomas, and then Thomas’s final pass failing to hit the target and so deny his men a try.

The St Helen’ side did not add to their score in the fifteen minutes after the restart thanks to Llanharan’s commitment, one Scott Jones tackle on Phil Jones a try stopper, but wings Claypole and Will Lewis then struck in rapid succession.

Thomas’s team had no intention of rolling over and surrendering though.

A Llewellyn tackle set up a chance for Evyn Parry-John before centre Liam Union broke through mid-field.

The home side continued to have good moments, Williams pulling off one good tackle to snuff out a Swansea attack, and they got their due reward. Back row man Elys Goode ripped out the ball and Union put a clever kick in for replacement Paul Winter to scoop up expertly and score in the corner.

A third Llanharan touchdown was close when wing Evyn Parry-John caused problems with his long kick, but Swansea had the last say in at the end of a surprising eight minutes of time added on, Flye completing a 15 points haul thanks to his own converted try.

Colin Malone’s men face Narberth at the Dairyfield this Saturday in their final game, hoping that the positive qualities shown against Swansea can bring them their first victory.

Team

15 GAVIN PARSONS

14 RHYDIAN WORGAN

 13 HUW RUSSELL (PAUL WINYER  70)

12 LIAM UNION

11CHRIS SHARKEY (EVYN PARRY- JOHN 51)

10 SCOTT JONES

9 CHRIS WILLIAMS

1 RHYS TAYLOR

2 SAM LLEWELLYN

3 JOEL RINGER (SAM PICK HT)

4 TOM HARRIS (ELYS GOODE 29)

5 KIERAN MARTIN

6 TOM WILSON (TOM BUCKLE HT)

7 OWAIN HOWE

8 HUW THOMAS (CAPT)

Home tries – Rhydian Worgan, Paul Winter.

Swansea tries – Andrew Claypole 2, Ollie Young 2, Josh Flye ( plus 5 cons.), Mike Sully, Will Jones.  Pen – Phil Jones.

SSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

NEWCASTLE EMLYN 79 LLANHARAN 0 (HT 43-0)

It was a sadly familiar tale for Llanharan down in deepest Ceredigion.

Once more, their patched up side gave everything in terms of effort, but was no match for Emlyn whenever it ceded possession.

Not that their predicament  was helped by the nonappearance of two permit players, meaning a centre pairing of second row Owain Howe and team manager Wayne Jervis.

Like their teammates, each gave it his best shot, but collectively the Dairymen were no match for the side desperately seeking the points to ensure a second season in the championship.

It was mission accomplished for the home team by half time with a 45-0 lead and a bonus point in the bag.

The tries came at regular intervals as Teifion Davies, Emrys Davies, Shaun Leonard, Steff Evans, Luke Kendall and Alex Williams crossed the line.

Leonard converted all six to go with an early penalty and went on to accumulate an impressive 39 points haul.

The away team’s brightest moments were supplied by scrum half Craig Burton whose lightening breaks often took the team forward, only for the breakdown to send Emlyn racing back to the try line.

The west Wales outfit continued in similar vein after the turn around, valiant tackling work out wide by the likes of Liam Union and Harrison Evans to no avail as Kendal, Leonard, and Llyr Davies went over, the kicks taking the score to 69.

It did signal the Dairymen’s best spell of the game however. Burton continued to probe sharply and skipper Huw Thomas made some of his trademark runs to see Gavin Parsons get close on three occasions.

The never say die attitude deserved a score but it was soon business as usual the other end with Lennard claiming another two, despite sterling cover work by Richard Lawrence and Tom Wilson, and Llyr Davies his second to complete the whitewash.

Scorers:

NE tries – Shaun Leonard 4, Llyr Davies 2, Luke Kendal 2, Emrys Davies, Alex Williams, Steff Evans, Teifion Davies; cons 6 and pen – Leonard.

Llanharan:

15 LIAM UNION

14 GAVIN PARSONS

13 WAYNE JERVIS

12 OWAIN HOWE

11 ALEX HUGHES

10 HARRISON EVANS

9 CRAIG BURTON

1 RHYS TAYLOR

2 SAM LLEWELLYN

3 TOM EVANS

4 KIERAN MARTIN

5 TOM BUCKLE

6 RICHARD LAWRENCE

7 TOM WILSON

8. HUW THOMAS (CAPT)

REPLACEMENTS USED:

RHYS HAINES

PAUL WINTER

JOE DOHERTY 

It was the expected big score line but the boys who made up the patchwork side gave their all, two tries the reward – Scott Jones and Kieran Martin the scorers. Scott also put over a penalty and conversion in an 86-15 result at RGC 1404.

We made ten changes from the previous starting line up.

RGC  tries Tiaan Loots 3, Tom Hughes 3,Alex Schwartz 2, Richard Hopkins 2, Tom Seddon, Sam Jones, Joe Simpson, Meredydd Francis.

The win kept RGC in 5th place chasing Bargoed for  a place in the premiership,.

15 LIAM UNION

14 ALEX HUGHES

13 JOSH JONES

12 OWAIN HOWE

11 LIAM BARTON

10 SCOTT JONES

9 RICHARD LAWRENCE

1 RHYS TAYLOR

2 SAM LLEWELLYN

3 RHYS HAINES

4 TOM BUCKLE

5 GETHIN CASHMORE

6 KIERAN MARTIN

7 PAUL WINTER

8. HUW THOMAS (CAPT)

REPLACEMENTS USED:

16 TOM HARRIS

17 EVAN JAMES

18 GERALD MCCARTHY

19 LLOYD BORLEY

SSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

GLYNNEATH  33 LLANHARAN 5 (HT 14-5)

Llanharan would have realistically seen this fixture as their best chance of breaking a season long winless run.

Glynneath were themselves battling against relegation and knew that at the Dairyfield earlier in the campaign they were lucky to sneak a last gasp victory.

However, it was never to be as Llanharan’s unquestionable endeavour faltered against a heavier home pack and a one sided penalty toll that brought premature endings to frequent bouts of hard working graft.

The weight factor upfront meant that even on their own ball Huw Thomas often had to perform heroics to retain the possession.

The introduction of Rhys Haines’s bulk after half time did much to redress this problem, but the Dairymen  were trailing 14-5 by then and the home team, with president Max Boyce in the crowd, made the most of  second half chances to secure the bonus point win.

Stuart Leach opened their account in the 10th minute as he finished off an attack down the narrow side of a scrum, Jack O’Reilly converting.

A thumping Richard Lawrence tackle halted another threatening move but Josh Jones extended the lead with a second try.

However, Llan gave notice they were still in the game as outside half Scott Jones hacked through after a dropped pass and showed superior speed to get to the touchdown.

But ten minutes after the restart Craig Tennant got over the line to make Llanharan’s task a difficult one at 21-5, but still the visitors gave it a go, Liam Union, Harry Griffiths and Rhys Taylor all taking play forward.

Nevertheless, Josh Jones punished an opposition lapse with his side’s bonus point try, and then completed his own hat trick with a skilful catch from a chip ahead two minutes from time, O’Reilly landing his fourth conversion of the day.

Llanharan now face two long away trips to RGC 1404 and Newcastle Emlyn before entertaining Swansea on May 7th, Narberth the last of four rearranged games still to be confirmed.

Team:

15 HARRISON EVANS

14 GAVIN PARSONS

13 LIAM UNION

12 HARRY GRIFFITHS

11 HUW RUSSELL

10 SCOTT JONES (ALEX HUGHES 70)

9 CRAIG BUTLER

1 RHYS TAYLOR (PAUL WINTER 71)

2 SAM LLEWELLYN (SAM PICK 71)

3 TOM EVANS

4 OWAIN HOWE

5 JAMES HOLMES (RHYS HAINES 40)

6 RICHARD LAWRENCE

7 TOM WILSON

8. HUW THOMAS (CAPT)

Scorers:

Home tries: Josh Jones 3, Craig Tennant, Stuart Leach. Con (4) – Jack O’Reilly.

Away try: Scott Jones

15 GAVIN PARSONS

14 ALEX HUGHES

13 LIAM UNION

12 CHRIS HOWE

11 OWAIN DAVIS

10 HARRISON EVANS

9 ALED JONES 

1 RHYS TAYLOR

2 SAM LLEWELLYN

3 TOM EVANS

4 OWAIN HOWE

5 KIERAN MARTIN

6 PAUL WINTERS

7 RICHARD LAWRENCE

8. TOM WILSON (CAPT)

REPLACEMENTS USED:

16 SAM PICK

17 RHYS HAINES

18 TOM HARRIS

19 TOM BUCKLE

20 ALED LLEWELLYN

Llanharan again gave their all against the odds, winning many plaudits in their performance against the premiership bound Ironmen.

Despite conceding ten tries, the Dairymen scored one of the best touch downs of the day, wing Alex Hughes beating men before finishing with a long run in.

Contrary to what the score might suggest it was a very entertaining game of rugby with Llanharan tackling their hearts out and playing good football at every opportunity, but men like Andy Powell proved difficult to contain.

It was nevertheless a commendable performance, missing as they were the injured skipper Scott Malone and his and in Huw Thomas, The admirable Tom Wilson taking over the reins.

Merthyr’s try scorers were Osian Davies 2, Terry Gee 2, Martin Luckwell, Andrew Brown, Mathew Jarvis, Tom Hiscock, Gareth Way and Tom Daley.

 

SSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

LLANHARAN 0 RGC 1404 80

The talented WRU sponsored youngsters from north Wales put themselves back in the critical top four with this twelve tries demolition of brave  Llanharan who never gave up a hopeless task.

It was the same familiar story for the Dairymen – a regular five minutes or so of useful endeavour, only for the visiting team to ruthlessly exploit the weak tackling once they regained possession.

Although on times Llanharan put some pressure on in the visiting twenty-two, with the set piece doing respectably well, they could not get the morale boosting score their unstinting effort deserved.

Irrespective of the outcome, of major concern was the serious neck injury to RGC wing Tiaan Loots on the stroke of half time. From the first 999 call, it took 90 minutes for a paramedic to arrive – something that speaks volumes for the system in Wales – and everyone wishes Tiaan all the best.

There was a nice occasion at the start though where little local battler Cian Case made a surprise appearance and along with brother Dylan and dad Richard had his picture taken with the team and former Wales and Lions star Phil Davies.

 Cian, one of the mini Dairy Tots  at the  club, has been fighting cancer for several months and was warmly applauded as he led the team out with skipper Huw Thomas.

The  home side actually started  with a bright move that saw Josh Clark scythe through the away  ranks on a  40 metres run, prop Tom Evans adding some force  before the movement fell foul of Simon Mills’s whistle.

Nevertheless, it took the RGC outfit no time at all after that to show their credentials, Loots, Will Bryan and Afon Bagshaw all over the line in the opening quarter with James Lang converting two for a 19-0 lead.

Another strong Evans burst offered respite, but the free running rugby career hopefuls made it 40-0 at half time helped by tries from Bryan, Kelvin Davies and         Afon Bagshaw, all three added to by Lang.

Even so, Llanharan finished with an attack, Rhys Taylor stopped short as Llan put a penalty to the corner.

After the turn around home outside half Scott Jones put in one nice kick and chase, but his side soon found itself at the other end, with some doughty defence typified by the efforts of Gavin Parsons and Rhydian Worgan.

It allowed Llanharan to get to the RGC corner flag where the industrious Tom Wilson and Kieran Martin drove at the line without profit as the pressure ended with a knock on, and there was one good Owain Howe run as the Dairymen made a fist of it in the third quarter.

However, each time Llanharan broke down the inevitable happened. Tackles were missed and more tries came in the final stages from Lang (2), Richard Hopkins, Danny Cross and Cameron Davies, Lang converting four for a thirty points haul.   

Team: 15 HARRISON EVANS14 RHYDIAN WORGAN13  ALEX HUGHES 70)  JOSH CLARK12 LIAM UNION 11 GAVIN PARSONS 10 SCOTT JONES 9 ALED JONES 1 RHYS TAYLOR 2 SAM LLEWELLYN (1 SAM PICK 60) 3 TOM EVANS 4 KIERAN MARTIN 5 OWAIN HOWE ( TOM HARRIS 72) 6 PAUL WINTER 7 ( ALED LLEWELLYN 50) TOM WILSON 8 HUW THOMAS (CAPT). UNUSED REPLACEMENT  RHYS LANGDON

Their tries: Afon Bagshaw 2, James Lang 2, Will Bryan 2, Tiaan Loots, Danny Cross, Richard Hopkins, Cameron Davies, Kelvin Davies, Sam Jones Lang – 10 cons.

SSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

LLANHARAN 7 NEWBRIDGE 54 (HT 0-26)

Newbridge eased their relegation fears with this emphatic bonus point win, but it also meant eighteen defeats in as many matches for Llanharan in a wretched season.

The summer turnover is now well documented, with major implications for success in a competitive championship.

However, there were signs that, whether relegation was likely or nor, a slow recovery was materialising, engendering hopes that the basis for a summertime rebuilding was being created.

There were even hopes that against the lower order clubs, a victory or two might have been snatched.

Such a scenario would have suggested itself on Saturday, with the men of Gwent not having won since mid-November, significantly against Llanharan.

However, recent weeks have been a trial for the coaches with transfers, dropouts and injuries hitting hard.

It meant that for the second match running, they were forced into uncontested scrums with a sanction of not being allowed replacements.

Huw Thomas’s elevation to skipper was itself a reflection of the problem, Scott Malone out for the season after damaging ligaments at Swansea the previous game.

The team that took the field was unrecognisable from the line-up that did service last season, only Thomas and his fellow back row warrior Tom Wilson regulars last time round.

In fact, it would not be intentionally disrespectful to suggest that a year ago this would have been looked at as largely a Second team selection.

Nevertheless, those who pulled on the shirt could feel proud at the way they did their best against more experienced and bigger opponents.

In fact, Llanharan started brightly, Gavin Parsons. Thomas and Richard Lawrence all contributing significantly only for full back Ryan Lee to break through and send centre Scott Williams over. Kieran Meek added the first of what was to be seven conversions, and proceedings were punctuated further by tries from centre Paul King, skipper Dan Mock and wing Gerwyn Davies to produce a 26-0 half time lead.

Llanharan were also handicapped by Gareth John issuing a yellow against Paul Winter, and the visitors started the second half with left wing Mathew Loader scoring on the left.

Number 8 Kyle Tayler and replacement full back Jo Barrett added to the touchdowns with Williams getting a second to complete the rout.

But there was one moment to savour for home supporters as the swashbuckling Thomas swerved his  way 40 metres to the line  with Chen converting.

And Llanharan battled to the end, one brave tackle by promising outside half Rob Chen epitomising their spirit, but the ultimate loss of possession inevitably led to territory conceded and as the fresh Newbridge legs appeared so the tired limbs in the Dairyfield ranks became more of  burden.

Llanharan try – Huw Thomas, Con – Rob Chen

Newbridge tries – Scott Williams 2, Mathew Loader, Pau King, Gerwyn Davies, Dan Mock, Kyle Tayler, Jo Barrett. Cons – Kieran Meek 7.

Team:

15 GAVIN PARSONS

14 ALEX HUGHES

13 CHRIS SHARKEY

12 RHYDIAN WORGAN

11 HUW RUSSELL

10 ROB CHEN

9 RHYS LANGDON

1 TOM HARRIS

2 SAM LLEWELLYN

3 PAUL WINTER

4 OWAIN HOWE

5 KIERAN MARTIN

6 RICHARD LAWRENCE

7 TOM WILSON

8. HUW THOMAS (CAPT)

SSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

SWANSEA 70 LLANHARAN 7 (HT 27-7)

Once again the big score did little to reflect struggling Llanharan’s spirit in adversity.

The campaign has been a traumatic one for the Dairymen who have found it difficult to reconstruct a team following a huge summer turnover.

There was no serious prospect of victory at St Helen’s against a team heading back to the Premiership.

However, the Black and Blues could have done without a scenario where, not for the first time this year, aftter front row withdrawals, they were forced to opt for uncontested scrums and suffered the subsequent sanction of not having access to any replacements.

In the circumstances, they could even have felt a reasonable job had been done against the twelve tries home outfit, and there was plenty of Swansea commendation for the way in which they never dropped their heads or slackened their endeavour right up to the final minute.

However, the bottom line was that they were no match for high fliers like the Whites, although there is plenty of evidence that they can give the lower order a run for their money on their day.

Scott Malone’s men showed their credentials in the first half. Having fallen 22-0 behind in the 15th minute to three smartly taken tries, they proceeded to give as good as they got for the next half hour before their opponents again found their scoring touch.

Skipper Malone showed an inspiring attitude, injuring a leg in the opening exchanges, but soldiering on bravely knowing that there was no one to take his place.

There was plenty of good example elsewhere in the away side too, prop James Homes and back row man Richard Lawrence typical, as

they made several useful contributions in that spell.

Such was Llanharan’s commitment that they forced a string of penalties, which they gallantly opted to go to the corner flag with.

Unfortunately, they were unable to gain anything from these set pieces until the 36th minute when shortly after a 4th Whites try they at last won the possession through Owain Howe, and outside half Scott Jones profited from subsequent pressure to score and convert.

However, they could not prevent another try on the stroke of half time, but climbed the steps of the famous old stadium with heads held high after a doughty display in the first forty minutes.

Although the second half  saw the Dairyfield club battle valiantly into the stiff breeze, on a superb playing surface Swansea at last started to attack in waves, man of the match Richard Thomas always a threat.

The tackles went in but a tiring team understandably began to drop off the contact, centre Olly Smyth trooping off before the last try after injury eventually took its toll in a hard afternoon’s work.

Llanharan coach Colin Malone  will be hoping to get some of his missing men back on Saturday when Newbridge arrive at the Dairyfield, the Gwent side themselves desperate for a  win, though their plight does not compare with the winless record of their opponents.

Team:

15 HARRISON EVANS

14 CHRIS SHARKEY

13 OLLIE SMYTH

12 LIAM UNION

11 GAVIN PARSONS

10 SCOTT JONES (Try and Con)

9 CRAIG BURTON

1 TOM EVANS

2 PAUL WINTER.

3 JAMES HOLMES

4 OWAIN HOWE

5 KIERAN MARTIN

6 RICHARD LAWRENCE

7 TOM WILSON

8. SCOTT MALONE (C)

Swansea tries - RichardThomas 3, Liam Popham3, Mitchel Walsh, Olly Quick, Elliot Clement, Andrew  Claypole, Dai Watts, Phil Jones (and 5 cons)

 

SSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

LLANHARAN 6 BRIDGEND ATHLETIC 17 (HT 6-7)

Llanharan may still be without a win this season, but their performance against the Athletic showed that when they are anywhere near a full squad they are certainly a match for the sides in the lower half of the championship.

It was a case of a few crucial incidents not going their way, while Huw Thomas’s surging seventy metres run to the corner in the final move deserved a better outcome than Paul Spurrier’s final whistle.

A score and bonus point would have been no more than Scott Malone’s battlers deserved.

The Dairymen certainly enjoyed the better of the first half, largely thanks to a dominant scrum. The bedrock of Tom Evans, Rhys Taylor and Rhys Haines with the hefty backing of powerhouse men Kieran Martin and Owain Howe had the Bridgend team in trouble and allow3ed the back row of Malone, Tom Wilson and Thomas to forage effectively.

It would have been a pleasing sight to head coach Colin Malone and forwards guru Jeff Pick, both past members of strong Llanharan packs.

The visitors led only 7-6 to at half time, Llanharan certainly unhappy about the yellow cards for Haines and Gavin Parsons that reduced them to thirteen at one stage as the interval approached.

Mr Spurrier found a lot of fault with the Black and Blues, although to be fair he also dished it out the other way, carding prop Matt Muir in the second half.

It looked like another heavy defeat on the cards for home team when Sean Williams strode through from the breakdown and touched down under the posts for Lewis Evans to convert in the second minute.

However, Llanharan shrugged off the setback with determined play, the later yellows given perspective as Athletic conceded four successive penalties without a sin bin sanction.

Scott Jones landed two kicks to leave just a single point deficit.

When the Athletic attacked they were either careless in their handling or met resolute defence.

At the other end, their opponents were still going strong, Thomas, Malone, Burton and Jones particularly prominent as their side asked the questions.

But the team that now plays out of the Brewery Field gave themselves breathing space early after the restart  with an Evans penalty for off side and rode out the yellow card ten minutes  without conceding.

The game was now scrappy, injuries and replacements disrupting the fluency, but Sean Williams’ XV struck the crucial blow twelve minutes from the end.

Ironically, it  was a lost head that led to corner pressure and a driving maul ended  with number eight Stuart Edbrooke over the line, Evans converting to finalise the score.

Thomas’s last despairing drive brought matters to a close,  with disappointment for the home outfit for whom Prop Paul Boddingham, centre Liam Union and scrum half Rob Chen made encouraging debuts.

The Athletic will be pleased with the win which helps keep them above the relegation places, but will find Pontypridd a handful in this week’s cup game.

For Llanharan,  Malone expressed disappointment at coming away with nothing to show for a good effort, unhappy aboutthepenalty count against,  but will look forward to giving Narberth a good game when they arrive at the Dairyfield on Saturday.

His main injury worry will be energetic second row Howe who took a blow to the upper body in the second half.

Scores:

Llanharan: Pens (2) Scott Jones.

Bridgend Ath: tries – Sean Williams, Stuart Edbrooke; pen and con – Lewis Evans.

Team:

HARRISON EVANS 

GAVIN PARSONS

LIAM UNION

HARRY GRIFFITHS

HUW RUSSELL (CHRIS SHARKEY 71)

 SCOTT JONES

 CRAIG BURTON (ROB CHEN 71)

TOM EVANS

 RHYS TAYLOR (RHYS HAINES 75)

 RHYS HAINES (JAMES HOLMES 35) (PAUL BODDINGHAM 54)

 OWAIN HOWE (RICHARD LAWRENCE 62)

 KIERAN MARTIN

 TOM WILSON

 SCOTT MALONE (C)

HUW THOMAS

Match Report: Llanharan 8 v Tata Steel 67. 30-01-2016

By

RICHIE J

15 BEN BURGESS

14 RHYDIAN WORGAN

13 CHRIS SHARKEY

12 GAVIN PARSONS

11 ROSS JONES

10 HARRISON EVANS,

9 NICKY THEAKER,

1 TOM EVANS,

2 RHYS TAYLOR, 

3 JAMES HOLMES

4 OWAIN HOWE

5 KIERAN MARTIN  

6 SCOTT MALONE(C)

7 TOM WILSON,

8 HUW THOMAS 

 

Another gritty and determined performance by an under strength Llanharan side. Llan were further hindered by the loss of their full back, due to injury, at half time. The team started the game with uncontested scrums and the loss of the full back meant that he could not be replaced, so for the second half Llan were again reduced to 14 men.

 

The game started with Tata showing their intent by running the ball at every opportunity, Llan came back at them with some good drives by the forwards. These were set up by outside half Harrison Evans, who cleverly used the wind to gain ground. The game swung back and forth with Tata being able to diffuse the Llanharan drives for their line . After one of the drives Tata gave away a penalty and Harrison Evans converted from 22 meters out.  Not to be outdone Tata came back with a sweeping movement for their second row, Danny Hockin, to go over under the posts. The try was converted by their outside half .

After a penalty against Llanharan, Ross Pritchard, the Tata No 9, made a clean break and quickly made ground towards the Llanharan line. The move was finished off with a try by Rory Morgan-Williams No 10, who also converted. Kristian Jenkins then scored another try for Tata, making the score 19-3

Llan came back with some good moves and a number of times were well within striking distance of the Tata line. One of these moves resulted in a yellow card for the Tata No.4.

From the penalty, Llanharan second row Keiron Martin broke through the Tata line and used his long legs to cover the ground and go over in the corner for a try. Llan continued to put pressure on the Tata line but were unable to break the Tata defence. The first half ended with the score  Llanharan 8  Tata 19.

 

This was a good result for Llan. from a team that had fought well against the odds. There was some hope that this good performance would continue in the second half.

 

The second half started with Tata making full use of the wind and the loss of Llanharan's full back scoring three quick tries, which effectively put an end to Llan's hope of a comeback.

Under pressure and with 14 men the Llanharan players dug in and showed their determination. Again they made  forays into the Tata half but were unable to turn the pressure into points.  Tata continue to take full advantage of their numerical advantage and  the wind and the game ended with them scoring 67 points.

The Llanharan players could not have put more effort or spirit into the game and should be proud of the way they performed against the odds.