RHIWBINA 21 LLANHARAN 20 HT
Head coach Jeff Pick was far from happy with his team’s discipline in this defeat in Llanharan’s first meeting with the Cardiff side.
Yellow cards were awarded against Rhys Taylor, Joel Ringer and Lee Morris.
Said the former Llanharan skipper: “These lapses meant that we were a man down for a substantial part of the game, even two short at one stage, and we cannot afford to give our opponents that sort of advantage. We were actually scoring a try when one needless infringement took place.”
He also conceded that unusually his forwards gave second best against the East District club.
On the bright side he was pleased with the play of two newcomers in the backs, Pontyberem product Rhodri Jones scoring a try and penalty, and Morgan Williams, back in the club after a spell at Beddau, looking dangerous in mid field as Gareth Dyer’s partner.
There were also two tries from Ross Pritchard who made a start at number nine, but generally Rhiwbina held the upper hand and the repeated card infringements made it a challenge too far for the Dairymen who saw Rhiwbina steal the result with a late penalty.
Huw Thomas and his men, who held the lead no fewer than four times, will be looking to get back to winning ways when Mountain Ash come to the Dairyfield.
Llanharan vice presidents should note that this is a free sponsorship and it would be helped if they contacted Steve Rossiter to indicate their attendance. Steve is available this week on: [email protected]
Rhiwbina tries came from Josh Trewartha, Jamie de Abreau and Josh Slocombe, with penalties from Rory Harris and Rhydian Morgan.
Llanharan tries – Rhodri Jones, Ross Pritchard 2. Con Chrissy Poole. Pen Rhodri Jones
15 Rhodri Jones
14 Jack Pring
13 Morgan Williams
12 Gareth Dyer
11 Rhydian Worgan
10 Chris Poole
9 Ross Pritchard
1 Rhys Taylor
2 Sam Llewellyn
3 Sam Grant
4 Lee Morris
5 Richard Hart
6 Kieran Martin
7 Morgan Griffiths
8 Huw Thomas (Capt)
ONE EAST CENTRAL
LLANHARAN 31 CARDIFF QUINS 26 (HT 23-14)
A dominant pack laid the basis for a bonus point win for Llanharan.
The home eight, with Matt Philips a highly competent stand in for the suspended Joel Ringer, regularly had the Quins’ scrum in retreat.
Not so superior though was the lineout, where the muddy ball made control difficult, whilst the closing minutes saw the defensive antennae switch off to allow the Cardiff side two very late tries and with them a double bonus point.
The game got off to a whiz bang start with five tries in the opening quarter.
The Dairymen struck first, Ross Pritchard finishing well after a scissors with Chrissy Poole, but an instant response came as a poor kick allowed visiting skipper Osion Fitzpatrick to race in from twenty metres, Rhys Morgan adding the kick.
It was a temporary respite though, Poole speeding home from a scrum ball, the outside half then creating a try for prop Rhys Taylor after a typical drive from skipper Huw Thomas.
Gavin Parsons converted two and the bonus point came soon after, Thomas cleaning up a loose Quins kick to allow Taylor to claim his second courtesy of an Olympic style dive.
With supporters’ thoughts turning to a runaway victory, the away side came back into affairs with some forceful play.
They hammered away at the home line for ten minutes nonstop as conditions deteriorated into a mud bath, and perhaps would have profited better from letting ball go wide on occasions.
However, the pressure saw Lee Morris carded and their reward eventually came against the fourteen man team, with prop Aled Hill forcing his way over and Morgan’s conversion making it 24-14 at half time.
The second half saw Llanharan dictate territory down the slope, but they were playing into the muddiest half of the field and cohesion was difficult to achieve.
However, their 5th try came in the 45th minute, Quins making a hash of returning Craig Burton’s kick and the mercurial Poole darting in for his second, the conversion stretching the lead to 31-14.
Quins offered plucky defence and occasional adventure, but in the end it was the mud and slime that thwarted Llanharan more than anything, despite notable efforts as when new right wing Jamie Williams made an exciting diagonal cross field run.
There was little chance of Quins winning with stoppage time nearing, but they made the most of two quick penalties in the drier half of the pitch to run in tries from Zak Bartlett and Lewis Haines, Hughes converting the first to earn some reward for their spirited opposition in a game well controlled by referee Andrew Moule.
Tries – C.Poole 2, R.Taylor 2, and R.Pritchard. Cone 3 – Parsons
Quins’ tries; Zak Bartlett, Aled Hill, Osion Fitzpatrick, Lewis Haines; Cons 3 – Rhys Morgan
Gavin PARSONS (Chris SHARKEY 49) Lewis HUGHES Liam UNION Ross PRITCHARD Jamie WILLIAMS Chrissy POOLE Craig BURTON Rhys TAYLOR (Sam GRANT 41) Sam LLEWELLYN (Sam PICK 65) Matt PHILLIPS Richard HART Lee MORRIS (Elys GOODE 53) Kieran MARTIN Richard LAWRENCE (Morgan GRIFFITHS 48) Huw THOMAS (Capt)
In an exciting game we lost 28-22 to Glamorgan County in the 125 anniversary encounter.
We were actually leading 22-21 until a late try won it for the County.
Llan scored four tries - Liam Union, Stuart Griffiths, Gareth Dyer and Richard Lawrence, with a conversion from Gav Parsons.
The County tries were scored by right wing – Alex Griffiths (Maesteg Harlequins) , centre - Mike Hathaway (Bridgend Athletic), wing forward – Stuart Nation (Heol-y-Cyw), No.8 – Matthew Llewellyn (Capt)(Tata Steel), whilst outside half – Paul Smithson (Tondu) converted four tries.
Backs coach Kevin Jones said that the team were a bit slow off the blocks but played good rugby in the second half and could have snatched a win.
Footnote - editor unable to attend so not the usual detailed report but below is an account of the whole occasion from county stalwart Malcolm Thomas:
LANHARAN RFC 22PTS V GLAMORGAN COUNTY RFC 28PTS
A large crowd of supporters greeted Llanharan and Glamorgan County at The Dairy Field on Sunday... last. The weather was bright and sunny but extremely cold, but the rugby that was served up certainly warmed the hearts of this large crowd of keen supporters and made up for the disappointment of the Wales performance against Australia the day before.
Both sides were celebrating their 125th Anniversary and the rugby that both sides produced was of the highest order, playing fast open and attacking rugby, indeed it was truly Barbarian style rugby. Eight brilliant tries were scored, four tries each for the two clubs, the only difference in the final score was that the County converted all of their tries whilst Llanharan only converted one. The County tries were scored by right wing – Alex Griffiths (Maesteg Harlequins) , centre - Mike Hathaway (Bridgend Athletic), wing forward – Stuart Nation (Heol-y-Cyw), No.8 – Matthew Llewellyn (Capt)(Tata Steel), whilst outside half – Paul Smithson (Tondu) converted four tries. Llanharan tries were scored by centres – Liam Union and Gareth Dyer, left wing – Stuart Griffiths and No.8 – Richard Lawrence, with full back – Gavin Parsons converting one try.
The two captains Kieran Martin (Llanharan) and Matthew Llewellyn (County and Tata Steel) had powerful and outstanding games. It is difficult to single out any outstanding player when everyone in both sides all played extremely well and it was a match that could have gone either way, in fact it was only in the scrums that the County had the better, Llanharan had the equal in all other departments.
In the after match function Llanharan President Randal Martin presented County President and Secretary Howard Jones with a special 125th anniversary tie and presented ex-player George Latham who is now 98 years of age with a framed photograph of the 1946 team which he played in and also a head and shoulders of him from the photograph. The two captains also presented one another with their ties. Howard Jones the County President presented Randal Martin and Llanharan Secretary Simon Poole with a special 125th County tie, also a County cap and tie to be placed in the Llanharan display cabinet and an engraved cut glass bowl. Howard also presented Stuart Nation (Heol-y-Cyw) with his County cap having played 12 games.
Malcolm K Thomas
Glamorgan County RFC
Both teams made many changes and it was good to see guest appearances in our ranks fromthe likes of Chris Willaims, Ross Pritchard and Jonnny Myatt
More information when available.
WRU PLATE ROUND TWO OCT 29 2016
TALYWAIN 10 LLANHARAN 20 HT 5-5
It took Llanharan over half this game to put their stamp on proceedings, but they eventually stifled the spirited local resistance to progress to round three.
The club that plays on a hilltop above Pontypool was clearly out for a cup killing victory against the Dairymen who play a level above them.
And there was no doubt that their enthusiastic “in their faces” approach disrupted Llanharan’s shape for long periods.
The visitors showed in one incisive spell after the first quarter just what that could do, but spent too much of the first half trying too much rugby too soon.
After the turn around consolidation of territory and possession at last became priorities and allowed their superior rugby skills to manifest themselves.
The first forty minutes were abjectly scrappy and older followers of the away team were casting their minds back to the 1980s when a confident team travelled to Emlyn Park with nine wins in nine Silver Ball games only to lose 9-8 and miss out on a semi-final place in the prestigious competition.
The first twenty five minutes were dire for the damp crowd, but came to life after a strong set piece burst from number eight Richard Lawrence allowed rangy acting captain Kieran Martin to drive forward and crash over the line.
Llanharan looked about to consolidate that 5-0 lead with Morgan Griffiths and Craig Burton threatening, but a simmering front row confrontation came to the boil with Llanharan’ s Joel Ringer and his two assailants all seeing yellow.
Despite down to thirteen Talywain found inspiration to press and despite two missed penalties levelled the scores before half time with a try from a quick penalty.
Black and Blues backs coach Kevin Jones could be heard in the interval demanding his side bucked their ideas up, but it took a while to galvanise his team and it was the East Two outfit that mauled itself to a 10-5 lead soon after the resumption.
But it was not long before the arrival of skipper Huw Thomas, taking a bench break for this game, showed Llanharan the way forward with a powerful drive within minutes of taking the field.
The more direct approach saw Martin secure line out ball, then loop around to dive in for his second try, Lewis Williams’ kick edging a 12-10 lead.
The East Central One men were now starting to fire on all cylinders, hooker Sam Llewellyn showing g up well in loose play and wing Lewis Hughes bundled into touch at the corner flag.
The match winning score was a fine effort from replacement second row Richard Hart, who took the line out ball and spiralled through the set piece for a try.
A fourth touchdown though proved elusive despite a flat out effort from Gareth Dyer after Chrissy Poole’s charge down, and it took a Williams penalty to ensure third round passage, Jack Pring denied the chance to add emphasis with a marginal off side ruling after he was put free.
Next up for Llanharan comes on Sunday when Glamorgan are the visitors to the Dairyfield in a special 125th anniversary game (2pm).
Tries: Kieran Martin 2, Richard Hart, Con and pen: Lewis Williams)
Gavin PARSONS Jack PRING Chrissy POOLE Gareth DYER Lewis HUGHES (Stuart GRIFFITHS 70) Lewis WILLIAMS Craig BURTON Rhys TAYLOR (Tom HARRIS 73) Sam LLEWELLYN Joel RINGER (Matt PHILLIPS 45) Lee MORRIS Kieran MARTIN (Capt) Elys GOODE (Richard HART 45) Morgan GRIFFITHS (Huw THOMAS 45) Richard LAWRENCE
ONE EAST CENTRAL OCT 22
TREORCHY 52 LLANHARAN 17 HT 31-5
Llanharan played almost all the game one man short and were down to thirteen for a ten minute second half spell – hardly the scenario for taking on the league leaders.
The fiasco began in the first minute with centre Gareth Dyer trapped under the maul after scurrying back to save a try, went on with prop Joel Ringer seeing red for punching in the 13th minute, and continued as Gavin Parsons was yellowed in the second half after a deliberate knock on.
Small wonder then that the Rhondda boys ran up a big win – yet the margin of victory barely reflected Llanharan’s efforts.
They actually took a lead after the sending off, but a devastating three seven-pointers on the half hour mark gave them a mountain to climb.
Yet Huw Thomas’s men did not give in easily and enjoyed territorial advantage after the turn around. In fact, when referee Mr English blew the final whistle the away side was hammering away at the line seeking a 4th bonus point try.
However, attempts to rebuild after last season’s relegation are again encountering problems. Ringer can expect a ban, while even before the kick-off Jordan Glasby had to be withdrawn after his suspension for a 2nd XV sending off came through, while Lloyd Thomas’s continuing injury meant Gavin Parsons had to take the ten shirt.
However, it was good to see Jack Pring back after injury, while Lewis Hughes, son of former outside half Oscar, gave a nice cameo as a replacement wing. Back row man Elys Goode also returned after a long layoff.
Jordan Lloyd gave the Zebras a three point lead from the first sin binning, but the away team displayed commendable resolve in taking the lead in the 18th minute with Rhys Taylor driving over to end pressure started with Richard Hart’s lineout ball.
But a decisive spell of devastating attacking for Treorchy saw Alex Green, Ryan Evans and Lloyd Williams racing over in just four minutes, Lloyd’s three conversions taking the score to 24-5.
The talented black and white shirts had suddenly revelled in the greater space the sending off gave them.
Gethin Cashmore had gone on to complete the front row complement but it meant the open field ability of Richard Lawrence had to be sacrificed.
Llanharan regrouped to stem the flow, a Stuart Griffiths run typifying their effort, but the fourth try went again to the home team, moving the ball nicely for left wing Ryan Evans to finish, the kick making it 31-5 at half time.
The second half did not start well for Huw Thomas’s men as Parsons was sent to the line and a penalty try awarded for a deliberate knock on.
Again Thomas rallied his men, and with a home yellow card balancing numbers, strong line out play brought a try for replacement Morgan Griffiths, Liam Union converting.
However, once again the back to full strength Oval team struck to extend their already big lead, a break through in the middle of the park bringing a converted try for Lloyd Williams and a 45-12 score, stretched further as a poor pass was pounced on to present a try for Jacob Lloyd who converted for a personal haul of 19 points,
The last say though went to the Dairymen who launched repeated attacks in the final minutes, Chrissy Poole particularly dangerous, and Gareth Dyer found his way over.
It set up a frenzied effort to grab the bonus point try, but the final whistle thwarted them and left them with just the satisfaction of a spirited display against the odds.
Jack PRING Chrissy POOLE Gareth DYER Liam UNION Stuart GRIFFITHS (Lewis HUGHES 58) Gavin PARSONS Craig BURTON Rhys TAYLOR (Tom HARRIS 71) Sam LLEWELLYN Joel RINGER (red card 13) Richard Hart (Morgan GRIFFITHS 50) Kieran MARTIN Lee MORRIS (Elys GOODE 50) Richard LAWRENCE(red card withdrawal) (Gethin CASHMORE 18) (Richard HART 79) Huw THOMAS (Capt)
Treorchy tries – Ryan Evans 2, Lloyd Williams 2, Jacob Lloyd, Alex Green, penalty try. Cons 7 and pen – Jordan Lloyd.
Llan tries – Rhys Taylor, Morgan Griffiths, and Gareth Dyer. Con – Liam Union.
ONE EAST CENTRAL OCT 15
LLANHARAN 20 PORTH QUINS 10 (HT: 15-7)
Home skipper Huw Thomas admitted that his side had played better this season and still lost!
However, the important statistic was the win, halting a run of three One East Central defeats and keeping Llanharan on the edge of the leading clubs.
It would be fair to say that Porth deserved some reward from a game in which they had the lion’s share of possession and territory for long periods.
Their failure to win owed much to never say die defence by the Dairymen, not to mention the incessant rain which brought frequent errors and produced a poor spectacle for the large crowd.
There were too many bad decisions and a lot of poor execution for Thomas’s men, and frustrated head coach Jeff Pick said his team had underperformed.
“We know we are better than that,” he summed up, “but we have strengthened our position in the table and can improve.”
In his second stint at the helm, the former club captain did however praise his half backs. Chrissy Poole moved to the ten shirt after Lloyd Thomas withdrew with an injury, while inside him Craig Burton was one who rose above the conditions and showed his class.
Each played prominent parts in creating a match winning score-line, Poole cutting through nicely almost from the kick off for an early try and, late in the game, Burton effectively following up his kick ahead to dislodge the ball from the defender and maintain forward momentum.
It ended with Liam Union winning the race to the touch down and put Porth out of contention, only time added on to be decided by authoritative young referee Aaron Parry..
Union himself did well, only moving into the starting line out on the day of the match, also grabbing a first half try for his team.
It came in the 27th minute after Lee Morris had driven into the defence, Poole again prominent in good follow up work.
Gavin Parsons converted the first try and landed a first half penalty.
Porth got on the score board with an almost instant response to Poole’s opener, scrum half Jack Foulkes darting over and Lewis Williams converting.
It was undoubtedly a reflection of the effect of the downpour and two misfiring teams that neither could benefit from yellow card advantages, Porth the first to see their numbers reduced in the ten minutes before half time, then Paul Winter given his marching orders by the Pontypool official early in the second half, Williams’ subsequent penalty the visitors’ only reward.
Porth dominated much of the second half and once back to 15-10 from that Williams’ kick seemed to have every chance of a victory that few could have complained about, but then came that telling bit of class from Burton and Union’s victory clinching double.
Llan tries – Liam Union 2, Chrissy Poole. Con and pen: Gav Parsons
Porth try: Jack Foulkes, con and pen – Lewis Phillips.
Team:Gavin PARSONS Rhydian WORGAN Gareth DYER Liam UNION Stuart GRIFFITHS Chrissy POOLE Craig BURTON Rhys TAYLOR Gethin CASHMORE Joel RINGER (Sam LLEWELLYN 52) Richard HART Kieran MARTIN Paul WINTER (Richard LAWRENCE 63)Lee MORRIS Huw THOMAS (Capt)
UNUSED: Rhys HAINES Morgan GRIFFITHS Chris SHARKEY
WELSH RU PLATE ROUND ONE
LLANHARAN 22 TONDU 8
Two seasons ago Tondu came to Llanharan in a WRU cup game and stole a late victory as a last kick penalty allowed them to advance in the competition on tries count after a dramatic 22 all draw.
Both clubs were then in the National Championship, Tondu to suffer relegation that year and Llanharan the season after, by which time the Waterwheelers had gone straight down to Two West.
However, each outfit has been displaying vibrant revival signs this time round in their respective leagues.
Llanharan’s promising start was halted though by three successive defeats as the reconstructed squad suffered numerous withdrawal with a number of serious injuries, a sprinkling of unavailabilties another hindrance.
But the home team welcomed back several important players for this Plate game and this time there was to be no late drama as they recorded a solid win against a Tondu outfit that was strong in all the basics.
Head coach Jeff Pick was understandably pleased with the win: “Tondu were a good side as we expected from their season to date, but we kept our shape against them, stuck to the game plan, and when danger threatened defended well.
“We were pleased with the contribution of the returning players – Richard Hart had an outstanding work rate and Gareth Dyer went well after recovering from a bad case of flu.
“The main thing is that we are through to the next round giving morale a boost and setting us up for Porth Quins visit on Saturday.”
One man who would have been particularly happy with his afternoon was Paul Winter, a loyal servant since Youth, but one whose days have been mainly spent as a stalwart of the Second XV.
Last season saw the back row man elevated to the senior team for several outings and he has remained part of the leading squad again this campaign.
He turned 37 on the eve of the match and celebrated by scoring Llanharan’s first try, taking an inside ball from Lloyd Thomas, another Seconds regular for the last few years.
Two other tries were scored – Rhydian Worgan also showing he can crack it at First XV level, and Chrissy Poole, flying down the wing and again confirming his class at this level.
The dependable, Gavin Parsons, yet another to rise for the lower ranks as part of the coaches’ “one club” philosophy, added two conversions and a penalty.
G PARSONS R WORGAN (L UNION 60))G DYER S GRIFFITHS C POOLE L THOMAS C BURTON R TAYLOR G CASHMORE (S LLEWELLYN 50) J RINGER (M PHILLIPS 60) R HART K MARTIN P WINTER (T BUCKLE 68) H THOMAS CAPT R LAWRENCE (M GRIFFITHS 50)
Tries: Paul Winter, Rhydian Worgan, Chrissy Poole. Cons 2 and pen - Gav Parsons
ONE EAST CENTRAL
YSTRAD RHONDDA 20 LLANHARAN 15 (HT 10-5)
This was a brave showing by a depleted Llanharan side fielding a complete change back division from the previous game as a result of injuries and unavailability.
Defeat was a bitter pill to swallow as for the second week running two tries were awarded against them despite what seemed clear offences.
Home centre Dano Roberts was the beneficiary in each case, a forward pass evident in his first touchdown and a blatant two man crossing obstruction for the crucial winner.
Llanharan even survived a first half yellow for tight head Joel Ringer and actually fought back from 10-0 down to lead 15-13, only to suffer a late converted try from Roberts leaving them with just a losers’ bonus point.
So peeved was Llanharan skipper Huw Thomas with that final defining score that he too was harshly yellow carded as he took out his frustration on a water bottle. The water bottle is believed to be uninjured.
The Dairymen’s head coach Jeff Pick was disappointed, but full of praise for his side’s efforts.
“We came up here with numerous enforced changes against one of the early front runners,” he said.
“Yet the effort and pride they showed in the shirt was heart-warming and I could not have asked more of men who in other circumstances could have been playing for our Seconds.
“They deserved better than to see victory denied them by two fortuitous tries, the second week we have suffered such a fate.
“However, our squad should start to return to full strength in the coming weeks – but I am not taking anything away from the boys who did duty today, they did the club proud”
It was nevertheless an excellent game of rugby with two fairly evenly matched teams. The game started in the same vein as the weather, bright and sunny with Ystrad soon putting pressure on the Llanharan line. Llan defended well however and eventually cleared their line. The game then was even with the play moving between the two 22 metres lines. Ystrad were winning the scrums, their opponents often ending up on the wrong end of the whistle, although it was the away side that was winning the line outs. The penalties in the scrum eventually led to Ringer’s demise, and Ystrad’s opening penalty.
Roberts went over almost immediately from the scrum awarded after the ball failed to travel 10 metres from the restart and Shepherd’s kick made it 10-0.
Llanharan came back brilliantly with a scything break by Chris Poole, who cut the opposition apart and went over for an unconverted try making it 10 - 5 at half time.
The second half started with Llanharan having more possession and putting pressure on the Ystrad line, leading to a close quarter try by scrum half Craig Burton, Parsons converting for a 12-10 lead.
Exchanged penalties meant the Dairymen held on to their lead, but a scrum in their 22 saw Roberts grab his second, albeit contentious, score, Shepherd’s conversion completing the scoring.
The Black and Blues will be hoping for better fortune when Tondu arrive at the Dairy for a Plate game.
Llanharan tries: Chris Poole, Craig Burton. Con and pen: Gavin Parsons
Ystrad tries – Dano Roberts 2. Cons 2 and pens 2 – Corey Shepherd
15. GAVIN PARSONS
14. DAI HUSSEY
13. STUART GRIFFITHS
12. LIAM UNION (CRAIG BURTON 45)
11. RHYDIAN WORGAN
10. CHRIS POOLE
9. ROSS PRITCHARD
1. RHYS TAYLOR
2. SAM LLEWELYN (GETHIN CASHMORE 40)
3. JOEL RINGER
5. KIERAN MARTIN
6. ALED LLEWELLYN (PAUL WINTER 65)
7. RICHARD LAWRENCE
8. HUW THOMAS CAPT
17. TOM HARRIS
ONE EAST CENTRAL
LLANHARAN 10 DOWLAIS 14 (HT 3-0)
Dowlais maintained their unbeaten record by clawing their back from a 10-0 deficit to steal victory.
It was tense game littered by no fewer than five yellow cards, leaving each side with thirteen on the field at various stages.
Home coach Jeff Pick was disappointed with the result after Llanharan had withstood a strong forward assault for much of the first half and appeared to be well on top as the last quarter dawned with a two score lead.
However, fortunes turned on a hotly challenged try decision by referee Thomas Davies.
Under considerable pressure from the Dairymen’s vibrant attacking play, Dowlais eventually got possession and booted a mighty punt some 70 metres downfield.
It appeared that home full back Lewis Williams had slid over the line to minor the ball but to the home crowd’s astonishment Dowlais wing Jake Howard then threw himself on the ball and saw the Blackwood official award the try. Lloyd Hynes added a good conversion and the Merthyr side were back in it at 10-7.
Their crucial winner also owed much to Mr Davies’s interpretation, yellow carding Joel Ringer for a front row offence.
The weakened Llanharan pack could not withstand the pressure as Dowlais threw everthing into a corner scrum and Lewis Ayling got the touch down for a winning lead.
It was, however, a brief period of ascendancy for the Merthyr side as Llanharan launched attack after attack only for cutting midfield runs to falter on a poor final pass out wide.
Even after a yellow card for Lewis Williams, the Black and Blues pressed strongly, one surging run through the middle by Stuart Griffiths deserving a better outcome.
The final whistle prompted huge celebrations, suggesting once again that the Llanharan scalp is a huge motivation for some clubs in the division.
Dowlais clearly have a major strength in their forwards, a hefty pack putting their opponents under a lot of first half pressure which, to their credit, they resisted well to hang on to the lead that Williams’ early penalty had given them.
But the second half was a different story as the sharp attacking play, albeit sometimes unnecessarily elaborate, gave the Dairymen the advantage.
They were rewarded with a try in the 48th minute. It was not, though, until after a hasty whistle robbed skipper Huw Thomas a touchdown as the Dowlais scrum was instantly penalised with no advantage played, with the added sanction of a yellow card.
Even a penalty try could have been justified as it was the visitors’ third consecutive scrum offence.
But Llanharan then moved the ball out left against depleted ranks and Ross Pritchard celebrated a return to home colours with a full stretch score in the corner, Williams converting well.
A third win in four seemed on the cards – until that controversial Dowlais try brought visitors a change of fortune.
15. LEWIS WILLIAMS
14. ROSS PRITCHARD
13. CHRIS POOLE
12. GARETH DYER
11. STUART GRIFFITHS
10. LLOYD THOMAS
9. CRAIG BURTON (TOM LUCAS 55)
1. RHYS TAYLOR
2. GETHIN CASHMORE
3. JOEL RINGER (MATT PHILLIPS 70)
5. KIERAN MARTIN
6. OWAIN HOWE (TOM BUCKLE 59)
7. MORGAN GRIFFITH
8. HUW THOMAS CAPT
16. SAM LLEWELYN
20. LIAM UNION
Llanharan try: Ross Pritchard; con: Lewis Williams; pen: Lewis Williams .
Dowlais tries: Jake Howard, Lewis Ayling; cons: Lloyd Hynes 2.
ONE EAST CENTRAL
ST JOSEPH’S 32 LLANHARAN 10 (HT 0-0)
The brightness of Llanharan’s maximum point start faded badly in the September sun at Blackweir as St Joseph’s enjoyed a storming second half to jubilantly claim a bonus point win.
It was an outcome that was largely unpredictable after a non-descript scoreless opening half in which neither side did well.
The home team had the benefit of the wind, but many of their attacks were nullified by errors, and while Llanharan frequently threatened with breakaways, they too were the architects of their own misfortune with failure to retain possession in the loose and a poor lineout display while in good positions.
After the turn around, the Black and Blues were perhaps guilty of trying to launch long distance attacks instead of establishing a territorial advantage before striking, while the Cardiff outfit grew in confidence and began to see their moves cohere in sweeping attacks.
Nor was the visitors’ cause helped by several disruptive injuries, although the loss of Joel Ringer was unnecessary, the big prop leaving the field for non-blood injury treatment, but correctly not allowed back on as replacement Sam Llewellyn was already on.
The loss of the tight head’s considerable weight helped give the opposition a growing strength in the scrums.
The opening forty saw St Jo’s outside half Jacob Chilcott use the wind well to pin Llanharan back, skipper Huw Thomas spearheading committed defence with strong runs.
But it looked like the rarity of a pointless half was broken as Gareth Dyer dived in on a kick ahead for what seemed a try, only to have supporters scratching their heads as his side was instead awarded a scrum five!
It came to nothing, but there were hopes that the unbeaten Dairyfield team would use their talented runners to good effect with the wind at their backs.
It was not to be. Chilcott struck two penalties, and then converted Ollie Young’s overlap try for a decisive 13-0 lead in the 65th minute.
It was Young to the fore again just a few minutes later, the man who also grabbed a pace against Llanharan while in a Swansea shirt last campaign profiting from a drop ball, Chilcott once more obliging with the boot.
The home team were now rampant, sensing a big victory against the club they rarely defeated back in the old pre national league East District days, and although the hard working Rhys Taylor forced his way over for two close quarter tries, two from the Cardiff club’s Dan Vellors with Chilcott’s conversions brought a victory rapturously celebrated by the capital city club.
Sadly for Llanharan the game also counted for East District and Silver Ball points, competitions they have not been part of for several seasons, and theywill be anxious to get back on course this Saturday when they face a tough challenge in the form of unbeaten Dowlais.
15. .LEWIS WILLIAMS
14. JACK PRING (GAVIN PARSONS 36)
13. CHRIS POOLE
12. GARETH DYER
11. JOSH AUSTIN (OWAIN HOWE 50)
10. LLOYD THOMAS
9. TOM LUCAS
1. RHYS TAYLOR
2. GETHIN CASHMORE (SAM PICK 70)
3. JOEL RINGER (SAM LLEWELYN 17)
4. RICHARD HART (RICHARD LAWRENCE 45)
5. KIERAN MARTIN
6. LEE MORRIS
7. MORGAN GRIFFITH
8. HUW THOMAS CAPT
Llanharan tries: Rhys Taylor 2.
St Joseph’s tries: Ollie Young 2, Dan Vellors 2. Pens 2 and cons 3 – Jacob Chilcott
ONE EAST CENTRAL
RUMNEY 11 LLANHARAN 43 (HT 6-15)
A second successive six tries bonus point victory underlined the excellent summer of rebuilding undertaken at Llanharan, Gareth Dyer notching a hat trick.
This was an impressive display against the club that regularly fought it out with them for East District supremacy in the days before national leagues.
It was far from easy as the home team’s attrition disrupted their superior attacking play for much of a first half punctuated by numerous confrontations.
However, as the interval approached, the referee decided enough was enough and in a short space of time had yellow carded no fewer than five players, three form Rumney and two from the Dairymen.
Its effect was twofold – en end to the disruptive niggling and the creation of space which the away team exploited with relish.
A Lloyd Thomas early penalty was cancelled out by one from Lewis Pearce, and that was how the score stood until the stroke of half time when the openings began to appear in depleted ranks.
Dyer’s first touchdown came in the 5th minute of time added on, Chris Poole, Kieran Martin and Josh Austin all prominent in the build-up before the centre finished off, Thomas converting.
Pearce struck a second penalty, but Dyer, back with his home club after several years’ absence, hit back instantly, profiting from the elusive running of co-centre Poole to give his side 15-6 lead.
It was all Llanharan in the second period with sharp and classy handling.
Promising young scrum half Tom Lucas was next over the line, Dyer, Joel Ringer and Martin major contributors in the build-up.
Dyer sailed through for his third to register the bonus point, and with fullback Jack Pring increasingly threatening with his attacks from deep, Rumney were stretched to breaking point.
The lively Lucas was also very much to the fore, sending Poole in for two tries in the final ten minutes to complete the rout.
Thomas, a skilful controller in the ten shirt, added his fifth conversion of the afternoon to complete a highly successful afternoon for his team.
A late pushover try from Mike Wilson, with Llanharan down to 14 after Martin’s hamstring pull, was of only token significance.
The East One Central outfit travel again to the capital this weekend when they take on St Joseph’s.
Llanharan tries – Gareth Dyer 3, Chris Poole 2, Tom Lucas. Cons 5 and pen – Lloyd Thomas
Rumney try – Mike Wilson. Pens 2 – Lewis Pearce.
15. JACK PRING
14. STUART GRIFFITHS
13. CHRIS POOLE
12. GARETH DYER (JORDAN GLASBY 57)
11. JOSH AUSTIN
10. LLOYD THOMAS
9. TOM LUCAS
1. RHYS TAYLOR (SAM PICK 65)
2. GETHIN CASHMORE
3. JOEL RINGER (SAM LLEWELYN 56)
4. RICHARD HART
5. KIERAN MARTIN
6. LEE MORRIS (ELYS GOODE 55)
7. MORGAN GRIFFITH (OWAIN HOWE 55)
8. HUW THOMAS CAPT
ONE EAST CENTRAL
LLANHARAN 33 LLANTWIT FARDRE 0 (HT 13-0)
Llanharan got their 125th season off to an emphatically successful start with this six tries bonus point win against neighbours Llantwit Fardre.
The previous campaign had been calamitous for the Dairyfield club after a host of summertime departures had left the squad threadbare, unable to record a single victory until the final league game in the National Championship.
But what a difference another summer has made with head coach Jeff Pick and his assistants Kevin Jones and Wayne Jervis, investing massive effort into rebuilding strength and spirit.
On Saturday’s evidence that effort is certainly going to pay off in One East Central as Huw Thomas’s men dominated throughout in conditions which must have had Paul Jones thinking of abandonment with torrential rain lashing down on proceedings.
The Ebbw Vale official handled play well and the game duly went its full span with Llanharan showing a quality that belied the elements.
The score though would certainly have been higher on a dry day, while to be fair to Andrew Evans’s visitors, they battled bravely to keep the rampant home team at bay.
But the signs were there early on that Fardre were in for a long afternoon as a Richard Hart run led to Lloyd Thomas’s 3rd minute penalty.
Nothing more came for another half hour with Josh Austin, Joel Ringer, Kieran Martin and Chris Poole often prominent as the team surged towards the line.
A try had to come and it arrived in the 36th minute after handling that would have graced a dry ball day, new right wing Stuart Griffiths accelerating over wide out.
Another came just before half time, Griffiths and Poole instrumental in the approach and Richard Lawrence, who did a fine job as stand in scrum half, finishing off.
With the storm at their backs Llanharan pressed relentlessly after the turn around, Huw Thomas breaking from the scrum to create the pressure that gave rangy second row Kieran Martin his side’s third touchdown.
Skipper Thomas was increasingly influential in keeping Llanharan’s loose play cohesion, and Lloyd Thomas, back in first XV ranks after many years opting to play Second team rugby, capped a good display by pouncing on the loose ball after a poor Llantwit line out.
Back row man Thomas himself added number five, Llanharan’s solid set piece creating a pushover score, while another Austin break saw the classy Poole get the final five points.
(Coach's comments to follow)
15. Jack Pring
14. Stuart Griffiths (try) (Rhydian Worgan)
13. Chris Poole (try)
12. Gareth Dyer (Liam Union)
11. Josh Austin
10. Lloyd Thomas (try, pen)
9. Richard Lawrence (try)
1. Rhys Taylor
2. Gethin Cashmore (Sam Llewelyn)
3. Joel Ringer (. Matt Phillips)
4. Richard Hart
5. Kieran Martin (try)
6. Lee Morris (. Ellis Goode)
7. Owain Howe
8. Huw Thomas Capt (try)