Match Reports

First Team

 

 

MATCH RESULT

LLANHARAN          20

 -

31        DINAS POWYS

(3  

 -

19)

 

 

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

MATCH REPORT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

MATCH RESULT

TREORCHY           28

 -

12             LLANHARAN

(21

-

5)

 

 

Llanharan Try Scorers: Sam Llewellyn and Chris Williams (conversion added by Chris Williams)

MATCH REPORT

The Dairymen travelled up the Rhondda valley to Treorchy in an early kick off, one of the few league games that went ahead prior to the first Autumn International between Wales and Australia.  An injury ravaged squad quickly assembled ahead of kick off to ensure a competitive fixture between the two sides with the Black and Blue showing plenty of heart and desire to make up for the lack of preperation.  In defence, good line speed was the order of the day with hooker Sam Llewellyn leading the defensive line alongside skipper Huw Thomas to put in a number of big hits and stop the Zebras from gaining momentum in the early stages.  After some solid scrums and early success for the backline, Llanharan found themselves in favourable attacking positions on several occassions.  Good organised attacks through the forwards were repelled by equally solid and resolute defending as the hosts managed to clear their lines.

The homeside continued to threaten and got their reward following a series of penalties, the ball was splayed across the field from left to right and back again and whilst the Llanharan defence initially held firm, the Black and Blue wall became stretched until gaps appeared.  A fine line break and flick back inside saw the Zebra cross for their first score of the game.  Despite the pressure on the Dairymen, they rallied following the try to score shortly after the restart.

After a scrum was awarded to Llanharan for accidential offside from the restart, the lads attacked and found themselves breaking through the black and white defence.  Good scrambling play caused the attack to stutter only for a penalty to be awarded for foul play at the ruck.  A kick to the corner showed attacking intent from the away side who were beginning to show good spirit, teamwork and a willingness to play that was shown lacking in recent performances.  Sustained pressure from the forwards in successive phases of play following a collapsed driving lineout saw Sam Llewellyn go over from close range.  Taking the ball behind him from close range, the hooker squirelled underneath an advancing tackle and burrowed over the line to secure the first Llanharan score. 

Treorchy rallied from the set back and scored a further two tries - the first of which was the result of a fortutoues line break following a bizarre ball bounce off Llan second rower, Shaun O'Rourke that fell into the hands of an advancing attacker whilst the second came from a set piece driving lineout to the back of the line out.  With the scoreline beginning to look ominous and with several of the lads carrying injuries, the question was now whether to fight bravely and take the game to Treorchy or accept wave after wave of attack.

The answer to that question came early in the second half as Treorchy attacked the Llanharan try line, a five metre scrum and the call from skipper, Huw Thomas to send them back - a call to which the pack duly delivered by demolishing the Treorchy scrum.  Awarded a penalty, the Black and Blue continued to battle throughout the second half in what became a tooth and nail affair of committment from both sides.  Despite poor conditions, both sides attempted to play rugby and both sides stepped up in defence to make the tackle.  The second half deadlock was eventually broken late on as a well worked attack from the Zebra backline saw soft hands between several players to create a hole in the Llanharan defence, bisected by a fantastic angle of running from Peter Hutchings.  The Treorchy winger secured his 300 appearance for the club and unselfishly drew his defender to allow a fellow Zebra to cross the line. 

Although the last Treorchy score was straight off the training paddock, the pick of the tries came from Llanharan following a fine flowing attacking move that started through second rower Shaun O'Rourke who played a fantastic game.  Taking the ball at pace, the giant lock forward split the Treorchy defence with a barn storming run that saw him link up with the Llanharan backline.  Morgan Williams, Ollie Smyth and Chris Poole all offered themselves in attack and a fine supporting run from hooker Sam Llewellyn kept the ball alive as the move was finished off under the posts by scrum half, Chris Williams who subsequently converted the try.  

The second half turned into a fantastic game of rugby from the neutral perspective and reflected a truly great effort from all involved.  Whilst the performance and spirit did bring a smile to the travelling Llanharan supporters, the outcome of the game was not the result we would all want.  Next week, we welcome Dinas Powys to the Diaryfield in a 12 o'clock kick off with the lads keen to get the season back on track.

STARTING XV

15. Evan Parry John

14. Morgan Williams

13. Chris Poole

12. Ollie Smyth

11. Stuart Griffiths

10. Chris Sharky

9. Chris Williams

1. Matthew Phillips

2. Sam Llewellyn

3. Gethin Cashmore

4. Sam Pick

5. Shaun O’Rourke

6. Huw Russell

7. Ben Jones

8. Huw Thomas (C)

 

 

MATCH RESULT

LLANHARAN          17 

 -

28             PORTH

(17

-

14)

 

 

Llanharan Try Scorers: Ollie Smyth and Sion Summers (conversions and penalty by Scott Jones)

MATCH REPORT

Llanharan welcomed Porth Harlequins last weekend, seeking to bounce back from a heavy defeat to Ynysybwl in the WRU National Plate. Unfortunately despite racing into a 17 - 0 lead, the Dairymen were left frustrated and defeated following a ressurgence from the away side who scored 28 unanswered points to claw back the win.

The first half started at a good pace with the Black and Blue seizing the initiative from kick off. Playing towars the club, the ball was spun out from left to right as the lads played expansive rugby. As ever, Morgan Williams did brilliantly to take his man on, beat him for gas and draw in the covering full back. Quick thinking as space ran out led to a chip from Morgan over the Porth 15 to allow centre Ollie Smyth to score. With the try converted by Scott Jones, the Black and Blue faithful would have been pleased with the positive start that was made.

The second home try was scored not long after the restart where despite a messy take from kick off, some good phase play allowed Scott Jones to feed Stuart Griffiths who saw space behind the advancing defence. A fantastic kick cross field and into space saw the rapid pace of full back, Sion Summers, win the foot chase and secure the second try of the game. A fabulous kick from Scott Jones from out wide gave us a 14 - 0 lead...quickly extended by a further 3 points from a kickable penalty after the restart. 17 points up and apparently cruising - were the boys finally going to deliver the big win that potential promised??? The answer to that question was a resounding no.

To their absolute credit, Porth changed things up. Playing tighter through the forwards they played narrow and switched on to the early attacking threat of the Llanharan backline. A combination of poor decision making to quick tap a penalty, followed by some good counter attacking play, saw the Porth outfit in the Llan 22 with their first real sniff at points. A collapsed Llanharan scrum due to a slip saw the Quins cross the line and reduce the deficit by 7 points. A subsequent attacking forray by Porth from a lineout and through the forwards in the narrow channel saw another try converted to bring the score to 17-14 at the break.

Clear messages at half time on how to tighten the game up and exploit the gaps in defence were unfortunately ignored as Porth scored two tries from nothing, the Quins backline cutting through our defence early on allowed the away side to sustain the shift inmomentum and give Llanharan an up hill task...one that proved insurmountable in the end. Despite dominating the remainder of the second half, dogged defending from Porth and a lack of cutting edge saw Llanharan lose the game and Porth run out deserved winners.

 

STARTING XV

 

15. Sion Summers

14. Morgan Williams

13. S Griffiths

12. Ollie Smyth

11. Chris Poole

10. Scott Jones

9. Callum Palmer

1. Frasier Young

2. Gethin Cashmore

3. Matthew Phillips

4. Tom Buckle

5. Shaun O’Rourke

6. Adan Cole

7. Ben Jones

8. Huw Thomas (C)

 

 

MATCH RESULT

LLANHARAN          15

 -

14             MOUNTAIN ASH

 

 

 
 

 

Tries for Llanharan:   Chrissy Poole and Stuart Griffiths

Extras:    Scott Jones x 1 conversion, 1 x penalty

 

MATCH REPORT

It was another tough encounter in WRU Division One East Central as Llanharan RFC hosted Mountain Ash RFC in the 6th Round of competitive league games.

Following the humbling defeat to Llantrisant, the Dairymen sought to regroup after a positive display against Aberdare in the plate.  This week would present a very different encounter, with the “Old Firm” seeking to avenge their loss to Llanharan from the last encounter between the two sides at back end of last season - a crucial victory9++9

Clearly fired up for the encounter, Mount started in ferocious fashion and competed at every opportunity in general open play, causing no end of grief for the home side scrum half Callum Palmer, enjoying his first start for the Black and Blue. Llanharan rose to the challenge and struck the first blow playing away from the Club house.  Following some good forward phase play, generating quick ball, Palmer sent it out to Scott Jones at 10 who in turn shifted the ball wide through the hands to outside centre, Stuart Griffiths.  After showing good vision, Griffiths drew his man to release winger Chris Poole who ran a great line in support to race clear and score the first try of the game that was subsequently converted well by Scott Jones.

It wasn’t long before Mountain Ash came back into the game, going well with their forwards and bringing their inside centre back against the grain on crash balls.  The pressure was rewarded with a penalty against Llanharan, only for the kick to be missed to give the home side reprieve.  Despite the set back, The Old Firm continued to pressurise the Dairymen and found their first score through their inside centre following a 5 metre scrum – pouncing on loose ball to touch down.  With the score at 7 – 7, the game was shaping up to be a close encounter with neither side willing to give an inch. 

With both sides committed to the cause, it was with no surprise that the game became heated in a sequence of ill discipline.  Llanharan were first to fall foul of the referee with a yellow card awarded against flanker, Jack Thompson for preventing ball release at the ruck.  A subsequent ruck resulted in off the ball scrapping that saw Mountain Ash equally punished with a man in the bin as tensions rose steadily.  It all culminated in an ugly melee following the resumption of play that involved both packs getting involved.  The man in the middle saw enough from the away side to award a straight red and a further yellow, reducing the Old Firm to 12 men.  Once again, Llanharan failed to make the extra man count until just before half time with inspired thinking from Scott Jones following a turn over.  Receiving the ball, he dispatched a fine cross field kick that bounced ever so kindly to winger, Morgan Williams who took the ball at speed and passed inside to centre, Stuart Griffiths who raced to the corner to score.  Unfortunately the subsequent conversion was missed by Jones but at half time the score was 12-7 with all to play for.

The second half saw Mount come out perhaps more determined than when they started, certainly getting the better of the opening 20 minutes.  Playing down the slope and with only 14 men, they managed to put the Dairymen under sustained pressure.  Keeping the ball tight up front, they were rewarded when their prop managed to force himself over out wide.  A great strike from the boot saw the try converted and the lead shift in favour of the away side for the first time in the game. 

Despite loosing the lead, Llanharan rallied well with a dogged defence to put Mount under pressure mid way into their half.  Attacking the club house, a penalty was awarded against the visitors for further infringement at the breakdown which allowed Scott Jones to seize the moment and the game, with a fine kick under pressure, giving the Black and Blue at 15-14 victory over a spirited Mountain Ash outfit.

Speaking after the game, Llanharan coaches Jeff Pick, Kevin Jones and Clinton Davies shared similar views on the performance – happy to get back to winning ways and pleased with dogged determination and fight shown by the lads to get the victory.  When asked who stood out from the Black and Blue, Kevin Jones was keen to mention a particularly good performance from tight head Gethin Cashmore, who followed up his TWO tries against Aberdare with a great showing in all aspects of play.

Editors Note: Profound apologies go to fellow front rower Gethin Cashmore – Man of the Match this week and scorer of two fantastic tries the week before against Aberdare.  The previous match report incorrectly stated that outside half, Scott Jones scored when in fact it was Cashmore.  Rightly perturbed by this omission (to be fair, it’s not every day a front rower scores one let alone two).  Credit to Cashmore for clarifying that he ran nearly 50 metres to score his second try - beating no less than 6 men on his way and carrying two on his back as he crossed the line.  If anyone has any visual record of this fine display of attacking rugby, please get in touch so that it can be entered into the Clubs Archives under "Finest Front Row Tries".

 

 

MATCH RESULT

ABERDARE          33

 -

42             LLANHARAN

(14

-

24 )

 

 

 

Llanharan Tries:      

Morgan Williams x 3

Gethin Cashmore

Scott Jones

Extras:

Scott Jones - 1 x conversion; 5 x pens

MATCH SUMMARY

This Cup fixture provided great relief this week to recent league form as Llanharan travelled to the top of the Cynon valley to face a strong Aberdare outfit.  The game turned out to be high scoring affair that was later described as a great advert for Welsh rugby, with Llanharan coming out on top 42-33 with plenty of tries from both sides. 

Llanharan started the better, playing with good intensity.  The pack set the tone by combining well to construct great phase play before unleashing a skilful backline.  Top scorer for the day, Morgan Williams crossed the line on three occasions.  Back in the starting line up after a period away in South Africa, the deceptively strong and agile winger once again showed good footwork and speed to unlock the home side defence to register fifteen points.

Also on the scoresheet was Gethin Cashmore who played the game at tight head and did well both in the scrum and around the park, popping up to score a lovely try.  With the score line 24 points to nil in favour of the Dairymen and the ball sticking to hand, Llan were looking in comfortable and playing at a different skill level to the home side until they began throwing the ball a bit themselves.  Aberdare scored two good tries themselves, their outside half the orchestrator of things – organising players inside and out – keeping the Llanharan defence on their toes as the legs began to tire.  With the score at 14 – 24 at half time, the message was to keep the intensity levels up and play our structures.

The second half saw Aberdare come right back at Llanharan out of the blocks – a purple patch that at one stage saw the home side within 8 points of Llanharan.  Stern words could be heard from a crowd of Black and Blue shirts as Man of the Match, Bill Carey and skipper Huw Thomas rallied the Dairymen.  The difference was stark, a lift of intensity from the restart saw the visitors make great strides into opposition territory.  They were awarded for their efforts with a series of penalties, all of which were converted by fly half Scott Jones to keep the score board ticking over and make the scores more respectable in favour of Llanharan.

To round off the game, the never say die attitude of Aberdare saw them score in the last play of the game to bring the match to a close and round of an entertaining afternoon of running rugby.

After the game, coaches Kevin Jones and Jeff Pick were pleased with the response from everyone involved – especially those players who came into the first team squad.  With 5 of the starting pack that faced Llantrisant out of contention, both remarked how good it was to see players like Tom Harris, Carl Leather and Ben Jones performing well.  A Man of the Match performance from Bill Carey, playing in the second row, summed up the desire of the lads with some big hits in defence, showing up well with ball in hand and a commanding performance in the line out. 

Match Summary courtesy of Jeff Pick, Kevin Jones; Scorers information from Wayne Merry and pictures from Anita Cashmore (see Gallery)

 

STARTING XV

15. E P John

14. Morgan Williams

13. C Poole

12. S Summers

11. A Hughes

10. S Jones

9. C Burton

1. J Bryan

2. S Pick

3. G Cashmore

4. B Carey

5. T Harris

6. B Jones

7. C Leather

8. H Thomas (C)

 

SUBS: C Palmer, Stuart Griffiths, C Sharkey, B Nelson, T Jenkins

Llanharan travelled the short distance up the road to face old rivals Llantrisant this week, seeking to build on a Glamorgan Wanderers performance that deserved more. Instead the harsh reality was a a distinctly poor performance where the impression given was that we expected more but deserved nothing, despite dominating large facets of play.
The Black Army started the game the better of the two sides and were fired up for the occasion. After registering an early converted penalty giving them the lead which was extended shortly after when Llanharan missed their man in the lineout. The Black Army capitalised and raced through the middle of the park to score close the posts, only to miss the conversion.
The Dairymen reacted well enough to come back at the home side, causing few issues in stuytered play but upon breaking the line out wide, saw an inside ball deliberately knocked down by the Llantrisant full back. The referee adjudged that this prevented a certain try scoring opportunity and awarded a penalty try and yellow card for the infringement. Unnder the new rules the deficit was reduced for a short time until Llanharan took the lead through the boot of Scott Jones making his return to the starting line up. With the score line at 8-10, further Llanharan infringements at the breakdown were punished, the boot of Llantrisant fly half finding the target to regain the lead. The tit for tat scoreline swung round again for Llanharan. Immediately prior to the penalty a small bout of fisticuffs were exchanged in the homeside twenty two, off the ball and for no obvious reason. The result of the fracas was an uncompromising warning from the referee that any further funny business would be dealt with harshly. True his word, Llanharan knocked the ball on in attack only for the Llantrisant full back to hit Sion Summer late, without the ball and after the whistle had been gone. With his head in hands the full back was given his marching order for a second yellow card which saw the Black Army down to 14 men. Jones stepped up with the boot to give Llanharan back the lead , 11-13.
With final moments of the first half left to play, you might be forgiven for thinking that a poor first half had been salvaged and all was needed was to see out what little remained of the first half. After taking the kick off, the forwards played the next phase keeping it tight to set up the exit. Unfortunately the Ball was spilled, Llantrisant pounced and quick hands sent them over out wide to re-take the lead. A fine touch line conversion sent the home side in at the break 18-13 up.
The second half started more brightly for Llanharan, dominating field possession and territory but failing ro capitalise and convert chances. With the home side growing in confidence, further indiscipline found Llanharan under the cosh when Gethin Cashmore saw yellow for collapsing a driving maul. Holding out for several scrums, the Black Army finally crossed the line through goos forward work and added a converted penalty to see the game out 28-13.
A frustrating game for Llanharan but a deserved win for Llantrisant who took their chances well and clearly wanted it more. Next week we turn out attention to an Aberdare side in the cup, where there will certainly be a reaction from the Black and Blue.

MATCH RESULT

LLANHARAN   17

-

18  GLAMORGAN WANDERERS

 ( 3

-

12 )

 
TRY SCORERS:
Sion Summers (Llan) x 2
James Laxton (Glam Wnds)
Peter Lloyd (Glam Wnds)
 
EXTRAS
Jamie Murphy - 1 x penalty conversion; 1 x conversion (Llan)
Luke Fish - 1 x conversion 2 x penalty conversion (Glam Wnds)
 
MATCH REPORT

This week Llanharan welcomed last years relegated Championship outfit, Glamorgan Wanders to the Dairyfield in what promised to be a great day of attacking rugby.

Playing toward the club in the first half, Llanharan were a bit slow to get going as the Wanderers imposed themselves early on by introducing their kicking game.  The proverbial rugby kick tennis ensued until a spot of good fortune in favour of the visitors allowed them to set up a good attacking position in the home side 22.  After successive phases, the defence was caught out as Wanderers full back James Loxton hit the line at pace to cross the white wash and register the first score of the game. 

The unconverted try gave the visitors a 0-5 lead but sparked the home side into life as a series of penalties gave Llanharan a great attacking position in front of the club house.  Determined, organised and dogged line out defence frustrated the Dairymen driving lineout when the line beckoned.  The dominance of the territory, possession and play in those moments combined with a mounting penalty count in favour of the home side inclined skipper Huw Thomas to opt for the posts, with a view to reducing the score board deficit and returning to have another go.  Converting the penalty to make the score line 3-5, Llanharan did just that by returning to the very same corner of the field in order to hammer on the Wanderers door once again.  As a consequence of repeated infringements at the breakdown, visiting hooker Aaron Folwer was sent to the bin yet Llanharan were unable to break down the defensive line.  The ball was eventually turned over to release pressure, allowing the Wanderers to clear down field.  In doing so, they showed Llanharan a ruthless edge that was unfortunately lacking from the home side throughout the entirety of the game.

After gaining decent field position and a rare attacking opportunity in the Llanharan 22, the visitors strung a few phases together and stretched the defensive line.  Flashing the ball back toward the main stand whilst cutting out several players with a fine pass, the ball found its way to front row forward Peter Lloyd who went on a marauding run to cross the line and secure a second try for the visitors.  The lead was further extended to 3-12 following a good conversion from fly half Luke Fish. 

Regaining control of the ball from the kick off, Llanharan rallied once more but were unable to convert further chances to score.  Going in to the changing rooms at the break, the Dairymen were left frustrated at a score line that failed to reflect a committed and dominant display.

Turning around at half time, Llanharan came out in a changed strip to avoid any confusion in playing kit and resumed the game in similar fashion to the end of the first – parked up in the visitors 22 with the try line beckoning.  Penalty after penalty rained down on the visitors, eventually culminating in a further two players being sent to the sin bin for indiscretions at the break down.  With the home scrum in a good position and five metres from the try line, a fine drive caused the scrum to turn with the referee awarding the put in to Llanharan.  Successive scrums led to the home side popping up, collapsing and wheeling.  As the pressure mounted, Huw Thomas picked up from one such scrum to cross the line…only for the try to be disallowed.  In a decision that both sides found slightly bemusing, the ball was ruled held up over the line.  Despite the sustained pressure and perhaps conscious of the growing number of yellow cards, no further penalty came in this passage of play and the Wanderers once again found a way to hang on. 

A series of changes up front for the home side brought renewed impetus and eventually just reward - the pressure simply told too great for the visitors who were down to 13 men.  Good constructive phase play saw Lee Morris with ball in hand, catching and giving to Sion Summers in support to finally cross the line and register our first try of the day. 

Credit should again be paid to the reaction of the Wanderers who once more mustered something of an attack to take them into the opposition half.  As per the first half, they took the chances that were created after being awarded a penalty at the breakdown.  This time, the referees’ warning of “hands away” went unheeded by the homeside who appeared certain to turn over the ball, only to find themselves marched backward for the indiscretion.  Up stepped Fish who wasted no time in taking the opportunity to extend the lead.  With the score at 10-15 and time running out, the home side refused to panic and finally unlocked the defence as tiring legs threatened to undo the visiting side. 

Llanharan stand-off, Jamie Murphy showed great foot work and agility to jink his way through the defensive line at pace and race through.   With defenders scrambling to tackle, Murphy showed good composure to offload to Sion Summers who kept hold of the ball to score under the posts and send supporters ecstatic.  With the score line now at 17-15 in favour of Llanharan, the game was surely there for the taking?  Wrestling defeat from the jaws of victory, the Dairymen went one too many phases from the restart to give the Wanderers a sniff of victory as they reclaimed the ball.  Awarded a penalty in front of the posts, Luke Fish made no mistake to give the visitors the win in the final kick of the game and saw the players rush to congratulate each other on a surprising victory. 

In spite of a frustrating afternoon in terms of the result, the overall performance from the Dairymen side demonstrated that with better execution, this Llanharan outfit is not far off the mark and certainly have both the ability and potential to do good things this year.  Next week, we renew a local rivalry with Llantrisant who narrowly lost this week 24-19 away to Rhiwbina. Come and join us as we aim to get back to winning ways in the league #BlackandBlue #OneClub

 

 

 

 

MATCH RESULT

RHIWBINA          19

-

3             LLANHARAN

(0

-

3 )

 

                                  

MATCH REPORT

It was a tale of two halves this week that culminated in a score line that did little to reflect the true nature of the game in what was another great shift from all the men wearing Black and Blue. 

With both sides entering the fray boasting a 100% record, it was the home side that made th most of their chances in the second half after a first half dominated by the away side in both territory and possession. 

The first half saw the visiting Diarymen playing away from the changing rooms with some good attacking rugby and equally resound defending to force errors from the home side.  Not without their own chances in the first half, Rhiwbina attacked well through good phase play only to be undone by fierce defending that is becoming a welcome feature from Llanharan teams this year. Despite a good start from the away side, Llanharan were themselves thrwarted on numerous occasions near the opposition try line.  A missed penalty conversion from Sion Summers gave Rhiwbina an early let off upon his return to familiar surroundings but some good defending from an organised Rhiwbina outfit did enough to spoil the driving lineout – a potent weapon in last weeks encounter with Heol-y-Cyw.

A second and more kickable penalty in front of the posts allowed Summers to hit the mark and send the away side in front by just 3 points at half time but perhaps the lead should have been greater to reflect the better spells in the game. 

With both sides turned around after the interval, the match resumed in similar fashion to the first half as the teams appeared equally matched in most areas of the game.  However, as the game developed a resurgent Rhiwbina side saw them take more possession and territory through good forward play and a more structured all-round performance.  With the home pack beginning to dominate the scrum and impose themselves at the breakdown, Rhiwbina did in the second half what Llanharan failed to do in the first.  Taking advantage of good field position, Rhiwbina put pressure on the Llanharan scrum allowing their No 8 to score a try under the posts and give the Squirrels the lead. 

With the game in the balance, a penalty kick that would have given Llanharan a try scoring field position was kicked dead on the full and allowed Rhiwbina to clear their lines.  From the next passage of play, Rhiwbina got themselves back near the Llanharan try line.  In what appeared a harsh decision to the visitors against the Llanharan skipper, Huw Thomas, the referee issued a yellow card for an infringement at the breakdown - although a very vocal home support certainly did their part to help influence the referees decision as he awarded in their favour.  With the Dairymen down to 14 men, without their leader and taken back ten for back chat out of frustration, the pack faced a number of difficult scrummages on their own 5 metre line.  In the end, the pressure told too great as the scrum stayed firm but saw the Rhiwbina No 8 pick up to score his second try of the game. 

After the restart, the visitors continued to struggle to build upon good work and found themselves under the pressure in their own 22.  In what was intended to be a valiant attempt to run the ball from deep, the Dairymen began chasing the game and found themselves under pressure when in hindsight they should have cleared.  After turning the ball over, Rhiwbina built again through structured phase play until the scrum half saw a gap in the visitor’s defence, put away team mate Alex Kerr to score under the posts.  The try was easily converted to give Rhiwbina a 19 – 3 victory scoreline.

Llanharan’s spirit prevailed until the end, with the away side fashioning a great attack from around the half way line at the death.  After a fine break from winger Morgan Williams and great support play from Jack Thomson, the referee ruled that the ball hadn’t been grounded after the flanker was tackled over the line by a scrambling defence. For all the effort and possession, the score line didn’t truly do justice to the Diarymen who can count themselves unlikely for not leading by ten points at half time.  The Squirrels forward pack edged the close encounters of the second half despite some ferocious defending by the visitors in order to claim the spoils but the Llanharan side can certainly look forward with optimism, knowing that there was not a great difference between the two sides.

Next Saturday, Llanharan will return to the Dairyfield aiming to get back to winning in the league against a Glamorgan Wanderers outfit that claimed a difficult 29-19 away victory over Heol-y-Cyw.  Before that, the Dairymen find themselves on the road again this Tuesday against Cardiff based St Peters in an East District Cup game that will give an opportunity for coaches to try out some different combinations.

A special mention also goes to the ever versatile Lloyd Thomas who made his 300th appearance for Llanharan.  Lloyd has been an ever present in the Llanharan senior playing squad and continues to show his loyalty and committment.  A true Black and Blue Diaryman! 

 

#ONECLUB #BLACKANDBLUE

We made it two out of two in a hard fought derby with our neighbours, each side in turn threatening to get more scores but meeting a lot of tough resistance. It was 14-6 at half time, man of the match Huw Thomas and right wing Mogsy Williams getting over the line and Sion Summers converting both. Cyw secured a losing bonus by putting over a last kick penalty. Clearly, there is better to come from this team as it gels more – and Rhiwbina away will be a good test on Saturday.

Both clubs saw their Seconds inactive as Maesteg Celtic and Porthcawl respectively made late withdrawals from the fixture.

 

 

MATCH RESULT

LLANHARAN          28

-

16             RUMNEY

(13

-

9 )

 

 

 

Tries:       Llanharan - Craig Burton, Evans Parry John, Lee Morris, Sam Llewellyn (BP)            Rumney – Matthew Way

Extras:    Sion Summers 2 x Penalties, 1 x Conversion                                                                     Rumney – Dan Clarke 3 x penalties, 1 x Conversion

 

MATCH REPORT

 

After many weeks of arduous pre-season and preparation, Llanharan RFC welcomed Cardiff side Rumney RFC to the Dairyfield in the opening fixture to the 2017/18 WRU Division 1 East Central campaign.  With both sides known for their attacking style of play, all supporters were hoping for an open game of running rugby worthy of the sunny conditions.  A minute silence to honour the passing of Ray Taylor, a former Llanharan Captain and Coach who started his playing days for Rumney provided the calm before a fiercely contested game between the sides.

Playing in a red and black strip to avoid a colour clash with the visitors, Llanharan started the better of the two sides by playing at a high tempo and in the right areas of the pitch.  Playing up the slope and toward from the Clubhouse in the first half, Rumney were unable to penetrate the Llanharan line with any meaningful efforts due to unyielding pressure in defence and attack to put the Dairymen on the front foot.  The early pressure was rewarded with a fine individual effort from the experienced scrum half and Man of the Match, Craig Burton.  Picking up from the base of a well-placed attacking scrum, the quick-thinking playmaker showed guile and speed to exploit a blindside weakness in defence and score the first try of the game after an early exchange of converted penalties for the home side through Sion Summers and Dan Clarke for the visitors.

Attempting to bounce back from the early score, Rumney tried to gain a foothold in the game with a series of attacking plays in the Llanharan half but were met time and again by a determined defence line.  A fierce tackle from Stuart Griffiths for the home side behind the gain line caused the ball to spill, giving team mate Evan Parry John an opportunity to kick ahead into space and on the fly.  After a frenetic foot chase, a series of difficult bounces and some excellent foot control, Parry John was able to follow up his kick and win the race to send the home side into the changing rooms with a 13 – 9 lead at half time.

Turning around after the break, the Dairymen continued to control the play through the well-placed boot of Chris Poole and Sion Summers.  Securing good field position for the Llanharan forwards, the home pack did well to consolidate the lead through second row, Lee Morris.  After some solid forward play at set piece and in the loose, Morris received the ball from the back of a breakdown and drove over the line at close quarters.  The home side secured a deserved Bonus Point victory through replacement hooker, Sam Llewellyn, managing to get the ball across the line following some more good forward phase play

Reflecting on the game, Kevin Jones said:

“We’re obviously pleased to secure a bonus point victory in the first game and in particular the level of intensity we brought into the game from the start and the impact of our bench.   However, we feel there is plenty for us still to work on technically but also in terms of our indiscipline ahead of next game against Heol-y-Cyw.  Now that this game is out of the way, we are all looking forward to a big week of training and hope to use this result as a platform for the rest of the season.”

 

STARTING XV

 

15. E P John

14. A Hughes

13. S Griffiths

12. S Summers

11. M Williams

10. C Poole

9. C Burton

1. J Greenfield

2. G Cashmore

3. J Bryan

4. L Hopkins

5. L Morris

6. D Watkins

7. J Thompson

8. H Thomas (C)

 

SUBS USED: T Buckle, C Leather, H Russell, S Llewellyn, S Pick

 

In a topsy turvy encounter, Builth Wells managed to hold out for a 20-17 win with the Bulls outscoring the Dairymen 4 tries to 3 over 80 minutes of effort.

The game comprised of 3 periods of play - the first and second periods made up of 20 minutes followed by a traditional 40 minute period to see out the game.

In the first twenty, Builth capitalised on some indiscipline from the visitors who were heavily penalised and unable to get any foothold in the game. Two scores took Builth into a healthy 10-nil lead before the break.  If the first twenty belonged to the home side, the second twenty belonged firmly with Llanharan.  Some clever rugby saw the scoreline turned on its head after tries from club stalwart, Wayne Jervis and centre Morgan Williams.

Heading into the last 40 minutes the game was there for both sides still to win.  The talismatic Jervy - some might say mercurial - continued to play well at 10, kicking and passing at all the right moments to show he's still got it. Skipper Huw Thomas also enjoyed his return, playing a full part in proceedings on his come back from injury.  In a moment to savour, Thomas also managed to clear out the man in the middle at one point. At least the water bottles are still intact. Perhaps its not just the refs that need to go to specsavers?

Despite creating and binning 4 try scoring opportunities to win the game for the Diarymen, two further tries from the home side proved enough in the end to take the spoils, although a try from Huw Thomas was a welcome sight on his return to his old stomping ground. 

The lads head out tonight to the clubs and bars of Builth Wells to celebrate the end of pre-season and after another great effort from all the players and coaches alike, the team bonding session is well deserved. The coaches were pleased with another opportunity to gain vital match practise and feel that despite the result the side is well placed for the season opener at home next week to Rumney.

 

MATCH RESULT

 

LLANHARAN          37

-

5             AMMANFORD

( 5

-

5 )

 

Referee:  Gareth Butler

Tries:       Sion Summers, Bill Carey, Chris Poole, Evan Parry John 2, Stuart Griffiths

Extras:    Adam Williams

 

MATCH REPORT

Playing into the wind and down the slope, the Dairymen made a reasonable start to the game with decent field position and the occasional foray into Ammanford territory.  Perhaps understandably, Llanharan appeared to lack sufficient cohesiveness to convert good pressure into points. Early signs that this would be a scrappy affair slowly began to dissipate as the home side began to gel nicely…new combinations in the backline and some old fashioned grit upfront sparking the game into life mid-way through the first half.  Following some good forward play down the right side of the field, quick ball from Craig Burton found Sion Summers out wide on his first game back for the club.  Some good footwork saw him beat his opposite man followed by an impressive change of pace to finish outside the Ammanford full back for the first score of the day. The unconverted score appeared to rally the visitors into life though and after a combination of poor discipline and good work from the Ammanford pack they managed to equal the scores and control the play heading into the break.

At half time, the outlook remained positive despite the tied score line.  The forwards worked hard up front on set piece and provided a solid platform throughout from which to build good phase play.  The new lineout combinations of Lewis Hopkins and Tom Harris also showed signs of promise – competing well to put pressure on the opposition line out whilst securing quality ball on our throw  to allow our back line chance to set loose.

With both teams turned around for the second half and a raft of changes to the playing line up, Llanharan were now attacking up the slope and back toward the clubhouse.  Despite some pressure on the home scrum, the pack remained strong to ensure a decent platform from which to build.  Confidence began to grow with every play - quick hands in attack, steel in defence and good defensive line speed provided for a dominant start to the second half.  The reward came soon after with an attacking driving line out close to the Ammonford line.  This early pressure and hightened intensity proved too great for Ammanford, with the ever-prominent Bill Carey picking the ball up from the base of the breakdown to power over the line.

Having learned the lessons of the first half, Llanharan continued to pressurise the visitors from the re-start in both attack and defence.  Man of the Match, Sam Grant, epitomised the defensive effort of the home side as he consistently led the line, pressured the ball carrier and put in the crucial hits time and again.  The Dairymen maintained the high pressure and earned themselves a well worked try through 2016/17 Player of Year, Chris Poole.  Fed by outside half Adam Williams, some great running lines and vision released Pooley got himself into space and did what he does best in order to end the game as a contest.  Ammanford continued to battle bravely but never truly threatened the Llanharan line, as a resolute defensive line stood strong against any attempted attacks, resulting in not one but two long distance interception tries for Evan Parry John.  There was even opportunity for the mercurial Stuart Griffiths to open his account, with a try from halfway after another well worked move from the backs.

Speaking with the coaching team after the game, Jeff Pick had this to say:

“As first games go, as coaches we can only be pleased with the outcome against a talented group of players from Ammanford who provided a decent test.  What was especially pleasing for me is how every single player was involved today and contributed to the result, with everyone buying into the OneClub ethos.  Sam Grant had a great game up front, Bill (Carey) was prominent throughout and it was nice to see Dan Watkins and Jack Thomson turn out for their first senior game for the club.    We want to build on this now with another good week of training ahead of our away fixture with Builth Wells next Saturday”

STARTING XV

SUBS USED: Sam Pick, Gethin Cashmore, Thomas Buckle, Jack Thomson, Carl Leather, Alex Hughes, Adam Edwards, Paul Willams (Boz)