Match Reports

First Team

 

 

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)

125th Anniversary Game

LLANHARAN 0 BRIDGEND 45

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

LLANHARAN 30 HEOLYCYW 35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 Evan Parry-John

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

12 Chris Poole

11 Jamie Williams

10 Scott Jones

9 Dan Burton

1 Rhys Taylor

2 Gethin Cashmore

3 Matt Phillips

4 Lee Morris

 5 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 6 Owain Howe

 7 John Dawe

 8 Aled Llewellyn

Replacements

Adam Cole

Sam Grant

Joe Page

Alex Hughes

Adam Williams

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

MOUNTAIN ASH 26 LLANHARAN 34 (HT 14 14)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to grab the bonus point and a 28-14 lead

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

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

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

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

 

5 Evan Parry-John

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

12 Chris Poole

11 Alex Hughes

10 Scott Jones

9 Dan Burton

1 Rhys Taylor

2 Sam Grant

3 Matt Phillips

4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 7 John Dawe

 8 Aled Llewellyn

Replacements used:

Gethin Cashmore

Owain Howe

Sam Pick

Adam Williams

Jamie Williams 

LLANHARAN 10 RHIWBINA 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 Evan Parry-John

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

12 Chris Poole

11 Alex Hughes

10 Scott Jones

9 Dan Burton

1 Matt Phillips

2 Rhys Taylor

3 Rhys Haines

4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 7 John Dawe

 8 Aled Llewellyn

Replacements

Gethin Cashmore

Sam Grant

Owain Howe

Adam Williams

Jamie Williams 

 

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

CARDIFF HARLEQUINS 24 LLANHARAN 22 (HT 17-5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scores:

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

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

Team

15 Lee Davies

14 Jamie Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Chris Poole

11 Morgan Williams

10 Adam Williams (Alex Hughes 72)

9 Dan Burton (Ross Pritchard 38)

1 Matt Phillips

2 Sam Llewellyn

3 Gethin Cashmore (Rhys Haines 73)

4 Richard Hart

 5 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 6 Owain Howe

 7 Owain Davies (Aled Llewellyn 58)

 8 Morgan Griffiths

Unused Replacement

Rhys Taylor

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

MAR 11 2017

LLANHARAN 17 TREORCHY 34 HT 0-10

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Llanharan scores

Tries Morgan Williams 2, Owain Howe    con   Adam Williams

Treorchy scores

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

Team

15 Lee Davies (Jack Pring 52)

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Chris Poole

11 Jamie Williams (Ales Hughes 62)

10 Adam Williams

9 Dan Burton

1 Rhys Taylor (Gethin Cashmore 78)

2 Sam Grant (Sam Llewellyn 72)

3 Matt Phillips

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Kieran Martin (Capt)

 6 Owain Howe

 7 Morgan Griffiths (Bill Carey 70)

 8 Aled Llewellyn

WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL

MAR 4 2017

PORTH QUINS 31 LLANHARAN 6 HT 17-3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scores

Porth tries 4

Llanharan pens Adam Williams 2

 

 

Team

15 Chris Poole

14 Morgan Williams

 13 Stuart Griffiths

 12 Gareth Dyer

11 Jamie Williams

10 Adam Williams

9 Ross Pritchard

1 Sam Grant

2 Sam Llewellyn

3 Gethin Cashmore

 4 Richard Hart

 5 Lee Morris

 6 Kieran Martin (Capt) 

 7 Owain Davies

 8 Morgan Griffiths

 

Replacements used

Rhys Taylor

Matt Phillips

Rhodri Jones

Jack Pring

 Replacement unused

Aled Llewellyn