Total Seconds are Champs - 5/11/2013 - Heol y Cyw (LEAGUE FINAL at PYLE)
From the coach:
What a game to end the season on, a display of total rugby where Llanharan blew their opponents away with power and precision in every department.
The foundations were laid with the first couple of scrums as the Llanharan pack drove their opponents off their own ball and with the lineout working effectively the platform was there for Captain Lloyd Thomas and his backline to show what they are capable of with some sublime ball skills on show. Llanharan played into a strong wind first half which made them carry the ball rather than kick possession away and were soon on the scoring trail with centre Josh Jones going over after a good run by wing Dan Thorne, converted by the impressive Keegan Rees. With the forwards carrying effectively and making inroads Heol Y Cyw were put under pressure and gave away a penalty for Keegan Rees to add the 3 points, Heol Y Cyw then slotted two penalties, but Llanharan had the last word of the half with wing Gavin Allen going over in the corner after a good run outpacing Cyw's outside half Gareth Howe making the halftime score 15-6 to Llanharan.
Even though Llanharan were now playing with a strong wind at their backs it was decided that the best policy was to keep the ball in hand and attack from deep, knowing the wind was there if needed enabled the Llanharan backs to attack from deep with superb ball being supplied by the forwards, the first score coming from tireless flanker John Rees after a good burst through the heart of the Cyw’s defence by prop Sam Llewellyn who popped the ball to John, who was in support of everything throughout the game creating the link between backs and forwards, to go over under the posts which was converted by Keegan Rees. Llanharan were now in total control and with scrum half Tom James sniping were attacking from everywhere and it was Tom who went over for the next try after some good hands behind putting the lively scrum half over in the corner which was superbly converted by Keegan Rees earning him a full breakfast paid for by the Cyw’s supporters who were sledging him before the kick. Not to be outdone the forwards took it upon themselves to score the next try with prop forward, or some thought winger, Rhys Haines being driven over the line, again converted by Keegan Rees. With what was to be the last play of the game outstanding full back Keegan went over for the last try and then coolly converted his own try for an impressive haul of 18 points taking his season tally to 139 points and making the final score 43-6.
There were two Man of the Match awards with Llanharan coaches awarding impressive second row Kieran Martin their Man of the Match and the District officials awarding fullback Keegan Rees their Man of the Match.
Dai, Jeff and Simon would like to thank all the players and Randal and Joe for all the hard work they put in throughout what has been a successful season with the league and playoff titles coming to Llanharan and hope they go on to bigger and better things next year. With two awards up for grabs this year with the Player of the year and the Players Player of the year can all players make the effort to attend the club dinner on June 1st
Lloyd leads Way - 4/27/2013 - Bridgend Ath (F)
LLANHARAN SECONDS 28 BRIDGEND ATHLETIC 14
Skipper and Man of the Match Lloyd Thomas led the way with the opening try as Llanharan Seconds had a useful warm up prior to this Saturday’s Mid Glamorgan Premier semi final league play off against Maesteg Celtic. Others to score were Nikki Allen, James Langdon and Keegan Rees who converted all four. Three youth graduates – Huw Rogers, Mathew\Davies and Owain Howe - all played and gave good accounts of themselves.
And now, from the coach, the unexpurgated facts:
In this “friendly” against a strong looking Bridgend Athletic team, who play in the WRU Second team league, Llanharan Seconds showed what they are capable of in a pulsating game of total rugby by both sides which was a pleasure to watch. First to score was Captain Lloyd Thomas playing in his preferred position of centre stealing an interception on halfway and racing 40 metres to score under the posts, converted by the accurate boot of fullback Keegan Rees who has now got 111 points so far this season. After some scintillating rugby from both teams the Athletic were next on the team sheet with a well worked try after some good build up play which was converted making the half time score 7-7.
After the restart Athletic were making us defend, and defend we did with some huge hits going in with the forwards coming out on top of every collision and a good steal by youngster Nikki Allen enabling us to clear our lines with a huge kick downfield from scrum half Huw Rogers, who looks to have a bright future after leaving youth rugby this year; from the ensuing lineout, which was dominant all game, the Llanharan pack set up a series of drives allowing industrious flanker John Rees to go over wide out, superbly converted from the touchline by Keegan Rees. The Athletic soon struck back with a converted try from a driving lineout but by now Llanharan were starting to show the form that got them some big scores early in the season with some good pick and drives where Nikki Allen and the impressive Richard Hart, who had another storming performance, were prominent in making inroads into the Athletic midfield allowing space and time for the backs to show what they are capable of with Lloyd Thomas and Josh Jones impressive in midfield allowing the outside backs Gavin Allen and Rhydian Worgan to cause the Athletic huge problems with their pace and power. One particular run by Lloyd Thomas, dummying and sidestepping numerous players including some of his own leading to a try by Nikki Allen who had a pick and go to score near the posts converted by Keegan Rees. At the restart the ball was collected by Richard Hart who drove straight at the heart of the Athletic and after a series of huge driving plays the ball was fed out to centre James Langdon who sidestepped his way over leaving Keegan Rees with the conversion to make the final score 28-14 to Llanharan.
Special mention must go to youth players Hooker Mathew Davies, Number 8 Owain Howe and scrum half Huw Rogers who leave youth this year and all look to have bright futures.
Next week Llanharan play Maesteg Celtic home in the league playoff semi-final and all players are urged to make training this week to prepare for the most important game of our season, training day to be confirmed by text.
Coach Dai Martin stated what a pleasure it was to watch such a positive display of total rugby where every player involved played to the best of their ability, but next week will make or break our season so a good turnout is vital.
Llan finish on a High - 4/27/2013 - BRIDGEND ATH
LLANHARAN 43 BRIDGEND ATHLETIC 33 (HT 12-28)
Llanharan finished their championship season on a high, launching a startling comeback from a half time 28-12 deficit to claim a thrilling "double" over their neighbours.
As at Newbridge in mid week they seemed to have created a mountain to climb as the visitors built up the score, but this time there was a clear elements factor at play, Bridgend having first use of the slope and wind.
Even so, it was still a remarkable recovery as another shaky start saw the Athletic grab tries inside ten minutes. First a charged down kick opened the way to the line for Morgan Evans, then Steve Lewis gratefully accepted n interception to race home, converting both himself.
However, Llanharan showed fine opportunism to hit back with two of their own, Gabriel Davies’s telling break allowing Garin Smith to show his paces and streak in at the corner flag, then Harley Thomson cashing in on a dropped ball to sprint home from his own half.
He converted to narrow the score to 14-12, but the territorial advantage helped the away side to complete the tries bonus point before half time. Back row man Sean Derrick was the scorer of both and Lewis's kicks gave his team what looked like a controlling 28-12 half time lead.
It would have been even more had Lewis not dropped another interception and James Morris not covered well to minor after a bungled mark, although referee Kelvin Shorte, who generally let the game flow freely, seemed a little harsh in calling a forward pass as Morgan Williams sprinted for home in the opposite direction.
Lewis was again close to getting a touch to the kick ahead over the try line as the sides changed ends, but ten minutes into the half Llanharan got back in the game. Promising young centre Davies made the running for strong second row man Bill Carey to finish off, and then Rhys Walker capitalised on a Ross Pritchard chip, Thomson converting both as the gap narrowed to two points again and the Dairymen clinched their own bonus point, number seventeen of the campaign.
As the game moved into the final quarter they took the lead with a superb cameo of running and handling. Walker launched the pressure with some good retrieval work on the right touchline, then slick handling with Smith again prominent sent Williams over to make it 33-28 with the kick, the wing's 8th of the year.
Victory seemed assured as Ryan Evans found the midfield space to set up Thomson's second, his conversion creating twelve points gap.
Yet the Athletic found reserves from somewhere to get a hand on a losing bonus point with a try from replacement Stuart Morris.
However, just as at Waterton Cross back in the winter when Ryan Evans's last effort drop goal took victory from them, this time it was Harley Thomson who stole the spoils with a good final kick penalty, completing a personal haul of 23 points for the former Wales Under 18 man.
The win consolidated Llanharan's final mid table position and once again confirmed the rich promise of so many youngsters, latest debutant prop Gavin Nash of St Joseph's putting in a forceful display as a replacement.
Said head coach Matthew Lloyd:"We've come a long way in twelve months", praising his players for their never relenting commitment and effort.
It was, though, a sad occasion for physio Jonathan Windsor, who put away his magic sponge after eleven years on the touchline.
15 JAMES MORRIS
14 RHYS WALKER
13 GARIN SMITH (RYAN EVANS 66)
12 GABRIEL DAVIES
11 MORGAN WILLIAMS
10 HARLEY THOMSON
9 ROSS PRITCHARD
1 TOM PIPER
2 RHYS CLEVERLY (RHYS HAINES 45) (GAVIN NASH 72)
3 NATHAN HUISH (C)
4 ANDREW ROSEN (KIERAN MARTIN75)
5 BILL CAREY
6 HUW THOMAS
7 LEWIS YOUNG
8 JAMES LOCKE (CARL LEATHER 45)
Llanharan scores: Harley Thomson 2 (plus cons 4 and pen), Rhys Walker, Garin Smith, Morgan Williams, Bill Carey.
Bridgend Ath scores: Sean Derrick 2, Steve Lewis (plus cons 4), Stuart Morris, Morgan Evans.
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