SSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
SWANSEA 70 LLANHARAN 7 (HT 27-7)
Once again the big score did little to reflect struggling Llanharan’s spirit in adversity.
The campaign has been a traumatic one for the Dairymen who have found it difficult to reconstruct a team following a huge summer turnover.
There was no serious prospect of victory at St Helen’s against a team heading back to the Premiership.
However, the Black and Blues could have done without a scenario where, not for the first time this year, aftter front row withdrawals, they were forced to opt for uncontested scrums and suffered the subsequent sanction of not having access to any replacements.
In the circumstances, they could even have felt a reasonable job had been done against the twelve tries home outfit, and there was plenty of Swansea commendation for the way in which they never dropped their heads or slackened their endeavour right up to the final minute.
However, the bottom line was that they were no match for high fliers like the Whites, although there is plenty of evidence that they can give the lower order a run for their money on their day.
Scott Malone’s men showed their credentials in the first half. Having fallen 22-0 behind in the 15th minute to three smartly taken tries, they proceeded to give as good as they got for the next half hour before their opponents again found their scoring touch.
Skipper Malone showed an inspiring attitude, injuring a leg in the opening exchanges, but soldiering on bravely knowing that there was no one to take his place.
There was plenty of good example elsewhere in the away side too, prop James Homes and back row man Richard Lawrence typical, as
they made several useful contributions in that spell.
Such was Llanharan’s commitment that they forced a string of penalties, which they gallantly opted to go to the corner flag with.
Unfortunately, they were unable to gain anything from these set pieces until the 36th minute when shortly after a 4th Whites try they at last won the possession through Owain Howe, and outside half Scott Jones profited from subsequent pressure to score and convert.
However, they could not prevent another try on the stroke of half time, but climbed the steps of the famous old stadium with heads held high after a doughty display in the first forty minutes.
Although the second half saw the Dairyfield club battle valiantly into the stiff breeze, on a superb playing surface Swansea at last started to attack in waves, man of the match Richard Thomas always a threat.
The tackles went in but a tiring team understandably began to drop off the contact, centre Olly Smyth trooping off before the last try after injury eventually took its toll in a hard afternoon’s work.
Llanharan coach Colin Malone will be hoping to get some of his missing men back on Saturday when Newbridge arrive at the Dairyfield, the Gwent side themselves desperate for a win, though their plight does not compare with the winless record of their opponents.
15 HARRISON EVANS
14 CHRIS SHARKEY
13 OLLIE SMYTH
12 LIAM UNION
11 GAVIN PARSONS
10 SCOTT JONES (Try and Con)
9 CRAIG BURTON
1 TOM EVANS
2 PAUL WINTER.
3 JAMES HOLMES
4 OWAIN HOWE
5 KIERAN MARTIN
6 RICHARD LAWRENCE
7 TOM WILSON
8. SCOTT MALONE (C)
Swansea tries - RichardThomas 3, Liam Popham3, Mitchel Walsh, Olly Quick, Elliot Clement, Andrew Claypole, Dai Watts, Phil Jones (and 5 cons)