By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
BRADFORD Bulls kept the pressure up on York City Knights after a convincing 104-0 win at West Wales Raiders on Sunday (Sept 9).
The crowd of 826, the largest for a single club game in South Wales for over six years (there have been bigger crowds for double and triple headers), saw largely one-way traffic as the Bulls looked to improve their points difference.
Typically it was the Welsh international on the Bradford side, Dalton Grant, who gave his side the lead, diving in the corner on two minutes. Joe Keyes converted.
Raiders were close to levelling. Dean Higgs dived over a batch of Bulls as he attempted to ground under the sticks, but unfortunately for the home side, he knocked on in the process.
Bradford soon doubled their advantage, Elliot Minchella running in under the sticks and Keyes converting again.
Keyes created the next try, which he converted, palming the ball off to Callum Buston who forced his way over.
Following a penalty, Bradford scored their fourth try. Tuoyo Egodo set up Ethan Ryan to score in the corner. Keyes converted.
Minchella stole from Sam Baker on a one on one for Bradford’s fifth try, that Keyes again converted to make it 30-0 on 20 minutes.
After Bradford won their sixth penalty, they got their sixth try, Jy Hitchcox running over and Keyes converting.
After Dalton Desmond-Walker was close to getting Raiders on the board, losing the ball when diving over the line, Bradford scored again after Steve Crossley picked up a loose ball, Keyes having no issue with the conversion. 42-0 on 30 minutes.
Raiders had another spell of possession and again looked for a try. However Bradford held out and when they when back on the attack, they scored again through Ross Peltier with Gregg McNally quickly bringing up the half century. Keyes converted both and Bradford went into half-time 54-0 to the good.
It took Bradford just three second half minutes to get their tenth try, Matt Storton running through and Keyes converting.
Grant and Hitchcox both quickly their second tries of the game with Keyes missing both goal attempts, bringing the score up to 68-0 on 50 minutes.
Ryan scored his second, and Bradford’s 13th on 58 minutes, with Keyes converting well on that occasion, but was unable to land the extras when McNally got his second try, that one coming in the 63rd minute.
Jordan Lilley added Bradford’s 15th try, which went unconverted, before Minchella brought up his hat-trick with ten minutes remaining, scoring under the posts which made Keyes kick easier to make it 88-0.
Buston’s second of the match, again converted by Keyes, brought the score up to 94-0. Dane Chisholm’s try, which looked to have scored following a knock-on, followed by Keyes’ conversion, ensured that the Raiders had conceded 100 points for the sixth time this season.
Bradford weren’t finished yet. Hitchcox’s second try of the day and Bradford’s 18th completed the scoring.
Raiders: 3 Kurtis Haille, 19 Rowland Kaye, 18 Craig Lewis, 24 Nye Walker, 2 Liam Silver, 5 Sam Baker, 6 Luke Williams, 13 Alan Pope, 15 Dean Higgs, 10 Morgan Evans, 20 Archie Snook, 11 Callum Mulkeen, 12 Harrison Elliott. Subs: 14 Dalton Desmond-Walker, 22 Macauley Harris, 26 James Walter, 8 Connor Parker.
Under strength Raiders beaten
By Sian Golden at Stebonheath Park
IF anything showed up the farcical registration rules inflicted by the RFL, it was Keighley’s club record win on Saturday (Sept 15).
Ordinarily a 112-6 rout would be celebrated, but West Wales were only able to field 12 fit players and after frustrating red and yellow cards, were down to 10 by the end of the game.
There are Welsh players who would have turned out, and perhaps the RFL should allow clubs to register community lads, who have never played professionally, to make up the numbers?
New Raiders coach Kim Williams arrives this week and his presence is much needed. It’s been a long season in Llanelli and, as plenty of arguing showed during the game, it’s a camp which needs a boost and fast.
Raiders held out for three minutes before Andy Gabriel caught Benn Hardcastle’s kick to score in the corner. Hardcastle converted.
Cameron Leeming tore through the defence to ground the second try with another expert Hardcastle sideline kick.
A short kick-off led to the third as Dan Parker raced down the wing, the fourth came from a catch by Emmerson Whittell from a high kick by Hardcastle, who converted, before another short kick-off led to the fifth, this one scored by Ritchie Hawkyard and converted by Hardcastle.
Jose Kenga was next over, Leeming got his second, and James Feather scored a length of the field try. Three more Hardcastle goals made the score 46-0 on 25 minutes.
The biggest round of applause came on 33 minutes when Raiders finally broke their duck with an Alan Pope scramble to the line. Harrison Elliot converted.
There was still time for two more first half Cougars tries. Andy Gabriel was too fast for the Raiders defence, and Parker also raced over for his second. Hardcastle converted both. 58-6 at the interval.
Alfie Seeley scored the first try of the second half with Hardcastle converting, but that was before the game turned into more of a charade when Craig Lewis saw red for alleged backchat, this surely prompting Raiders’ chairman Andrew Thorne to tweet “As a chairman of a club of a club losing is hard to take but when you have 14 men on a pitch it’s an impossible task.”
Hawkyard scored in the corner four minutes later with Hardcastle converting, and former South Wales Scorpion Billy Gaylor was next. Hardcastle missed the kick but got the next try, which he improved, before Chris Cullimore scored under the sticks, Hardcastle’s goal making it 86-6.
It was good work by Seeley, who weaved his way through the defence for his second, Hardcastle’s conversion bouncing in off the posts, but the game was to finish on 12 v 10 as the referee, who was evidently finding it tough to control the game, showed Hardcastle and Dalton Desmond-Walker yellow after a lengthy fight.
Gabriel claimed his hat-trick with Gaylor slicing the ball low under the sticks. Seeley sealed his hat-trick to take Cougars to 100 with Leeming also claiming his third. Gaylor, who was closer with his second conversion attempt, got this one over.
A length of the field Hawkyard try in the final minute gave him a triple and Gaylor’s goal brought down the curtain on the farce that Oscar Wilde would have been proud of writing.
Draw made for Bowl second round
THE draw for the second round of the WRU National Bowl has been made with a number of exciting ties to look forward to.
New Dock Stars’ reward for knocking out League 3 West A opponents Llangwm is another home tie against fellow League 3 West A side Llanybydder.
Former WRU Bowl Champions Amman United were given a walkover in the first round and they will be at home in the second round having been drawn to play South Gower.
Haverfordwest, who beat Pantyffynnon 69-5 on Saturday (Sept 15) have been rewarded with another home tie against Llangadog who won 50-14 away to Pontyates in their first round game.
Aberaeron, who beat Milford Haven in the first round, face a local derby with Lampeter Town who had a walkover against Pembroke Dock Quins in the first round.
Neyland, who had also had a walkover in the first round, have been given a home tie against Carmarthenshire side Cefneithin.
The two sides met in the same stage of last season’s competition and it was Cefneithin who came out on top on that occasion winning 25-3.
Laugharne have been drawn away to Trimsaran while Betws have also been drawn away to Cwmgors.
All matches will be played on Saturday, October 6.
Selected WRU Bowl second round fixtures:
Amman Utd v South Gower
Cardigan v Nantgaredig
Cwmgors v Betws (Ammanford)
Haverfordwest v Llangadog
Lampeter Town v Aberaeron
New Dock Stars v Llanybydder
Neyland v Cefneithin
Trimsaran v Laugharne
Wanderers snatch late victory
LLANELLI Wanderers earned their second win of the season on Saturday (Sept 15) as they beat Dunvant 22-19 thanks to a late try.
The powerful Dunvant pack helped their side to a 16-12 lead at half time but the Wanderers were still very much in the game.
Josh Leeds and Jordan Evans scored the tries for Llanelli while Rhydian Morgan added the rest of their first half points with the boot.
Dunvant held on to their lead in the second half as they defended well whenever the Wanderers came forward.
However, with ten minutes to go the tables turned as the Wanderers cranked up the pressure even more.
Gruff Mathias, making his debut for the senior side having played in the youth team last season, went up for a Dunvant lineout and he knocked the ball down for Ryan Tovey who went on to score what would prove to be the winning try.
Morgan then added the extra two points and they were able to see the game out for an excellent win.
On Saturday (Sept 22), Llanelli Wanderers will look for another win when they take on Gorseinon away from home.
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