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Slow start costs Warriors

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Llanelli Warriors 20-45 Swansea Vikings

A STORMING start put the Vikings into an unassailable position despite a gritty performance for the Warriors on Sunday (Sept 9).

There was proof of rugby’s inclusiveness at Burry Port on the weekend when the Warriors who look to include players with learning difficulties and the Vikings who encourage gay and bisexual members took on each other.

It may have technically been a friendly match but it was as hard fought and contested as any other and proved to be a physical encounter.

The Swansea Vikings more or less put the seal on this one on the first fifteen minutes. They stormed through for 3 quick-fire tries and were unlucky not to have got a couple more as they burst out of the blocks.

Photo by Darren Harries

The Warriors already knew it was going to be a tough one with a number of players missing and a rearranged backline. They lost Captain Rich Evans in the warm up, and then inside centre Andrew Ladd early on. Lloyd Crawley on his debut was forced into emergency centre rather than his preferred 2nd row alongside flanker Nathan Lawson.

With Dan Grinter and Jarrod Davies also making debuts it was no wonder that the Warriors took some time to settle by which time the Vikings were striding away.

There were some stand out performances for the Warriors. Yanis Whitely had his best game to date. He added some jinking runs to his tenacious tackling and deserved his fine try. Dai Haines carried strongly and was added by Simon Jenkins who gave the Warriors much of their physical edge.

In the backs Anthony Yendall answered an S.O.S. to fill in at number 10 and add some shape to attack whilst the score would have been a lot higher if not for the efforts of Day and Ashour out wide.

They never threatened the result though. The Vikings strength was between back row and 10. They back row contained the Warriors best efforts giving the half backs the room they needed to pile on the pressure. Despite the best efforts of Jordan Jones, Gareth Ladd and Andrew Davies they held an edge here throughout.

The Warriors must be pleased with their efforts though. All the debutants did well and others will have learned a lot from this experience. They also finished strongly. Davies had an effort disallowed but eventually Randall had enough space to round his man and end the game on a high note.

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Clayton comeback stuns Van Gerwen

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PONTYBEREM darts ace Jonny Clayton pulled off one of the shocks of the Grand Slam of Darts as he came from three legs behind to beat world number one Michael Van Gerwen 5-4 on Sunday (Nov 11).

The 44 year old Welshman looked to be down and out with the score at 4-2 but he never gave up and went on to claim one of the biggest victories of his career.

Van Gerwen has won the last three Grand Slam tournaments and was firm favourite to pick up another win going into the second of their three game group.

Clayton threw first in the first to five legs match but it was the Dutchman who hit the first 180 before going on to break with a 94 checkout.

The world number 17 hit back though and after Van Gerwen missed the bull for a 128 checkout he took out 64 to level the game up.

However, Clayton could not back that up opening up with just 26 in the third leg before Van Gerwen hit 180 and 171 to leave just 16 which he checked out at the second attempt.

The Welshman had an excellent average of 115 at this stage but that was trumped by his opponent, averaging 122.

Van Gerwen then increased his lead with a 16-dart leg but Clayton seemed unfazed.

He hit his second 180 in the fifth leg and checked out on 80 to pull a leg back but a bounce out at the start of the next leg set him back again.

MVG hit another 180 and although he missed a 64 finish he took out double ten to make the score 4-2.

Clayton only opened the seventh leg with a ton followed by a 60 but Van Gerwen did take full advantage hitting a 140 before responding to Clayton’s 60 with a score of 58.

The Welshman then hit 168 to leave himself with just 16 and after Van Gerwen missed on 114 he closed the leg out to make it 4-3.

More low scores in the eighth leg from Clayton looked to put MVG in control but he then missed check outs of 76 and 16 to allow Clayton in to check out with 58 to level the game at 4-4.

Clayton had the throw in the final leg and hit 140 with his second throw before Van Gerwen hit just 97.

The Pontyberem-born Clayton then hit 137 to leave himself with 40 but MVG put the pressure on leaving himself with 74 if Clayton slipped up.

Clayton needed just two darts as he hit double top to secure a memorable comeback victory.

The Welshman said he was ‘Over the moon’ following the win and took to Twitter to thank those who had sent him messages adding: “Made up with that! Incredible to be part of a match like that and then to win it against a class act (Michael Van Gerwen) playing like that is absolutely brilliant.”

Clayton now plays the BDO’s Gary Robson in his last match of the group tomorrow (Nov 13) with qualification for the next round not yet secure.

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Trallwm, Trostre and Bwlch through to round three

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TRALLWM went through to the third round of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Nov 3) as they beat Pwll Athletic 5-2.

Kris Brown scored a hat trick for the Tigers while other goals came from Rhys Watson and Luke Nicholas.

Carmarthen Stars were knocked out of the Cup as they were beaten 3-1 by Giants Grave. Richard Barnes, Dean Evans and Ross Hudson all scored for the Neath Premier League leaders.

C K Swiss Valley were also knocked out beaten 3-1 at home by Sandfields.

Pontlliw earned their place in the third round with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Pontarddulais Town after their game had finished 1-1 after extra time.

Trostre Sports also eased through to the next round as they thrashed West End United 9-1.

Johnstown also earned their place in the next round of the tournament with a 6-2 win at home to Wern.

Bwlch Rangers came from behind twice to book their place in the third round of the West Wales Cup.

Opponents Penclawdd, who play in Division 1 of the Swansea League, took a two goal lead before Blwch pulled a goal back before half time.

In the second half the Rangers levelled matters only for Penclawdd to retake the lead at 3-2.

However, Bwlch showed their class to score twice more to see themselves into the next round.

Matthew Hughes scored twice for Bwlch while Mathew Williams and Jason Morris were also on target for the victors.

FC Carmarthen bowed out of the competition, beaten 3-1 by Loughor Rovers despite taking the lead in that game.

Seaside’s run in the competition also came to an end as they were beaten 7-3 by last year’s champions Goodwick United.

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Dafen bow out to Maltsters

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DAFEN Welfare bowed out of the West Wales Cup on Saturday (Nov 3) as they were beaten 3-0 by Maltsters Sports.

The Swansea League Division 1 side have won five, lost five and drawn one of their 11 games so far this season and they came up against a Dafen side who have just two wins and three draws from their nine games.

Kyle Morgan, Sam Keefe and Chris Hughes all scored for the visitors while they also did well to keep a clean sheet.

Maltsters’ Gareth Morrell was named as the man of the match for his side following an excellent display.

Dafen will now turn their attentions back to the Premier League and on Saturday (Nov 10) they are away to Evans and Williams.

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