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Under strength Raiders beaten

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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.

Photo by Darren Harries

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.”

Photo by Darren Harries

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.

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Points deduction for Old Gold

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CARMARTHEN Town have been deducted three points and fined £250 for fielding an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town on New Years Day.

An FAW Disciplinary Panel met last week to hear the charge against Carmarthen Town AFC after Dave Vincent, who should have been suspended for the game on January 1, played in that match.

Vincent should have served a one match suspension from December 28, 2018 for accumulating five cautions.

A spokesperson for the FAW said: “Carmarthen were charged with a Disciplinary Offence as set out under FAW Rule 38.1.2, for the alleged breach of Rule 18 of the JD Welsh Premier League Rules 2018/19 for playing an ineligible player.

“The Panel found the charge against Carmarthen to be proven, and as a result the club will be deducted three points from their League playing record, and fined £250.

“Carmarthen have until the close of business on February 18, 2019 to lodge an appeal against this decision.”

The three-point deduction means that Carmarthen would be eight points off the bottom two and it would also harm their chances of finishing at the top of the Welsh Premiership Conference.

Carmarthen Town have been asked for a comment on the matter.

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Young Borderers progress in Mike Fry Cup

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WHITLAND Youth held off a spirited fightback from Milford Haven on Saturday (Feb 9) as they won 14-15 on the 3G surface at The Obs to progress to the semi-finals of the Mike Fry Under 17 Cup.

Owen Palmer, Iolo Rees and Brandon Williams all scored unconverted tries for Whitland as they moved into a 7-15 lead.

Harry Charnley had scored Milford’s earlier try and as the second half wore on they looked to get themselves back into the game.

A surging run set up Joel Yeomans to dive over near the posts and the conversion brought them to within one point of the junior Borderers.

Whitland looked to seal their progress and went looking for a fourth try but lost the ball in contact near the line.

Milford came forward but a wayward lineout prevented any further progress.

The home side won the ball back but Whitland turned the ball over as time ran out and they kicked the ball out of play to seal their passage to the next round.

The young Borderers will now look forward to their semi-final tie which takes place on Saturday, February 23.

Elsewhere, Tenby went through with a 12-3 win over Pembroke and Crymych beat Aberystwyth 25-10.

The game between Fishguard and Neyland was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and is due to be played on Sunday (Feb 17).

The final will be played on March 16 at Tenby.

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Youthful Blacks stun Bont

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BURRY Port travelled to Bont with an impressive eight youth players in their ranks, 5 of whom started the match and two making their senior debuts.

The selection had raised a few eyebrows in the week but the coaching staff fully believed the Youth players had earned their place and were excited to see how they went against a good Division 2 team.

The first half was a scrappy affair with both teams trying to play rugby but failing to hold on to possession at crucial times, the referee was happy for both teams to play and controlled the game very well.

The stalemate was not broken until the 30th minute when a break up field by the home backs got them into the Burry Port 22 and after a couple of quick phases they managed to power over out wide to lead 5-0.

As the half time approached Burry Port were camped on the home team’s try line, twice being held up over the line and after refusing a couple of easy shots at goal searching for a try would have been disappointed to come up short and go into half time 5 nil down.

In the second half, now playing into the wind, Burry Port upped the tempo and got their ball carriers into the game more. They simplified the attack and they got the rewards, Captain Andy Francis got the first try, running hard and straight through his opposite number to finish under the posts to take a 7-5 lead.

Photo by Darren Harries

Burry Port now had their tails up and Bont were struggling to cope with the direct running of the Blacks ball carrying. A second try came after good approach play and a wonderful finish through live wire hooker Taran Galbraith to extend the lead to 12-5.

Bont knew they needed the next score but with the Burry Port defence dominating the contact area they failed to get any decent attacks going and from a turnover in mid field and some good hands saw flying wing Tom Davies cross in the corner to make it 17-5.

Burry Port brought on youngster Keelan Jewell at loose head to make it an all 18 year old front row and, with the addition of another two youth replacements Kingsley Powell and debutant Theo Barnes-Watson as well as scrum half Ben Williams, who all brought plenty of energy onto the field against a tiring home defence, meant the next try wasn’t long coming.

Centre Duane Evans found a gap and a lovely inside ball to supporting full back Adam Davies who dived over the line for the bonus point try.

Another try quickly followed as a 5m lineout attack from Burry Port was initially defended well but with Burry Port keeping the ball, replacement Powell barged over the line.

The game was won but Burry Port had one more score in them, with Adam Davies dancing around a few tired defenders to again cross under the posts to put the icing on a well-deserved victory for Burry Port.

Burry Port are next in action on Saturday (Feb 16) when they welcome St Clears to the Memorial Park, 2:30pm kick off.

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