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Scarlets try-fest secures semi-final place

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SCARLETS welcomed Toyota Cheetahs to Parc y Scarlets for the Guinness PRO14 Final Series quarter-final on Saturday (May 5) looking for a victory to keep the Championship-retaining run alive.

A beautiful Spring evening was the perfect touch for a final home game of the season as the Scarlets faithful came along to say a fond farewell to the individuals moving on at the end of the season.

The home side crossed the whitewash for six fantastic tries as the sun set on Parc y Scarlets’ season and the team didn’t disappoint putting in one final performance to keep the home winning record alive.

Scarlets got the scoreboard ticking over after five minutes of play with winger Steff Evans crossing in the corner. The ball came out from a Cheetahs line out as play continued despite an injury to Rob Evans in midfield. Rhys Patchell and Hadleigh Parkes made strong breaks through centre field and made the all-important territorial gains putting Evans in over the whitewash. Halfpenny added the conversion.

A penalty then came Scarlets’ way just inside Cheetahs territory as the game headed towards the quarter of an hour mark. Halfpenny stepped up for the long range penalty but the ball hit the upright and the Cheetahs looked to play from deep. Scarlets are on heightened alert and Tadhg Beirne wins the turnover in their 22. They were given another penalty and Halfpenny made amends for his earlier miss to make it 10-0.

Photo by Darren Harries

Within a few minutes Scarlets were back on the rampage from inside their own half as Gareth Davies gets the ball away from the scrum. Centre Parkes motored up the outside and finds Halfpenny in support who cuts a great line to the whitewash before converting his own try.

Cheetahs then got their first points on the board after 21 minutes of play with outside half Johan Goosen slotting a penalty.

Halfpenny was replaced by Dan Jones and Patchell stepped up for a long range penalty. He has the range, just like Halfpenny did earlier on in the half, but it sailed just wide of the upright.

With just a few minutes remaining in the first half Steff Evans made a wonderful break in midfield. He danced around five or six Cheetahs defenders, frees himself, puts in a chip over the top and scores a second try! Patchell added the conversion and the Scarlets looked comfortable with a 24-3 half time lead.

Scarlets fired in to action early on in the second half with a try from winger Tom Prydie. The Scarlets put the Cheetahs under huge pressure in their half and after scrum half Gareth Davies was replaced by Jonathan Evans the Scarlets pack got the ball flowing through the hands with Scott Williams putting in a wonderful pass before Prydie touches down under the posts. Patchell added the conversion.

Wyn Jones made a return to the field on the 45 minute mark, his first game since the Six Nations campaign when he injured his hamstring.

Whilst John Barclay receives a standing ovation from the entire ground, including the coaching staff, captain Ken Owens goes and scores from the rolling maul for their fifth try of the evening with Patchell converting.

Replacement scrum half Jonathan Evans crossed for the region’s sixth try on the hour mark as he dashed towards the whitewash from the 22 line. He dives in time to touch down and Scarlets go 43-3 ahead.

With fifteen minutes remaining Tadhg Beirne was replaced by Aaron Shingler. An emotional send off as Parc y Scarlets erupts. Every man, woman and child were on their feet.

Scott Williams leaves the field of play at Parc y Scarlets for the last time as a Scarlet. Another emotional farewell.

The Cheetahs cross the whitewash with ten minutes remaining after frantic defensive work by the Scarlets. The TMO is called upon for foul play earlier on in the phase where Tom Prydie is manhandled without the ball and the try was disallowed.

It was the Cheetahs who finished the game strongly with fullback Clayton Blommetjies scoring Cheetahs’ only try of the evening.

That was the last action of the games and the Scarlets sealed an impressive 43-8 win. They now go on to play Glasgow Warriors at the Scotstoun Stadium on Friday, May 18.

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Cefneithin hold off Cwmgors for second win

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Cwmgors 22-31 Cefneithin

LOOKING for their first WRU Bowl victory since the restart, Cwmgors welcomed Cefneithin to Parc y Werin, the hosts kicking off playing towards Ysgol y Waun.

The visitors notched the opening score with an early converted try, before Andrew Mason sent a penalty over after 12 minutes for the home side.

The Cherries scored an excellent try on 20 minutes, a fine break from the impressive “Owz” resulting in a well-worked try; the resulting conversion unluckily came off the post, but ‘Gors led 8-7.

Some great work by the forwards brought due reward as Cwm grabbed a second touch down which Mason converted; but before the interval, Cefneithin hit back with a try of their own, to leave them trailing by just a point at the break.

Cefn then took the lead early in the second half with a penalty, and missed another minutes later, before breaching the Cwmgors defence to record a third try of the afternoon on 50 minutes.

Minutes later, the ever-industrious “Owz” popped up again, another clinical break and good support which saw Ioan Jones crash over the whitewash for the try; Andrew Mason’s conversion meant Cwm were just two points adrift.

But, ten minutes from the end, home hopes soon evaporated by a late try from the visitors which gave the Cherries too much to do and they ultimately went down to a valiant defeat.

Cwmgors travel to Tumble this Saturday (Sept 25) while Cefneithin host Amman United.

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Amman United too good for Betws

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AMMAN United earned their fourth win of the campaign on Saturday as they beat Betws 43-13.

After a short delay following the late arrival of the referee, it was Betws who opened the scoring when outside half Aled Rees Jones slotted an early penalty.

But the home side were soon on the attack; backrow man Alun Lewis’ jinking run opened the defence and his perfect pass put in supporting scrum- half Alex Williams to grab the try.

Following Dan Jones’ excellent run, Betws were penalised, and outside half Tom Caddell made no mistake with the resulting kick. A well struck penalty from the boot of Betws placekicker Jones made it 8-6 after 17 minutes.

Newly-married Iwan Davies showed no sign of flagging and was in the thick of things as his superb run typified his all-round effort, along with impressive centre Hacuna Bezzara.

Craig Ratliffe’s break then created space, and Rhodri Lewis’ pass put in Dan Jones for try number two, Caddell’s conversion making it 15-6.

Amman’s purple-patch continued as wing Eurig Morgan crossed for a fine corner try, but Betws showed their sheer grit, despite being down a man by now, peppering the Amman try-line before Rory McGhee forced his way over for a deserved try which Aled Rees Jones converted on the stroke of half time.

A gallant Betws defence was breached early in the second half as Iwan Davies’ pass put in centre Bezzara for a Caddell-converted try.

A superb individual try from Alex Williams which saw him sidestep in for another Amman try began taking the match out of the visitors’ grasp on the hour mark.

Eurig Morgan’s ‘try’ was then ruled out for a forward-pass, just before Alex Williams incurred the referee’s wrath, yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle.

Betws almost took advantage of the 14 men as scrum half Ryan Tancock, who had a solid game, made a searing midfield break which sadly earned no end reward.

Betws’ tiring defensive legs conceded a further score as Alun Lewis provided a try on a plate for replacement Liam Poole to gallop over with minutes remaining.

Caddell’s conversion completed the scoring on an entertaining encounter.

Amman make the trip to Cefneithin on Saturday (Sept 25), while Betws are next in action on October 2.

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Ynys prove one hill too far

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Cwmamman Utd Reserves 2-4 Ynysygerwn

AFTER two 5-1 wins Cwmamman Reserves, playing their second game in 3 days, put up a brave fight against an Ynysygerwn team with lots of first team experience while also having to play 70 mins of the match with ten men.

The last thing they needed on tired legs was the dismissal of Brieg Matthews after 18 mins for an off the ball incident and it had been a tight match to that point.

But then on 23mins a through ball to Rhys Brewer saw him open the scoring for Ynys.

The 10 men of Cwm fought hard and Ashley Twigg was causing problems on the flank while Olly Dymond was brought down for a strong penalty shout but the referee waved play on.

Grant Rees and Stuart Dunn were strong at the centre of defence. Then just on half time a failure to clear at a corner saw Josh Davies slot it home for the equaliser for CWM.

The second half saw Ynysygerwn increase their possession as Cwm tired and in the 50th minute Tom Phillips flicked in a corner which was quickly followed by a goal in the 53rd minute when a ball over the top saw Charlie Farrell make it 3-1 for Ynys.

Again Cwm came back with Rhys Williams and Rhydian Jones making strong runs and Cam Isaac who had been a safe pair of hands for Cwm in goals but playing out for the last 15 mins score a great individual goal for 3-2.

Cwm pressed and had another strong penalty appeal before themselves conceding a penalty in the last minute which was converted by Nathan Davies to seal a hard fought 4-2 win for Ynysygerwn.

Cwm will enjoy the week’s rest before entertaining Briton Ferry next Saturday (Sept 25).

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