By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
WORKINGTON Town came back from Llanelli with the two points on Saturday (Jul 21) but it was no walk in the park against West Wales Raiders, the 46-6 scoreline a very lopsided one after the Welsh tired in the last ten minutes.
Winless West Wales had lost their last two games by the same score – 102-6 – so this was a big improvement for them. It was only the second time they’d not conceded 50 points and was their second lowest defeat of the season.
Town’s first 21 minutes, then their strong defence for the majority of the rest of the game, earned them the two points.
They took the lead on seven minutes. Current Wales international Ben Morris set up Ilias Bergal, who dived in the corner. Carl Forber missed the conversion.
Former Wales international Sean Penkywicz created the next try, slipping the ball to Tom Curwen to run home. Forber converted to bring the score up to 10-0.
The third try came on 18 minutes. Elliott Miller made the metres and Joe Hambley was in the right place to support him to run over in the corner. Forber’s kick was wide.
Only a Phil Cowburn palm into touch prevented Hambley from scoring his second, but from the resulting scrum, Leigh Centurions loanee Bergal was successful in the opposite corner. Forber kicked well and it was 20-0 on 21 minutes.
The expected try avalanche didn’t continue. For the rest of the half, it was all West Wales Raiders and it’s a credit to Town’s defence that they kept the home side out for so long.
Steve Parry’s fairly dangerous grubber on 25 minutes was well collected by Curwen, Hambley collected a stray pass on the next West Wales encroach, then good defence stopped Parry as he tried to break through for a try on the final tackle of another set.
West Wales still couldn’t score after Olstrom spilled the ball on his own 20 metre line, the Town defence remaining solid once again, as it did when Parry kicked again, looking for his outside backs.
It was to West Wales’ credit that Town chose to kick a penalty in the final minute of the first 40, Forber successfully converting from 30 metres to bring the half-time score up to 22-0.
Town had a few half-chances early in the second half but nothing overly threatening, errors from Penkywicz and Forber denying them two potential tries, but it was the promising Raiders side who were closest in the first ten minutes. A well worked move set up a chance for Dafydd Phillips but he couldn’t quite hold onto Parry’s grubber as he ran over the try-line. Hambley also did well to catch a Parry lob to again prevent a first West Wales try.
Finally Town crossed the line on 51 minutes. Half an hour after Bergal had scored his side’s last try, he sprinted 60 metres to ground under the sticks for his hat-trick, which Forber easily improved.
After Miller knocked on in front of his sticks, then conceded a goal-line drop-out from the resulting set, Raiders finally scored a deserved try on 62 minutes. Wales World Cup player Parry twisted and turned to avoid a few tackles, setting up Alan Pope to force his way through. Luke Williams converted.
Seven minutes later, they were unlucky not to get a second. Cowburn sprinted 40 metres before being stopped in his tracks, then two tackles later, as was going over the line, some more strong Town defence forced him to drop the ball.
Town scored their sixth try against the run of play as Oliver Wilkes forced off a few defenders to score under the posts with Forber converting.
West Wales had tired and Town took advantage but Berghal only scored his fourth and Town’s seventh after the officials failed to spot what looked to many that he’d received a forward pass. Forber converted.
From the next set, Andrew Dawson went over in the corner and Forber converted, but instead of getting another try, which they had time to do, they again had to defend as the Welsh still hadn’t given up.
Late goal sees Lido beat Ammanford
Report and photo courtesy of Ian Parfitt
AMMANFORD suffered the heartbreak of late defeat at Afan Lido on Friday night with an 87th minute winner from Liam Griffiths securing a 2-1 win and all three points for the hosts.
Afan Lido started the match on the front foot and Ammanford were clearly struggling with the pace on Lido’s flanks. A foul in the box led to a penalty for Lido in the 11th minute which was dispatched by Chris Jones.
Afan Lido were largely on top in the first half however were unable to add to their goal. Ammanford were restricted to half chances although Callum Silcox did hit the post with an angled shot.
Ammanford would have hoped for an early goal in the second half and that’s exactly what they got in the 48th minute, the excellent Jordan Langley spotting the keeper off his line and hitting a looping shot into the net from 30 yards.
This goal clearly settled Ammanford and spurred on by a vociferous away support went in search of a second goal.
Afan Lido rode their luck in the 63rd minute when Owyn Airey smashed a shot against the bar.
Callum Silcox then forced Lido keeper Steve Cann into an excellent save in the 74th minute with a rasping, long range effort.
Ammanford looked the most likely team to score and had several other opportunities which they failed to convert.
Ammanford were playing well with Morgan Clarke particularly influential in midfield.
Just when it looked as if a hard fought contest was heading for a draw Griffiths swept home from close range in the 87th minute following a Lido corner.
Ammanford frantically went in search of a second equaliser in the time that remained but this eluded them and the final whistle brought about feelings of what could have been for the away team.
Ammanford will look to put things right in their next match, a home encounter against Goytre Utd on Friday (Sept 30).
Williams’ wonder strike sinks Village
CWMAMMAN United came away from a hard fought match at near neighbours Garden Village in front of a large crowd with the three points following a powerful strike from Sion Dafydd Williams.
It was the second win on the trot for Cwm and manager Paul Lewis will have been especially pleased with a second consecutive clean sheet.
Cwm started well and dominated the first half that saw a Cory Saunders inswinging corner beat everyone and bounce out off the far post while Williams then later saw his shot agonisingly trickle past the post.
A high ball in to the Village box then hit the defender’s hand and Cwm had a penalty. Kyle Ashford struck it well but it was a tad too high and Wyn Walters made an excellent save. Charlie Davies then had an opportunity following a great move but fired just wide.
Ross Morgan, Ashford and Davies were dominating midfield while Grant Rees and Callum Dougal in the heart of the defence were controlling the Village attacks.
The goal was coming but not expected as spectacularly as it did when in the 39th minute a cross into the box saw Sion Dafydd Williams leaving Walters with no chance as he rocketed the ball into the net from the edge of the box as he seemed to be facing away from goal.
As the first period Garden Village will have been relieved to see half time just a goal down and will have been happy that they were still in it.
The second half saw a more even game with Walters again making excellent saves from Keiran Richards and from a Williams header. Village were now breaking more and Kai Rees who had tidied up excellently behind the Cwm defence throughout had to make a great finger tip save in the 70th minute.
Both sides then had to make changes due to injury with Cwm losing Leon Croucher, Williams and Richards to be replaced by Harrison
Thomas, Jordan Sullivan and Alex Giardelli returning to his old club.
Cwm seemed to be seeing the game out comfortably but had a late scare when Giardelli was given a red card for a reckless challenge in the 98th minute and nervously had to defend one last free kick.
An important win in the context of the season and Cwm now entertain Treharris Athletic on Saturday, October 1, at Grenig Park, 2.30pm
Amman earn first win of the season
AMMAN United claimed their first win of the season after an opening-day draw, and a cup defeat at Haverfordwest last weekend.
However, you would have been hard pushed to imagine a 50-point final-score when, just before half time, the score remained 0-0.
But two injury time scores had then given Amman an unlikely 12-0 interval lead against the Bulldogs.
A bright opening from United saw centre Gavin Lewis, on yet another comeback, show his trickery with a nice run and offload early on. Hooker George Clark had a fine game and was in the thick of everything, as were fellow forwards Iwan Davies, Dan Jones, Rhydian Jones and captain Alun Lewis.
Bynea suffered a very early blow, losing Corey Butler to an untimely injury, and they were later to also see Jamie Thomas limp off before half time.
These injuries meant a large period of added-time, and the Bulldogs’ valiant defence cracked during the injury-time as Joel Foster and Alun Lewis combined to put in flanker Rhydian Jones for the opening try, which Tom Caddell converted.
A frustrating couple of minutes for the visitors was compounded when a quick tap and go penalty from scrum half Foster saw him smuggle over the try line for a second try on the stroke of half time.
The Reds continued in good heart after the restart, and after some good play,Foster and and Dan Jones were involved before Rhydian Jones slipped a fine offload to skipper Alun Lewis who went under the posts for another converted try.
Another “vet” came on, Adrian Thomas off the bench as the home side largely dominated with their pack in the ascendency, Cian Lewis, Jason Knell and Rhys Phillips having put in a good shift throughout.
The Bulldogs then had a purple patch for a while,centre Jack Mal almost finishing off a fine move, before more calamity struck for them as Jake Sam was sadly stretchered off.
Amman capitalised and grabbed a bonus point try when the excellent George Clarke went over for another score to make it 24-0.
But the dogged visitors were always a threat, and carved out an excellent try for their efforts as wing Nathan Baker finished off a well-worked team move, which outside half Finlay Cook converted.
Amman hit back when the back row combined well before Dan Jones went over the whitewash for a try.
A very young Bynea side battled to the end,and some more excellent play was rewarded with a try for Tom Badger, converted by Cook.
However, the home side had the last word and grabbed a very late injury time try as the industrious Rhydian Jones crossed for the final score of the game.
Amman face a tough trip to Tumble on Saturday, October 1, while Bynea are home against New Dock Stars.
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