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Quins lose ground on play-off spot

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Carmarthen Quins 19
Cross Keys 24

FOLLOWING on from a breath-taking Super Saturday of Six Nations rugby which offered so much skill and attacking flair, the Quins faithful were treated to a Sunday afternoon feast of fine rugby that is seldom seen in these days of staunch defence.

Skilfull handling, organised defence, quality line out work, end to end play, commitment, well taken tries, strange decisions and near perfect playing conditions provided the perfect advert for Principality Premiership Rugby.

With both sides within touching distance of a play-off place it was a surprising opening few minutes with the sides signalling their intentions to spread the play with all the backs having early touches. Haydn Pugh was prominent in the early line outs and the Quins were to prove the better in this department all afternoon.

With the quickly taken tap penalty being utilised by both sides defences were regularly tested, meaning concentration was going to be vital. The Quins pack were up against a heavier unit to almost a stone a player but their usual skill in this department held quite well.

After ten minutes Rhys Williams charged down a kick out of defence and he almost won the race as the ball rolled agonisingly over the deadball line. Elliot Jones at full back was the visitor’s most dangerous player and he was always ready to counter any Quins threat.

A period of Quins pressure in the Vicarage corner midway through the half was rewarded when instead of taking an easy three points they went for a kick to touch. From the line out Pugh collected and the drive was brought down resulting in the referee having no hesitation in awarding a penalty try. Craig Evans added the conversion.

From the restart the visitors captain Leon Andrews made a break only to see his pass knocked on with the try line beckoning. Five minutes later Cross Keys gained a penalty and Ethan Davies put their fist points on the board to make the score 7-3.

Approaching half time Rhys Williams picked up a loose pass in his own 22 and kicked up field, Elliot Jones fielded and his kick down field was gathered by Dion Jones who started a counter attack. He handed on to Jason Harries who shrugged off several defenders to hand back to Dion Jones, who despite being surrounded by several Cross Keys defenders, was able to use his jinking run to mesmerise them all and he crossed for an outstanding try. Craig Evans conversion hit the upright and stayed out.

The visitors were using their tank like props to gain ground and right on half time this tactic paid off when they broke through for wing P.Uhi to cross for a try and Davies’ conversion ended the half 12-10.

At the start of the second half the visitors drove play into the Vicarage corner which resulted in the referee giving Sion Bennett a yellow card which was to change the game. The next ten minutes was to see the Quins concede 12 points which was to prove decisive.

From the resultant penalty a power drive took the Keys over the line and from another first at the Park the TMO was called in and he awarded the try to J. Condy.

Davies took the visitors into a 17-12 lead with the kick.

More Keys pressure kept play in the Quins half and after a slick passing bout J. Condy was able to cross for his second try for Davies to give the visitors a 12 point lead 24-12.

The Quins were not going to give up and went on the offensive with Chris Banfield and Dion Jones particularly dangerous. The Quins kept up their attacking play and one felt that the game was not out of reach and the visitors were left to use the touch line to keep them at bay.

After 70minutes more Quins pressure and good work from Gareth George saw a passing move give Jason Harries the chance to use his power again and shake of two tackles and find Dion Jones up in support to race over for his second try. Craig Evans added the kick to make the score 24-19 with an interesting last 10 minutes on offer.

The visitors defence was under pressure and running out of steam and it was only desperate defending that kept their line intact. The final whistle denied the Quins, finishing with little more than a losing bonus point and only a slim hope of reaching the play offs.

Next Saturday the Quins play host to Newport in the Quarter Final of the SWALEC cup and it is hoped that Dan Jones, Ryan Elias and Keiran Hardy will return after Wales Under 20 duty. Kick Off 2.30.p.m.

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Late goal sees Lido beat Ammanford

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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).

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Williams’ wonder strike sinks Village

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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

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Amman earn first win of the season

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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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