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Pwllheli 48 v Caernarfon 34
Following report kindly supplied by Caernarfon RFC.
This was an immensely exciting and keenly contested 12 try feast of rugby with everything finely poised at 29 points all entering the final 20 minutes. There then followed a disciplined, champions in the making, performance by the strengthened home pack that saw them steer their team to victory with three similarly forged and unanswered tries.
On a perfect playing surface the ball was constantly kept alive from the off with the speed and angled runs of support players from both teams leading to valuable yardage being gained and only numerous last ditch tackles preventing certain touchdowns. In contrast, on occasions, the bounce of the ball fooled defences and led to opportunist touchdowns being recorded.
The score board kept ticking over at regular intervals, opening with an Osian Parry Jones penalty following an offside call after three minutes. Aled Jones reciprocated a minute later for the Cofis for a holding on infringement. Caernarfon's enthusiasm and adventure were their undoing after ten minutes when one wayward pass deep in the Pwllheli half was snapped up by wing Robin Hughes Jones who was able to outsprint the cover over some sixty metres to ground close to the posts and afford Parry Jones the added extras. Caernarfon responded with one of the best tries of the afternoon after running out of their twenty two through Iolo Evans; from the halfway line Mac Jones cut through the backline and after fending off numerous tacklers was lucky to have the support of fellow backrower Gruff Ifor at hand to run in and score. Aled Jones once again levelled the scores.
The quick tempo was maintained and from the first scrum of the afternoon with twenty minutes played Caron Jones picked up, fed Nick Butterworth who then sent out a long pass to oncoming winger Osian Parry Jones who showed great strength to cross the try line out wide. Cofi prop Armando Morgan was again prominent with ball in hand and flanker Gruff Ifor showed the hunger and desire to inspire his teammates. The tackling and work-rate of Carwyn Roberts was also an added bonus. Pwllheli had a workmanlike backrow with Tom Parry collecting good lineout ball and Ifan Roberts fast to every breakdown.
The third Pwllheli try followed courtesy of Butterworth's quickly taken penalty that found elusive John Pugh at hand before the final pop up pass was collected by fellow centre Gareth Williams who charged over beneath the crossbar to grant Parry Jones yet another conversion.
With half time looming the Cofis clawed their way back to be within seven points when strong running centre Dafydd Lloyd Hughes capitalised on another quickly taken penalty to spin free from a tackle and ground out wide.
The two contrasting scrum halves on display were both excellent; Bryn Granville's kick and chase set up Caernarfon's equalising score at the beginning of the second half and following replacement Rhys Evans's intervention Dafydd Lloyd Hughes was yet again able spin and stretch to the try line by the upright to grant Aled Jones an easier conversion. Minutes later Pwllheli supporters were silenced when a lofted clearance out of defence bounced favourably for Caernarfon winger Dylan Gwyn to hack on, then collect, to sprint clear and score. Aled Jones again improved the effort from the tee to ensure a bonus point.
Pwllheli, adrift for the first time, did not panic and worked their way back up field and some five minutes later, following a series of pick ups and drives had prop Rhys Williams to thank for notching their bonus point try but more importantly with the added Parry Jones conversion a score equalling try.
From this point onwards Pwllheli targeted the forwards and kept the ball far tighter with the introduction of Elgan Davies playing a noticeable constructive role. The Cofi defence held admirably but in face of ever increasing pressure and therefore an ever increasing tackle count the line was finally breached. Osian Parry Jones got his second try following freeing himself from a tackle to stretch and score and then improved his own effort. Five minutes later influential scrum half Butterworth added his weight to the forward effort to pick up and slide in to score and the game was sealed a few minutes later when Kalim Kelemete, in front of his visiting family, squeezed through a gap to ground beneath the posts and thus affording Parry Jones his fifth conversion of the afternoon.
The Cofis, although beaten, were still game to the end and despite Pwllheli's best efforts they could not prevent centre Dafydd Lloyd Hughes from recording his third try of the afternoon in the corner after patient and purposeful build up play.
Today's results show therefore that the two horse race at the top of the league continues with both fully deserving of all the plaudits bestowed upon them.
Dolgellau 36 v Llanidloes 14
Following report kindly supplied by Dolgellau RFC.
Dolgellau are doing all they can to keep the pressure on leaders Llangefni and leap-frogged above Denbigh into 2nd place in the race for promotion, recording a bonus point victory here as full-back Henri Roberts crossed for a hat-trick of tries.
10 minutes into a pretty even contest Llanidloes were threatening the Dolgellau try line through centre Paul Jehu, but from a scrum five metres out, Dolgellau full-back, Gerwyn Pugh intercepted a loose Llanidloes pass to sprint the length of the field to score under the posts. Full-back Henri Roberts converted, and five minutes later a poor Llanidloes clearance was gathered by skipper, Gerwyn Thomas, who exchanged passes with second-row Colin Markham to put in centre Dylan Evans for the try. Again Henri Roberts converted to give the hosts a 14-0 cushion.
Dolgellau second row Carwyn Hughes did well to set up Dolgellau’s third try which was finished off down the left touchline by wing, Danny Evans to put Dolgellau 19-0 ahead after twenty minutes. Llanidloes kept plugging away, but spurred several try-scoring opportunities before Dolgellau scored on the stroke of half time. Scrum half Jac Roberts and Gerwyn Thomas combining to find Henri Roberts on the loop to score a most important bonus fourth try, which he duly added the conversion to make the score 26-0 at the interval.
Playing with a stiff breeze, Llanidloes tried to pin Dolgellau back in their own 22, but after only three minutes wing Danny Evans embarked on a long run that saw Henri Roberts in full swing and sprinted home down left side for a great try. Llanidloes came back strongly again and their perseverance were finally rewarded as full-back Dafydd Duggan crossed wide out on the right. Stand-off Adam Price put over the conversion from a difficult angle to make it 31-7.
Dolgellau’s Henri Roberts capped a fine all-round display with his third try of the game with ten minutes to go, to give him a personal haul of 21 points, before Llanidloes finished strongly with flanker, Andrew Griffiths crashing over for a deserved try that was converted by stand-off Adam Price to make the final score 36-14.
Referee : Mike Jolley
Bala 13 v Nant Conwy 36
Following report kindly supplied by Nant Conwy RFC.
Edging towards the close of the season this was a much anticipated match between two previous North Wales Cup holders with both teams expecting a physical game.
With a swirling wind and intermittent bright sunshine Nant found themselves with a significant weight disadvantage and playing into the sun in the first half, giving Bala the condition’s advantage
In the opening 6 minutes of play minutes Bala were awarded a penalty which number 10 (Rhydian) placed between the posts.
However, Nant were also awarded a penalty within a couple of minutes which Delwyn took to even the score.
With both teams trying to play to their strengths, it was Bala who seemed more in control for much of the first half with Nant giving away several unforced errors.
However Nant as always defended exceptionally well, and Carwyn Davies was there to take a quick ball from the scrum, dancing neatly around 2 Bala boys to touch down for a well-executed try which Delwyn converted taking the score to 10/3 .
Shortly afterwards Bala’s Owain Aled successfully popped Bala’s second penalty between the post.
As the first half was drawing to a close, some inspirational fast paced ball-handling between Ifan P, Geth Vaughan, Carwyn Ellis and Jack Moriarty resulted in a fantastic and well deserved try converted by Delwyn which put the half time score 17/6 in Nant’s favour.
In the opening minutes of the second half Nant scored again (unconverted) with Gaz Davies taking the honours.
The Nant pack although weight disadvantaged, showed their blistering pace as they got deeper into the second half with Sion Pringle and Cai Jones adding two additional converted tries .
Bala not to be deterred breach Nant’s defence with a try by flanker, Ilan, with Owain Aled adding the extras.
The final score 36/13 was well earned in what had been an extremely physical game
Nant will face Bro (away) next Friday night 7.30pm kick off.
On a social note, it was so good to see Harry Ellis –the physio, Becky’ two week old son, watching his first ever live rugby match. He has already taken a signing on form for Nant Conwy and will consider his options over the ‘close season’!
Gan ddynesu tuag at ddiwedd y tymor roedd hon yn gêm lle roedd llawer iawn o edrych ymlaen ati rhwng dau dîm sydd wedi ennill Cwpan Her Gogledd Cymru mewn tymhorau blaenorol a disgwylid gêm gorfforol fel arfer.
Gyda gwynt yn chwyrlïo o gwmpas y maes gydag ysbeisiau o heulwen, canfyddodd Nant eu bod gydag anfantais pwysau sylweddol ac, wrth chwarae tuag at yr haul yn yr hanner cyntaf, gwelwyd Bala’n manteisio’n llawn ar y tywydd a’r pwysau ychwanegol.
Yn y 6 munud agoriadol o chwarae, dyfarnwyd cic gosb i’r tîm cartref – un giciwyd yn llwyddiannus gan Rhydian. Fodd bynnag, yn fuan wedyn, daeth y sgôr yn gyfartal weth i Delwyn fod yn llwyddiannus wrth gicio cic gosb tros Nant.
Gyda’r ddau dîm yn ceisio chwarae i’w cryfderau, roedd y Bala’n ymddangos mewn mwy o reolaeth am gryn dipyn o’r hanner cyntaf gyda Nant yn gwneud llawer o gamgymeriadau elfennol.
Ond, fel ag sy’n arferol bellach, bu i Nant amddiffyn yn ddewr eto, roedd Carwyn [Davies] yn y man iawn i hollti amddiffyn y Bala wedi i’r ymwelwyr ennill pêl gyflym o sgrym osod. Dawnsiodd Carwyn o gwmpas dau amddiffynwr am gais hyfryd – un y bu i Delwyn ei drosi gan roi sgôr o 3 – 10.
Yn fuan wedyn, holltodd Owain y pyst gydag ail gic gosb y Bala.
Fel y dynesai diwedd yr hanner cyntaf, gwelwyd cyd-chwarae cyflym ag ardderchog rhwng rhai o’r blaenwyr a’r cefnwyr – Ifan P, Geth Vaughan, Carwyn Ellis a Jack Moriarty a arweiniodd at gais hyfryd a haeddiannol a droswyd gan Delwyn gan roi sgôr o 6 – 17 ar yr hanner.
Ar ddechrau’r ail hanner, gwelwyd cais blaenwur rhagorol arall gan Nant. Cic tros yr erchwyn ac ennill tafliad yn ‘22’ y Bala. Ennill y bêl a gwthiad grymus tros y linnell gais gyda’r blaen asgellwr, Gareth, yr olaf i godi gyda’r bêl o dan ei frest.
Fel roedd y gêm yn mynd yn ei blaen, daeth pac ysgafnach Nant fwyfwy i’r amlwg wrth ddangos eu ffitrwydd a thynnu pac y tîm cartref yn ôl ac ymlaen ar draws y maes. Ar linnell ‘22’ Bala, rhyddhawyd y bêl i’r cefnwyr a tharodd y cefnwr, Sion yr ymosod ar ongl hyfryd gan wibio heibio’r holl amddiffyn a thirio’r bêl o dan y pyst. Trosodd Delwyn cyn, yn fuan wedyn, i’r hannerwr, Cai gicio ymhell i lawr y maes, dilyn ei gic ei hun a manteisio’n llawn wrth i amddiffynwr y tîm cartref fethu dal y bêl yn lân. Delwyn unwaith eto’n trosi.
Ond yn ôl y daeth y Bala trwy gais gan Ilan, y blaen asgellwr, a droswyd gan Owain Aled.
Roedd y sgôr derfynol o 13 – 36 yn un hollol haeddiannol I Nant mewn gêm a drodd allan yn un hynod gorfforol fel y disgwylid rhwng y ddau dîm yma.
Gêm nesaf Nant fydd i ffwrdd nos WENER nesaf yn erbyn Bro Ffestiniog gyda’r gic gyntaf am 7.30 o’r gloch.
Ar nodyn cymdeithasol, braf oedd gweld Harry Ellis, mab pythefnos oed Becky, ffisio Nant yn gwylio’I gêm rygbi gyntaf erioed. Mae wrthi’n ystyried arwyddo’I ffurflen gyntaf fel chwaraewr tros Nant Conwy!
Abergele 5 v Llandudno 78
Following report kindly supplied by Llandudno RFC.
In a very one sided affair, the home side were unable to compete with the overall fire power of Llan, with Ryan Pike playing like a Master Gunner, scoring four tries and nine conversions, giving him a club record of thirty eight points.
From the start Llan put the home side under pressure, when from within there own half that they launched a combined attack of forwards and backs, with Ryan Pike getting the first of his four touch downs.
The next try came from a forward surge up field,with Billy McQueeny breaking through a number of tackles, with Andy Wynne scoring a converted try by Ryan Pike. Such was the one way traffic of the Llan fifteen, that tries now came at regular intervals.
Ryan Pike scored and converted his own try, then a stolen ball from a set scrum saw
Cameron Davies make a powerful break and touch down under the posts, with Ryan Pike adding two more points with the conversion.
The charge down of an attempted clearance kick by the home defence, was followed up by Lloyd Evans and collected for a touch down try, which Pike converted.
The onslaught continued with Sam McClean and Ryan Pike scoring tries during this first half, with Pike converting both.
The pattern of the second half continued with Llan in complete control of proceedings, Ryan Pike scored his fourth and final try which he also converted.
Aber to their credit never stopped trying and were rewarded when they intercepted a pass just on halfway resulting in them scoring a consolation try, but from this point on they tired, and were unable to contain the continuing onslaught by Llan, who finished the match with a further tries by Cameron Davies, James Neary, Bobby Davies and Hugh Griffith two of which Ryan Pike converted.
Final match of the season on Saturday 29th April away at Nant KO 2.30.
Match Report by Howie.