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.
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.
Ceredigion miss out in Wynne Lloyd Cup Final
THE Wynne Lloyd Inter-District Youth Cup Final went the way of Pembrokeshire who beat Ceredigion 36-28 in a thrilling game at Parc Y Scarlets on Sunday (May 20).
It was first blood to Pembrokeshire who scored the opening try of the game through Jack Tucker but the conversion was wide.
Ceredigion then answered back as Iestyn Evans scored the try before Dylan Morgan added the extras to put Ceredigion 7-5 ahead.
The action was back and forth and Pembrokeshire soon went back ahead as Gino Setaro scored and Dan Evans added the extra two points.
Pembrokeshire began to pull away as Jack Broadhurst scored their third try of the game with the conversion going in off the post from Evans.
Geraint Powell then increased Pembrokeshire’s lead with Evans again sending the conversion through the posts to give his side a 26-7 half time lead.
Ceredigion fought back at the beginning of the second half as Iwan Bowden scored the try and Dylan Morgan added the extras.
Morgan then scored a try of his own and converted to bring Ceredigion back to within five points with the score at 26-21.
They then took the lead as Dylan Davies scored the try that brought them level and Dylan Evans then added the extra two points giving Ceredigion a 28-26 lead.
Dan Evans put the Pembrokeshire side back ahead with a penalty and they led by a single point with time running out.
As Ceredigion pushed for a late try that would have seen them claim victory, it was Pembrokeshire who got the final score of the game as Cole Barry went over for the try and Evans put the seal on the victory with another conversion.
Nigel Owens was the man in the middle for the game and afterwards he Tweeted: “A pleasure to referee Ceredigion Yth 28 v Pembrokeshire Yth 36. Top quality game of rugby with some class players on both sides. Well done all, a credit to rugby.”
Photos provided by Darren Harries.
Commoners and Aber lead the way
AFTER two rounds of the West Wales Cricket Conference, Aberystwyth and UWA Commoners lead the way with two wins from as many games.
On Sunday, May 13, Aberystwyth University Commoners took on Tywyn and District and came away with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory.
The Commoners won the toss and invited Tywyn to bat first but after a quick start, they lost opener Callum Taylor (16; four fours) when he was caught by Abhisek Somani off the bowling of Umar Aslam.
Jack Morris hit three fours in a score of 15 before he was caught by Devon Simons off the bowling of Dave Wilcockson and Sam Williams was then bowled by Aslam for a duck.
Richard Rees hit five fours in a knock of 37 but he was then caught by Wilcockson off the bowling of Bill Somerfield as he failed to go on and reach a half century.
Jacu Oosthuizn was also unlucky to miss out on a half century as he hit five fours and a six in a knock of 47 before he was caught by Somani off the bowling of Guy Baron.
Baron also had Sam Morris caught by Somani for a score of 15 and he later returned to remove Ed Hughes for a duck and bowl Ellis Melia to pick up personal figures of 4-35.
That meant that the visitors were all out for 158 and they faced a tough task of defending their total.
The Commoners got off to a flying start in their reply Neil Stent and Rakesh Bhatia put on over 100 runs for the first wicket.
Stent hit three fours in a knock of 30 before he was caught by Richard Rees off the bowling of Dave Jenkins.
Will Copeland hit three late fours in a knock of 14 not out but Bhatia was the star of the show as he hit twenty fours in his excellent unbeaten century knock of 106.
The win gives the Commoners six points which brings them level on points with Aberystwyth who beat Talybont by four wickets on Saturday (May 12).
Aber won the toss and elected to field and they took the early wickets of Matthew Novak, lbw to Zaid Khan and Vinod Matthew as he was caught by Mark Evans.
However scores of 27 from Dave Barrow and 68 from Ben Harper put Talybont back in a good position. Unfortunately for Talybont both were run out by Khan and Ceri John.
Ted Trewella removed Grayson John for a score of 6 when he was caught by Steffan Davies and Phil Abraham was soon following him back to the pavilion when he was caught by Evans off the bowling of Titus Mathew for a duck.
Tibby Joseph made a late knock of 31 before he was trapped leg before by Mark Evans who then also removed Nick Matthews and Sojan Varghese for ducks.
That meant that Aber would need to chase 176 for victory but they lost opener Nigel Salmon early in their reply when he was caught by Varghese off the bowling of Phil Abraham.
Ted Trewella and and Ceri John showed some good form in knocks of 30 and 18 respectively as they got their side going.
John was caught by Tibby Joseph off the bowling of Abraham while Trewella was bowled by Grayson John.
Talybobnt looked to pick up more wickets but they were unable to remove Mark Evans who reached a half century to put Aber in control.
He hit ten fours and three sixes in a knock of 84 before he was eventually caught by John off the bowling of Abraham.
Zaid Khan finished not out on 33 (two fours) as he guided Aber to a six-point win.
The weekend’s other game between Aberaeron and Aberystwyth Seconds was cancelled as the seconds conceded the game.
On Saturday (May 19), first plays third as Aberystwyth travel to Aberaeron.
On Sunday (May 20), Aberystwyth Seconds face UWA Commoners while Tywyn & District host Talybont.
Street through to League Cup Final
BOW STREET are through to the final of Mid Wales League Cup after they beat Llanfair United 4-0 on Tuesday night (May 15).
They will now play Welshpool in the final after they beat Aberaeron 2-1 in the other semi-final.
The game was played at the home of Llanidloes Town and a good crowd gathered to support both teams.
The Street were clearly up for it and Garmon Nutting gave them the lead with an excellent strike from 25 yards out that flew into the net.
They doubled their lead soon after when Mark Gornall’s free kick hit the inside of the post and went into the net to make it 2-0.
Gornall then sent another dangerous free kick into the box and Neil Evans was in the right place to head the ball home give the Street a 3-0 lead before half time.
Despite the score line, Bow Street were wary of a second half comeback and knew they faced one of the most important halves of their season.
The Street continued to have chances and another free kick from Gornall caused problems before it was sliced behind for a corner.
Ifan Burrell then came close to a fourth when he went through at a tight angle but his effort rattled back off the bar.
Llanfair’s hopes of getting back into the match were then dealt a blow as one of their players received a second yellow card and was sent off.
Bow Street then made sure of their place in the final as Tom Evans saw a shot saved before he tapped in the rebound to make it 4-0.
Lineup: Ll.Hughes , T.Wyn, M.Pemberthy, S.Antoniazzi, N.Evans, Ll.Jenkins, G.Nutting, M.Gornall, T.Evans, A.Gittins, I.Burrell
Manager Barry Williams said: “I am very proud of all the players and my fellow management team members at Bow Street FC on reaching the League Cup Final.
“We beat a very good Llanfair side in the semi-final, but I am aware that we will have to significantly increase our level of performance against a Welshpool side that has had an excellent season.
“We are all aware that this is the fifth League Cup Final that Bow Street FC has competed in since gaining promotion to this level eleven years ago, but that we are yet to register a victory. So, hopefully, it can be fifth time lucky.
“However we know this is going to be an extremely difficult game against excellent opponents”.
The final will be played on Saturday, May 26, and will kick off at 5pm in Carno.
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