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 (Whitland) scored and Dan Evans added the extra two points.
Pembrokeshire began to pull away as Jack Broadhurst (Narberth) scored their third try of the game with the conversion going in off the post from Evans.
Geraint Powell (Narberth) 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.
Whitland’s Dan Evans put the Pembrokeshire side back ahead with a penalty from 40 metres out 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 Prop Cole Barry (Haverfordwest), who had been on the field for eighty minutes, 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.”
Also running the line were Pembrokeshire’s Thomas Carew and Ross Grieve.
Tom told the Herald: “It was such a surreal experience. Being a referee was something that I’ve always wanted to do, even from a young age. To be involved in the game on Sunday was a dream come true and I cherished every moment of it.
“Nigel Owens has always been like a hero to me, I can’t remember a time where he wasn’t. I’ve always looked up to him and aspired to do what he does week in week out. What he has achieved makes him a superb role model for not only referees but for everyone.
“So to have the chance to not only meet him but to also run the line for him was an experience that I never would have expected to happen to me. Sunday will be a day that I won’t forget in a long time!”
Ceredigion Coach Justin Lloyd said: “It was a great occasion to be a part of for Ceredigion as we’ve only been set up for a few years and we’ve done really well to get to the final.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game against a strong Pembrokeshire side but I am super proud of the performance.
“Any neutrals who were watching the game would have seen a game played in Scarlets style. Both teams weren’t afraid to take any risks.”
Pembrokeshire coach Kenny Davies added: “It was a hell of a game of rugby and a great advert for west Wales rugby. Playing at Parc Y Scarlets with Nigel Owens being the referee made it an excellrnt occasion for all involved.
“We started the game well and were leading 26-7 at half time but they came back into it to lead. We then had a 40metre penalty from Whitland’s Dan Evans and we finished strongly to win it.
“Thanks to everyone involved and I hope the players got a lot out of it”.
Photos provided by Darren Harries.
Aber face must-win game
IN their fight for a Europa League Play Off spot, Aberystwyth Town now face a must-win game against Cardiff Met on Saturday (Apr 20).
A win against the Met would put them above the Students and put them in pole position ahead of their final game away to Carmarthen a week later.
On Friday (Apr 12), Aber were held to a 0-0 draw by Cefn Druids at Park Avenue, and the Met’s win on Saturday (Apr 13) put them into the coveted seventh place.
A large crowd of 495 responded to Aber Town’s “Footy for a Fiva” initiative to watch the Black and Greens gain a valuable point from an engrossing goal less draw with their bogey side Cefn Druds. In a match of remarkably few clear cut chances defences were on top.
Geoff Kellaway and Ryan Wollacott went closest for Town and despite a late power cut both teams held out for an honourable draw.
Kick off was preceded with a presentation as Aber Town Under 19s side received their Welsh Premier Development League (South) Trophy and medals, and the Black and Greens named an unchanged outfield eleven for the fifth consecutive game.
Druids took the initiative from the start and home keeper Terry McCormick was out well to deny Jack Kenny early on.
With the Druids buzzing around Town were mostly threatening on the break and Mattie Jones made a lung bursting run down the left before pulling out a super cross, but Druids’ Neil Ashton dived in to deny Kellaway a tap in.
Jones picked out Kellaway again minutes later but the striker was called offside.
Kenny then fired wide from a great position, set up by Rittenberg, but in general it was the holding players who were shining, with Paolo Mendes and Declan Walker prominent in Town’s good defensive shape.
Marc Williams lobbed just over for Aber, then Jamie Davies brought a save out of McCormick.
Wes Baynes set up half chances for Walker and Ashley Ruane with free kicks, and Mendes headed over from Jones’ corner. Kellaway curled a shot wide and Kenny headed over for the Druids and with shots on target at a premium the half ended at 0-0.
Into the second half, and Williams curled a header just wide from Baynes’ free kick, and McCormick again did well to deny Kenny and Davies.
Steff Edwards saw a rare effort drop just over the bar and home supporters in the Dias Stand started to make themselves heard with some super singing, echoed back by the tifosi on Narks’ corner.
The two in form sides were defending solidly and chances were at a premium. Another Baynes free kick whistled past the far post, and then a Ryan Wollacott header brought Druids keeper Michael Jones into action with a smart save.
A ball from Walker almost picked out Ruane and then with two minutes to go the floodlights dramatically cut out.
After five minutes of darkness, to cheers from the supporters, the lights mercifully came back on, and in injury time sub Niall Coleridge almost got his head on a Jones cross, Ryan Kershaw fired over the bar for the visitors and the game ended in a fair and honourable draw.
The result guarantees Aber an improved eighth placed finish this season but after Cardiff beat relegated Llandudno on Saturday, Aber now travel to the Cyncoed Campus knowing they must win to keep their Play Off hopes alive.
Saturday’s match between the two sides is a huge game and every single Aber supporter is needed to cheer the boys on to a dream end to the season.
Aber hold off Llanelli
ABERYSTWYTH Town took another huge step towards the UEFA Europa League Play Offs with a crucial 3-2 win over Llanelli at Park Avenue on Friday night (Apr 5).
Following Cardiff Met’s defeat to the Druids on Saturday it means that Aber now hold a one point lead over the Met who they play on Apr 20.
A stunning strike from Wes Baynes on 29 minutes gave the Black and Greens the lead, and quickfire goals from Ash Ruane (49 minutes) and Marc Williams (53 minutes) seemed to have the hosts cruising, but Llanelli, who were relegated last night by a Club announcement that they will not appeal their Licence failure, hit back through Lee Bevan (63) and Joe Clarke (83) to set up a thrilling ending, which ended with Aber’s fourth consecutive win.
Kick off at a chilly and damp Park Avenue was preceded by a minute’s silence to commemorate Club Stalwart Leighton Wall, who sadly passed away after Aber’s last home game.
Aber’s unchanged team started fairly confidently, taking the initiative and soon evergreen Geoff Kellaway was flashing a shot wide of the goal set up by the peerless Marc Williams.
The visitors however were showing signs of life themselves: Michael George sent an early effort wide, then home keeper Terry McCormick came out brilliantly to deny stand in striker Joe Clarke what seemed like a certain goal.
The chances kept coming and Kellaway was adjudged to have been offside, while scoring from Mattie Jones ball in – and the goal was disallowed. Williams saw a shot saved by Scott Coughlin, then a Mattie Jones humdinger screamed past the post.
Jones then had a free kick tipped over the bar by Coughlin, and then finally a super move around the box saw Williams lay the ball back to Baynes who smashed the ball into the net for a super opener.
Steff Edwards then attempted a Cantona-esque effort from the edge of the area which dropped wide, and Llanelli were hanging on. McCormick pulled off another super close range save to deny Clarke at the other end, and headers from Declan Walker and Williams missed the target for Aber to ensure that a very entertaining first half ended 1-0 to the hosts.
Into the second half and the hosts started on fire. Four minutes in Kellaway delivered a perfect ball in from the left wing which fell perfectly for Ruane to score his second headed goal in two games.
Sub Emile Ngoy tapped in at the other end for Llanelli but his goal, like Kellaway’s earlier, was disallowed for offside, and then a simple ball up the park from the hosts was terribly misjudged by Coughlin and Williams nipped in behind him to score a third, and surely seal the game for Aber.
Ryan Edwards and Jones both curled further efforts wide for Town but credit to already relegated Llanelli, they finished the game strongly. When Lee Bevan headed home from a right wing corner to reduce the arrears there was still 27 minutes to go, and with the Reds flooding forward Ngoy headed over soon after.
Clarke sent a shot over the bar and Aber’s fans in the Dias started signing to encourage their side to hold out.
With seven minutes remaining a tricky run from George down the right saw the ball fall for Clarke who rolled his man and finally got his goal from close range for 3-2.
Ruane played a great 1-2 with Marc Williams before sending a wild shot into the new netting in front of the Dias Stand, and after a series of free kicks around Aber’s box Chris Jones’ set piece was headed over by the industrious Ngoy.
Back at the other end in injury time Marc Williams then held the ball in the corner, only to roll round a gaggle of visiting players and tickle the ball just past the post, and the job was done.
In the face of a spirited comeback Aberystwyth Town held on for what could be a priceless three points.
It was probably not a vintage performance in truth but such complaints are churlish in the face of four straight wins which have put Aber back on top of the Play Off Conference, and their UEFA Europa League dream continues on Friday night (Apr 12), at home to Cefn Druids (
Llandysul through to League Cup final
LLANDYSUL made it through to the final of the Ceredigion Costcutter League Cup on Tuesday (Apr 2), as they beat St Dogmaels 4-2.
Both sides were near full strength and it made for an exciting encounter between two of the league’s top sides.
The Saints just stole it 1-2 in Llandysul earlier in the season, but came into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Crannog while Llandysul had beaten basement side Bargod 5-0 so it really was anyone’s guess who would take the spot in the League Cup final against Crannog on Easter Monday (Apr 22).
After a few day of summer weather, the pitch benefited from the odd light shower throughout the day, making an immaculate surface at NCE – with the ball zipping about for both sides.
It took the Saints just ten minutes to break the deadlock as confusion in the box allowed them to strike an early blow to the Swallows after a fiery opening exchange.
Five minutes later Llandysul were level after a quick 1-2 between the immense Scott Mayes and Lewis Jones released on form striker Mathew Newbold, whose bullet cross was met by the head of the on-running Chrissy Harris.
Both sides kept looking to play, and some dogged Swallows defending conceded a throw in near the corner flag. The Saints full back launched a mammoth throw into the box, causing all sorts of chaos before the Saints prodded home to restore their lead.
The fiery affair continued with a few large tackles and some excellent football for both sides saw out the first half.
The Saints started the second half brightly, winning a corner within 30 seconds of the restart.
On 55 minutes, a handball just outside the Saints box gave Llandysul a chance to get back into the game. The free kick was rolled by Lewis Jones towards Captain Dean Jones who let fly an absolute rocket to make it 2-2.
The Swallows made a change to their top three with Ashley Summers, Jayden Lynch and Harri Wilson coming on for Newbold, Harris, and Ifan-Sion.
The change of pace up top changed the game and within two minutes Jayden Lynch found a gap on the edge of the box to fire the Swallows into the lead.
The game then returned to end to end action with the Saints having chances to level, only for Swallows ‘Keeper Nathan Jones to perform some outstanding saves.
With ten to go, tenacious striker Ashley Summers pounced on a through ball – causing panic between defender and keeper, stealing the loose ball and slotting home to double the Swallows’ advantage.
The Saints threw everything forward searching for a route back into the game leaving spaces vulnerable at the back.
Winger Harri Wilson’s pace meant they had to constantly be alert, causing all sorts of trouble down the right hand side.
Llandysul saw the game out however and will now look forward to their game with Crannog in the final on April 22.
Before that, St Dogmaels return to league action as they host Llanboidy.
Llandysul are in action in the first round of the Bay Cup as they travel to Maesglas.
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