Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Aberystwyth Town 3
Haverfordwest County 1
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN returned to the summit of the Dafabet WPL Play Off Conference on Friday (Apr 8) with a very important 3-1 home win over already relegated Haverfordwest County.
Man of the Match Craig Williams opened the scoring for Aber on 10 minutes, only for Luke Borelli to level the scores six minutes later. The Black and Greens improved after the break and Williams created the chance for Chris Venables to lob a second on the hour, before sending in a corner, which Rhys Griffiths headed goal bound, for Sean Pemberton to complete the scoring with a headed own goal on 71 minutes.
On a drizzly night a pre match Club Photo ensured a decent turnout of 404, and a lively Friday night atmosphere at Park Avenue. Visitors Haverfordwest created the first chance when Borelli’s ball in from the left fell for stand in centre forward Sean Pemberton, but he could only tap it back to Mike Lewis in Aber’s goal.
Another Borelli cross was gathered by Lewis, but then came the first moment of real quality when Geoff Kellaway picked out Craig Williams out on the left, and the Taff’s Well Touchline Terror hit a sumptuous lob first time over Craig Morris’ head to open the scoring: a brilliant strike.
Chris Venables tried another lob minutes later, but then the visitors equalised when the impressive Greg Walters managed to pick out Borelli at the back stick, and he tapped home. Pemberton headed wide again, Kellaway had a flick saved as did Borelli, and then Ross Stephens picked out Venables at the back post, but he headed inches wide, and a generally disappointing first half ended 1-1.
The second half started with the visitors creating most of the chances, with Pemberton having a low shot saved, and heading wide, but then on the hour the game turned when Williams cut inside from the left after a positive run and his low shot brought a save from Morris which spooned the ball into the air, and Venables managed to hook the ball over the goalkeeper to score with an instinctive lob which brought his season tally to 17, back on top of the Golden Boot List.
With the Dias Stand dancing, Rhys Griffiths released Kellaway through with a deft touch, and his shot was parried inches wide by Morris, but then the killer third came when Williams’ corner from the left was perfect for Griffiths to direct a strong header goal bound, which deflected in off the unfortunate Pemberton’s head.
Aber still had some defending to do, with Stephens, Lee Surman and Antonio Corbisiero making crucial blocks to defend their lead. Walters curled an effort wide, and then late on sub Liam Jaques set up Williams for another blocked effort, and the game ended at 3-1: a testament to Wyn Thomas and his Players’ desire to get a result when it really mattered.
This precious victory keeps Aber right in the running for the UEFA Europa League Play Offs, and with seventeen points garnered from their eight post split game to date, the Black and Greens can confidently look forward to another important clash at Carmarthen Town next Saturday afternoon (Kick Off 2.30pm).
Three summer tests announced for Wales
WALES will play three summer tests in Cardiff this July as revised international fixtures have been announced.
Wayne Pivac’s side will face Canada (July 3) and back-to-back games against Argentina (July 10 & 17) at Principality Stadium.
These tests replace the scheduled summer tour to Argentina which has had to be cancelled due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty around travel restrictions.
The Pumas will now travel to Cardiff for two tests against the Six Nations Champions.
Wales will kick off their summer campaign on July 3 at home to Canada. The Canucks who are coached by former Wales captains Kingsley Jones and Rob Howley will visit Cardiff for the first time since 2008.
“We are looking forward to this summer, the opportunity it presents, and we are delighted to have three tests confirmed,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
“It is disappointing not to have the opportunity to tour Argentina, especially on the back of our 2020 tour to New Zealand being cancelled, but in the current climate it is completely understandable.
“What is important is we have games and as we have said all along, this summer is a huge opportunity for us. We are delighted and proud to have 10 players selected for the British & Irish Lions, it is reward for all their hard work and we wish them all the best this summer.
“With those players away we always earmarked this summer as an important development opportunity for us.
“It is an opportunity to bring players into this environment, look at them closely and expose them to test match rugby. It is also an opportunity for current internationals to step-up into further leadership roles, so on both counts it is an important camp for us looking ahead to RWC2023.”
WRU CEO Steve Phillips added: “It is a huge credit to World Rugby that a full schedule of summer international rugby has been achieved against the backdrop of the global pandemic.
“Whilst it is obviously disappointing not to tour, we are delighted in Wales to be hosting Canada and to be able to honour the 2017 San Francisco agreement by hosting the Pumas for back-to-back matches, which will be hugely important to our international player development.
“Wayne has been adamant that his squad needs matches this summer and World Rugby have certainly delivered on that front.
“We are, of course, acutely aware of current restrictions and the ongoing and complex global COVID-19 picture. We will continue to monitor the situation in terms of any potential spectator access, but will remain entirely compliant and vigilant of all restrictions.
“In the current circumstances we are simply delighted to be able to play international rugby and any advance on that will be a bonus.”
Aber fail to break down ten-man Flint
ABERYSTWYTH Town and Flint Town United played out a goalless draw on Saturday (May 8).
It could have been much different for Aber, though, as they played against a Flint side who had Ben Amiss sent off in the first half, but they failed to make their advantage count.
With Wales experiencing some unseasonal weather, the Deeside coast was battered by mother-nature in the build-up to the game and full credit must go to the volunteers at the Silkmen for producing an excellent playing surface.
Aber started the game brightly and carved out two great openings in the first five minutes. Firstly, Louis Bradford volleyed over the bar from close range before some brilliant work down the left from Harry Franklin teed up a cross for Jonathan Evans who’s goal bound header looked to have given the Seasiders the initiative.
However, home stopper Jon Rushton had other ideas, pulling off a sumptuous save down low, pawing the ball away to safety.
After the two quick chances for Aber, Flint settled into the contest and began creating chances of their own.
The home side saw strikes from Alex Jones and Callum Brately fall narrowly wide of the post before creating their best opportunity of the half with 23 minutes having elapsed.
Great play down the right flank saw the ball land to Ross Weaver. His strike, via a deflection from Black and Green defender Ian Kearney forced Connor Roberts into a great stop.
Franklin was causing problems for the Silkmen and Aber’s most likely route towards victory looked to be coming down his wing. He had a glorious opportunity to give Aber the lead but couldn’t keep his effort under the crossbar. He did have the ball in the back of the net but an early flag from the linesman denied him his fourth of the season.
The game’s flashpoint came with just seconds to go until the break. A heavy tackle in midfield from Ben Amiss on Jamie Veale, sparking a 19-man melee in midfield and saw referee Bryn Markham Jones reach for his red card for the Flint Town United striker.
With Aber having a numerical advantage, they enjoyed more of the ball in the second stanza but could only create sporadic chances against a well drilled and organised back line. Mathew Jones saw a strike fall narrowly over the bar whilst Kearney’s header from a corner landed on the roof of the home net.
To their credit, Flint did look to gain a winner of their own and had spells of pressure but like their opponents, they couldn’t break down an organised Seasiders’ defence. The lively Jones for the hosts came closest with his header going wide of the far post.
Gavin Allen introduced Owain Jones and Marc Williams as well as Jamie Reed late on in search of the go ahead goal but despite the addition of additional fire power, there was to be no late drama.
Jon Owen saw a shot well stopped by Rushton whilst Jenkins tried to connect with a Jack Rimmer cross in the final minute but could only make connection with the home keeper, earning himself a yellow card in the process.
Scarlets convincingly beat Ospreys
Rainbow Cup • Scarlets 22 – Ospreys 6
SCARLETS delivered a dominant derby performance to claim their first victory of the Rainbow Cup campaign, beating the Ospreys 22-6, at a rain-soaked Parc y Scarlets.
Prop Alex Jeffries scored the only try of the match, with full-back Leigh Halfpenny delivering a typically dead-eyed goal-kicking display in atrocious conditions.
The platform was laid by the Scarlets pack, with skipper Ken Owens, Blade Thomson and Aaron Shingler to the fore; the man of the match Kieran Hardy mixed up his game intelligently, while a much-improved defensive display saw the visitors restricted to just two kicks at goal from fly-half Luke Price.
It was the Ospreys who opened the scoring with a penalty from the boot of Price on two minutes, but the Scarlets responded strongly with Halfpenny levelling on 17 after the visitors were caught offside.
The outstanding Jonathan Davies looked like he made it over the whitewash after bursting through a couple of tackles, but the television match official adjudged the Wales centre had lost the ball as he slid over the whitewash and the score was chalked off.
Nevertheless, the Scarlets continued to boss proceedings.
With the Ospreys falling foul of Scottish referee Ben Blain, Halfpenny added a couple more penalties and an impressive half for the home side was capped when Jeffries crossed two minutes before the interval
A well-worked line-out move saw Davies burst onto a pass from Owens, breaking through a couple of tackles before feeding the tight-head prop on his inside.
Jeffries still had plenty to do but showed a superb turn of pace to race clear 20 metres to the whitewash to touch down against his former side.
That made it 16-3 at half-time with the Scarlets seemingly in firm control.
The visitors, looking for their first PRO14 win at Parc y Scarlets since 2015, did enjoy more of the game in the second period.
Price reduced the arrears with a penalty and it needed some superb defence to keep the Ospreys line-out maul at bay.
Another Halfpenny penalty five minutes from time extended the lead to 22-6 to ensure a comfortable victory and a seasonal double over the Scarlets’ arch-rivals.
Popular This Week
News1 day ago
Man, 22, charged with murder of John William Bell in Cardigan
News2 weeks ago
Aberystwyth dealer jailed for part in supply of heroin worth £170,000
News1 week ago
Man charged after brandishing knife in the street
News4 days ago
Castle Street closed in Cardigan due to ongoing incident. Avoid area say police
News2 weeks ago
Covid cases in Wales now doubling every six and a half days
News4 days ago
Murder investigation launched following death of man, 37, in Cardigan
News1 week ago
Government ban on knives, firearms and offensive weapons has come into force across Wales
News1 day ago
New Quay RNLI rescue two people in the water