13 October 2015 / Team News

Youth come close to the Athletic


 Emlyn travelled to Athletic Park to play Carmarthen in this Scarlets West Carmarthenshire encounter, without a number of their regulars, absent through injury and unavailability.

The Emlyn 15 who took the field included a young pack which contained 6 of last season’s under 16 squad. The Emlyn outfit started brightly and following an early infringement in the ruck, Captain Crwys Rees put his side 3 points ahead with a finely struck penalty from 35 metres.

The older, heavier athletic forwards attempted to make hard yards up field but were thwarted by a combative Emlyn unit with Aron Davies and Jake Thomas prominent.

Athletic took the lead when they kicked deep into the Emlyn 22. Covering scrum half Ifan Thomas appeared to have the kick covered but an unfortunate bounce saw the ball bounce backwards over his head and into the arms of the chasing Athletic player, who scored a try, which was duly converted.

The home side were in the ascendancy and played an attractive brand of rugby, which involved their hard running forwards linking with their speedy backs to produce a number of fine attacks.

Emlyn tried to counter attack with Olly Butterworth, Dafydd Morgan and Dafydd Adams making inroads into opposition territory.

Emlyn went further behind when the home Full back slotted a 20m penalty following an offside in midfield.

Disaster struck the visiting side when an Emlyn player gathered a bouncing ball on his own try line. As he was about to minor the kick, an Athletic player ripped the ball from his grasp and plunged over for a try, which went unconverted.

Emlyn responded immediately with a swift passing movement along their back line, which found winger Olly Butterworth in space on the right wing. The winger ran at pace and rounded the full back to score a fine team try, which was converted by Crwys Rees.

The Athletic could have gone further ahead but with an apparent overlap on the left wing were guilty of sloppy passing resulting in a knock on when a score looked probable.


The home side took command of the early second half exchanges and scored a try following some missed attempted tackles.

Athletic also scored a further converted try following some concerted pressure in the Emlyn 22 from a scrum in front of the Emlyn posts. The home side were threatening to run away with the match at this point and following a breakaway by their marauding back row, it looked like they were going to add to their tally when they were thwarted by open side Sam Forrester-Evans. The young flanker sensed the danger to produce an excellent tackle when he chased down the home team back rower.

It would have been easy for the young Emlyn team to throw in the towel and capitulate but they would have none of it. The team decided to up the tempo and the forwards took the game to the opposition.  With the introduction of back row Steff Lloyd and second row Rhys Thomas giving the pack fresh legs, the forwards began to create quick ruck ball, which was sensibly used by Scrum Half Ifan Thomas to unleash his sharp back-line.

Osian Davies playing at number 8 broke through the opposition and play was taken up to the home 22.  The forwards generated quick ball and the ball was passed out to Outside half Crwys Rees who chose a fine angle to accept a short pass to sprint over to score from 22 metres.  The try went unconverted.

Emlyn were now in command and from the kick off pack leader for the day Gareth Stevenson collected the high kick off and charged at the opposition like a runaway train. This appeared to inspire his young pack and they responded by continuing to produce quick ball for the backs to attack.

With centres Dan Jones and Mathew Rollins making intelligent se of possession the forwards produced quick ball which was fed swiftly from a ruck by replacement  9 Carwyn Jones  to release his backs. The ball was transferred accurately to right winger Olly Butterworth who dived over in the corner to score a lovely deserved try.  The kick was converted from wide out by Crwys Rees at which point the Referee blew his whistle to signal an end to proceedings.

The sporting home coaches commended Emlyn for their spirited comeback and admitted that had there been further time to play, Emlyn may have snatched a win.

This was a fine game with the Athletic deserving the victory but the young Emlyn outfit should be commended for their never say die attitude. A losing bonus point was well deserved.

EMLYN MOM :  The front row of Gethin Evans, Dion Lewis and Williams Davies for a commendable effort against an older, heavier unit.


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