24 April 2016 / Team News

Twelve try bonanza for Emlyn


 The sun shone on a game at Dol Wiber for the first time in months, and the red and whites made the most of it as they ran in a total of twelve tries in their demolition of relegated Llanharan. The Championship, as Newcastle Emlyn have found out this season, is an unforgiving Division and the battle to avoid the second relegation spot will go down to the red and whites last game next Saturday against the formidable Beddau team. This try romp in the sun will be worth nothing to the home side unless they can obtain at least two points from their remaining fixture. What it has done is ensured that their try count and points aggregate has received a considerable boost in comparison to the other teams in the relegation dog fight.

For the visitors, they battled gamely and had inspirational players in hard working scrum half Craig Burton and their captain number eight Huw Thomas. In fact probably Burton was the star performer for the visitors with his sniping and cajoling of his pack and some wonderful cover tackles on the Emlyn backs as they looked certain to score.

The day, however, belonged to the home side and especially home full back Shaun Leonard who amassed a club record individual score of thirty nine points, consisting of four tries, eight conversions, and a penalty goal. The first try was on the board after just five minutes, when Emlyn turned over ruck ball and Leonard timed his entry into the line nicely and gave an inside pass to centre Teifion Davies, who crossed for a try converted by Leonard. There was no respite for Llanharan and, two minutes later, they  conceded a penalty at a ruck on their twenty two and Leonard extended Emlyn’s lead.

With a strong breeze at their backs Emlyn looked to play the game as much as they could deep in the visitors half. The siege gun kicking, of Leonard and outside half Mitchell Jones, drove the visitors back into their twenty two time and time again. To their credit, Llanharan tried running the ball back at Emlyn but could not pierce a resolute home defence. Emlyn’s second try came soon after, when the excellent centre Steffan Evans ran a lovely line off ball received from the back of the line out and fed supporting prop Emrys Davies who crashed over for a try converted by Leonard.

Llanharan were struggling to obtain any useful possession as the Emlyn forwards controlled matters at scrum and line out. Their tight five, of props Emrys and Gethin Davies, skipper and hooker Alex Williams, and second rows Dylan and Bleddyn Davies, controlled matters all afternoon. Their next try came from another turn over at a ruck and Dylan Davies charged forward, fed the supporting Gethin Davies who timed his pass nicely to Shaun Leonard who crossed under the posts for a try which he converted.

With the line out working well the next score came from a throw to the back of the line won by flanker Brynmor Jones who fed prop Emrys Davies coming around the back on a peel. The mobile prop needs no second invitation when he sees the line in front of him but he unselfishly drew the full back to put the supporting Steffan Evans over for a try converted by Leonard. This brought Emlyn their much needed try bonus point after just twenty five minutes play.

The red and whites were in no mood to take their foot off the pedal and the next try followed soon after. Initially stemming from a line out, scrum half Mike Jones made a half break and fed the supporting Brynmor Jones, who in turn fed his fellow back- rower Luke Kendall who charged over for a try converted by Leonard. With half time approaching Emlyn extended their lead, when Steffan Evans made another break from his own ten metre line, fed the supporting winger Llyr Jones who, when the cover was closing him down, found his captain Alex Williams on his shoulder supporting him. Emlyn’s captain crossed for another try converted by Leonard to bring to an end a very fruitful half for the home team.

With the wind at their backs one expected Llanharan to at least gain territory and make life difficult for the home team in the second half. That they were often able to kick their way out of trouble was obvious but unfortunately for them Emlyn were prepared to run the ball back at them from any part of the field. Within five minutes of the second half Shaun Leonard had added to his try total when he rounded off a movement started in Emlyn’s half with a thirty metre sprint to the line for a try which he converted. A break by Steffan Evans from a line out on their own twenty two metre line saw him link with number eight Luke Kendall and some inter-passing between the two ended with Kendall crossing for an excellent try converted by Leonard.

Tries came at regular intervals throughout the second half as the red and whites were quite relentless in their pursuit of points. With flanker Gareth Thomson and his fellow back rowers ensuring a steady supply of ball in the loose, Emlyn were able to go through their full repertoire of plays. A lovely chip over the top of a ruck, by replacement scrum half Dafydd Evans, was caught by Emlyn winger Llyr Davies to take the lead past sixty points.

Coach Marc Lloyd emptied his bench and the replacements Neil Elworthy, Dai Jones, Ryan Morgans and Joel James brought extra energy to the Emlyn forwards. Llanharan had a line out five metres from the Emlyn line and looked to set up a driving maul to attempt to score. The Emlyn pack ensured that the maul ended up being driven backwards towards the Llanharan line by some twenty metres. Winger Llyr Jones, who had been a virtual spectator for most of the game as the ball, as sometimes happens, did not run his way made an excellent tackle on his opposite number forcing him into touch near the corner flag on about Llanharan’s only attack.

Further tries came for Emlyn as the game drew to its conclusion. Leonard added two more to his already impressive tally, one of them a length of the field run against a very tired defence. The other one came when he rounded off a break by Teifion Davies supported by Steffan Evans who supplied the scoring pass for Leonard’s fourth try. The scoring was rounded off with the last move of the game when winger Llyr Davies crossed in the corner for his second and Emlyn’s twelfth try of the afternoon. A very satisfactory day for the red and whites but next Saturday’s encounter against Beddau will be an entirely different proposition.    

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