27 April 2019 / Team News

Emlyn's Championship ends with spirited performance


With one minute of this pulsating match remaining Trebanos replacement Tristan Edwards stepped up to convert a penalty kick to give the home side the lead and consign the red and whites to Division One West rugby next season. The chances of Emlyn avoiding the drop were slim before the match started with the survival odds heavily in favour of Beddau who were not playing today. However Emlyn were determined to try and finish the season in the best possible manner with a victory.

The fact that they had not beaten the home side in the five previous Championship encounters and were playing into the teeth of storm Hannah did not deter the red and whites. The pack went at their work with ruthless efficiency and worked their way up field on numerous occasions. The home side are known for their willingness to run the ball from all parts of the field and it said a great deal for the endeavours of the red and whites that Trebanos had to resort to kicking for territory in the first half.

Emlyn’s defence was excellent and time and again flankers Callum Evans and Osian Davies put in some telling tackles closely followed by outside half Steffan Evans and centres Andrew Owens and Teifion Davies. Behind them all full back Shaun Leonard was immense in attack and defence and had probably his best game of the season for the red and whites. The front five of props Dai Jones and Lewys Jonathan alongside hooker Alex Williams and second rows Bleddyn and Emrys Davies worked extremely hard and dominated first phase possession. The man of the match for the red and whites undoubtedly was number eight Brynmor Jones and the powerful carrying of the ball in the loose posed numerous problems for a determined Trebanos defence.

The home side actually opened the scoring when they were awarded a penalty kick on the Emlyn ten metre line and centre Tom Dew with the wind behind him converted the kick. Undeterred Emlyn came straight back at the home side and spent the next five minutes camped on the home side’s line. A series of powerful drives by the Emlyn forwards took play up to the line and eventually scrum half Mike Jones released his backs and full back Shaun Leonard managed to force his way over for a try under the posts converted by winger Dan Davies. It is perhaps a significant reflection of the season Emlyn have had that this was the normally free scoring Leonard’s first try of the year.

With defences dominant this was never going to be a high scoring game and genuine try scoring opportunities for both sides were few and far between. Trebanos with outside centre Tom Dew in outstanding form posed problems for Emlyn every time he had the ball in his hands, but Teifion Davies just managed to keep him under control. Indeed the only other scoring of the half were two further penalties from Dew to give the home side a slender two point lead at half time.

The second half began in the best possible manner for the red and whites. Awarded a relieving penalty kick Trebanos failed to find touch and winger Dan Davies ran the ball back at the home side, he linked with powerful second row Emrys Davies who carried the ball deep into the home side’s half. A series of rucks saw Mike Jones feed flanker Osian Davies on the blind side of a ruck. The tall flanker had the presence of mind to pass over the head of his would be tackler to feed Leonard and the full back managed to squeeze over in the corner for his and Emlyn’s second try.

Ideally, in order to place the maximum amount of pressure on Beddau, Emlyn needed to win the game and score as many tries as possible. Trebanos needed one point from this encounter to rise above the relegation zone. It was therefore no surprise that the home side from the restart, came back strongly at the red and whites. Not for the first time this season Emlyn did not gather the restart cleanly and were then subjected to some five minutes of attack by the homes side with Emlyn defending desperately. Eventually though Trebanos worked the ball wide to right wing Josh Ferryman who crossed in the corner to give the home side a slender two point lead.

Defences were dominant and it came as no surprise when with fifteen minutes remaining Emlyn were awarded a penalty kick just outside the Trebanos twenty two and Daniel Davies stepped up to convert the kick and give Emlyn a one point lead. Regathering the restart Emlyn quickly moved up field and set up camp in the Trebanos twenty two. A series of forward drives took play up to the try line, but time and again Trebanos managed to halt the Emlyn drives. Williams, Emrys Davies, Brynmor Jones, came within inches of scoring but were thwarted by an aggressive defence who did their best to slow the ball down. Trebanos were not even subtle in their killing of the ball and the large Emlyn support felt at least a penalty had to come. However referee Cambourne refused to extend his arm out and Emlyn made the cardinal error of thinking they had been awarded a penalty kick and cross kicked to winger Llyr Jones. Unfortunately the wind caught the ball and it sailed out of play into the bushes.

With time running out it was the home side who managed to lay siege to the Emlyn line looking for the winning score. Emlyn failed to clear their lines and were unfortunate on a couple of rulings by the man with the whistle. Replacement second row Jake Baker looked to have come straight through one driving maul only to be rules to have entered from the side. Andrew Owens and Emrys Davies were penalised for what is described as seat belt tackles and with one minute remaining the final nail was driven into Emlyn’s hopes of avoiding the drop.

Credit to Emlyn they have played, with one exception, some excellent attacking rugby over the last few weeks and put themselves in with a chance of avoiding relegation right up to the last game. In any other season with only two teams relegated they would have survived in the Championship. They can look back with a great deal of pride on their four years in the Championship when many so called local pundits did not think they would survive more than one season.



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