RUGBY

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MID DIS­TRICT RUGBY RE­VIEW

THERE was some tough, yet ex­cit­ing, games in­volv­ing Mid Dis­trict clubs over the week­end, writes Jamie Willis.

It was cer­tainly a tough week­end for the three clubs from the area in the Prin­ci­pal­ity Premier­ship. Cham­pi­ons Merthyr were beaten 37-24 by a good Bed­was out­fit at the Wern. Tries from Terri Gee, Harri Mil­lard, Joe Rees and Tom Da­ley got the try bonus point but it was not enough to pre­vent the Iron­men los­ing for the sec­ond time this sea­son. Matthew Jarvis also kicked two penal­ties for Merthyr who now stand in third place in the ta­ble.

There was also a sec­ond re­verse of the sea­son for Pon­typridd who were de­feated 29-27 by New­port at Rod­ney Pa­rade on Fri­day evening. Ponty started the game in fine style but a sec­ond-half fight­back from the Black and Am­bers en­sured they held on for the win and the points. The Val­ley Com­man­dos did take a los­ing bonus point and try-scor­ing bonus point thanks to ef­forts from Dale Stuckey (2), Lloyd Row­lands and Wil Davies-King. Ceri Sweeney and Dicky Bird kicked a con­ver­sion each.

Bar­goed will be bit­terly dis­ap­pointed to have only a los­ing bonus point to their name af­ter they were pipped 21-17 by Cardiff at Bar­goed Park. No 8 Ieuan Jones and cen­tre Jor­don How­ells crossed for the Rhym­ney Val­ley club with full back Matthew Lewis kick­ing a penalty and both con­ver­sions but it was not enough to stop the cap­i­tal club’s 100% start to the sea­son.

In the WRU Na­tional Cham­pi­onship, Bed­dau came from be­hind to claim a last-gasp win at New­bridge. Glen Slater crossed for a brace of tries for Bed­dau with Leon Rogers and Joe Casella en­sur­ing they picked up the try-scor­ing bonus point also in the 29-24 win. This win for the Green and Golds mean they, along with Pon­ty­pool, are the only two teams yet to be beaten in the league this sea­son so far.

Rhy­dyfe­lin got their first ever Cham­pi­onship win with a work­man­like 2012 vic­tory over Skewen at the Hawthorn Recre­ation ground. Jor­dan Rees and Ross Lu­cas got the Pon­typridd club’s tries whilst full back David Grat­ton con­verted both tries and kicked two penal­ties.

Bedlinog ag­o­nis­ingly lost out at Glyn­neath by 16-13. Rhys Parry crossed for a try for Bedlinog which was con­verted by Dan Parry who also kicked two penal­ties for the Foxes. The los­ing bonus point was their first points of the sea­son but they will be hop­ing to add to that next week­end when New­bridge visit the Recre­ation Ground.

Ynysybwl also have max­i­mum points from their open­ing two games af­ter they beat a good Risca side 35-29 at their Recre­ation Ground. The Bwl are look­ing good and will be hop­ing to make it three out of three next week against fel­low un­beaten side Bryn­mawr who are now led by for­mer Ebbw Vale stal­wart Damian Hudd.

Pe­nallta also re­main un­beaten af­ter they came out on top in the Mid Dis­trict derby with neigh­bours Nel­son by 1710. In an ex­tremely tight fix­ture it was the muchchanged Pit­men who took the spoils to move up to fourth in the early sea­son stand­ings. The Uni­corns picked up their sec­ond bonus point of the sea­son in the loss and sit just two places lower in the ta­ble.

Dowlais lead in the early ex­changes at Bryn­mawr but could not hold on to a lead as a pow­er­ful Mawr pack got on top to take all five points with a fi­nal score­line of 26-15. The Heads of the Val­leys club may have lost their open­ing two games but are not far away from get­ting some de­served points which they will be hop­ing for at home to lead­ers Bre­con this com­ing Satur­day.

Cham­pi­ons Treorchy have started the sea­son as they ended last sea­son in Di­vi­sion One East Cen­tral as they recorded their sec­ond bonus point win of the new term against Moun­tain Ash. The Ze­bras scored four tries through Will Grif­fiths (2), Ja­cob Lloyd and Cur­tis Hughes whilst Jor­dan Lloyd kicked a per­sonal haul of eight points at Parc Duf­fryn Pen­nar. The Old Firm never gave in against their vis­i­tors and were awarded for their ef­forts with a los­ing bonus point.

Treorchy’s old ri­vals Ystrad Rhondda are des­per­ate to re­claim their crown as the Rhondda’s top club this sea­son and they too have started the sea­son with max­i­mum points. Jar­rad Llewellyn (2), Corey Shep­hard, Ryan How­ells and Alex Web­ber crossed the line for Ystrad in their 31-20 win at neigh­bours Porth Har­lequins. Ystrad built up a big lead but credit must be given to the Quins who never threw in the towel and scored 12 late unan­swered points.

Pro­moted Llantrisant were look­ing to make it two from two at Di­nas Powys but the Cardiff club were on top form and took the spoils with a 26-17 vic­tory. The Black Army will look to bounce back next week as they wel­come Rum­ney to Cefn Mably.

Caer­philly have moved to the top of Di­vi­sion Two East af­ter com­ing from be­hind to beat Har­tridge 16-14 away from home. The Cheese­men were 14-3 down but fought back to take the points in a nail bit­ing con­test in New­port.

Senghenydd were also in­volved in a nail-biter but they came out on the wrong end of a 11-10 re­sult at Cwm­bran. De­spite the de­feat the Saints are still just three points off the top hav­ing recorded an open­ing day win and pick­ing up two vi­tal bonus points.

In Di­vi­sion Two East Cen­tral, Aber­dare are the early pace set­ters af­ter record­ing their sec­ond bonus-point win of the cam­paign over lo­cal ri­vals Aber­cynon. The 3511 win fol­lows on from an equally im­pres­sive win at Pe­narth last week­end. Aber­cynon made the Snakes work hard for the win and showed they will be a tough team to beat this term.

Gil­fach Goch also re­main un­beaten af­ter they beat fel­low Mid Dis­trict club Llantwit Fardre at the Wel­fare Ground. The Rhondda club took a tryscor­ing bonus point in the 36-10 win which sees them move up to third place in the ta­ble. Llantwit are still search­ing for their first suc­cess of the sea­son but their bonus point in the de­feat to Barry last week­end means they cur­rently oc­cupy tenth spot.

Cam­brian Wel­fare bounced back in some style af­ter their open­ing day de­feat at Aber­cynon. The Miners showed no mercy for a de­pleted Cil­fynydd out­fit with a big 56-0 win which also sees them climb the ta­ble to fifth place. Based on this per­for­mance the Rhondda club will cer­tainly be among the ti­tle favourites, whilst Cil­fynydd will be des­per­ate to see the re­turn of some key fig­ures in the next few weeks.

In Di­vi­sion Three East Cen­tral A, there was a clas­sic all-Mid Dis­trict af­fair at Peny­graig where the home team were edged out 17-6 by a well-drilled Aber­cwm­boi out­fit. The Vil­lage are highly fan­cied to make a pro­mo­tion push this sea­son and Peny­graig will cer­tainly be a big test for teams to over­come this sea­son as they look for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive pro­mo­tion them­selves.

There was an­other al­lMid Dis­trict club af­fair at Cefn Coed where the Wolves just proved a lit­tle too strong for Mid Wales club Gw­ernyfed. This was Cefn’s first game of the sea­son and they will also be keen to build on a hugely suc­cess­ful last term. Gw­ernyfed had op­por­tu­ni­ties to take the spoils but in the end had to set­tle for their sec­ond suc­ces­sive los­ing bonus point of the sea­son.

The Tre­har­ris fix­ture with Pon­ty­clun was post­poned.

In Di­vi­sion Three East Cen­tral B, Tre­herbert sit proudly at the top of the ta­ble af­ter record­ing their sec­ond win of the sea­son at fel­low Rhondda club Tonyre­fail. The Dev­ils also took a bonus point in the 34-7 win. Tonyre­fail stay in mid ta­ble de­spite their first loss of the sea­son.

There was an­other big Rhondda derby at Tylorstown where the Tigers con­tin­ued their un­beaten start to the sea­son with a 34-11 win over near­est ri­vals Wattstown. Tylorstown are up to third in the ta­ble af­ter the win whilst the Ducks are still look­ing for their first points of the sea­son which shouldn’t be too far away.

Ynysowen recorded their first win of the cam­paign with a de­served 25-11 win over Mid Dis­trict club Hir­waun in the Cynon Val­ley. Ynys again claimed a bonus point which means they sit in fourth spot whilst the Brocks slip down to ninth in what looks to be a very com­pet­i­tive league.

Fern­dale bounced back from their first league de­feat in over 15 months with a good bonus point win away at Caerau Ely. The Rhondda club’s 35-26 vic­tory means they move up to fifth in the early league plac­ings.

Deri are sit­ting pretty at the top of Di­vi­sion Three East B af­ter their sec­ond bonus-point vic­tory of the new sea­son. The Bron­cos fol­lowed up a big win at Brynithel last week­end with a 24-14 win over a good New Tre­de­gar out­fit in the Rhym­ney Val­ley.

Glyn­coch made it two wins from two at the top of Di­vi­sion Three East Cen­tral C with a try-scor­ing bonus point win at Brackla. The Pon­typridd club’s 31-7 vic­tory means that they and lead­ers Llan­rum­ney are now the only un­beaten sides in this league.

MID DIS­TRICT XV

THE Mid Dis­trict Rugby Union will take on a com­bined Gil­fach Goch/ Tonyre­fail XV in a me­mo­rial fix­ture it has been an­nounced.

The fix­ture, which will take place at Gil­fach Goch’s Wel­fare Ground on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 11, is a spe­cial fix­ture to mark the in­cred­i­ble de­vo­tion that Wayne Barn­field gave to both Gil­fach Goch and Tonyre­fail clubs as well as the Mid Dis­trict Rugby Union where he was a past Pres­i­dent and man­age­ment team mem­ber.

Wayne, or Bar­ney as he was af­fec­tion­ately known, passed away last year af­ter a bat­tle with ill­ness and his fam­ily have agreed to play this fix­ture in mem­ory of the great man.

CHRIS FAIR­WEATHER/HUW EVANS AGENCY

Dafydd Lock­yer of Pon­typridd is tack­led by Adam Brown and Garin Har­ris

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