RE­SOL­VEN HIT BACK TO BAG LAST-16 SPOT

Llanelli Star - - Local Rugby -

Cefnei­thin scrum-half Dion Thomas kicks ahead. RE­SOL­VEN bat­tled back from be­hind to pip Senghenydd 24-23 and book their place in the last 16 of the WRU Na­tional Plate.

Hav­ing trailed 13-0 at half-time and then been 16-0 down early in the sec­ond half, Re­sol­ven showed their fight­ing spirit and snatched a dra­matic third-round clash in the dy­ing mo­ments when Owen Evans kicked a penalty.

Evans had ear­lier also scored a try in the sec­ond half along with Sam Martin and Kyle Jones, with Evans con­vert­ing all three.

Reach­ing the fourth round is the fur­thest the club have ever gone in the Plate com­pe­ti­tion.

De­spite the lead Senghenydd had opened up, Re­sol­ven head coach David Puck­ett said he was al­ways con­fi­dent his side would come out on top.

He said: “They were a good side and were al­ways go­ing to fight un­til the end.

“The con­di­tions were ter­ri­ble and I just felt that 13 points wasn’t enough at half-time with that wind.

“I was con­fi­dent for the sec­ond half, it was just about the boys keep­ing it to­gether.

“It was de­served; I didn’t feel we were go­ing to lose but it was a com­pet­i­tive game.

“They were the bet­ter side in the first half, but then we came back and took con­trol. I was pleased with the way the boys came out and scored 24 points in the sec­ond half.

“We’re de­lighted to get to the last 16 and it’s great for the club.

“We’d love a home draw. There’s not an easy side left in it now so it’s all on the day.”

Re­sol­ven are en­joy­ing an ex­cel­lent sea­son and have lost just once so far, a top of-the-ta­ble clash at Birch­grove in Two West Cen­tral, hav­ing won their first eight matches.

Pro­mo­tion back to di­vi­sion one at the first time of ask­ing af­ter rel­e­ga­tion last sea­son is one of their aims.

Else­where in the Plate, the third round sig­nalled the end of the road for Llanelli Wan­der­ers as they went out af­ter a 3-0 de­feat at Rhi­w­bina.

Af­ter a score­less first 40 min­utes, Lewis Pearce’s sec­ond-half penalty was the only thing that sep­a­rated the sides on the day but it sent the Squir­rels, fi­nal­ists in 2014, through to the next stage.

Seven Sis­ters’ tie at Pen­coed was post­poned, while Mum­bles handed Cam­brian Wel­fare a walkover.

Hold­ers Bryn­mawr took an­other step to­wards re­tain­ing the Plate af­ter beat­ing Glam­or­gan Wan­der­ers 16-6.

Am­man­ford, Bony­maen and Glyn­neath were among the sides who had byes through round three.

In the WRU Na­tional Bowl, Nant­garedig’s bid to go be­yond last year’s achieve­ment of reach­ing the quar­ter­fi­nals re­mains on track af­ter they recorded a thump­ing 43-7 win at Cwm­gors to reach the last 16 once again.

Full-back Dafydd Lewis was the star of the show with four sec­ond­half tries to add to the two from fly­half Meirion Davies in the first half.

Davies also kicked five con­ver­sions and two penal­ties.

The win for To­mas Marks’s side over Three West Cen­tral A out­fit Cwm­gors con­tin­ues a 100 per cent win­ning record this sea­son for Three West B lead­ers Nant­garedig.

“The whole team played re­ally well,” said Nant com­mit­tee­man Ken Thomas.

“Cwm­gors weren’t a bad side, they had a good pack of for­wards and our lads played par­tic­u­larly well up front.

“I also thought back-row­ers Tom Smythe and Gavin Or­son did well. They’re al­ways avail­able to carry the ball for­ward and are pretty good in de­fence.”

Nant­garedig were beaten 19-10 in the quar­ters last sea­son by Cardiff Uni­ver­sity, who were thrown out of the com­pe­ti­tion and de­nied a place in the fi­nal de­spite beat­ing Pem­broke in the semi-fi­nals af­ter they breached the com­pe­ti­tion’s el­i­gi­bil­ity rules.

Else­where, 2017 cham­pi­ons Am­man United’s hopes of an­other day in the spot­light were dashed af­ter they went out 11-7 at St Al­ban’s.

Hav­ing re­ceived two walkovers and a bye through the ear­lier rounds, it was Am­man’s first ac­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion since that me­morable day at the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium two sea­sons ago.

It was a sec­ond de­feat in as many weeks for Am­man af­ter they lost for the first time in Three West B this sea­son at Nant­garedig in their pre­vi­ous out­ing.

Pon­trhy­dyfen also bowed out of the Bowl af­ter they lost 30-14 at RTB Ebbw Vale, while Aber­crave went down 20-10 at home against Oak­dale. Bynea’s Jor­dan Saun­ders steps out of a tackle. Bynea’s Jor­dan Saun­ders tries to get a grip on Cefnei­thin’s Alun Davies.

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