Going up! Five-star victory seals Birchgrove promotion
BIRCHGROVE will be playing division one rugby next season after a 34-12 win at Seven Sisters secured back-to-back promotions.
Adam Rowlands and Mathew Edwards both bagged try doubles in the five-star win with Josh Key the other try scorer. Edwards added three conversions and a penalty.
It has been a stunning first season in Two West Central for the Robins, who were playing in Three West Central A this time last year.
“It was a great result,” said secretary Carl Woodward. “We knew we were in for a tough game at Seven Sisters, they’re a good side.
“But we had to go up there for the win, we couldn’t leave it to chance.”
With a top-two finish and promotion already in the bag, they could cap it with the title. They are 13 points clear of Nantyffyllon with one to play, although Nant still have two games in hand.
Birchgrove will be crowned champions regardless on April 27 if they win at Taibach.
“We’ve got to get a minimum three points from the game to confirm us as champions,” added Woodward.
“Nantyffyllon have still got tough games to play, but we can’t be reliant on them dropping points, we’ve got to go and win it ourselves.
“We want to go and become champions. It doesn’t happen often so it would be great.”
On achieving promotion, Woodward said: “To be honest we weren’t expecting it, but we’ll take it.
“We’d have taken a top-half finish as a committee before the season started. We’ve already started planning for next year and look forward to local derbies against the likes of Bonymaen.”
Before that is a tasty-looking High Motive Glamorgan County Silver Ball semi-final with Ystalyfera this evening at Glynneath.
Nantyffyllon, who beat Senghenydd 29-25 in the other semi-final at Llanharan last Wednesday, await the winners in the final at Bridgend’s Brewery Field on Saturday, May 18.
“It’ll be interesting,” said Woodward ahead of the semi-final. “Hopefully we’ll be able to turn Ystalyfera over, but they are having a great season themselves.
“We’ve got close links, we know a lot of the boys and it’ll be a good game for us to be able to see where we are and where we need to be.”
Nantyffyllon kept their title hopes alive with a 21-5 home win over Ystradgynlais. There were also wins in Two West Central for Morriston, Porthcawl and Builth Wells.
In One West Central, Ystalyfera are nearly there. Their 19-6 win at Waunarlwydd means they are eight points clear of Bonymaen with just two games remaining for both sides.
Luc Caines scored for Fera, converted by Steff Castle who kicked the rest of the points.
Bonymaen kept their slim title hopes alive with a 45-18 defeat of Maesteg Celtic.
Andrew Pritchard and Nathan Brooks both scored twice with Sam Jones, Ben Davies and Chris Moore also on the scoresheet. Lawrence Thomas added the extras.
Ammanford were 29-27 victors over Glynneath, while Brynamman were on the wrong end of a 68-19 thrashing at Tondu.
The Waterwheelers ran in 10 tries courtesy of David Griggs (3), Paul Smithson (2), James Leppard (2), Morgan Strong, Matthew John and Josh Tatchell.
The Brynamman tries came from Michael Ryan, Craig Jones and Liam Smith, with two conversions from Rhys Williams.
Pyle, who won 50-12 at Neath Athletic, are a point clear of Vardre at the top of Three West Central A and have a game in hand.
Vardre triumphed 38-27 at Tonmawr, while Bridgend Sports crushed Penlan 80-7 and are two points back on Pyle with a game in hand.
Baglan are 10 points clear of Bryncethin in Three West Central B with two to play, although the latter do have a game in hand. Cwmllynfell are also in the mix, and lie 10 points back but with two games in hand.
Chris Balfe scored twice for Cwmllynfell with Mathew Steinmann and Owain Sullivan also scoring in a 32-32 home draw with Glyncorrwg. Peter Thomas kicked three conversions and Chris Murphy sent over two penalties.
Penygroes need just two points from their final game at home against Cwmgwrach to secure the Three West Central C title. Furnace United are nine points back with two games left.
A neat sidestep from Cefneithin’s Jonathan Morgan avoids a tackle from Penybanc’s Rob Davies.