Go­ing up! Five-star vic­tory seals Birch­grove pro­mo­tion

Llanelli Star - - LOCAL RUGBY -

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.

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