FISHER CALM DE­SPITE A CRU­CIAL WIN

Llanelli Star - - PRINCIPALI­TY PREMIERSHI­P -

FOR once, Llanelli coach Paul Fisher was de­lighted to “win ugly” as his side claimed a cru­cial rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle at Brid­gend to move eight points clear of the bot­tom four.

But while they made it four wins in a row, and have now taken 18 points out of a pos­si­ble 20, Llanelli are still not out of the woods yet as bat­tling Brid­gend still have three games in hand over them and two in hand over Bed­was.

“Every game from now on is a cup fi­nal for us and we’ve got a cou­ple of games in hand over Bed­was and Llanelli,” said Brid­gend lock Ben Jones.

“We got a point in the end, but we’re gut­ted not to have won.

“We were all over them in the first 10 min­utes, but those cou­ple of yel­low cards cost us.”

Fisher also pointed to the yel­low cards is­sued by ref­eree Ben Break­s­pear to prop Gheroghe Ga­jion and cen­tre Jamie Murphy as vi­tal turn­ing points in the first half. That al­lowed Llanelli to build up a 10-point in­ter­val lead.

“I was de­lighted to get the re­sult, although it wasn’t so good for the heart,” said Fisher.

“It was a mas­sive game in the con­text of the league and we were de­lighted to get over the line in the end.

“The two yel­low cards were key turn­ing points in the game and in the end it was an ugly win. They stopped us from play­ing in the sec­ond half, we didn’t get any speed of ball and they re­ally chal­lenged us in the con­tact area.

“We’ve built up mo­men­tum over the last four fix­tures, tak­ing 18 out of 20 points, and we’ve got an­other big game against Swansea this week. We al­ways said we had six cup fi­nals to play and it will prob­a­bly go down to the last week­end of the sea­son.”

Brid­gend’s bold bid to snatch vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat from an in­jury-time line-out failed as the vis­i­tors stole the ball to hang on for a cru­cial vic­tory.

A few min­utes ear­lier for­mer Wales wing,Tom Pry­die, one of 10 Scar­lets in the vis­it­ing ranks, had con­jured up a bit of magic to send Paul Asquith over for a third try to cre­ate some breath­ing space in this high-pres­sure rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle.

But back came the home side with a sec­ond penalty from Owen Howe and they had one fi­nal shot at glory at the death.

The line-out went astray and now Matt Silva’s side are left with five games to save their sea­son and their Premiershi­p sta­tus.

Rob How­ley gave the Brid­gend play­ers a rous­ing pep-talk be­fore kick-off and it worked won­ders as they dom­i­nated the open­ing quar­ter of an hour and came up with a cor­ner try from Dewi Cross. Howe con­verted.

But by the break Llanelli had worked their way into a 10-point lead play­ing into a stiff breeze thanks to two Pry­die penal­ties, a controvers­ial penalty try and a cor­ner try from Kalum Evans that Pry­die also im­proved.

Brid­gend found them­selves down to 13 men for a while af­ter Ga­jion was sent to the bin for side en­try at a maul that re­sulted in the penalty try and then Jamie Murphy de­parted for not re­leas­ing.

Howe kept his side in touch with a penalty and then used the up­right to con­verted a driving line-out try from Owen Thomas.

Then came the Pry­die mo­ment of magic and the dra­matic last line-out.

Pic­ture: John B R Davies.

Llandy­bie RFC Un­der-15s won the Plate com­pe­ti­tion in the Car­marthen­shire Fi­nals at Nant­garedig when they de­feated Car­marthen Ath­letic.

Tom Pry­die.

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