FISHER CALM DESPITE A CRUCIAL WIN
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.
Llandybie RFC Under-15s won the Plate competition in the Carmarthenshire Finals at Nantgaredig when they defeated Carmarthen Athletic.