Tata end on a high af­ter late run of good form

Llanelli Star - - LOCAL RUGBY -

TATA Steel rounded off their WRU Na­tional Cham­pi­onship cam­paign with a nar­row 29-26 win at Maesteg Quins last Satur­day.

Dai Griggs bagged a brace for Tata while Lloyd Rogers, Scott Malone and Dal­ton Brown also dot­ted down.

Rogers added a con­ver­sion, while the other kick came from the boot of Chris Bowditch, af­fec­tion­ately nick­named the Fly­ing Squirrel, who came off the bench for a cameo in what is likely to be his last ever game.

Tata fin­ish the sea­son fifth in the ta­ble and it was com­fort­able in the end but, head­ing into the home game with Newbridge on March 2, they had slipped into the relegation zone af­ter a run of six straight de­feats.

How­ever, a 15-12 win over Newbridge was the cat­a­lyst for a run of four straight wins, with Rhy­dyfe­lin, Nar­berth and New­cas­tle Em­lyn also seen off as they pulled them­selves away from the bot­tom four.

Tre­banos were sched­uled to be in ac­tion last night at home against rel­e­gated Rhy­dyfe­lin where a win would have en­sured a sixth-place fin­ish.

Tre­banos lost 32-14 at cham­pi­ons Pon­ty­pool in their penul­ti­mate game last Satur­day.

Pooler led 17-7 at the break thanks to tries from Scott Matthews and Joel Mahoney, both con­verted by Kieran Meek, who also landed a penalty.

Rob Jones went over for Tre­banos, con­verted by Luke Grif­fiths.

The Swansea Val­ley side, hav­ing se­cured their own safety with a tense 17-15 win over New­cas­tle Em­lyn the week­end be­fore, came out all guns blaz­ing for the sec­ond half and scored again when St­eff Lewis crossed, again con­verted by Grif­fiths, to pull them back to within three points.

But that was as good as it would get as Martin Luck­well, on his 50th ap­pear­ance, went over for a third Pooler try.

The bonus-point try was scored by Lewis Ball af­ter re­ceiv­ing Ol­lie Drake’s pass, and the fi­nal say also went to man-of-the-match Ball, who dot­ted down for a fifth Pooler try af­ter a pow­er­ful maul.

It means that for the sec­ond sea­son in suc­ces­sion Pon­ty­pool have won all 22 of their league matches as they gear up for their forth­com­ing Premier­ship play-off against ei­ther Llanelli, Bed­was or Brid­gend.

The fi­nal vic­tory also came less than 72 hours af­ter a 42-7 home tri­umph over rel­e­gated Rhy­dyfe­lin in their penul­ti­mate match.

The only out­stand­ing fix­ture in the Cham­pi­onship will be played this Fri­day night be­tween Ystrad Rhondda and Bed­dau.

A win for Ystrad will see them fin­ish sec­ond.

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