Cham­pi­ons Ystalyfera get set to order up a dou­ble

Llanelli Star - - LOCAL RUGBY -

PRO­MOTED Ystalyfera are gear­ing up for the fi­nal hur­dle of a long and suc­cess­ful sea­son as they get ready for to­mor­row night’s West Wales Cup fi­nal against Glyn­neath at Ystradg­yn­lais RFC (7.30pm).

The Swansea Val­ley side al­ready have the One West Cen­tral tro­phy in their cab­i­net and will be play­ing their rugby in the WRU Na­tional Cham­pi­onship next sea­son after beat­ing One West cham­pi­ons Felin­foel in a pro­mo­tion play-off.

Gareth James’s side are bid­ding to re­tain the cup they won last year, also against Felin­foel. It is 1-1 be­tween them and Glyn­neath after the two league meet­ings this sea­son.

How­ever, there will be no tre­ble for Ystalyfera.

They were un­able to add more sil­ver­ware last Satur­day as they were beaten 18-12 by Nan­tyffyl­lon in the fi­nal of the High Mo­tive Glam­or­gan County Sil­ver Ball at Brid­gend’s Mor­gan­stone Brew­ery Field.

It was the club’s first Sil­ver Ball fi­nal, but they were se­verely weak­ened due to the fact it clashed with an end-of-sea­son tour to Benidorm and most of their firstchoic­e players were un­avail­able.

Outside-half and head coach James said: “I think we had 10 changes from the start­ing team against Felin­foel the Sun­day be­fore, which is a lot for us with such a small squad.

“We still should have won it I thought but, in fair­ness to Nan­tyffyl­lon, they just wanted it that lit­tle bit more.

“We had a few boys who haven’t played for a cou­ple of years and a few per­mits in.

“It’s a credit to the boys who came in. They haven’t re­ally trained with us and to just a throw a team to­gether for a fi­nal isn’t ideal.

“We asked to change the date but there was no mov­ing it be­cause the ground had been booked.

“I still think we had enough to win it, but it just wasn’t to be.”

Ystalyfera had beaten Nan­tyffyl­lon 49-14 in the first round of the WRU Na­tional Plate at the end of Septem­ber but this was al­ways going to be a tighter af­fair.

Outside-half Drew Price kicked Nan­tyffyl­lon in front mid­way through the first half, but the first try went to Fera No. 8 and cap­tain St­ef­fan Jones on 36 min­utes, con­verted by St­eff Cas­tle.

But back came Nant with a try a minute be­fore the break scored by wing Owen Lyons, which was con­verted by Price for a 10-7 half­time lead.

With Fera scrum-half Zac Beynon in the sin-bin, Nant ex­tended their lead six min­utes after the restart when flanker Ross Boast ran through for his side’s sec­ond try, which this time went un­con­verted.

Cas­tle’s try on 69 min­utes gave Fera hope but Price’s sec­ond penalty four min­utes from time bagged Nant the Sil­ver Ball for the first time in their his­tory in what was their third fi­nal.

The Llynfi Val­ley club were run­ners-up in 1971 and 1985.

It also capped a fine sea­son that has also seen them win pro­mo­tion to divi­sion one after they fin­ished sec­ond in Two West Cen­tral.

Ystalyfera will now look to fin­ish on a high to­mor­row night when they will wel­come back the players who missed the Sil­ver Ball fi­nal, while they al­ready have one eye on next sea­son.

“It’s been a re­ally long month for us,” added James.

“We’re def­i­nitely tar­get­ing the West Wales now. That and pro­mo­tion we’d have taken at the start of the year, ob­vi­ously. The league was our main goal.

“We’ve got young boys in the team and my­self and Andy (Llewellyn) are am­bi­tious coaches as well, so we’re look­ing for­ward to going up to the Cham­pi­onship.

“We’ll be bring­ing a few boys in, which we’ve al­ready done for next year, so hope­fully we’ll have a good year.”

Trim­saran wing Cal­lum McCor­mack touches down against Llan­deilo.

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