Ebbw Vale RFC v Llanelli RFC@Eugene Cross 25/11/08
Following their grand opening and fine win over Cardiff RFC at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli travelled up to North Gwent to play Ebbw Vale RFC for their 11th round league fixture in the Principality Premiership.
Llanelli made 12 changes, with only Dan Newton, Nic Reynolds and Aaron Shingler surviving from the previous starting line-up.
Ebbw Vale also had their selection headaches, with key players missing in the Lewis twins, James Thomas and Ieuan Coombes who were unavailable due to their forthcoming International commitments to the Wales 7s in Dubai.
Llanelli kicked off and a good chase and hit on the receiver ended in a penalty after just 20 seconds play. Luke Richards stroked the 25 metre kick between the posts. Ebbw retaliated 5 minutes later when some uncustomary weak tackling saw centre Shaun Powell score, former Llanelli player Andrew Williams converted.
Llanelli ‘s forwards were again showing signs of some commanding form with Luke Jones, Craig Hawkins and Aaron Shingler setting the standards. Good possession and decision making led to Ebbw infringing in 11th and 17th minute which Richards punished with two fine kicks to give the visitors the lead. Llanelli kept up the momentum and crossed the Ebbw try line twice only to be correctly denied by eagle-eyed referee James Jones.
On the half hour, the Grandstand supporters were shocked to see Llanelli’s wing Mark Harvey(on permit from Corus RFC) run off the field with a dislocated shoulder and everyone thought he was sprinting for the changing rooms. But amazingly, ice-cool Mark was looking for the nearest crash barrier to yank and lever his shoulder back into place and within 2 minutes was back onto field with ball in hand making the hard yards.Such heroics seemed to spur his team on further, as two minutes later prop Shaun Hopkins scored a try near the posts after seven phases of play, Luke Richards converted. Luke Richards and Andrew Williams then exchanged penalties before the half time whistle.
At the start of the second half, Llanelli introduced Adam Powell (who had arrived late due to his work commitments at Ysgol Y Strade) into the back row, replacing young Ellis Lloyd. However, it was Ebbw Vale who went on the offensive and came close to scoring with all the early pressure. Llanelli determinedly, snuffed out the threats and countered by creating some good opportunities themselves. However, it was clear that both sets of defence were winning the day.
Llanelli’s Luke Richards, who had not put a foot wrong in the match, kicked another two penalties, one a mammoth kick from 55 metres to give his team a 25-10 lead. Then 5 minutes into injury time with Llanelli on the attack, Ebbw Vale’s No 8 Morgan Allen read a long pass from Luke Richards and ran 60 metres to score under the posts, which Williams converted to end the match.
Llanelli’s Coaches Vernon Cooper and Paul Fisher had said all week that nothing other than 100% was expected and that’s exactly what they got, especially from Richards, who kicked seven out of seven for a 20 point haul.
Team15.Dan Newton.14.Mark Harvey.13.Nick Reynolds.12.Matthew Brayley11.Mike Davies10.Luke Richards 9.Justin James.1.Shaun Hopkins.2.Craig Hawkins© 3.Simon Gardner.4.Stuart Jenkins.5.Aaron Shingler.6.Luke Jones7.Ellis Lloyd.8.Alan Powell 16.Decon Manu.(61)17.Chris Jones18.Adam Powell(40) 19Aled Hopkins( 0).20.John Kearney21Andrew Banfield (82)22 Mike Sauro
Half Time… Ebbw Vale RFC 10-19 Llanelli RFC
Final……….Ebbw Vale RFC 17-25 Llanelli RFC
Referee James Jones
Principality Premiership results for Tuesday, 25th November2008
Bedwas 36-25 Bridgend
Cross Keys 0-60 Pontypridd
Glamorgan Wanderers 20-3 Neath
Llandovery 18-13 Swansea
Next up for Llanelli RFC will be away to Neath RFC in the Principality Premiership on Saturday 6th December Kick off 2:30pm.