Glamorgan Wanderers 21
By Tony Poole
At Parc y Scarlets
LLANELLI endured a late scare before carding victory over Glamorgan Wanderers in the Welsh Premiership.
It looked as if it was going to be a long night for the Cardiff side when they trailed by 24 points approaching half time.
But they hit back and by the 65th minute Wanderers had reduced arrears to 24-21, forcing the home side to batten down the hatches.
Another big performance from centre Nick Reynolds lay at the heart of victory while Craig Hawkins came on to rally the troops late on.
Llanelli, who had lost just one of the nine previous league meetings with Wanderers at this level, gave first starts to both full-back Ellis Phillips (Llangennech) and centre Jack Roberts (Llandovery College).
After fly-half Steve Shingler missed out with a second-minute penalty, Llanelli probed for openings before turning the screw among the forwards.
Wanderers had No 8 Richie Thomas binned in the 13th minute, and soon after Llanelli No 8 Ben Morgan crashed over for the game’s opening try.
It went unconverted but with Thomas still sidelined, the Cardiff side’s scrum again creaked in the 22nd minute.
It resulted in a second close-range touchdown for No 8 Morgan, and this time fly-half Steve Shingler added the extras.
Another try soon followed, a searing break from Nick Reynolds ended in him releasing fellow centre Jack Roberts for a peach of a try. Fly-half Shingler converted.
The bonus point was banked in the 34th minute as centre Reynolds exploited weak tackling to cross for an unconverted try.
That stretched the lead to 24 points, but just ahead of half time, the Ely side opened their account.
Captain and flanker Lee Highgate crossed for try from close in that fly-half Scott Sneddon goaled.
And in the final play, Llanelli had flanker Vernon Cooper binned but Sneddon missed the ensuing penalty - and Llanelli led 24-7 at the changeover.
But three minutes into the second half, Llanelli went down to 13 men when hooker Rhys Lawrence picked up a yellow card.
Wanderers capitalised on superior numbers to collect a 46th-minute try through flanker Alex Luff with the Sneddon conversion giving him 201 league points for the season.
It wasn’t until the hour-mark that Llanelli returned to full strength, but Wanderers then closed to 24-21 in the 65th minute.
A snipe from replacement scrum-half Harry Trelawny was taken on by full-back Owen Marshall, who sent centre Simon Rosser over for a try at the posts. Fly-half Sneddon added the extras.
It was now game on again, and Llanelli were relieved to get the next score in the 74th minute via a 45-metre Shingler penalty.
However, Llanelli lasted the pace better, and sealed the win following a 79th-minute rumble among the forwards.
It resulted in replacement flanker Craig Hawkins bursting away from a maul for a try that fly-half Shingler converted.
Llanelli: Tries - B. Morgan (2), J. Roberts, N. Reynolds, C. Hawkins; Cons: S. Shingler (3); Pen: S. Shingler
Team: E. Phillips; D. Thomas, N. Reynolds, J. Roberts (repl A. Warren 80+3), J. Howells; S. Shingler, J. James (repl A. Davies 71); M. Evans (repl S. Hopkins 51, repl L. Lewis 80+7)), R. Lawrence, J. Corsi (repl C. Jones 71), A. Powell (capt), N. White (repl S. Phillips 39, temp repl C. Hawkins 43-55), V. Cooper, B. Morgan, D. Eager (repl C. Hawkins 64)
Glamorgan Wanderers: Tries - L. Highgate, A. Luff, S. Rosser; Cons: S. Sneddon (3)
Team: O. Marshall; S. Cullen (repl M. Trowbridge 80+4), S. Rosser, R. Wardle (repl R. Lock 61), R. Healy; S. Sneddon, R. Dyer (repl H. Trelawny 61); N. Trevett (repl J. Leadbetter 61), J. Richards (repl R. Hewitt 80), M. O’Leary (repl R. Beddows 63), G. Knight, T. Evans, A. Luff, R. Thomas (repl C. Kimber 61), L. Highgate (capt).
Yellow cards: R. Thomas (Glam Wands) 13, V. Cooper 40+4, R. Lawrence (both Llanelli) 43
Referee: Gregory Morgan (Murton, Swansea)
Star choice: Nick Reynolds