Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Swalec Plate Round 3 Preview

The road to the Millennium Stadium continues this Saturday for the teams left in the Swalec Plate, with a number of tasty third round encounters to feast on.

Ystrad Rhondda welcome One East leaders Merthyr to the Gelligaled in undoubtedly the clash of the third round.
The hosts will be keen to continue their recent tradition of doing well in the competition having reached the semi-final stage in the previous two seasons.
Club Secretary Alan Sinclair is hopeful they can continue their good cup form once again this campaign and go even further.
"Losing out the past two seasons at the semi-final stage has been tough, but hopefully it can be our year this season," said Sinclair.
Despite his optimism, Sinclair admits that the clash against Merthyr on Saturday is too close to call. 
"After our not so great start in the league, we've won nine on the bounce and will go into the match confident. But at the same time Merthyr will also believe that they can win and I think it will be a tight, classic Cup match that either side can win."
Ystrad should start as slight favourites having already beaten the One East leaders in the league this term, but Sinclair knows from last season that Merthyr are more than capable of coming up with the goods at the Gelligaled. 
"At the back end of last season, we played them needing the win as we looked to challenge for the title - while they needed a victory to avoid relegation - and they turned up and handed us a hiding, so maybe they have a slight psychological advantage in that respect," commented Sinclair.

In another all One East clash Nelson entertain Rumney- in the corresponding fixture in the league, it was the Unicorns that came out on top with a 23-16 victory.

Meanwhile, Swalec Plate holders Heol y Cyw continue the defence of the title they clinched last May with a trip to Two East’s Llantwit Fardre.
 Cyw have so far dispatched lower league Tylorstown and Maesteg Celtic on way to the last 32, and come into the clash full of confidence having inflicted One East leaders Merthyr’s second only defeat of the season last weekend.

Rhiwbina's Paul Smith on the charge against Senghenydd earlier this season.
Elsewhere, Rhiwbina who have already knocked out two Division One outfits so far face a juicy encounter with fellow Two East highfliers Senghenydd
The Squirrels' Press Officer John Humphreys says his side are looking forward to facing the Saints on Saturday. 
"After the disappointment of last week's East Two top of the table clash at Llantrisant being called off, we are now really looking forward to our Plate clash at Senghenydd. We're delighted to have reached this stage of the competition for the first time, and are on an eleven match winning streak since our opening day loss to Llantrisant in the league."
In the corresponding league fixture this season, it was the capital side who came out on top and Humphreys is hoping for a repeat success.
"We have already won at Senghenydd in the league this season, so we're quietly confident of making it through to the last 16 of the competition. But there's no way we will be underestimating the challenge that we'll face at Senghenydd, who are always formidable opponents."
 In another intriguing contest, Two East highfliers Llantrisant make the trip to the Llynfi Valley to take on Two West title contenders Maesteg Quins.
 Moving west, there are two all One West ties- Waunarlwydd travel to Cwmllynfell while Whitland host Kidwelly.
In the league, Waun hosted the Blues on the opening day of the season and romped home to a 52-15 victory that day, but last season’s semi-finalists will hope home advantage can help reverse their fortunes.
Elsewhere, Three South West’s Morriston have the unenviable challenge of travelling to unbeaten One West leaders Glynneath.
 The Swansea side have only claimed two victories in the league all season and will face an uphill task if they are to keep their Millennium dreams alive against the 2011 runners up.
 Finally, Amman United and Felinfoel will both look to spring surprises on higher league opposition when they entertain Loughor and Llangennech respectively.
A full list of the third round fixtures can be found here.


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