Sunday, 13 April 2014

Rhiwbina to meet Merthyr in Plate final

Merthyr are firm favourites to complete a league and cup double, as the Ironmen emphatically booked their place in the Swalec Plate final with a 66-10 demolition of One West leaders Glynneath at Mountain Ash.

The Ironmen proved that west was not best in this case as they inflicted Glynneath’s first defeat in all competitions this season.

With both teams top of their respective divisions, a close game was anticipated, but the Ironmen proved their mettle as they thrashed the Neath Valley outfit.

Flying wing Aaron Howard stole the plaudits with five tries as Lee Jarvis’ troops crossed ten times in all in a completely one-sided display.

The writing was on the wall by half time for David Puckett’s outfit as Merthyr raced into a 27-3 lead.

The Neath Valley side did pull a try back early in the second half through Jonathan Griffiths, but any comeback for the 2011 runners up was quickly snuffed out.

Tries from Martin Luckwell, Cameron Gardner, Lewis Jones, Chris Davies and Craig Evans completed their ten try haul, while captain Steve Lang added five conversions and two penalties from the tee.

Meanwhile, in the all Division Two East semi-final at Taff's Well it was league leaders Rhiwbina who came out on top, defeating Llantwit Fardre 16-6 to clinch a place in the showpiece event.

Rhiwbina’s Gareth McCarthy makes a break against Fardre in the Plate semi final

 The first half was a very closely fought and tense affair, Fardre’s Jason Pocock breaking the deadlock with a penalty after ten minutes.

 However, the Rhiwbina backs always looked dangerous, and a break by outside half Josh Davies led to the Squirrels’ first try. Gareth McCarthy was pulled down just short of the line, but his offload found Sion Summers who stretched over to score in the corner.

 McCarthy increased Rhiwbina’s lead with a penalty, only for Pocock to fire his second of the day over just before the break.

 Try as they could, Fardre could not breach the Rhiwbina defence, while the Squirrels' attack always looked dangerous with the ball in hand.

 And the Cardiff side's blistering backs saw them wrap up the contest late on. Alex Kerr made the initial break before McCarthy found skipper Harry Trelawney in space, and the scrum-half raced up the blind side to cross and secure their trip to the Millennium Stadium.

 Rhiwbina Chairman Paul Maddocks said, “We’re delighted to be in the Plate final and the lads put in a tremendous performance against determined opponents. The league title is still there to be won and we have two further cup semi-finals to play this month, so it could be a memorable season for us.”


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