By: Paul Hopkins
An outstanding first half display was enough for the All Whites to defeat Newcastle Emlyn in an error strewn game played in tricky weather conditions.
In the early moments the home side forced the Newcastle Emlyn defence offside in midfield to allow fly half Ian Brooks to kick his side into a three point lead.
The lead should have been extended moments later when lock Tudor Hughes and number eight Rory Gallagher charged across half way. Brooks then surged forward and sent winger Andrew Claypole racing towards the line, only for the Emlyn defence to bundle him into touch.
The All Whites finally broke down the visitors’ defence when flanker Jon Vaughan took a lineout with Gallagher driving up to the line, before scrum half Scott Maynard picked up the ball and dived over from close range for a try. Brooks converted.
Things went from bad to worse for Newcastle Emlyn when flanker Owain Powell was sin-binned for persistent offside.
However, it was actually the visitors that looked most likely to score immediately after the yellow card. Number eight Brynmor Jones picked up the ball from the base of a scrum and made ten metres upfield. Then fly half Barri Thomas raced up to the twenty-two, before his dangerous chip through was dealt with by full back Liam Popham at the second time of asking.
The Whites did take advantage of the extra man though when Brooks’ cleverly weighted kick to the corner was picked up by winger Will Lewis, who calmly drew in the defence before popping a quick pass to Popham, who scored. Brooks’ conversion attempt fell short of the posts.
The visitors began to exert some pressure on the Swansea defence and they earned a scrum five. However the home pack drove their counterparts off the ball.
Moments later though, Gallagher was penalised for holding onto the ball after the tackle and winger Daniel Davies kicked the three pointer.
The Swansea pack stole possession from a maul and began to build an attack. Tudor Hughes used his strength to power up to the line and then handed Lewis a simple scoring pass. Brooks converted.
Lewis was then close to scoring in the corner, following a chip through, but the ball just beat him over the dead ball line.
Daniel Davies cut the deficit to 16 points on the stroke of half time with a penalty goal after full back Shaun Leonard made a superb break up to the twenty-two, forcing flanker Jack Perkins to kill the ball. He was promptly issued a yellow card.
Half-time:- Swansea 22 Newcastle Emlyn 6
It took Swansea just seven minutes into the second half to score their bonus point try when hooker Ricky Guest charged up the middle and the Emlyn defence was penalised for a high tackle. Maynard took a quick tap penalty and sent Lewis racing up to the line, before the scrum half picked up the ball and burrowed through a ruck to score. Brooks missed the conversion.
The Whites came close to adding a fifth try when replacement prop Richard Murphy charged into the heart of the defence, with Tudor Hughes on hand to power to within a couple of metres of the line. The ball was sent out wide, but Newcastle Emlyn centre Viv Jenkins deliberately tapped the ball forward and was yellow carded.
Tudor Hughes came within inches of scoring, but the visitors managed to steal possession and clear their lines.
With about five minutes left on the clock, Leonard inexplicably opted to kick for goal about seven metres inside his own half, but his effort sailed well wide and short of the posts.
It was the visitors who had the final say when Lewis threw a loose pass that was intercepted by replacement fly half Llyr Davies, who raced from half way to score under the posts. Daniel Davies converted.
Next up for Swansea is a trip to Bridgend Athletic, while Newcastle Emlyn host Newbridge.
Full time:- Swansea 27 Newcastle Emlyn 13
Tries:- Scott Maynard (12, 49), Liam Popham (20), Will Lewis (35)
Cons:- Ian Brooks (13, 36)
Pens:- Ian Brooks (4)
Y cards:- Jack Perkins (40+3)
Newcastle Emlyn scorers:
Tries:- Llyr Davies (80)
Cons:- Daniel Davies (80+1)
Pens:- Daniel Davies (33, 40+3)
Y cards:- Owain Powell (14), Viv Jenkins (66)
Venue:- St Helen’s, Swansea
Referee:- Matthew Davies
Weather:- Rain, 14C
Man of the match:- Scott Maynard
15 Liam Popham
14 Andrew Claypole
13 Jedd Evans
12 David Watts (rep: Richard Thomas 57)
11 Will Lewis
10 Ian Brooks
9 Scott Maynard (rep: Rhodri Wells 75)
1 Dan Kenny
2 Ricky Guest (rep: Paul John 75)
3 Justin Hughes (rep: Richard Murphy 50)
4 Tudor Hughes
5 Sam Kiley
6 Jon Vaughan (rep: Chris James 57)
7 Jack Perkins
8 Rory Gallagher
16 Paul John
17 Richard Murphy
18 Chris James
20 Rhodri Wells
21 Richard Thomas
Newcastle Emlyn team:
15 Shaun Leonard
14 Llyr Jones
13 Teifion Davies (rep: Bedwyr Davies 46)
12 Viv Jenkins
11 Daniel Davies
10 Barri Thomas (rep: Llyr Davies 66)
9 Dyfan Dafydd
1 David Jones (rep: Gethin Davies 50)
2 Alex Williams (rep: Nikki Williams 58)
3 David Bryant
4 Dyfed Morgan (rep: Emrys Davies 62)
5 Bleddyn Davies
6 Gareth Thomson
7 Owain Powell
8 Brynmor Jones
16 Nikki Williams
17 Gethin Davies
18 Llyr Davies
19 Bedwyr Davies
20 Emrys Davies