Kidwelly (7) 20 TURFC (17) 24
Determined to end the season with a win, and make amends for the 24-20 defeat in their last game against Llangennech which was there for the taking, FBM sponsored Tenby United travelled to fellow relegation strugglers Kidwelly, totally focussed on coming away with that elusive victory to set them up as they prepare for the close season and life back in Division 2 next season.
Despite playing against a strong blustery wind, Tenby took an early lead with a try wide out by fullback Jack Tucker, who entered the move with a superb running line from deep, and with Lloyd Thomas adding the extras with a superb conversion Tenby were in command at 0-7. Taken aback by this early bout of scoring Kidwelly got their act together with Jonathan Williams getting a try, somewhat against the run of play, which was converted by James Owen closing the scores to 7-7. Responding to this, and regaining the lead Thomas was on target with a penalty awarded by referee Richard Jones to regain the lead at 7-10
Tenby extended their lead when flanker Harry Owen, playing at stand-in centre, capped a promising season by taking an off load from the returning Andrew Cooke, to cross for try number two which was again converted by Lloyd Thomas and a healthy 7-17 lead, in what was becoming a very interesting game with Tenby emerging as the side that wanted the victory more that the home side.
Despite threatening to trouble the scoreboard operator, Kidwelly were kept at bay by a very determined Tenby side that managed to stop the home side from adding to their score with referee Jones blowing for half time with Tenby defending a 7-17 lead.
Kidwelly were obviously instructed by their coaching staff that this game was there for the taking and stormed into attack mode right from the start of the second half with Tenby on the back foot desperately defending their lead, and it came as no surprise when Alan Squires crossed the whitewash to narrow the scores to 12-17. With the sparse crowd egging them on the home side continued their attacks and were again successful when Josh Evans crossed for a try.. Despite missing the two conversions, James Owen was successful with a penalty awarded by referee Jones, putting Kidwelly in front for the first time in the match by 20-17.
Tenby were again on the defensive as the home side continued with attack after attack in an attempt to put the game to bed with any sort of score that would force Tenby into having to score twice to snatch victory. But the resilient Tenby defence held firm bolstered with some fresh legs provided by Huw Evans and Conner Ennis, the only two subs they had on the bench.
The entire team raised their game, determined to end the season on a winning note, and with the game nearing conclusion a neat slipped pass by Andrew Cooke released centre Jordan Asparassa from deep, and the flyer outpaced the scrambling home defence to score what proved to be the decisive score, and with Lloyd Thomas adding the extras, taking his seasons contribution out to 133 points, Tenby went into a deserved 20-24 lead. Which turned out to be a lead they would not loose, despite some late threats by the home side, and Tenby at last walked off the pitch with a victory.
What a difference a couple of weeks make…trooping off after the game against Llangennech as losers 24-20, to walking off the field as winners 24-20….with each player involved in the two matches….. having run themselves into the ground….but this week their effort was justifiably rewarded.
From talking to head of rugby Will Crockford, coaches Gareth Thomas and Jonathan Evans after the game they were all full of praise for the efforts put in, not only in this game, but
throughout what has been a very trying season for the First XV and today at least brought some reward to the team that took to the field. Struggling to get the names on the team sheet right up until kick-off it was good to see stalwarts like Harry Bolton, Rob Clarke and Cookie (all starting games for the first time this season) getting talked into representing the club with Harry playing his 127th game, Clarkie trotting out in the red and black for the 171st time and Cookie on 78 appearances – speaks volumes for all involved
Team: Ethan Morgan, Dan Allen, Rob Clarke (Huw Evans), Tom Barrass, Luke Dedman, Andrew Cooke, Jack Broadhurst, Harry Bolton, Shane Rossiter, Lloyd Thomas, Ryan Hill(Conner Ennis), Jordan Asparassa, Harry Owen, Jerome Mansbridge, Jack Tucker.