Division 3 west
Cardigan 37 Pembroke Dock Harlequins 8
Cardigan avenged a defeat suffered at the hands of the Quins earlier in the season following a fine all round team performance that produced some excellent tries.
Three months ago many were doubting whether the Cardi’s would have enough players to field a first team by the end of February, such was the state of play at the Gwbert Road club, but to their credit the players and coaches have rolled up their sleeves, worked hard and they are now reaping the benefits with six wins from eight games.
Coach Tudor Harries and his assistants have been forced to blood a large number of kids just out of the youth team and following a shaky start they are now finding their feet and despite the dreadful weather, the Gollop Stand is beginning to fill up again.
The King George pitch was in a remarkably good condition despite the torrential rains and Cardigan started positively and were soon ahead when full back Llyr Jones, who enjoyed another assured performance, slotted over a penalty. Pembroke Dock responded soon after with a three pointer from the boot of Kieran Machin. Minutes later there was a huge punch up in front of the stand and once the dust had settled the referee dished out a yellow card to a player from each side.
Cardigan regained the lead just before the break when Jones added another three points with a penalty and the half time lead of 6-3 was a decent one as the hosts had been playing into a fiercely strong wind.
The home team spent most of the second half camped in the Dock twenty two metre area and they were rewarded on the hour with a penalty try after a succession of collapsed scrums with the visiting pack unable to cope with the pressure. Jones added the extras before his team went further ahead when young replacement Toby Neilson-Dry crashed over under the posts following a fine passage of play with fly half Luke Rogers showing good hands and the back rower picking a great angle to beat his defender. Jones added the conversion and Cardigan were well worth their twenty point lead.
The visitors hit back with a try when scrum half Gethin Bradney made the initial break and he fed big powerful centre Thomas who walked through his opposite number before putting co centre and skipper Jack Price in for a simple touchdown.
The visitors were then reduced to fourteen men following some more scullduggery and Cardigan took full advantage with their third try when prop and man of the match Andrew Fletcher dummied his way over. This was again converted by Jones before fly half Rogers secured the bonus point try when he out sprinted his opposite number and a superb touchline conversion by full back Jones completed the scoring at 37-8.
This was another improved showing from this young Cardigan side and they never took a step backwards despite a few unsavoury moments which led to impressive second row Sion Phillips having to retire from the field due to a nasty gash to his face.
This was very much an all round team effort but youngsters Toby Neilson Dry and Kester Adams showed up well in the pack when they came on in the second half and old heads in Andrew Fletcher and Dyfed Symmons put in impressive shifts to keep the youngsters on their toes.