Here are some photos and match report from our Swalec Cup match against Bridgend in 2015. Report by Hugh Smith, photos from Richie Jenkins.
SWALEC WELSH CUP ROUND TWO Feb 21 2015
LLANHARAN 10 BRIDGEND 20 (H T 10-7)
Bridgend were given an almighty battle by neighbours Llanharan before winning their way through to the quarter finals of the Swalec Cup.
In fact, for long periods of the game the neutrals in the large crowd could have been forgiven for thinking it was the home side who were in the Premier division, their performance belying a lowly position in the championship.
This was particularly so in the first forty minutes when the Dairymen were deservedly 10-0 up and calling the tune against an uncertain Bridgend outfit.
But a crucial turning point came as the game approached the final quarter. The Ravens had got back to level the scores but took full advantage of Scott Malone’s yellow card to collect ten points that ultimately won them the game.
Llanharan’s skipper Malone seemed to have been harshly adjudged to have gone off his feet at the breakdown as referee Dan Jones sent him to the touchline and Bridgend were quick to take advantage.
They opted for a scrum at the penalty; number eight Andrew Waite moved possession to the right and centre Chris Lewis crashed through.
James Dixon converted then added another crucial penalty before the opposition returned to full strength and, despite Llanharan’s continuing efforts, they lost possession in attacking positions and Bridgend held out.
Malone himself had been a vibrant element in an outstanding set piece, effectively blending with the complementary skills of fellow back row men Dafi Davies and Huw Thomas.
The scrum was particularly strong, power house due Bill Carey and Jack Davies adding the weight to the technique of Tom Piper, Gethin Cashmore and Aled Rees in the front row.
It gave Will Baird and James Whittingham the platform to show their class, while centres Tom Farrah-Evans and Sam Edwards constantly forced openings.
Their side went 3-0 up in the 5th minute, Carey and Thomas working well at the line out and Edwards pressing forward to give Whittingham a straight penalty.
When the Brewery Field men did attack there were strong runs by back row men Waite and Iestyn Merryman with wing Tom O’Flaherty also showing his paces, but their handling often let them down and Malone in particular was a defensive scourge as he pounced on anything loose.
It meant that most of the attacking was in the opposite direction where Farrah-Evans made regular inroads, and it was the hard running centre who put Llanharan further ahead after a searing break by Baird.
Whittingham added the kick and as the half hour approached his team had established a worthy ten points lead.
However, the yellow shirted away side who came into the tie on the crest of good recent cup and league form pressed hard in a sequence of attacking line outs and it was prop Mitchel Auger who crashed over as hailstones lashed down, Dixon converting to give Bridgend hope with half time quickly following.
They drew level two minutes after the turn around with a Dixon penalty and it was now more of an even contest with the sin binning to prove the vital turning point.
Now trailing by ten points, Llanharan tried hard to get back in striking distance, but their most threatening moment came as replacement Josh Austin intercepted, only to be hauled down by the cover and Mr Jones’s final whistle saw the championship club bow out of the cup but with heads held high.
Their performance was a reflected on positively by coaches Colin Malone and Dennis John.
Said Malone: “Everyone in the squad, replacements included, played a part and showed just what we are capable of.”
Son and skipper Scott too was buoyant: “We more than matched Bridgend for a lot of the game and this is something we now need to take into the championship games ahead.”
And for Llanharan, that means showing the same resolve and ability against Narberth at the Dairyfield on Saturday.
Llanharan try: Tom Farrah-Evans; con and pen: James Whittingham.
Bridgend tries: Mitchell Auger, Chris Lewis; cons 2 and pens 2 – James Dixon.
15 Rhys Morgan
14 Harry Davies (Josh Austin 73)
13 Sam Edwards (Morgan Williams 75)
12 Tom Farrah-Evans
11 Josh Clark
10 James Whittingham (Geraint Llewellyn 65)
9 Will Baird (Nick Theaker 65)
1 Tom Piper (Aled Rees 74)
2 Gethin Cashmore (Nathan Huish 48)
3 Aled Rees (Simon Collins 48)
4 Bill Carey
5 Jack Davies (Aled Llewellyn 74)
6 Dafi Davies
7 Scott Malone (C) (Carl Leather 68)
8 Huw Thomas