Athletic XV 2011-12

This page contains information for 2011-12

Results and Reports are added to this page as they occur throughout the season.

Pictures from Athletic games are added at the bottom of the page.

 

Llandovery Athletic XV play in the Carmarthenshire Tyre Services Championship, consisting of:

Ammanford

Bonymaen

Carmarthen Druids

Carmarthen Quins

Dunvant

Llandovery

Llangennech

Morriston

Mumbles

Narberth

Waunarlwydd

Whitland

 

The team coaches are Geraint Williams (07968 750232) and Alan Morgan

 

Athletic Team Manager is Huw Clarke (07811 350633)

 

Athletic Captain is Dylan Jones

 

Athletic Vice Captain is Aled Walters

 

Opponents

Date

(Type) (Venue)

Result, Score, (League Pos/12)

Nantgaredig

22/8/11

(F) (A)

 

 

Crymych

27/8/11

(F) (A)

 

 

Llangennech

3/9/11

(L) (A)

 L 24 - 11

 Huw George reports:

After a lengthy summer break and some major changes in the on-field personnel, it was great to approach the start of the new season with optimism and enthusiasm. Fresh blood by way of a crop of youngsters had revitalised the Drovers as they approached the 2011/12 season.

The same management team remain with the Drovers, with Geraint Williams continuing to do sterling work as Head Coach, ably assisted by Alan Morgan as Backs Coach and Huw Clarke as Team Manager.

Putting together a second fifteen on a week by week basis is “sometimes a challenge but always an honour” commented Williams, as he purred with pleasure at the thought of taking his young charges on yet another season of adventure and fun-filled, action-packed weekend excursions.

The season began with an away trip to the Estuary Men of Llangennech - never an easy trip - and this year was to prove to be no exception.

The home side scored first with a converted try and the visitors responded with two penalty goals so that the game was a very close contest. The sides then traded unconverted tries to take the score to 12-11 in favour of the home side. This score held until roughly ten minutes before the end when the home side broke away twice, scoring two further tries of which one was converted.

These extra scores took the final scoreline to a somewhat disappointing 24-11 but Williams was far from downcast as he enthused over the good works that his young side had done and looked forward to the coming week’s fixture with relish.

Narberth

10/9/11

(L) (H)

 W 66 - 10

 
Huw George reports:

For this, the second week of the 2011/12 season, the Drovers were delighted to be at home for the first time and with Churchbank looking an absolute treat in the intermittent autumnal sun, they were equally delighted to act as hosts to the visiting local Otters.

The Otters had travelled full of expectation of taking part in a competitive game but found themselves inhibited by the lack of an experienced front row and so the game took place with the restriction of passive scrums. This is never a satisfactory outcome for either players or spectators, of whom there were a number, but all credit to the visitors who could quite easily have cried off – they came and they played and everyone was much the better for their efforts – well done Narberth.

The match was a relatively one sided affair with the Drovers running in a total of 10 tries, of which 8 were converted, whilst the Otters’ reply was an interception try scored from in their own half, and a penalty goal.

The Drovers’ scorers came from across the team and, whilst the passive scrums took away some of the Drovers’ strength, it was an absolute joy to see both backs and forwards running and inter-linking with freedom and playing with a smile on the face irrespective of field position.

Top scorers of the day were Ioan Davies with a try and 8 conversions for a total of 21 points, and Arwel Davies and Joe Morgan with a brace of tries apiece. The man of the match however was the referee – the official handled the game with pace and enthusiasm, with empathy and with the right degree of understanding of interpretation of the laws of the game – well done sir – without a referee there can be no game.

The Drovers now have a run of games away from home, but on this form are sure to entertain whilst they are on the road, and equally will be looking to challenge for honours come April next year.

Ammanford

17/9/11

(L) (A)

 W 0 - 56

 Huw George reports:

For the second time this season the Drovers found themselves on the road, away at local neighbours Ammanford and, in the first half of a very entertaining game, continued much in the vein of last week’s efforts when they ran in six converted tries to make the score 42-0 at the break.

The game showed all the skills associated with the traditional Drovers game, with the forwards doing all the hard work against a much bigger set of opposing forwards, and supplying a regular stream of good quality ball for the enterprising and exciting back-line to conjure up a display of finishing wizardry that shows the game off to its full potential.

The second half was less of a spectacle when two major disruptive influences affected the structure and pattern of play. The weather turned monsoon-like for the latter period and the game also saw the introduction once again of passive scrumsm following a change in personnel for the home side upfront.

Although there were eight tries in the game there were only five try scorers, with the backs stealing nearly all the limelight. Nicky Crocker scored a hat-trick, Dylan Williams - last season’s top try scorer - a brace, whilst the other scorers were Joe Morgan, Gareth Davies and Steve Ardolino. All of the tries were turned from five point scores to seven pointers with the accuracy of the boot of Ioan Davies, with a personal haul of sixteen points.

Head coach Geraint Williams continues to be “delighted with the development of this young side that looks capable of maintaining this form throughout the season and of challenging for honours come the end of April”.

His confidence will be tested to the full next week – 24th September - when once again his team is on its travels, this time to Whitland, who have also started the season well by so far being unbeaten and sitting as table toppers. He hopes the game will continue to be a free flowing high scoring game that is always easy on the eye for the spectators.

Whitland

24/9/11

(L) (A)

 W 10 - 22 (3rd)

 Wings Arwel Davies and Joe Morgan scored tries for Llandovery in the first half, one of which was converted by fly-half Ioan Davies. In the second half Davies converted a try by hooker Dylan Jones and kicked a penalty.

Dunvant

1/10/11

(L) (A)

 W 14 - 101 (3rd)

 Huw George reports:

With the whole of South Wales basking in Mediterranean sunshine and record breaking temperatures, the day was better suited to beach volley ball than fifteen a side full on league rugby,

The Drovers travelled to the wide expanses of Broadacre, the home of Dunvant RFC, full of expectation having lowered the colours of league leaders Whitland the previous week. A hard ground with a wide pitch – manna from heaven for the visitors, who positively thrive in a style of open, expansive, entertaining running rugby.

It always takes two sides to make a game and, despite the less than flattering scoreline for the home side, they never gave up and scored tries of their own in both halves and converted both.

The scorers were however kept busy by the dynamic and, at times, simply scintillating all round ball skills displayed by the Drovers, who ran in seven converted tries in the first half – making the score at the break 7 – 49. A further eight tries followed in the second half with five being converted.

Point scorers for the Drovers were Ioan Davies with 26 from thirteen conversions and 25 each for Joe Morgan and Dylan Williams who both bagged five tries apiece. Other try scorers for the Drovers were Gareth Davies with two and one each for Mathew Bailey and - uniquely - both team members called Dan Davies.

Head Coach Geraint Williams, formerly head coach at Dunvant, positively purred with delight when adding “we put them to the sword” as he spoke with pride of the rapid development of some of the youngsters in his charge this season and the commitment of all to the ideals of ball in hand rugby.

The Drovers return home to Churchbank next Saturday when the visitors will be Carmarthen Druids – watch the thermometer and the scoreboard.

Carmarthen Druids

8/10/11

(L) (H)

 W 18 - 11 (4th)

 Huw George reports:

Following the excesses of recent weeks on the road, it was time for the Drovers to return home to Church Bank and to entertain the Druids in what was to turn out to be a hugely competitive and highly entertaining encounter between two well matched sides.

The National side had stirred the emotions earlier in the day and many of the spectators were bleary-eyed from the early start but were able to enthuse over another keenly fought contest.

It was the home side that opened the scoring with a well taken try by the recently returned Ken Hughes. The try was converted by Ioan Davies who also added two penalty goals. The Druids replied with a penalty goal of their own to make the score at the break 13 – 3 in favour of the Drovers.

The Druids took the early initiative in the second period by scoring first a try of their own and then adding a second penalty goal, to take the score to an enticing, nerve jangling 13 – 11. It remained at this score for some considerable time as each side took it in turns to try and break down the opposition, without success.

The contest was even, clean and fierce with the outcome finally being settled in favour of the Drovers when their young scrum-half, Dan Davies, crossed for his side’s second try and the final score of the match.

Previous games had seen some “Champagne” rugby played by the Drovers in amassing huge numbers of points. Head coach Geraint Williams described this game, in contrast, as “Brown Ale” rugby – not quite as smooth on the palette but in enough quantity ultimately having the same effect.

He added, “It was great for the boys to have a real challenge and I’m delighted that we have continued with our winning ways. We are not the finished article but we are full of passion and endeavour and the team cannot be faulted for the way they play for each other”.

Morriston

15/10/11

(L) (H)

 W 34 - 11 (3rd)

 Huw George reports:

For the second successive weekend the Drovers found themselves at home at Churchbank where they acted as hosts to the visitors from the suburbs of Swansea.

A delayed start due to the need for a change of strip caught the home side off guard and in no time at all the visitors had raced into an 8 point lead, courtesy of an early penalty followed by an unconverted try. At that early stage it looked as if the Drovers might be in for a tough afternoon and they did really well to retain their composure at that time.

The Drovers eventually got on the scoreboard courtesy of an uncharacteristic try from a driving lineout that had the head coach Geraint Williams positively beaming with pleasure. The scorer was Dylan Jones and the extras were added by Ioan Davies. A further two tries followed, with the scorers being Dylan Davies and then Dylan Williams. Once again both were converted by Ioan Davies.

The visitors added to their score with a second penalty to make the score at the break 21 – 11 in favour of the Drovers.

The second half was a much tighter affair despite the fact that the Drovers were playing with a slight wind and a dropping sun at their backs.

Nicky Crocker showed both his power and pace to add a bonus point fourth try and Ioan Davies added both a conversion and two penalty goals to take his personal tally for the game to 14 points.

Backs coach Alan Morgan was ecstatic at the result and he stated, “the boys were tremendous this afternoon – we have worked on lots of things in training and it’s great to see them come to life in a real game situation – parts of the game were like poetry in motion and an absolute joy to watch.”

Waunarlwydd

22/10/11

(L) (A)

 L 18 - 16 (4th)

 

Bonymaen

29/10/11

(L) (A)

 W 6 - 25 (3rd)

 

Carmarthen Quins

5/11/11

(L) (H)

 W 23 - 0 (3rd)

 

Carmarthen Druids

12/11/11

(L) (A)

 W 8 - 11 (3rd)

 

Mumbles

19/11/11

(L) (A)

 W 10 - 52 (2nd)

 

Narberth

26/11/11

(L) (A)

 W 6 -17 (2nd)

 

Whitland

3/12/11

(L) (H)

 Postponed

 

Waunarlwydd

10/12/11

(L) (H)

 W 26 - 7 (3rd)

 Huw George reports:

On a dark, dreary, cold afternoon, the Drovers found themselves playing at home at Churchbank where they acted as hosts to the visitors from the “Waun”, a suburb of Swansea.

The visitors were at full strength as their first fifteen didn’t have a fixture and it was clear that the Drovers would have a serious challenge on their hands if they were to maintain the pressure they were exerting at the top of the league table.

Head coach Geraint Williams said, “We were up against a very strong side today – exactly the sort of challenge that our boys need and relish as we expect so much of ourselves. It was a titanic tussle that we thoroughly deserved to win and I’m delighted with the overall performance of the team but especially the tight five, who fronted up today and eventually proved to be the decisive factor”.

It was indeed a very brave effort from the home side which found itself adrift at the break by seven points to six. The “Waun” scored a try through Stefan Jones which was converted by Lee Evans whilst young Josh Archer kicked two penalties for the Drovers to keep them in touch.

After the break however the Drovers stepped up the intensity up front and, as the front five began to dominate the opposition, so the opportunities came to turn pressure into points. Such was the dominance that newly returned number eight, Ken Hughes, was able to bag himself a hat-trick of tries – two of them “push over” efforts involving the whole pack. The other points of the half came from the boot of Archer with a further penalty and a conversion of one of the tries.

Williams added, “I was especially pleased with the way we defended when under pressure in the first half, when we sensibly kicked for territory setting up the platform for the forward dominance to come – a valiant effort and one that particularly pleases given the opposition’s strength on the day”.

Mumbles

17/12/11

(L) (H)

 L 13 - 20 (1st)

 

Morriston

7/1/12

(L) (A)

 W 5 - 43 (1st)

 

Llangennech

14/1/12

(L) (H)

 W 21 - 18 (1st)

 Huw George reports:

On a bitterly cold afternoon, the Drovers found themselves playing at home at Churchbank where they acted as hosts to the visitors – the Estuarymen of Llangennech.

The visitors were a large side and with the home side racked with injuries – some of them serious and long-term and accounting for nearly half a side - it was clear that the Drovers would, once again, have a serious challenge on their hands if they were to maintain the pressure they were exerting at the top of the league table.

The opening exchanges were tense and the tension spilt over to the field of play where both sides were guilty of simple errors which made the game very bitty and far from a spectacle. The Drovers were however dominant up front and eventually this dominance was converted into points via the trusty boot of outside-half Ioan Davies, who kicked three penalty goals to settle some of the nerves of the anxious home support. The visitors replied with a solitary penalty goal of their own.

On the stroke of half-time the Drovers’ superior scrummage led to the first try of the afternoon, scored after a strong push-over by young no. 8 Aled Walters. Davies added the two points to make the score 16-3 at the break.

The visitors were first out of the blocks in the second half with their second penalty goal of the afternoon. There then followed a long period of relative stalemate before exciting full-back Dylan Williams crossed for a try wide out and seemed to make the game secure. The visitors found some second wind however and, by scoring two ties of their own, one of which was converted, brought the game back to one which was very evenly contested on the scoreboard.

Head Coach Geraint Williams was “delighted with the result given how many serious injuries we have at present. It shows the depth of character and resolve of this very talented squad of players”.

Dunvant

21/1/12

(L) (H)

 W 71 - 5 (1st)

 Huw George reports:

It was easy to imagine how the strong gusty wind would play havoc with the game but the Drovers, playing at home for the second successive week, set out with a “whole attitude of open space, attacking philosophy, backs and forwards, handling game” as so succinctly put by attack supremo Alan Morgan when reflecting on his charges’ performance.

Dunvant were good and held the home side in close quarters play but when the ball was moved wide and with pace they had no answer to the Drovers, who were in stunning form.

Overall it was a strong team effort and the match was liberally sprinkled with scores and, as befits the best traditions of the game, there were no kicked penalties, with all the points coming from tries.

In the first half tries were scored by Steve Ardolino, Sam Thurgood, Dylan Jones, Gwyn Williams, Ioan Davies and Dylan Williams, with four of the six being converted by Ioan Davies. The sole Dunvant score of the game came in this half, with an unconverted try making the score at the break 38 – 5 in favour of the Drovers.

The second half followed a similar pattern with a further five tries for the home side scored by Gwyn Williams, Arwel Davies, Matthew Bailey, Sam Thurgood and Dylan Williams. Once again Ioan Davies converted four to bring the final tally to 71 – 5.

Next week is likely to prove a stiffer test for the Drovers as they travel to near neighbours Carmarthen for a cup game. The philosophy of the side, so ably demonstrated in this game, will remain as the Drovers continue to search for honours on two fronts.

Carmarthen Druids

11/2/12

(Cup R1) (A)

 W 10 - 29

 

Crymych

?/2/12

(L) (A)

 

 

Bonymaen

18/2/12

(L) (H)

 W 25 - 20 (1st)

 

Crymych

?/2/12

(L) (H)

 

 

Carmarthen Quins

3/3/12

(L) (A)

 L 13 - 9 (1st)

 

Ammanford

24/3/12

(L) (H)

 Postponed

 

Cinderford

31/3/12

(F) (H)

 W 20 - 15

 Huw George reports:

It was a glorious day at Churchbank with barely a breath of wind and with dry conditions underfoot as the Drovers extended a warm welcome to their visitors from across the Severn in the Gloucestershire leagues.

Kick off was delayed, as in the English leagues the normal start time is 3.00 and not the 2.30 that is now the norm here in Wales. As one wag in the crowd put it – “if we’d have warmed up like they are when I was playing I’d have needed to lie down after, not play a game of rugby”.

When the teams eventually took to the field it was evident from the off that the Drovers were in for a tough afternoon and no quarter was asked or given as both teams set about a highly competitive and wonderfully entertaining exhibition of rugby of the highest order.

It was a tense affair with the visitors opening the scoring with an unconverted try. The Drovers replied in unlikely fashion with two well struck penalty goals by young full back Josh Archer and that made the score 6 – 5 at the interval.

After the break it was the visitors that once again opened the scoring with their first penalty of the afternoon. Eventually however the Drovers began to dominate play and as the game opened up we were treated to two sumptuous tries from the very top drawer. The first was scored by the winger Dylan Williams and the second by centre Joe Morgan and both were converted by Archer.

At that stage the game looked all over but full credit to the visitors who stuck to their task manfully and finished the scoring for the afternoon with a converted try of their own.

The Drovers still have cup and league games to complete before the end of the season and this game against quality opposition sets them up nicely.

Llangennech

11/4/12

 (Cup Qtr) (H)

 W 32 - 6

 Huw George reports:

It was another glorious evening at Churchbank with the remnants of a clear blue sky and watery spring sunshine for this 7.30 p.m. kick-off which would, of course, finish under the magnificent floodlit facilities at Churchbank.

As is to be expected in the quarter finals of the cup competition, the opponents, on this occasion the Estuarymen of Llangennech, were a formidable side – especially strong in the scrum where they dominated the early exchanges.

It was the home side however that opened the scoring with a well taken try by Dylan Williams which was converted by the irrepressible young full-back Josh Archer, who was to have an exceptional night with the boot.

The visitors replied with a penalty goal before Archer took centre stage with the first of his five first-half penalties. For the visitors the key word was discipline, which they lacked in abundance, and which saw them frog marched a further ten metres on a number of occasions as they disputed the referee’s view of proceedings.

The game then was won at half-time with a score that read 22-6 in favour of the home team. Credit though to the visitors who, as expected, came back strongly in the second-half and it was only resolute defence on the part of the Drovers that kept their try-line intact. The visitors were rewarded with a second penalty before Archer kicked his sixth of the night.

The final score of the night was a second try for the Drovers – this one scored by scrum-half Andrew Owen which was, of course, converted by Archer to give him a personal tally of 22 points and an unblemished success rate of 8 from 8 kicks.

Whitland

18/4/12

 (L) (H)

 W 21 - 17 (2nd)

 Huw George reports:

For the second successive week the loyal followers of the Drovers were treated to a game under lights with the visitors being local west Walian derby side Whitland.

As always in these fixtures there was an “edge” from the off and the referee was fortunate that the players were sufficiently restrained so as to prevent the whole match disintegrating into a bloody free for all.

There was no hiding place on the pitch and the game was not for the faint hearted. It was the visitors who opened the scoring with a penalty kick which was quickly cancelled out by a similar score for the Drovers by Josh Archer. Archer also added a conversion to a try scored by Ken Hughes to make the score at half-time 10-3 in favour of the home team.

The second period began with a flurry of activity for the visitors which saw them score two converted tries in quick succession and it looked at that stage as though the Drovers might come up short on this occasion. Showing real grit and determination however, the Drovers put up a marvellous show and as the contest grew in physical intensity so did their resolve increase to eke out the win.

After a lengthy period of stalemate the Drovers found themselves camped on the Whitland line and eventually the pressure paid dividends when replacement Steven Ardolino crossed for a try wide out. Archer added the two points with an excellent conversion and the scoreboard showed the Drovers ahead by a point.

Archer concluded the scoring with a penalty kick that gave the Drovers a four point lead and a great win. Next Wednesday sees the Drovers act as hosts to Carmarthen Quins in the semi-final of the cup.

Carmarthen Quins

25/4/12

 (Cup Semi) (H)

 W 26 - 3

 Huw George reports:

For the third successive week the hardy followers of the Drovers were treated to a game under lights, with the visitors being local rivals Carmarthen Quins in the semi-final of the Carmarthenshire Tyres cup competition.

It was a foul night from the off and, whilst there was little wind to speak of, the rain was torrential and the players of both sides are to be commended for serving up such a fine example of the game in such conditions.

The Drovers dominated the game from the first kick but with the conditions as they were it was hardly a night for fast open attacking rugby. Nonetheless, the Drovers played with both style and finesse and were unlucky not to turn their significant pressure into a tidal flow of points, with the final passes going to ground just when the openings had been created.

Unsurprisingly therefore it was the boot that yielded the points in the first-half with young Josh Archer kicking three successful penalty goals, with a single penalty the reply for the Quins making the score 9-3 at the break.

The Drovers’ dominance in every aspect of play continued in the second period and their pressure was duly rewarded when first Archer and then Aled Walters crossed for tries, both of which Archer converted before going on to add a final penalty to give himself a personal haul of twenty one points.

Head coach Geraint Williams was understandably “elated by the way the boys played in such conditions” and, he added, “it’s always a joy to play the Quins in these games knowing that they field a genuine second team and don’t pepper the side with senior players”.

The final is against cup holders Whitland and will be played at the neutral venue of Llangennech RFC on Friday 4th May k.o. 7.15 p.m.

Whitland

4/5/12 k.o. 715pm

 (Cup Final) (at Llangennech RFC)

 W 13 - 6

 

See below for pictures from this game, courtesy Ian Williams of Riley Sport Photography

      

Pictures from the Carmarthen Tyres Cup Final v Whitland, 4 May 2012, courtesy Ian Williams of Riley Sports Photography

 

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