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Seasiders lead slips away

League 1

West Tenby United 15

Llanelli Wanderers 31

Close: Mark Heywood nearly makes it to the try line (Pic: Susan McKehon)
Close: Mark Heywood nearly makes it to the try line (Pic: Susan McKehon)

IT was another frustrating outcome to a game that GD Harries & Sons Sponsored Tenby Utd had played the better rugby for the most part and also lead until the hour mark last Saturday when the Seasiders failed to close out a game that they should’ve won.

Following a minutes silence before kick off in Memory and of Tenby United Stalwart and Honorary Life Member Mr Bryant Hawker who sadly passed away a few weeks ago, The United were confident that they were capable of beating the mid table Llanelli Wanderers outfit and that they’re continued improvements would at last come to fruition.

The Seasiders started well as they forced a penalty at a ruck within 2 mins of kick off and Outside Half Scott James stepped up to land the tricky touchline kick to give the home side an early lead.

Stringing some impressive phases together, the United looked to have a slight edge over their guests from Stradey Park and held onto their narrow lead until the 12th minute when two missed tackles meant that Wanderers centre Rhydian Morgan was able to cross for an unconverted try to put his side in front by 5 points to 3.

The majority of the first half turned out to be a tight affair with both teams cancelling each other out through stern defensive effort until the 36th minute when Llanelli blind side flanker Steff Taffetsauffer grounded the ball to score a try from a push over scrum. Outside half Johnny George landed the conversion to give the visitors a lead of 12 points to 3, which they held on to for the remainder of the first half.

Just before the half time whistle No8 and stand in skipper Weston sustained a neck injury and couldn’t return to the field after the half time oranges which meant that Club Captain Luke Hansford was able to make a welcomed return to the pitch as he took to the field for the first time since October 17 when he sustained a serious shoulder injury and underwent surgery.

The return of their leader certainly spurred the Seasiders on and within 3 minutes of the second half kicking off, right wing Jack Guerreiro was crossing in the corner for a terrific try.

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Guerreiro’s try came when a superb break from outside half James opened up the visitors defensive line and he had the presence of mind and vision to slip the ball out of a tackle to substitute scrum half Aaron James who was on for Luke Conbeer after he sustained a cut to his eye.

Aaron James spotted the Wanderers winger was not in position and lofted a cross field kick for the flying Portuguese winger to contest, Guerreiro won the aerial battle to catch the ball as he crossed the try line for the score which went unconverted from the touch line.

Six minutes later the Seasiders took the lead with another excellent try which thoroughly entertained the spectators as 2nd Row Luke Dedman broke free and went on a barnstorming run up-field from the half way line to the 22m line where he linked with Scott James, James got the ball away to the strong running Heywood and the visiting defenders could do nothing to stop the centre as he took three of them over their try line on his back as he touched down under the posts. Scott James landed the simple conversion and the scoreboard read 15-12 in United’s favour.

With just ten minutes remaining and the Seasiders in the lead it looked as if they might hang on for victory, but frustratingly their string of bad luck continued as they had the lead cruelly taken away from them in the latter stages of the game just as it had been the week before in Loughor.

Wanderer’s winger Rhys Phillips squeezed in at the corner for the controversial try which had come from what was thought to be a blatant forward pass but the ref didn’t spot and the try was given with Johnny George converting to put the visitors ahead.

Despite fighting to the end, the United weren’t able to breach the Llanelli defence and the Wanderers lead grew even more with two tries in the final 4 minutes of the game with the first coming from Rhys Morgan and the second was scored by his centre partner Richard De Filippo with Johnny George converting the latter.