Kidwelly 40 Ammanford 23

First published in Sport

Division One West

The sparse crowd that braved the January chill was treated to a feast of running rugby as both sides looked to run off the festive indulgences.

Ammanford started well and looked to be in fine form, gaining good ground from an excellent rolling maul.

The visitors indeed exerted some pressure on the home side in the opening period but were dealt a cruel blow when prop Liam Baker was carried off very early in the game. The injury unsettled them and Kidwelly capitalised on a missed tackle to score their first try wide out.

Almost from the restart they again created confusion in the Ammanford defence which opened up a clear run in for their second try, this time converted to give them a 12–0 advantage.

To add to Ammanford’s woes, Gareth Owen followed Baker and limped off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Steff Jones.

But then it was Ammanford’s turn to spring into action and a dazzling run by Gary Stephens created an opening for the supporting Jake Simm to score in the corner, reducing arrears to 12–5.

In-discipline cost the visitors as they battled desperately to stem the Kidwelly riposte and Iwan Mainwaring saw yellow after incurring the wrath of the referee.

Kidwelly took advantage, converting two penalty goals to extend their lead.

Again Ammanford rallied and after several excellent phases created an opening for Steff Jones to crash through the defence for a try converted by Rhydian Morris and an interval score of 18-12.

Ammanford started the second half with purpose and were soon on the attack, asking questions of the Kidwelly defence and converting a penalty to reduce the arrears.

From a quick-penalty on their own 10metre line the ball was neatly switched to Dafydd Pritchard whose blistering pace took him through the defensive line into the opponents half. He off-loaded to the supporting Jake Simm who broke several tackles before recycling the ball for Gruff Jones to score in the corner.

Kidwelly responded positively and were very fortunate to be awarded a dubious try to regain the lead before a penalty try was awarded, effectively ending the Ammanford revival.

The hosts, good value for their victory, then ran in a decisive fifth touchdown which flattered them.

This was a very encouraging performance by the Ammanford youngsters who can look forward to better results in the coming weeks Ammanford were well served by Gary Stephens, who always looked dangerous, and man of the match Llyr Morris, who was a constant thorn in the Kidwelly defence.

Next Saturday Ammanford entertain league leaders Tondu in the first home game of 2013 and will be away at Waunarlwydd on January 19 in the next round of the SWALEC Plate competition.

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