Purring Panthers lift Super Cup Vase

South Wales Guardian: SHEER DELIGHT: Penybanc Panthers celebrate at the final whistle as they claim the WRU Super Cup Vase with a 33-5 victory over Haverfordwest at Llandovery’s Church Bank. Pic: Rileysportsphotography.com SHEER DELIGHT: Penybanc Panthers celebrate at the final whistle as they claim the WRU Super Cup Vase with a 33-5 victory over Haverfordwest at Llandovery’s Church Bank. Pic: Rileysportsphotography.com

WWRU Super Cup Vase Cup Final

Penybanc Panthers 33 Haverfordwest Ladies 5

Penybanc Panthers brought down the curtain on their historic first season by bring home the silverware as the outgunned Haverfordwest in the Vase final of the WWRU Super Cup.

The Panthers set off like champions with a team breakfast at the Mountain Gate Hotel and a pre-match talk from Roy James, whose message was simple – focus and regret nothing.

The Penybanc side arrived at Llandovery in determined mood and soaked up the atmosphere of their first final before taking to the field with victory in sight.

Haverfordwest kicked off and applied the early pressure, finding decent territory with their kicks and keeping the Panthers on the back foot.

With the match being the fourth meeting between the sides there were few surprises and the Pembrokeshire made their intentions clear on eight minutes with a cynical challenge on Panthers’ skipper and scrum-half dynamo Catrin Rees.

With Haverfordwest’s outside-half Jo Price sinbinned for the challenge, the Blues’ game-plan fell apart and the panic amongst their ranks allowed the Panthers to find their stride.

Slick play by No8 Fabiana O’Callahan shifted an impassable ball to Leanne Macbeth who scampered over the whitewash to the delight of the travelling supporters as the Panthers took control.

The try calmed Panthers’ nerves and confidence began to surge through the ranks.

In form Brittony Price tore through the defence on 12 minutes with a clean pair of heels to cross under the sticks. Rees converted to make it 12-0.

The return of the influential Price to Haverfordwest ranks should have seen a more balanced game, but by now the Panthers were in full swing and proving unstoppable.

However, against the run of play the Panthers were caught short defensively and Blues skipper Clodagh llewelyn clawed back a score to bring an end to a pulsating first half.

The Panthers resumed with great tempo and some slick passing saw Alana Woodford ensure the Penybanc side took full control as she dummied her opposite number and score under the posts. Rees again converted.

With confidence oozing through the Panthers from front to back, Price offered up a trademark sidestep to wrong foot the defence to double her tally, which Rees again converted.

By the final quarter Haverfordwest wilted and opted for passive scrums, but it did little to help.

With only minutes remaining O’Callahan rounded off a perfect day with an excellent try which Rees duly converted to claim a famous 33-5 victory.

A delighted Penybanc RFC spokesman said: “The women’s team has brought a completely new dimension to the club.

“The girls hard work has paid off and as a club we would like to thank coaches Hywel Thomas and Mathew Brayley for their efforts.

“This is a very special day.”

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