Warriors head to Bournemouth for festival
9:30am Saturday 16th June 2012 in Sport
THE BANK holiday weekend was a milestone in Carmarthenshire Warriors’ history as they turned out at the Elite Viper 10 National Cup at Bournemouth for the first time in their 11-year existence.
Billed as the ‘largest rugby and netball festival in the world’, Bournemouth is renowned for three days of quality rugby, netball and partying, attended by more than 300 teams and 20,000 people.
The serious business began on Saturday with the Warriors drawn in Group A with the Wolfpack 7, Wooden Spoon and Cardiff outfit, Glantaf Goats.
The Warriors took on Wolfpack 7s in the first game and introduced newcomers such as Llandovery and Wales’ 7s flyer Lee Rees, Bridgend’s Arthur Ellis and Pontypool’s Jay Thomas.
However, it was the regulars, Chris Banfield and Jack Roberts, who made the difference to seal a 19-14 result.
Wooden Spoon were easily dispatched 34-5 in the following match before Glantaf Goats found themselves on the wrong end of a 7s lesson as the Warriors – with Banfield again instrumental – eased through to the following day’s knockout stages, unbeaten.
Sunday started with another tie against the Wolfpack 7, who as best 3rd place team.
The fixture turned out to be another tight encounter early on, with three tries being scored in the first four minutes and Gareth Walters hitting the posts twice with his conversion attempts.
A fantastic break by Lee Rees eventually put Jack Roberts away to score and convert, stretching the Warriors lead to 22-12.
The game ended controversially however, as the referee blew for full time with 48 seconds remaining.
The Warriors took on the Midwives in the semi-final, a team consisting of Samurai and Gilbert Pups regulars plus a Nigerian Sevens international, stood in their way.
The Carmarthenshire side stunned their opponents with an early onslaught in front of a packed stadium to go into the interval 10-0 ahead. Despite a second half comeback from the Midwives, the Warriors snatched a 14-15 lead thanks to Danny Newlands’ try.
But with less than a minute remaining, a penalty was conceded in front of the Warriors’ posts which Midwives opted to kick and steal the victory.