26 December 2017 / Club News

Bishop Cup

Llangwm 7 - Haverfordwest 20

Two late tries by outside behalf Liam Manwaring finally saw Haverfordwest retain the Bishop Cup after Llangwm had earned a seven-point interval lead but finally ran out of steam against relentless pressure inspired by the likes of Liam Brown, Mike Griffiths, Jamie Zambas and replacement Adam Clarke that made the final margin of victory a little wider than perhaps The Wasps deserved.



Wasps edge first quarter . . .

Because, make no bones about it, the relative league positions, with The Blues in the running for promotion and Llangwm without a win, were stood on their head in the first period as homesters Josh Hicks, skipper James Lewis, Dan Hughes and Ashley James all played with real fire on a Pill Parks pitch inevitably reduced to a paddy field in the awful weather conditions.

Ian Griffiths was outstanding at scrum half and partner Luke Hayman kicked well out of the hand, and even the loss of Gethin Thomas for ten minutes, unlucky to be shown a yellow card for a minor skirmish in Bishop Cup terms, failed to allow The Blues to take control, despite the lineout domination of Liam Brown.

. . . And deservedly lead at half time

Both sides had half chances but final passes went to ground with the ball like an oval bar of soap but The Wasps finally took the lead after Ian Griffiths caught the eye in defence and attack, as did big Josh Hicks with a series of charges that must have allowed him to be close for the man of the match tag.

It was from one of his typical surges for the left corner that set the platform for a penalty which replacement Steve Rees, on for the powerhouse Ashley James, took quickly and was driven over near the corner flag.

Amazingly, in the abject conditions, Hayman managed to add the extra points and in indication of the fact that The Blues were rattled came as Manwaring was shown a yellow card and The Blues were also marched back again for querying the decision by the referee as he also awarded a penalty on half way.

Hayman missed an easier penalty which he pushed just wide of the upright from the final touch of a highly competitive first half and coach Bruce Evans was clearly intent on a few words of advice at the interval!

Conversely, there is no doubt that the Llangwm coaching staff of Colin Picton, Robbie Neil and Scott Gregory would have been pleased by their team’s efforts at this stage .

Griffiths finally ties things up and Hughes puts them in front

The Wasps also started the second half well as they tore into tackles and refused to let The Blues settle but Hayman was wide again from a penalty chance in the cloying mud before the visitors used their pack mobility to set up camp in Llangwm’s 22 for a series of scrums from which Iestyn Griffiths was eventually credited with a push-over try, assisted by No 8 Tom Meehan and Brown, that full back Olly Hughes converted.

The Blues almost added another try from the kick-off as Clarke took possession before his backs produced the best move of the match but great Llangwm cover halted their progress just when it looked a certain try.

Hughes struck a penalty from near the posts to put his side in front for the first time and it was always going to be hard for The Wasps after that.

Manwaring features with two late tries

Haverfordwest added another five points after another forward burst saw skipper Phillips supply the scoring pass for Manwaring to outpace the Wasps cover in the left corner.

With both sides almost unrecognizable in the conditions, Manwaring again featured as he received the ball some 30 metres out shrugged off two tired tackles and had enough strength to reach the line.

It rounded off a game enjoyed by both partisan sets of supporters and the Blues retained the cup they have held onto since 1990, with Llangwm official Raymond Hunt presenting the coveted Bishop Cup to Blues’ skipper Matty Phillips before Gelly James presented the Man of the Match award, presented annually in memory of his father, to young Haverfordwest No 10 Liam Manwaring, for ten minutes of the piece for The Blues but ultimately the hero as his tries turned the tide in his team’s favour.

Manwaring was chosen by referee Richard Thomas in what was a bruising encounter – but both teams deserved a medal of some sort just for turning out and giving 100% in their club’s cause!

Rhys Cooper: Yale Grice; Gavin Jenkins; Josh Hicks; Daniel Morgan: Luke Hayman; Ian Griffiths: Ieuan Power; Gethin Thomas; Dan Hughes: Gavin Jones; Ashley James: James Lewis (capt); James Lewis; Jack Clancy. Replacements: Steve Rees; Dave Reynolds; Steve Picton; Aled Morgan; Craig Grice; Mark Hicks; Eugene Grice; Dan Ridge.

Olly Hughes: Josh Atherton; Matty Phillips (capt); Gareth Owen; Rhys Baker: Liam Manwaring; Mark Stobbs: Ben Llewellyn; Jamie Zambas; Richard Little: Adam Williams; Liam Brown: Morgan Leighton; Mike Griffiths; Tom Meehan. Replacements: Adam Clark; Ben Skudder. Iestyn Griffiths; Steve Thomas; Huw Edwards.

Referee: Richard Thomas (Carmarthen)

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments