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Welshpool edge thriller

 
Created on 01/12/2016 @ 07:34
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Welshpool underlined the progress they have been making this season with a bonus-point 28-26 win over local rivals Llanidloes, their first victory in this fixture since the 2005-6 season despite missing several key players through injury and unavailability.

The win keeps the pressure on the leading pack in the North Wales League Division Three as the Christmas period approaches.

But it was the visitors who opened the scoring, slotting over a pair of penalties inside the first 10 minutes to take a 0-6 lead. But Welshpool battled back with a try from skipper Joe Stranks, converted by full-back Tom Williams.

Llanidloes responded with a converted try of their own, before Welshpool again took the lead after a try from Harry Davies, again converted by Williams to give 'Pool a 14-13 lead which was shortlived as Llanidloes slotted over a penalty to go into the break 16-14 ahead.

But early in the second half, Stranks crossed for his second try of the day shortly after kick off, converted by Williams for a 21-16 lead. That was increased when fly-half Dylan Walton broke the Llanidloes line to secure the try bonus point and a 28-16 advantage after Williams maintained his 100% record.

But Llanidloes were not to be easily beaten, and mounted a tremendous last quarter fightback with two quick-fire tries which were not converted.

It meant though just two points in it with plenty of time left, but Pool showed their resolved despite being reduced to 13 men with first Ryan Goodwin, then Jamie Evans sent to the sin-bin.

Every man put himself on the line to hold firm and record an important victory ahead of a big match at eighth-placed Flint this weekend.

Welshpool: Tom Manuel, Lee Richards, Ryan Manuel, Harry Trow, Tomos Holloway, Tom Davies, Luke Godfrey, Ryan Goodwin, Joe Stranks, Dylan Walton, Rob Picken, Jake Best, Justyn Haycock, Rhys Williams, Tom Williams

Replacements: Jamie Evans, Ethan Edge, Aaron Hobson, Joey Haycock, Harry Davies

Tries: Joe Stranks (2), Harry Davies, Dylan Walton

Conversions: Tom Williams (4)

Yellow Cards: Ryan Goodwin, Jamie Evans

Meanwhile, on Sunday the club put out full 15-a-side teams at consecutive junior age groups for the first time, with the Under 12s and Under 13s both in action.

The Under 13s took on their Oswestry counterparts for the first time in a very competitive and physical game, but came off second best 25-10 after injuries deprived them of key players in the final third of the game.

Welshpool opened the game well, dominating territory and possession, but it was their hosts who scored first, capitalising on a loose ball in their own half for a breakaway try. Welshpool responded well with a try from scrum-half Lewis Thomas, before Oswestry again took the lead.

Welshpool maintained their composure and battled their way upfield, giving hooker Aaron Jones the chance to cross and draw the scores level at 10-10.

Having lost second-row Tom Meredith early in the game, 'Pool soon found themselves without captain Will Taylor and scrum-half Thomas, and without two of their main leaders and organisers, found the going tough in the final 15 minutes of the game, with Oswestry crossing for three tries and a scoreline that looked a lot more comfortable than the game really was.

The Under 12s hosted a large and physical Aberystwyth side, and put on a good display in the 25-45 defeat.

Arthur Powell, playing at Number 8 rather than his more usual position on the wing, continued his excellent season, scoring all of the Welshpool points.

As well as the Under 12s, the Under 8s were also in action at home, taking on COBRA and Wrexham where a fine morning was had by all taking part.

This Weekend's Fixtures

This weekend, as well as the first team heading north, the Youths are in Welsh Cup action, heading south to Pontypool United.


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