North Wales Rugby

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

A SPIRITED second-half fightback from a young Flint side was in vain as Welshpool ran out 32-19 victors in their final first phase league fixture.

The home side's domination at the set piece soon told as they produced three pushover tries and a penalty to rack up 24 unanswered points before the interval.

With damage limitation in mind the visitors emerged brighter in the second half and showed glimpses of their attacking capabilities soon after the restart.

Flint fly-half Jamie Williams showed his class to dance and weave his way through the Welshpool defence for the try of the match to make it 24-5.

With their tails up Flint battled their way into their opposition’s half again and declined to take the penalties and their endeavour was rewarded when skipper Mitch Martin crashed over from close range for a try converted by centre Sam Parry to make it 24-12.

The hosts hit back with an unconverted push over try and Jake Shill stormed over for Flint’s third try of the half, converted by Parry to make it 32 -19.

Reflecting on his side’s disappointing campaign, Flint coach Aled Davies said: “It’s been a tough baptism to the new league set up for us this season.

“I think the results across the East and West leagues to date proves the decision to sanction the restructure of divisions two and three by the North Wales RUC was an irresponsible one.

“As a club we have had to contend with some issues of our own. After the success of recent seasons culminated in promotion, some players have found it a difficult pill to swallow experiencing the losses they have had this season and took the easy option of walking away.

“The remaining players who are loyal to the club have proved themselves to be true rugby players, taking the losses on the chin and earning from a bitter experience.

“They’re realising that to appreciate the highs you must experience the lows, which is a refreshing attitude to see in these young players in an age when their contemporaries expect it all handed to them. If you can't earn it you have no right to accept it.”

Shotton Steel’s 27-10 bonus point victory over Llanidloes ensured they finished top of Division Two North East. Both teams progress to the second phase to contest promotion to National One North along with second-placed Wrexham who were 29-0 victors against Llangollen, and Machynlleth who were defeated 20-3 at Newtown.

All four clubs will now have scheduled fixtures against the North West foursome of Llangefni, Dolgellau, Denbigh and Harlech.

Mold’s stuttering Division One campaign continued as they were beaten 24-22 by visiting Colwyn Bay. Ruthin claimed a superb 21-15 win at Bethesda courtesy of tries from full-back Mike Evans and fly-half Iestyn Davies.

Meanwhile league leaders Nant Conwy were beaten 16-15 at third-placed Caernarfon, while second-placed Pwllheli closed the gap with a 33-3 win over Bro Ffestiniog.

Bala claimed an emphatic 88-0 win at basement club Abergele, while Llandudno claimed a 17-0 success against Cobra.

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

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