South Wales Grand Finals Day a success
18th August 2013, 19:00
TORFAEN TIGERS 24 VALLEY COUGARS 18
By Ian Golden, South Wales Scorpions media manager at Taff’s Well RFC
All photos by Ian Lovell
Over 1,000 people attended Rugby League Grand Finals day in South Wales at a sun-drenched Taff’s Well on Sunday, the culmination of which saw Torfaen Tigers take their first ever senior title, beating Valley Cougars 24-18 in a see-saw match.
It was the fifth final of the day in Wales Rugby League’s biggest ever club finals day event.
The Cougars from Treharris, attacked from the off after Torfaen made a handling error from kick-off and Scott Britain looked to ground in the first minute but dropped the ball while under pressure.
However after being awarded a penalty, the Cougars did take the lead in the second minute when Matthew Powell scored in the corner. Paul Emmanuelli missed the kick.
The second try came on five minutes when Gareth Way brilliantly laid off to Darryl Carter who scored under the sticks. Emmanuelli converted to make the score 10-0.
Torfaen hit back on 16 minutes after Ryan Bates found a gap in the Cougars defence and ran through unchallenged. Mike Davies converted to bring the score back to 10-6.
And four minutes later, man of the match Bates added his and Torfaen’s second to level things up. Davies’ second goal took them into a 12-10 lead.
Cougars regained the advantage five minutes before the interval when Danyl Davies scored in the corner. Emmanuelli’s kick was wide.
Torfaen got back into the lead eight minutes into the second half when Lee Jones scored in the corner, but with the conversion missed, the score was just 16-14 to the Tigers.
But six minutes later, the pendulum swung back in Cougars’ way when Dafydd Hellard grounded, again a try in the corner and again followed by a missed conversion. 18-16 to the men from Treharris.
Cougars’ Danyl Davies was denied a second try thanks to a forward pass, which could have been a hammer blow for Torfaen.
And there was drama at the other end with just three minutes to go when Jordan Peak had a potential winner ruled out for a forward pass.
But Torfaen weren’t to be denied. With the game into added on time, Luke Brown grounded under the sticks and Mike Davies converted before adding a penalty in the last second to seal things.
UNDER 13s FINAL
NEATH AND DISTRICT SCORPIONS 36 CARDIFF SPARTANS 20
Neath and District Scorpions won the first final of the day, the under 13s encounter, in a competitive match against Cardiff Spartans.
The final score was 36-20 but the youngsters from the capital made the Scorpions’ youngest outfit fight all the way.
Neath went into a 14-0 lead after scores from Alex McNamara, Kurt Davies and Kingsley Morgan.
but quick tries from Cardiff’s Joseph Melhuish and Karling Claridge brought the score back to 14-10.
Tries from Brad Roderick and Ben Lukes further extended the score to 26-10 before Claridge and then Connor Brookes went over for Cardiff to give them further hope with the score now at 26-20.
However the West Wales side were too strong in the end and two further tries sealed the win.
UNDER 14s FINAL
ABER VALLEY WOLVES 36 PENALLTA STORM 10
The Wolves from Senghenydd took their first of two trophies after beating Penallta Storm 36-10 in a Caerphilly County Borough derby for the Welsh under 14s Final.
The final score was 36-10 and the result was never in doubt after the Wolves built up a sturdy 26-0 lead.
Ryan Edmunds and Ross Williams led the way with a brace of touchdowns apiece with William Fishlock, Luke Yendle and Brendan Wiegold also crossing. Lewis Blakely kicked four conversions.
Storm gave themselves some respect with two second half tries from Owen Davies, one of them being the last of the game showing their refusal to give up.
UNDER 15s FINAL
ABER VALLEY WOLVES 38 BRIDGEND BLUE BULLS 28
It wasn’t quite as easy for the Wolves in the under 15s final as it took two tries at the death to see off Bridgend Blue Bulls.
The Senghenydd side built up a 24-10 lead at the interval but the plucky Bridgend side fought back and dramatics saw the score at 28-all with just five minutes left on the clock.
Connor Weigold completed his hat-trick to finally seal the Wolves win. Other tries came from Liam Walters, Tom Davies, Ben Madges, Tristan Wharf and Morgan Jones, the latter also kicking three conversions.
Bridgend scored three fewer tries but Eugene Richards was more accurate with the boot which helped the match to its dramatic finish.
He converted four out of five as Jason Bennett (2), Tom Lucas, Ash Thomas, Jack Thompson and Fraser McGann were the tries scorers for the plucky runners up.
UNDER 16s FINAL
SOUTH GOWER REBELS 24 PENALLTA STORM 16
Penallta lost their grip on the title thanks to two tries in the last five minutes by a skilful South Gower side.
The Storm had won the under 15 title last year and the under 14 crown in 2011 and they were in pole position in this final until the very latter stages.
16-10 up at one stage, Storm’s tries came from Kyle Williams, Scott Davidson and Thomas Rees with Lewis Alexander kicking the one conversion.
But South Gower showed a never say die attitude and fought back. Hero of the day was James Taylor with a hat-trick of tries while Keelan Giles added a further two.
Keiran Williams and Tom Neale kicked one goal apiece to help give the Swansea-based side the title in only their second year of operation.