Holders strong in closing stages

Tenby United 45

Pembroke Dock Harlequins 19

Knockout Cup holders Tenby United gained their expected passage to the next stage of the competition but were pushed all the way by a Quins side that was in contention until the last ten minutes.

The holders scored three tries in the last ten minutes to eventually ease home.

The teams had met at the semi-final stage last campaign and the Seasiders won through, and they were hot favourites to repeat that success as they sit on top of division three west while the Quins currently lie fourth in division five west.

The Quins arrived at Heywood Lane with a very young and much-changed side but they refused to budge an inch and were just 10-9 adrift at half time and 24-19 behind after 70 minutes.

But then they lost influential No 8 Gareth Scourfield for a second yellow card and although Tenby lost Jason Ronowitz to a yellow card at the same time, following a heated exchange among both teams, the Quins conceded 21 points without response to leave a final margin that flattered Tenby a little.

The Seasiders started off in positive mode when talented full back Aled Bowen sliced through for an unconverted try but the Quins served notice of intent as Barry Parsons led by example and received good support from Alex Pearce, Mark Van Rhyn and the rest of the Quins’ pack as talented young fly half Jonathan Rogers dropped a neat goal and slotted a penalty to nudge his side ahead.

Good work by Luke Dedman and Nicky Guymer set up a chance for winger Simon Stanford, who carved his way through to the line after being held up short just minutes before.

Unfortunately, Stanford damaged a shoulder in the process and eventually had to leave the field, while a second Rogers’ penalty restricted the homesters to a onepoint lead at the interval.

Tenby made an equally good start to the second half as play was switched right and then left before a long Toby Smith pass allowed Luke Hansford to score a try which Aled Bowen converted.

Rogers landed a third penalty as the Quins plugged away but Tenby skipper Gareth Edwards scored under the posts after a superb 40 metre solo run and again Bowen added the extra points.

But good handling by the Quins when Tenby were reduced to 14 men allowed full back Damian Miller to score an excellent try which Rogers converted and with the Seasiders leading 24-19 it was still anyone’s game.

The last ten minutes proved decisive, however, when Rogers had a clearance kick charged down by Will Crockford and Roy Osborne did well to claim the touch-down as reward for his genuine industry, and Bowen converted, as he did when No 10 Toby Smith showed his strength on the ball as he shrugged off three tacklers to score an opportunist try.

With time running out a Quins move broke down and Toby Smith provided the scoring pass for Crockford to cross wide out on the left – and Bowen did well to convert and set the seal on a deserved Tenby victory.

Tenby United: Aled Bowen: Chris Heesom, Jack Guerreiro, Dan Colley, Simon Stanford, Toby Smith, Will Crockford, Lyndon Jones, Nicky Guymer, Johnny Palmer, Gareth Edwards (capt), Luke Dedman, Wyndham Williams, Luke Hansford, Roy Osborne. Replacements: Dave Meyrick, Tom Richards, Jason Ronowitz, Ashley Bonser, Gareth Caine, Roy Fairlie.

Pembroke Dock Harlequins: Lewis Davies, Damian Miller, Ross Lascelles, Tom Osborne, Liam Smith, Jonathan Rogers, Adam Cawley, Dean Wilcox, Chad Monk, Gareth Spure, Mark Van Rhyn, Barry Parsons (capt), Mike Davies, Alex Pearce, Gareth Scourfield. Replacements: Jake Newman, Nathan Andrews, Mike Scourfield.

Referee: Adrian Slade (Milford Haven).

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