Division Three West A:
MILFORD Haven put on a show under the lights as they hammered St Davids in the first ever senior rugby game to be played on the new 4G surface at The Obs last night (Thursday).
The Mariners ran in 15 tries, and fell just five points short of three figures against a Saints side who battled throughout, but were unable to match the pace and power of the home side as they looked to attack from everywhere.
The visitors did well to withstand some early pressure from Steve Barnett and Alan McClelland's men, but then Milford centre Jimmy Thomas capitalised on a loose kick in midfield to slice through for a try that No 10 Craig Barnett converted.
Two more scores then quickly followed, as flanker Ben Groves burst under the posts after a neat inside pass from Barnett, and the outside half added the extras before jinking his way over for a try he again converted.
The Saints then enjoyed their first real spell of pressure that culminated in a penalty 25 metres out, but centre Daf Williams pulled his effort wide of the posts.
Milford continued to make use of the pitch as they ran the ball at every opportunity, and centre Dan Jenkins burst down the left to score, before Barnett grabbed his second try with another neat finish.
Flanker Alun Harries was then rewarded for good support play as he rounded off some good handling for his side’s last try of the half, with Barnett adding his fourth conversion to make it 38-0.
But to their credit, The Saints rallied before the break, and after Milford winger Craig Thomas was sin binned, it took some resolute defence from The Mariners to keep their line intact as props Jon Rellie and Ben Evans, plus winger Tanapan Phumkhonsan, all went within inches of a score for the visitors.
However, The Mariners regained the momentum just seconds after the interval, as the first contribution of replacement forward Dai Sweeny was to power over for a try - and from the resulting restart, scrum half Daniel McClelland opted to run the ball from the deep and it resulted in a try for winger Dean McSparron.
Barnett then struck from 40 metres out for his hat trick, and duly converted to make it 57-0.
St Davids responded though with their only try of the night, as scrum half Fraser Watson sniped through a gap 22 metres out and just evaded the cover defence to score.
Milford bounced back immediately as winger Craig Thomas did well to stretch out and reach the line after cutting inside from the right wing, and Groves then completed his try treble with two quickfire scores, one of which Barnett converted.
The Mariners carried on playing open rugby and took advantage of now depleted St Davids backline as Jenkins grabbed his second with a break from just outside his own 22.
Jamie Barnett, on for brother Craig, converted before another replacement in flanker Ryan Mansell added the 14th try out wide.
The Saints themselves did press for another consolation try but two close range lineouts went astray, and from the game’s final play, it was Sweeny who rounded off a break from Milford second row Archie Smithies to score out wide, and then nail the conversion himself with a drop goal attempt.
The win takes Milford second, three points off leaders St Clears, and three points ahead of third placed Cardigan – although The Teifisiders have two games in hand on the top two.
Milford Haven: Dean McSparron, Ben Jenkins, Dan Jenkins, Jimmy Thomas, Craig Thomas, Craig Barnett, Dan McClelland, Darren Lewis, Luke Ryan, Adam Rees, Chris Hall, Archie Smithies, Ben Groves, Alun Harries, Mark Wonnacott.
Replacements: Jonathan Coe, Ryan Mansell, Jamie Barnett, David Sweeny, Jake Barrett.
St Davids: John Miles, Tanapan Phumkhonsan, Rhys Price, Daf Williams, Anton Matthews, Owain Beynon, Fraser Watson, Jon Rellie, Noel Lyons, Will Davies, Chris Jenkins, Dan Jenkins, Curt Buchanan, Scott Riches, Gethin Bateman.
Replacements: Carl Evans, Ben Evans, Dan Murphy, Andrew Battin, Steve Griffiths.
Referee: Tony Pratt.