Cardiff left licking their wounds
Cardiff 65 Llanelli 13
Wednesday 15 May 1996
The Welsh rugby season had never before lingered on so long into May, and never before had it seen such a dramatic finish. With the top four sides playing against each other, something had to give.
Cardiff were determined to make it three major trophies in as many years, having won the Swalec Cup in 1994, the Heineken league title last year and now facing the chance of back to back First Division titles.
Theirs was always going to be the harder task, trailing as they did on try counts to the other title contenders, Neath.
Hemi Taylor's men set about trying to gain maximum bonus points against a team which had beaten them in three out of five in the league at the Arms Park.
The first target was to get a bonus point and that came after 32 minutes thanks to a brilliant solo try by Mike Hall, a second touchdown by Adrian Davies and a flamboyant third by the centre Gareth Jones.
Two penalties by the outside- half Matthew McCarthy at least kept Llanelli in touch going into the final 40 minutes of the season.
The target after the break were the second and third bonus points and they did not take long in coming. Despite a nervous opening to the second half, Owain Williams steadied the ship with the fourth try and then Davies got his second to secure the second bonus point.
Rayer's conversions mattered little and then the back row Chris Mills and the scrum-half Andy Moore clinched the full house with two more tries with 18 minutes left.
That meant it was all down to Neath to score seven against Pontypridd, and a nervous wait for the crowd at the Arms Park. It did not take long for the reports to filter through from The Gnoll that Neath had matched Cardiff try for try to take their three bonus points.
Cardiff: Tries: Davies 2, G Jones 2, Ford 2, Hall, Williams, Mills, Moore, Walker. Conversions Rayer 5. Llanelli: Try: Proctor. Conversion: McCarthy. Penalties: McCarthy 2.
Cardiff: M Rayer; S Ford, M Hall, G Jones, N Walker; A Davies, A Moore; A Lewis (M Griffiths, 78), J Humphreys (P Young, 67), L Mustoe, K Stewart, D Jones (H Stone, 70), C Mills, H Taylor (capt), O Williams.
Llanelli: J Thomas (J Hyatt, 66); W Proctor (D Evans, 66), M Wintle, N Boobyer, G Evans; M McCarthy (J Griffiths, 60), R Moon (capt); R Evans, R McBryde, H Williams-Jones, L Williams, P Jones, C Quinnell, C Wyatt, P Morris.
Referee: W D Bevan (Clydach).
Justin Thomas, the Llanelli full-back, may not be fit by the time the Wales squad leave for Australia next week after damaging medial ligaments in his left knee at Cardiff last night.
Latest in Sport
Daniel Sturridge reveals Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is 'very demanding'
Michael Schumacher 'experience' gives F1 legend chance to 'show his character', says Lewis Hamilton
Oscar Pistorius trial: Cricketer Herschelle Gibbs tweets 'lol #neveradullmoment' after autographed bat is used as evidence
The 10 funniest football chants revealed, with poll naming West Ham supporters as 'wittiest in the country'
Tottenham 1 Benfica 3 match report: Spurs face uphill battle in Europa League as Tim Sherwood gets into a scrap with rival Jorge Jesus
- 1 Tony Benn meets Ali G: Watch Labour veteran burn Sacha Baron Cohen
- 2 Women do experience two different types of orgasm, study reveals
- 3 Tony Benn dead: Veteran Labour politician passes away at 88
- 4 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 5 Gauthier Soho has ranted against 'food blaggers' - so can we really trust online reviews?
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...