Rugby Union: Defeat flatters Newport

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The Independent Online
Ystradgynlais. . .10

Newport . . . . . .9

AFTER years of threatening the big boys in the Welsh Cup, drawing with Llanelli 6-6 in 1978, losing by a mere 3-0 to Swansea in 1981 and 12-9 to Cardiff in 1987, Ystradgynlais yesterday finally became fully fledged giant-killers when they beat Newport far more comprehensively than the score of a try, a goal and a penalty goal to three penalties might suggest.

Ystradgynlais are third in the Heineken Third Division at present and in Mike Lewis, the former Aberavon, Newport, Lazio Roma and Llanelli fly-half, they possess the sixth highest points scorer in the league, though the Gazza of Ystradgynlais was not on target with his goal-kicking yesterday.

Victory was achieved by the sheer commitment of the home forwards in winning the rucks and the loose ball. They spent most of the first half in Newport territory and their only problem was winning the line-out against two of the most promising line-men in Wales, Chris Wyatt and Mike Voyle. In every other regard they had the Newport pack by the throat.

In a team of marvellous workers the main rewards went to their back row of Jim Morgan, Geraint Thomas and John Jenkins, and also to the big lock Nick Mabbitt. The tackling and work in the scrum were decisive, particularly by the two centres, Cellan Hopkins and Adrian Williams, while the full-back, Julian Hopkins, looked impregnable.

The scores came from a penalty each in the first half, the first by Jason Williams for Newport, for offside in the ruck, the second from Lewis for Ystradgynlais for coming into the maul from the wrong side.

In the second half Newport again took the lead with a penalty by Jason Williams and then the home team scored a sensational try when the No 8, John Jenkins, broke through the midfield with a fine dummy and the centre Cellan Hopkins put Ian Michaels over in the corner. Lewis converted from the touchline.

Ystradgynlais: Try: Michaels; Conversion: Lewis; Penalty: Lewis. Newport: Penalties: Williams 3.

Ystradgynlais: J Hopkins; K Jones, A Williams (capt), C Hopkins, I Michaels; M Lewis, S Jenkins; M Harris, M Thomas, A Howells, R McDonald, N Mabbitt, J Morgan, G Thomas, J Jenkins.

Newport: D Hughes; M Puddy, R Bidgood (capt), M Yendle, J Goodchild; J Williams, M Roderick; A Dibble, A Peacock, C Morris, M Voyle (B Atkins, 42), C Wyatt, A Carter, B Watkins, R Goodey.

Referee: J Groves (WRU).

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