Rugby Union / Round-Up: Miracle for St Peter's

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The Independent Online
CARDIFF, the Heineken League leaders and well nigh invincible at the Arms Park this season, found themselves yesterday on the receiving end of possibly the greatest giant-killing exploit in the 22-year history of the Swalec Cup.

The opportunity for underdogs to bring down their betters is always cited as the charm of cup competitions, but rarely in any sport can there have been so improbable a 'David and Goliath' act as that unleashed on Cardiff.

St Peter's, a Third Division club from the Cardiff suburb of Roath, paid a visit to their illustrious neighbours and came away with a 16-14 fifth-round victory courtesy of try-scorer Gareth Snook and kicker Andy Edwards.

Courage League leaders Wasps avoided a similar fate in the fourth round of the Pilkington Cup, but only just as Saracens belied their poor league form by hitting back from a 15-3 half-time deficit with tries by Botterman and O'Leary and two superb conversions by Rudling to lead 17-15. Pilgrim's 61st-minute penalty and firm late resistance kept Wasps, never cup winners but with hopes of a double this season, on course. Oti and Pilgrim scored their first-half tries.

Also in the Pilkington Cup, Exeter, watched by the biggest crowd of the day at Fourth Division Redruth, won 8-3 with the decisive try coming from Cornwall wing Chatterton. That was also the score at Blundellsands where Waterloo claimed their second consecutive First Division head - Orrell following Bath. Wing Austin Healey motored in for their first-half try and Waterloo held firm in the face of a second-half gale.

Scoring all the points in the first 40 minutes was a popular habit. Moseley gathered all theirs in the first 15 minutes at Rugby with new Wales recruit Steve Lloyd's line- out take setting up a try for Mark Linnett. And West Hartlepool's 21 against Morley took them to the last eight for only the second time.

Cardiff's fate was the exception in Wales. St Christopher was as succesful as St Peter as big clubs forced to travel came through. Llanelli feared a bad trip to Kenfig Hill, but came through 17-6. Trimsaram, which produced the even more mesmeric talents of Jonathan Davies, went down 20-10 at home to Bonymaen while Dunvant made it a good day for the Swansea suburbs by prevailing 12-6 at Tonyrefail. Swansea themselves didn't go west at Tenby United, winning 22-6. Fleur de Lys, heroes of the last round, held Bridgend to 12-0 while Tumble lived up to their name as Newbridge kept their footing 11-3.

Champions Melrose kept up their pursuit of another McEwan's Scottish championship and deepened Selkirk's relegation fears with a 35-5 win, but they lost Scotland centre Graham Shiel with a jaw injury that leaves him doubtful for the international in Paris on 6 February. Young Munster went top in Ireland, toppling previous leaders Cork Constitution 16-13.

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