Whitland joy

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The Independent Online
UPSETS are traditionally thin on the ground in the fifth round of the Swalec Cup, but a couple of Fourth Division clubs have good reason to be pleased with their efforts yesterday. Pride of place goes to Whitland, who secured a place in the last 16 in extra-time against Third Division leaders Blackwood. Joining them in the sixth-round draw will be Rumney, who won 25-7 away to another Third Division side, Builth Wells.

Merthyr, the Fourth Division leaders, also flew the flag for the lower orders with a creditable showing at home to First Division Llanelli before losing 30-17. Swansea, the holders, were hardly overwhelming as they saw off Tonmawr of the Fifth Division 27-8 after falling behind in the 12th minute to a try by the visiting scrum-half Brian Fisher.

Neath ran in 11 tries, including a hat-trick from the centre Huw Woodland, as they thrashed minnows Heol-y-Cyw 76-8. Lee Jarvis, 19, continued his impressive form as a stand-in for the injured Wales fly-half Neil Jenkins by kicking 21 points in Pontypridd's 41-5 win over Treorchy, and Bridgend comfortably prevailed in the other all-First Division tie 32-3 at Abertillery.

The Sale right wing Simon Verbickas made a successful return to the first team after almost a year on the sidelines with a back injury, scoring one of the League One side's eight tries and kicking five conversions in their 50-12 victory over Newcastle at Heywood Road.

Richmond and Coventry, the leading two teams in National League Three, gave a good account of themselves in high-scoring encounters with senior opponents. Richmond lost 34-27 to League One visitors Saracens 34-27 while Coventry won 33-28 away to Wakefield of League Two. Gloucester, still under threat of relegation from the top flight, proved there is still a wide gulf between the first two divisions with a 42-28 victory at Waterloo, and London Scottish rounded off a great day for Caledonian rugby with a 22-10 success over London Welsh.

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