04 January 2018 / Team News

Milford match report

Mariners stay top after local derby win

Milford Haven 24 - Neyland 10

Milford Haven stay in top spot in the section table after a hard-fought tussle against Neyland, who had their chances in an entertaining match watched by a big crowd.

The Mariners were 14-3 in front at half time and always looked to have a slight edge but were unable to claim the bonus point they sought as The All Blacks always posed a threat through their talented young back division which was carefully nursed along by player/coach Steve Martin.

For Milford, veteran No 8 Mark Wonnacott was in outstanding form and they had a back line which was ever-ready to run the ball from deep positions, as they did when outside half Jamie Lewis was able to cut a good angle and slice through for their opening try, which half back partner Dan McClelland converted.

Neyland almost equalised from a cracking break by young centre George Williams, given space by centre side-kick Alex Codd, but slipped near the line – and his side had to settle for three points from the trusty boot of scrum half Mark Riley from the ensuing penalty at the ruck.

Great running by Jimmy Thomas resulted in Milford’s second try as he made 45 metres and then slipped the perfect pass for co-Centre Dan Jenkins to outpace the cover to speed to the posts to give McClelland an easy conversion.

The second half was no less competitive and replacement forward Dai Sweeny added Milford’s third try to go with a McClelland conversion and penalty before Neyland could lay claims for the try of the match from a terrific break by full back Adam Cawley before Steve Martin beat three would-be tacklers to find replacement hooker Mark Mathias at his shoulder on a run-in to the line.

Riley slotted the conversion but Milford completed the double since they had already won 15-8 at The Athletic Ground – and now face Pembroke in their next match, a real top-of-the-table clash if ever there was one!

Milford Haven: Matthew Reynolds: Dean McSparron; Jimmy Thomas; Dan Jenkins; Craig Thomas: Jamie Lewis; Dan McClelland: Michael Cockburn; Luke Ryan; Adam Rees (Capt): Matthew Doncaster; Chris Hall: Ben Groves; David Round; Mark Wonnacott. Replacements: Sam Dolling; Archie Smithies; Ashley Cooper; David Sweeny.
Neyland: Adam Cawley: Steve Martin; Alex Codd; George Williams; Craig Grice: Johnny Lloyd; Mark Riley: Yorrie Salter; Richard Jones; Jack Harries: Mark James; Jimmy Buirds: Iestyn Evans; Ben Williams; Scott Buirds. Replacements: Luke Dawes; Mark Mathias; Craig Power; Chris Busby; Eugene Grice.

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