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Welsh Conference match reports
Neath Port Talbot Steelers 26 Valley Cougars 14
The Steelers sealed they first win in the 2007 Welsh Premier Conference with a 26- 14 win against the Valley Cougars at Green Stars RFC.
The first half was a tight affair with the Cougars taking the initiative with an early try by Nigel Edwards converted by Gary Williams. It was a short lived lead as Richard Lewis struck back for the Steelers. Gary Williams then converted a penalty for the cougars bringing the half to an end with a score of 4-8.
The Cougars opened up a gap in the second half with a try by Mark Jones with Gary Williams keeping up his 100% record with the boot. The Steelers then started their fight back with a tries from Gareth Lewis and Peter Semerg with one conversion by Chris Cornelius talking the score to 14-14 with 10 minutes to go.
The Steelers then stepped up a gear with the try of the match from Chris Cornelius running in from his own half. The win was then sealed with a final try from Dean Scully. Both were converted by Ryan Jones.
West Wales Sharks 33 Cardiff Demons 32
The Sharks overturned a massive 30-6 half time deficit to beat the Demons 33-32 in a thriller at Furnace RFC
The Demons took an early lead with back to back tries from Gareth Howells and Andy Lee with Lee converting the first. This set the trend for the first half with very physical play from the Sharks but the Demons proving too good with some impressive handling. There were further tries from Andrew Bradshaw, Jamie Isles and a pair from Rhodri Thomas. The pick of the bunch with some slick handling was the touchdown from Andy Lee who converted two. Wales A international Mark Cooke scored a great individual try which was converted Jonathon Griffiths bringing the half time score to 30-6 to the Demons.
The second half saw a rejuvenated Sharks team turn the tables on the Demons staging one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Welsh Conference. Tries from Adam Jones and Tom Samuel both converted by Jonathon Griffiths reduced the deficit to 30-18 before Gareth Davies converted a penalty for the Demons increasing the gap to three scores. The Sharks kept the roll going as the Demons tired with tries from Jonathon Griffiths, Johan Taffetsaufer and Dave Norman two of which were converted by Griffiths leaving a grandstand finish with the score at 32-32. Minutes later Griffiths with the coolest of heads took the Sharks into the lead with a drop goal. The Demons battled on valiantly in the last few minutes but with Lee Drabble knocking on over the line and Gareth Davies missing a drop goal attempt the Sharks held on for the win.
Newport Titans 41 Torfaen Tigers 10
Newport Titans kept up their 100% record in the 2007 Welsh Premier Conference with an emphatic 41-10 victory over the Torfaen Tigers at Pil Harriers RFC.
Lloyd White gave the Titans and early 4-0 lead before the Tigers struck back with a try from Ian Marsh which was converted by Matt Enthwhistle. This was the last time the Tigers would cross the whitewash in the first half as the Titans dominated the game with strong running from all the forwards and great handing from the backs. Tries came from John Bowd, Lewis Fox and a brace from Matt Penny all four converted by Lloyd White. This took the half time score to 28-6
Newport were in no mood to let up with Mark Wheeler powering over for the first score of the second half again converted by White. Ross Palmer converted a drop goal to stretch the lead before Kirk Johnson wrapped the game up with a try which was once again converted by White.
The Tigers got a consolation try late in the game from Chris Williams but the Titans took the two points to consolidate their position at the top of the Welsh Conference.
Bridgend Blue Bulls 32-22 Blackwood Bulldogs
Reining Champions Bridgend had a massive scare before seeing off a very determined Blackwood side 32-22 at Porthcawl. The Bulldogs took a deserved early lead and took advantage of poor Bridgend discipline as Paul Emanuelli scored two early tries and converted one to give his side a 10-0 lead. That scoreline remained until the 33rd minute when Jon Williams came off the bench to slide over in the corner after good work from Arran Warner, and just before the break Blue Bulls hooker Craig Fox slide over under the posts and Paul Smithson added the extras to make it all square at half time.
Fox then had what he thought was a second score disallowed early in the second half and Blackwood broke away and re-took the lead thanks to a great try from prop Paul Young. Blackwood had been the better side up to this point but two quick tries from Lenny Woodard gave the Bulls a 20-16 lead before a barging run from Fijian giant Tevita Manaseitava gave the Blue Bulls a two score advantage.
But Blackwood came back again and made it a tense finale with a try for fullback Dai James, converted by Emanuelli to put the Gwent side to within four but a fine solo score for second row Griff Davies, brother of Crusaders