Cardigan face tough test in semi-final

By Adam Hughes in Rugby

CARDIGAN RFC will take on Amman United in the semi-finals of the WRU Swalec Bowl, for the chance to play in the showpiece final at the national stadium.

It promises to be a tough test against the unbeaten Division Three West B leaders at Lampeter on 25 March, whilst in the other round Cilfynydd face Caerphilly.

“I know it will be a huge challenge against Amman United, and it is likely to be all on the day, but everyone at our club is looking forward to the challenge,” said Cardigan head coach Colin Horscroft.

“I’d have to say it is possibly the best draw for us, as we could have come up against Caerphilly, and the possibility of them having players from Pontypridd.

“Reaching the semi-final has given everyone a lift, and the players are very appreciative of the tremendous support that they have been given. I’m sure we’ll also have a big following for the semi-final.”

Cardigan, who are third in Division Three West A, with just one defeat in 12 league games, will be eager to progress They breezed into the second round with a 90-7 win over St David’s, and won 45-29 against Laugharne 29 in round two.

A 10-7 extra-time home win over Usk was followed by a 13-8 win over Betws in round four, and Cardigan then went on to beat Denbigh 23-7 to reach the last eight. A 16-6 win over Milford Haven in the quarter-finals set up a keenly-anticipated semi-final showdown at Lampeter RFC.

High-flying Amman have won all 12 of their league games this season, and will be confident of making it to the final. After being given a walkover in round two, when Llandeilo failed to raise a side, Amman beat Division Three East A pacesetters 22-5 Hartridge in the next round.

They recorded a 39-5 win at Cardiff-based St Albans in round four, beat Monmouth 18-7 at home in the fifth round, before they went through to the semi-final with a 13-3 home win over Burry Port.

Unfortunately for Cardigan, the semi-final date will clash with the wedding day of popular centre Emyr Harries, and his best man is influential No 8 and skipper Llyr Griffiths - with second row and close friend Dean Harries also attending.

Cardigan, however, do have talented performers in Colin Davies, Kieran Hurley and Gareth Clifford while Dylan Davies is a versatile player, who is at home in the second row or the back of the scrum.

Meanwhile there will be a repeat of the 2012 WRU Plate Final at the semi-final stage when Penallta play Division One North leaders Nant Conwy at Newtown.

When the two teams met at the Principality Stadium five years ago it was the Division One East side that came out on top 21-15. The Pitmen, who are third in their league, also reached the final last year, going down to 12-10 against Bedlinog.

In the other Plate semi-final, Abercarn of Division Two East will meet Ystalyfera of Division One West Central at Llanharan.

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