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Match Reports

2011 - 2012
from

Chris Kilfoyle

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Please click here for news from past seasons
Match Reports (2011) Match Reports (2012)
DINBYCH (H) November 26th  COBRA (A) 25th February
Abergele (A) November 19th Newtown (A) 3rd February
Machynlleth (A) November 12th Dolgellau (A) 21st January
DOLGELLAU (H) November 9th Llanidloes (A) 14th January
LLANGOLLEN (H) November 5th Colwyn Bay (H) 7th January
RHYL (H) October 29th  
NEWTOWN (H) October 22nd
Rhos (A) October 8th  
LLANIDLOES (H) October 1st  
Colwyn Bay (A) September 24th  
COBRA (H) September 17th  
Dinbych (A) September 10th  
ABERGELE (H) September 3rd  
Please click here for news from past seasons

This Year's Match Reports

COBRA  107  Wrexham   0
Cobra consigned Wrexham to their heaviest ever defeat when they comprehensively whitewashed an under strength visiting side in mid Wales by 107-0. Wrexham started this early kick-off game with only fourteen players and were already leaking tries when the missing player arrived 20 minutes later.  Having got up to full strength, the visitors then lost three players to injury and, although they had one more replacement on the bench, they basically ended up playing the rest of the game with only 13 players against 15.  Cobra weren’t particularly good, but they possessed a strong number eight who charged through Wrexham’s stretched defence time and time again to score tries. Although no one stood out for the visiting side, they deserved some praise for turning out for an early-kick-off game in mid Wales on an England v Wales Six Nations day.

Dolgellau   71    Wrexham    5
Wrexham slumped to a 5-71 defeat at Division Two leaders Dolgellau, but at least they managed to register their first score of the year and also showed some improvement in the early stages of the match. The visitors competed well against a strong Dolgellau side on their home ground and, although the league leaders hot top form quickly to establish a 15-0 lead, Wrexham came roaring back with an unconverted try to get themselves back in the game.That try came from prop Nick Perrin who was appearing in his 123rd senior game and crashed over from a rolling maul that had started at a line-out. The conversion failed and, although the visitors tried to secure another score, Dolgellau possessed too much class overall and pulled away with a hatful of tries in the final quarter. New second-row Mike Mawyer had an outstanding debut when he came on as a replacement in the first-half and looks set to make his mark in forthcoming matches.     

Llanidloes   50    Wrexham    0
Skipper Pete Blakemore took a much changed side, with some new faces in it, to Llanidloes and felt that there was a hint of “green shoots of recovery” in their performance, despite slipping to a 0-50 defeat. The star performer on the day was Leighton Cox who switched from full-back to scrum-half and played a ‘blinder’ in his new role. With prop David Gard out through injury and hooker Nick Perrin unavailable, Wrexham fielded a new look pack with Brendan O’Malley and Matt Lewis propping and Danny Wolfenden at hooker.While the visitors took time to settle, Llanidloes started well and scored 35 points by half-time. Wrexham improved after the break and, despite two sin binnings that left them with only 13 players at one stage, they finished strongly but without being able to create a score. Next up will be a visit to Dolgellau where they will be aiming to confirm their recent improvement.


Abergele 29  Wrexham 0
Wrexham tried their best but still slumped to their 12th successive defeat of the season when they were whitewashed by 29-0 in their Division Two match at Abergele. Beset by injuries, particularly in their backline, Wrexham were forced to field a makeshift team and soon went behind when a forward strayed offside and Abergele kicked a penalty. Despite some good work by flankers James Lichfield and Phil Williams that put the home side under pressure and resulted in opponents being yellow carded, Wrexham couldn’t capitalise.  The loss of their main tackling centre, Pete Blakemore, with a hand injury exposed Wrexham’s defence and presented the Seasiders with scores that enabled them to lead by 19-0 at the break. However, the visitors looked a far better side in the second-half with their pack pushing the home eight around the field, forcing Abergele into a stream of errors.  Veteran outside-half Ross Roberts used his excellent kicking skills to pin down the Seasiders and replacement lock Ian Sanger led by example as the game entered the final quarter. Despite their dominance, however, they couldn’t create any openings and Abergele were able to seal their victory with two late scores.  Coach Rob Thomas said afterwards, “Despite the fact that we have had to cope with so many injuries we showed Abergele what we could do, but we just lacked the application and concentration to turn it into points.”


Machynlleth 29  Wrexham  5
Wrexham delivered another improved performance in their Division Two match at Machynlleth, but mistakes cost them dear and resulted in them falling to a 5-29 defeat.  In very muddy conditions, Wrexham started well despite the loss of lock Alan Humphreys due to a hamstring injury in the warm-up. Joss Stott responded to the challenge in the second-row and helped to give his pack the momentum that enabled them to dominate the game for the opening quarter.  
Although under pressure, Machynlleth managed to fashion a breakaway try when they capitalised on a mistake by the visitors. That provided them with a boost of confidence and they increased their lead to 12-0 at the break with a try that was converted. 
Wrexham, dominating the line-outs through Stott and lock Phil Williams, piled on the pressure at the start of the second-half and forced their way back into the game with an opportunist try by their leading try scorer Jack Ratcliffe. The centre intercepted a passing movement by the home side on the half-way line and sprinted downfield to score wide-out.  
The outstanding performance of new winger James Salisbury strengthened Wrexham’s resolve and brought out some good performances throughout the team. The home side, however, coped with their boggy pitch much better than the visitors in the final quarter and were able to create several scores that put the game beyond Wrexham’s grasp.  
In the final analysis, Machynlleth counted themselves lucky to have won the game after being under severe pressure for much of the time, while Wrexham returned home with a feeling that they are gradually turning the corner and that they can still escape from relegation to Division Three. 


Wrexham  0  Dolgellau  27
Promotion chasing Dolgellau moved up to second place in the North Wales Division Two Championship with a 27-0 victory at Wrexham under floodlights, but they were made to work hard for their success by a much improved and determined home side.
 The return of key players like prop David Gard and full-back Leighton Cox, together with the inclusion of good young players like Nathan Jones and Owain Turner in the centre, made a big difference to a hard pressed home side. Wrexham edged the scrums and competed well in all other areas with outside-half Ben Cheesbrough and flanker Gareth Owen tackling superbly. Dolgellau, fielding a fine well-balanced team, did most of the pressing and broke the deadlock in the 24th minute with an unconverted try by flanker Berwyn Hughes. Then they established a 15-0 lead by half-time with a try by number eight Dewi Thomas and a conversion by full-back Tom Roberts, but they found it difficult to make any further progress until Wrexham slowed when David Gard had to depart with a knee injury. 
Berwyn Hughes claimed his second-try of the game, converted by Tom Roberts, mid-way through the second-half, although Wrexham continued to battle away with Cheesbrough, Owen and Turner still leading the way in defence. It wasn’t until one minute before the end of normal time that scrum-half Gethin Thomas broke through at pace to score the bonus point try that secured second place in the table for a jubilant Dolgellau.


Wrexham  5  Llangollen 42
Wrexham’s woes continued as they were knocked out of the Swalec Bowl competition by visitors Llangollen for whom winger Josh Wilson made a big difference as he notched four tries in a 42-5 victory.  Llangollen included five former Wrexham veterans in their side and their experience soon told as they put pressure on the home scrum and worked the ball out to the wings where Wrexham are particularly vulnerable.
A penalty by outside-half Richard Jasper put Llangollen ahead in the 13th minute and he then added the extra points by converting Wilson’s opening try of the game.  Wrexham came back strongly with half-backs Mike Powell and Owain Turner unlocking the visitors defence with a couple of neat breaks while flanker Jason Parry caused havoc with his ball carrying charges.
In a hectic period in the middle of the game, Powell missed a penalty, another kickable one was spurned and then Llangollen had a player sin-binned for successive infringements. 
The home side should have capitalised on their one man advantage, but they failed to raise the level of their game and were punished when Josh Wilson ran through a half-hearted tackle to score his second try of the game. This was followed by a try from hooker Ben Moss, converted by Richard Jasper.
Wrexham improved in the second-half with the wind at their backs and camped in the visitors 22 until former Wrexham number eight Gareth Noon was sin-binned for a late tackle. This time, Wrexham made the most of their advantage and drove their replacement number eight Ian Sanger over the line for a superb try, wing Jack Ratcliffe just missing the conversion.  
The home side pressed again in search on another score but were thwarted in the 59th minute when Jasper extended Llangollen’s lead with a long-range penalty. As the game went into the final quarter, Wrexham appeared to run out of momentum and the visitors wrapped up their victory with three late touchdowns, two of them by Wilson, and a conversion by Jasper.

Wrexham  20  Rhyl  29
High flying Rhyl came to Wrexham fully intent on blitzing the Division Two bottom club, but they found themselves with a real match on their hands and had to work hard for their 29-20 bonus point victory. It seemed too easy for the visitors when they scored in the first minute with an unconverted try by winger Jack Hughes from a well-executed passing movement. They soon probed again, but this time Wrexham responded with a determination to hold Rhyl and get back on terms, flanker Pete Blakemore and outside-half Ben Cheesbrough inspiring their side with resolute tackling. With the pack in good form and number eight Keir Harding probing for openings, Wrexham pressed the visitors and were unlucky not to succeed with a 15th minute penalty attempt. Nine minutes later, however, centre Jack Ratcliffe reduced Rhyl’s lead to only two points when he kicked a penalty. The home threequarters then started to match the free flowing passing of the visitors but a dangerous tackle on Wrexham wing Adam Jones led to a full scale bust-up between the sides with a Rhyl player being sin-binned. Wrexham tried hard but couldn’t make their extra man count and had to rely on the clearing skills of replacement scrum-half Ross Roberts when they came under severe pressure on their line.  Rhyl, back to full strength, increased their lead deep into injury time when Jack Hughes fended off a couple of attempted tackles to score his second try of the game. Wrexham came back quickly, however, with a surge from Keir Harding and a fine try from Jack Ratcliffe who converted his own try from wide-out to level the scores at 10-10. There was a great celebration amongst the home players only seconds into the second-half when the irrepressible Harding forced his way over the Rhyl line to score a try that put his side in front at last. That drew the inevitable response from the visitors but Wrexham held them until the 51st minute when wing Stuart Fell-Crook outstripped the cover to score a try that was converted by full-back Rhodri Carlton-Jones. Rhyl then had a forward sin-binned for elbowing a player in a maul, but once again Wrexham found it difficult to make their player advantage count. In fact they went further behind when replacement wing Sam Brewerton scored wide out from a tap penalty move and Carlton-Jones converted.  
Wrexham weren’t finished, however, and stormed upfield to reduce the arrears to only four points with a pushover try from Keir Harding in the 64th minute. With their pack still in good form and Cheesbrough and centre Pete Dougan attacking well in the centre, Wrexham certainly had a chance of overtaking Rhyl and claiming their first win of the season.  
It fell to Rhyl’s crack winger Jack Hughes to settle the issue and he did this in style in the last few minutes when he spotted a forward acting as a last line of defence down his right wing. He promptly injected a great turn of pace and swept past to score a hat-trick and match winning try although Wrexham could still be congratulated for playing their full part in an excellent match.          


Wrexham  10  Newtown 41
Wrexham slumped to the bottom of the table with a comprehensive 41-10 defeat at Bryn Estyn Road by visitors Newtown who were overjoyed to win their first game of the season with a winning bonus point to add to their jubilation.  With half of their team missing on a Veterans tour of Thailand, Wrexham pressed a number of lower team players into service and they gave a good account of themselves for the first 20 minutes. The home side even took the lead in the 9th minute when outside-half Sion Lloyd-Jones kicked an angled penalty following heavy pressure on Newtown in their 22.  However, when the visitors managed to force their way into Wrexham’s half ten minutes later, their flying centre Gary Jenkins capitalised on a couple of defensive mistakes to claim an unconverted try. Realising that the makeshift home threequarter line was made up of slower forwards, Jenkins probed again in the 27th minute and scored again, this time having his try converted by full-back Nathan Lloyd.  
Although Wrexham number eight Keir Harding was an outstanding driving force in Wrexham’s pack and their set scrum had Newtown trundling backwards, they couldn’t create an opening for their backs. The visitors then increased their lead to 17-3 just before the break when the Wrexham backs failed to gather a loose ball and hooker Matt Land pounced for a try.  
Wrexham came under a lot of pressure at the start of the second-half but managed to clear their lines until flanker Jason Parry was sin-binned for a technical offence after 6 minutes. Newtown took full advantage by launching their scrum-half Owain Thomas over the home line to claim their fourth try of the game. Wrexham refused to buckle and brought full-back Jack Ratcliffe into the game to create openings in the Newtown defence.
The home pack forced Newtown on the defensive and claimed their reward in the 64th when Jason Parry was driven over the line to score a deserved try, Sion Lloyd-Jones adding the extra points with a neat conversion.  That could have been a turning point in the game with the score at 10-22, but a brave Wrexham side simply ran out of steam in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Newtown took full advantage and cemented their victory with tries by Nathan Lloyd, lock John Blower and a hat-trick touchdown by Gary Jenkins, Lloyd adding two simple conversions.


Rhos 38 Wrexham 0
Wrexham were knocked out of the North Wales Intermediate Cup competition by their local rivals Rhos who made it into the next round with a competent 38-0 victory.  Recent injuries, with skipper Guy Bingham being notable amongst the casualties, had forced the visitors to field an entirely new front-row, but there was still little to choose between the sides in an entertaining first-half that Rhos edged by 10-0.  
Lock Richard Platt delivered a very mature performance in the second-row of the Wrexham pack while flanker Peter Blakemore tackled superbly and turned over Rhos possession on a number of occasions. Unable to make headway, however, the visitors fell off the pace in the final quarter and allowed Rhos to finish in style with a flourish of late scores. 

Wrexham  15  Llanidloes 17
An injury time try and a crucial conversion by visitors Llanidloes stole victory from Wrexham’s grasp as they went down by 13-15 in a keenly contested North Wales Division Two game at Bryn Estyn Road.  There were problems before the start for coach Rob Thomas and skipper Guy Bingham when centre Josh Francis had to cry-off and scrum-half Owain Turner injured his ankle in the warm-up.
The side had to be reshuffled but they made a good start with the home pack dominating proceedings in the scrums and line-outs.  In the 14th minute Wrexham claimed the lead when number eight Keir Harding drew in the Llanidloes defence from a tap penalty move and prop Guy Bingham was on hand to take the ball and crash over for an excellent try. Scrum-half Mike Powell kicked the conversion and soon afterwards put his side further ahead with a well struck penalty kick.  
Although the visitors responded with a penalty of their own, they found themselves up against a Wrexham side determined to redeem itself after suffering a record whitewash at Colwyn Bay on the previous Saturday. Ben Cheesbrough, newly returned after a long spell out of the game through injury, proved inspirational at outside-half and flankers James Lichfield and Peter Blakemore were very impressive in the home back-row.  
In the unusually hot conditions prevailing at Bryn Estyn Road, Llanidloes got back into the game with an unconverted try mid-way through the second-half although Powell then pushed his side further ahead with another penalty. Wrexham still maintained a firm grip on the game, but that started to evaporate when skipper Bingham was forced to leave the field with an injury and then prop David Gard was also sidelined. 
With no more replacements available, Wrexham lost their dominance up-front and were forced to contain Llanidloes who went in search of a winning score. As Blakemore pulled off tackle after tackle, it looked as though Wrexham would hold on to claim their first win of the season. But the Llanidloes pack won a late scrum in the home 22 and their outside-half broke through to score under the posts, the match winning conversion being a mere formality.
Skipper Guy Bingham was disappointed with the loss but was full of praise for his team’s effort during the game. “I couldn’t ask for any more from anyone and that performance put last week’s heavy defeat at Colwyn Bay well behind us” he said afterwards.

Colwyn Bay 73  Wrexham  0
Wrexham suffered a record margin of defeat at the hands of Colwyn Bay in a North Wales Division Two encounter at Brookfield Drive.  Missing several key players due to injury or unavailability, Wrexham failed to secure possession from the line-outs and missed a number of first-up tackles that let the Seasiders storm through for early tries.
The visitors more than held their own in the set scrums and enjoyed a short period of first-half domination, but they couldn’t score and found themselves trailing by 31-0 at half-time. Flanker Pete Blakemore delivered a Man of the Match display with constant tackling while his back-row partner Dwayne Speakman-Jones also covered himself in glory as he tried to stem the Colwyn Bay tide.
Skipper Guy Bingham was disappointed with his side’s comprehensive defeat but will aim to bounce back with a stronger side against Llanidloes at Wrexham on Saturday. 


Wrexham  17  Abergele 24
Wrexham suffered a 17-24 home defeat at the hands of Abergele on the opening day of the new rugby season, but they impressed overall with a young untried team and will surely improve as their Division Two campaign progresses.

Abergele settled well at the beginning and opened the scoring in the 4th minute with an unconverted try in the left corner by lock Simon Hughes. Centre Gareth Evans was off target with a difficult conversion attempt but made up for this when he added the extra points to full-back Chris Marsh’s try just before the end of the first quarter.

Wrexham maintained a high tackling rate and dominated the set scrum but some of their tactics fell foul of the referee and they found it difficult to make progress. That all changed in the second quarter of the game when their young outside-half James Price and centre Scott Jones together with flanker Troy Roberts made breaks that started to put pressure on the visitors.

They spurned a number of penalty opportunities as they went in search of tries, but some woeful passes and wrong options left them without a point for all their efforts. Abergele were under the cosh but they still managed to increase their lead when Evans popped over a long-distance penalty in the 30th minute.

Wrexham turned round 0-15 down at half-time but soon started to dominate the game again. They eventually broke through the Abergele defence in the 60th minute when they moved the ball swiftly from left to right for wing Mark Gasson to touch down in the corner. Price converted from the touchline and Wrexham were back in business.

The visitors countered immediately with a penalty before they were fully stretched as Wrexham piled on replacements and opened out with some tremendous running by their backs. Wing Jack Ratcliffe was presented with two golden opportunities to score by his centres, but unfortunately the cover from Abergele arrived in the nick of time and nothing ensued.

Gasson kept plugging away on the right wing, however, and his persistence was rewarded in the 70th minute when he squeezed in at the corner for a fine try, Price’s conversion attempt hitting an upright. Just when Wrexham looked as though they might rescue the game, flanker Gareth Hughes was sent off for alleged improper use of the boot in a ruck and Evans gave Abergele a lifeline with his third penalty of the game.

In an exciting finale, Wrexham applied pressure once again and claimed their third try of the game when flanker Keir Harding powered over in the right corner. With only four points between the sides, Wrexham put in one final effort to produce a match winning try, but they were penalised for an offence near the halfway line and Evans put in a monster kick for Abergele to put the issue beyond doubt.   

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