League Two East
NEWTOWN proved too strong for derby rivals Machynlleth in a 20-3 victory at the Recreation Ground in the final round of the regionalised second division programme.
The rivals met with a final place in the top four in division two east a shared ambition ahead of the mid-season split which will be formalised by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) this week.
Newtown started the match on top, dominating possession and territory and eventually forcing the visitors to concede a penalty which Gareth Williams converted.
Machynlleth hit back almost immediately with Kameron Simmons-Sandy converting a 40 metre penalty.
However it was Newtown who opened the try scoring when flanker Nathan Owen crashing down for a pushover try following a five metre scrum with Williams converting.
Owen continued to impress after the break, playing a key role in stretching the Machynlleth defence which soaked up mounting pressure until fading in the final 10 minutes.
Williams kicked a penalty for Newtown before victory was assured when scrum-half Huw Spear fed wing Will Whittington to storm over for a try with Williams adding the extras.
Newtown chairman Derek Murray said: “We are thrilled with the performance of the team. It is no more than the players and coaches deserve.
“I would also like to thank our match sponsor Eddie Maguire Plumbing and Heating Limited for their continued support of the club.”
Llanidloes slipped to a 27-10 defeat at league leaders Shotton Steel having lost captain Rob Jones to a head injury inside the opening three minutes.
Adam Price kicked Llanidloes ahead with a penalty before Shotton hit back with an unconverted try from Darren Rees.
Llanidloes enjoyed sustained spells of possession but the ruthless hosts extended their lead before the break with Steve Ellson bursting through for a try.
Steel hit the ground running in the second-half with Dan Lynskey crossing for a quickfire brace of tries with Ellson adding one conversion.
Llanidloes reduced the arrears with a try from hooker Ieuan Phillips, converted by Price, but the hosts were not to be denied with Lynskey completing his hat-trick as Shotton’s victory.
Meanwhile Welshpool ended the first phase on a high with a resounding 32-19 victory at home to Flint.
Pool laid the foundations for glory with a superb first-half display culminating in a hat-trick of tries from captain Joe Stranks with youth team skipper Dan Earle converting two and kicking a brace of penalties.
Flint hit back after the break with Jamie Williams and Mitch Martin both crossing for tries with Sam Parry adding a conversion before Pool settled their nerves as Stranks crossed for a fourth try which Earle converted.
Flint had the final say with Jake Shill’s late try converted by Parry but it was too late to prevent Welshpool celebrating a bright end to the first phase of the season.
See full story in the County Times