SA BRAINS East District 1st Team Cup
Tues 17th April 2007
Rhiwbina had drawn local rivals Llanishen RFC in the Semi Final of the East District Cup and a large crowd turned out at Bishops Field, Llandaff on a warm evening in anticipation of a hard fought contest between the table topping Div 3 SE side and the winners of Div 5 SE.
Llanishen were the favourites with the Squirrels being given a hard time last week against Div 3E winners Penallta in the Silver Ball Semi Final and still licking their wounds after losing 36-0.
No one knew until kick off that Llanishen had decided to field a very weak 3rds/2nds/Youth combination in this game- leaving their Firsts to concentrate on their League promotion campaign -which ruined the Semi Final as a contest and left the Squirrels players and supporters feeling short changed.
The game was effectively over after 15 minutes with the Squirrels scoring at will in the 1st minute from a scrum that demolished the Llanishen 8 leaving the way clear for Captain Gavin Harris to open the scores with a try under the posts.
The Rhiwbina side took their opponents to task and began to run in tries from all over the field. The scrum and lineout gave the Squirrels and easy platform with which to run forward and backs combinations and the Rhiwbina driving maul regularly made 40 to 50 metres to suck the life out of the opponents.
In total Rhiwbina scored 12 tries in the game the scorers being Mark Lee, Jon Brinkworth 2, Gavin 2, Roy 2, Birdy, Lordy, Gerkin, Brockers and 1 for the old stager Rhys!
Salty bagged 7 conversions and Birdy 1.
To give the Llanishen side credit they played their hearts out and although they did not get too close to crossing for a try they did get 2 consolation penalties. Unfortunately they were outclassed on the night and in reality should not have been put in such an position.
If a few more Rhiwbina passes had gone to hand the score could have easily have been a lot more. The Squirrels were strangely flat in the dressing room after the game knowing that there had been a bad mismatch with no edge or bite that had benefitted no-one really.
The only consolation was the fact that the Squirrels had to beat the side put out against them and consistently scored tries throughout the 80 mins and are now in the Final of a Cup competition for the first time in over 15 years to round off what has been an incredible season.
Llanishen 6-76 Rhiwbina
Big Thanks to the huge Rhiwbina crowd who turned out-not quite the physical local derby we envisaged-but thats life.
See you all at the Final at Glam Wanderers Ground Tuesday 8th May 2007 versus either Rumney or Old Illtydians.
Well Done the Squirrels!!