Pictures by Mike Baker
Rugby & District RFU Clonmell Cup
Rugby Welsh 48 St Andrews 2nds 18
In a typically hard fought local derby Welsh produced a powerful second half performance to clinch victory in this Clonmell Cup tie.
St Andrews started the game impressively winning plenty of early possession and making powerful runs through their forwards aided by their impressive halfbacks. However from their first attack Welsh took the lead when Glenn Bond burst through a couple of tackles to score an unconverted try. St Andrews quickly responded and were soon level with a well worked try by their winger and took the lead with a converted try when their lively scrum half finished off a long range counter attack.
Welsh realised they needed to raise their intensity and they then went through the direct route going through several forward phases culminating in Jamie Cranham crashing over for a try which Glenn Bond converted. Shortly afterwards Bond made a lovely midfield break, linked up with the three quarters and Anthony Reynolds scored a try in the corner. St Andrews were still well in the contest and a penalty left the Welsh 17-15 ahead at half time.
A strong half time team talk saw Welsh raise their game and they played some sublime rugby for the next twenty minutes. Bond kicked a penalty before Welsh scored three converted tries in a short period of time. Firstly Bond raced in for an individual try racing in from the 22 metre line. His brother Adam Bond, who was influential throughout, made a midfield break before setting up Anthony Reynolds for his second try. The forwards were now in control winning plenty of possession with St Andrews also struggling to cope with the Welsh three quarters pace. Scrum Angus Wilson made a sniping break following forward drives for a try with, as with the other two efforts, the extra points being added by Glenn Bond.
Welsh played some fantastic rugby during the second half but to St Andrews credit they kept working hard but could not breach the strong home defence. They did narrow the gap with a penalty but a sinbinning reduced them to 14 men and Welsh sealed their victory with another Glenn Bond penalty before a lovely break down the touchline from Adam Bond culminated in Matt Richards crashing over from short range.
Another good try day at the office for Welsh and they return to league action on Saturday, travelling to top of the table Birmingham Exiles.