By Nigel Francis
Llandaff North hosted Neath Athletic at a rain swept Hailey Park with the home side eventually running out comfortable 41-5 winners over their Premiership rivals.
The first 20 minutes were evenly matched as both sides tested each other, the deadlock was broken when Neath were adjudged to have illegally collapsed a driving maul; Mared Evans added the first of four conversions.
On their next foray into the Neath 22 a penalty was awarded and Laurie Harries stepped up to extend the North lead to 10-0. Conditions started to deteriorate as the half wore on making for an error strewn game, but a well worked backs move saw Harries dot down under the posts with Evans adding the extras for North. Just before the half time whistle Becky Newton was the beneficiary of slick interplay between forwards and backs to crashed over from close range to the right of the posts, Evans again was on target with the conversion to give North a 24-0 half time lead.
The rain intensified after half time, but did not prevent both sides trying to run the ball. Newton was first to cross after the break following an excellent driving maul from a line out just inside the 22 to score wide on the right. Evans’ perfectly judged kick snuck just inside the upright. Evans then added a try of her own to her tally after a break from Elin Huxtable, who slipped the ball out of the tackle to her centre partner, Jade Newman, Evans was on hand to take the scoring pass but was unable to add the conversion. North’s final try of the game 10 minutes before the end was a close range effort with hooker Beth Kenure burrowing over after good work from the pack.
Neath scored a consolation try late in the game with Eli Norkett, who was a threat with ball in hand all game, making a scintillating break from her 22 and despite being tackled inches before the line was able to pop up to the supporting Charlie Murray to make the final score 41-5.