Grangemouth welcomed Llandybie back to Glensburgh last Friday to once again contest for the Alban Jenkins Shield. This fixture has been played annually since 1957 making it the longest running fixture between Scottish and Welsh clubs.
With both sides able to select fairly strong squads a close match was expected. Conditions were difficult with a heavy pitch and intermittant rain making handling tricky.
But just as at Murrayfield, the Welsh side prevailed. It was a deserved victory for Llandybie to retain the Shield.
Josh Featherstone was awarded the man of the match tankard for his kicking and all round performance. The Stags were disappointed by their performance. They were unable to stretch the visitors defence as they made too many handling errors and gave away numerous penalties throughout the game.
The first quarter was a very tight affair with neither side making any clear chances as both teams made handling errors and gave away numerous penalties. The first opening came on 27 minutes when Llandybie finally created an overlap for their winger but the pass was dropped and the chance lost. The closing minutes of the half saw the Stags step up a gear and pin the visitors in their 22. Llandybie tried to run out of defence but lost the ball. Whitelaw kicked on and followed up to claim a turnover.
The forwards had a couple
of drives towards the line before the ball was moved wide. Skelton had a half break before passing to Allan who was able to reach out and touch down for the opening score. Skelton added the extras. HT Stags 7 Llandybie 0
Llandybie started the second half well. On 45 minutes a break in midfield saw the centre run 20 metres before passing to veteran fullback Wayne Williams for a run in under the posts. The conversion was on target. A
few minutes later the visitors took the lead with a penalty as the Stags were once again penalised at the breakdown. As the game entered the final quarter Grangemouth tried to increase their intensity. The Llandybie defence was stretched but again the home side struggled to hold onto the ball in the conditions.
Then on 68 minutes the Stags
secured a lineout deep in the Llandybie 22. The forwards drove on with Love being rewarded with the touchdown. This time Skelton was unable to add the conversion. The closing 10 minutes saw Llandybie back on the attack. On 73 minutes Featherstone landed a penalty from
40 metres to put the visitors back in front. Then a couple of minutes later the same player landed a monster kick from 50 metres to extend the lead. Grangemouth were unable to respond and the game finished with the visitors pushing for further scores inside the home 22. FT Stags 12 Llandybie 16.
There is no game for Grangemouth this weekend. The next game is away to Harris on March 23 with a 3pm KO.