11th June 2018


H/T 6-24

 There was a seldom heard sound that could be detected coming from the changing rooms of Stebonheath Park in Llanelli on Saturday afternoon. It was the Sound of the Stags victory song being sung by the team after their first victory of the season, and a well deserved victory it was!  A nine try haul, six of which were improved by an excellent day with the kicking tee by Kieran Smith, saw them take the spoils in the clash with West Wales Raiders who were left still looking for their own first win of the season. 

 Dean Thomas gave debuts to Shaun and Dean Roberts, snapped up by Thomas when they were recently released by Hunslet and the pair fitted in well from the off.

After some early pressure from the Raiders it was Hemel who got the scoreboard moving on just six minutes. Prop James Thornton pounced on a mistake by the Raiders to score the first try, improved by Smith and straight from the restart they doubled the score with Jordan Fitzpatrick-Parry crossing between the posts.

 The writing was already on the wall for the Welshmen but they were not bowed, attacking the Stags line with gusto and were rewarded with a try for Elliott on 25 minutes. Stroud converted. Wales’ joy was short-lived, the Stags impressive full back Louis Sheriff cantered over the line unopposed with Smith’s conversion restoring Hemel’s 12 Pont advantage.

 A goal line drop out gave Hemel good field position and Man of the Match Paul Stamp took advantage to cross the chalk for the first of his much deserved hat trick of tries. The conversion from Smith brought the score at half time to 6 - 24 in the Stags favour.

 The first two tries of the second stanza were taken by Stamp to complete his hat trick. Wales were not without their chances and Sam Baker looked odds on to score for the hosts until he dropped the ball over the line, one of the several mistakes that were to plague the Raiders all game. Phil Cowburn did breach the Stags line soon after for the second Welsh try but, as with their first, the Stags responded quickly, Kieran Smith was the architect for Louis Sheriff to complete his brace of tries. Smith was then unlucky with the kick hitting the post and bouncing away from the goal.

 James Thornton was the next Stag to bag a second try of the afternoon and with just two minutes left on the clock Alex Williams touched down for the final Hemel try.

 Dean Thomas was obviously a happy man at the final whistle and told us. “The guys were made to work hard for 80 minutes, West Wales had recently made some excellent signings . They were able to exert a lot of pressure which we withstood. We were able to hold them up over our try line 3 or 4 times. We have work really hard on not conceding soft try’s .Our new signings Shaun and Dean Roberts made a real impact and having our England students available made a big difference. Overall a great team effort and a solid performance.”

 The Stags return to action at Pennine Way next Sunday when the visitors will be Newcastle Thunder with kick off at 2pm.