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Kudos for Wanderers after clinching the double with a thrilling cup triumph.

GLAMORGAN Wanderers director of rugby Martyn Fowler praised his side for digging deep as they completed the double with a 34-29 victory over Rhiwbina at Rumney's Riverside Park to lift the Worthington East District Cup.

The Wands had already beaten the Squirrels twice on their way to the One East Central title and they were given an almighty scare by a fine Rhiwbina side - who outscored them five tries to four - in this thrilling final showdown.

Fowler's men led 28-7 after 34 minutes yet, 32 minutes later, it was Rhiwbina leading 29-28.

With nine tries scored in the match, it came down to two penalties from Wanderers fly-half Luke Fish in the 74th and 78th minute respectively that give his side the cup.

"It's a great way to end the season," said Fowler.

"It was a hard-fought win against a really competitive Rhiwbina team and credit to our boys for digging deep.

"I know their coaches quite well and they're a very good side. To win all three games against them this season is great for us."

It was a good advert for East District rugby while Rhiwbina lock and captain Dan Murphy stood out as the best player on the field.

It was also a match in which great credit went to referee Stuart Kibble and his touch-judges as the game was allowed to flow from end to end.

For the Wanderers, veteran centre Darren Ryan was a strong tackler and fly-half Fish punted splendidly, as did his opposite number Josh Davies, while Rhiwbina scrum-half Rory Harries had an outstanding match.

In the forwards, flankers Josh Sheahan and Michael Owen worked hard for the Wanderers while Murphy and his lock partner Gareth Clwyd-Jones stood out for the Squirrels.

Owen went over for the opening Wanderers try that Fish converted, but an excellent run by centre Joe Cassella, converted by Charlie Elton, levelled it.

Then the Wanderers raced clear, profiting on Rhiwbina losing the ball while on attack.

First it was prop Joe Russell, then it was the alert Owen again and then a long-distance effort by wing Spencer Henry, all goaled by Fish.

Just on the interval Rhiwbina hit back as hooker Pat Ware gained a try to make it 28-12.

Rhiwbina would not lie down and right wing Alex Cooke beat off several defenders for a fine try, converted by Elton and followed by left wing Aaron Furley before Murphy and his pack rolled it on for Harries to score and Rhiwbina to lead.

But Wanderers hit back and pressure led to four penalty efforts by Fish in the final 12 minutes with him kicking the first and third attempts.

Meanwhile the Wanderers can look forward to Swalec Championship rugby next season following their promotion from One East Central - although Fowler admits it won't be easy.

He said: "I've been spending a lot of time recently speaking to some of the coaches in the Championship and we'll need to strengthen without a shadow of a doubt.

"We may also lose players as we've been so successful - but we don't want this season to be a flash in the pan and we'll be looking for continuity."

CAPTION(S):

Glamorgan Wanderers captain Aaron Fowler receiving the Worthington East District Cup from Natalie McCormick (Molson Coors) and Gerald Davies (WRU)

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 31, 2016
Words:549
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