03 June 2018 / Club News

Bridgend Athletic Senior & Youth Presentation Night Sat June 2nd Heronston Hotel

Bridgend Athletic RFC Senior & Youth Teams held a very successful joint Presentation Night at the Heronston Hotel on Saturday June 2nd attended by 97 persons. Club Patron Gareth Davies hosted the event.


The meal was preceded by a minute’s silence for Club Co-Founder and Life Member Mr Clive Easterbrook & former British Lion Gareth Williams who on occasions coached the Athletic Youth team and was supportive in attending Club Presentation Evenings and Fund-Raising Dinners.


Club Chairman Andrew Tellem welcomed everybody to the event thanking the evening’s organisers primarily Lewis Down, Aled Pilliner, Jannean Obbard along with himself. He also thanked the club sponsors who make it possible for the club to run 14 teams including Mini & Juniors, 2 Youth Teams and 2 Senior Teams. Also paid tribute to all the unsung heroes of the club who work behind the scenes whether players, coaches, match day helpers,committee, bar helpers or anybody willing to do their bit to ensure the club functions smoothly both on and off the field


Youth Head Coach Lee Grabham then reviewed the Youth Teams season.


 The very successful A side coached by Lee, Kevin Gamble & Keith Hobby right through M&J ranks retained their Ospreys A League title and just fell short of retaining the National League Play Off Title losing to Blues Region Champions Pontypridd in the final. They also reached the Quarter Final of the Welsh Youth Cup. The team scored 621 points and 88 tries in 25 games.


Cameron Lewis, Jac Bassett and Matthew Hobby played in 23 games, Danny Oserigie 22, Owain Leyshon & Morgan Clemett 21 and Callum Swinford, Levi Hallett, Morgan Roberts, Tom Davies and Nathan Willis 20. Matthew Hobby with 171 points was top points scorer, while Will Barraclough scored 100 points and Sam Palmer 55. Barraclough was leading try scorer with 20 followed by Sam Palmer 11, Caine Woolerton & Joe Patterson 7 and Levi Hallett 6. Caine Woolerton & Joe Grabham have been awarded Ospreys Development contracts, while along with Tom Daviess, Will Barraclough, Danny O’Sullivan and Chris Crumpton they represented the Ospreys Region throughout the season. Joe Patterson played for the Blues South Region. Prop Morgan Clemett represented the Boys Clubs of Wales U19 team.


The Rags mainly a young 17-year-old 1st year youth team coached by Paul Obbard and Mike Groom finished a respectable mid table in Ospreys League C, scoring 238 points and 33 tries in 16 games played.


Josh Tidy played in all 16 games, followed by Brandon Fookes, Teo Filis and James Tidy 15, Sam Owens 14, Ellis Bull, Kalafi Molitika, Louis King & Sion Vigus 13, Jack Obbard & Tom Anthony 12. Leading points scorer was Matthew Hobby with 34 points which gave him a total of 205 youth team points for the season. Leading try scorers Danny Oserigie & Sam Owens crossed for 4 tries followed on 3 apiece by Morgan Roberts & Sam Palmer, while Josh Tidy, Teo Filis & Kasari Mehta chipped in with 2 each.


Club Vice Chairman and 2nd XV hooker Lewis Down reviewed the 2nd XV season.


The 2nd XV with ream player Manager Liam Griffiths at the helm competed in the inaugural Welsh Conference League giving them a passport to the National Bowl competition for 1st teams at Div 3 level of the National Leagues. They won Tier 2 of the Welsh conference defeating Rhiwbina 22-7 in a decider on the final game of the season. The team reached the 2nd round of the National Bowl losing in the last minute by a single point to Cefn Cribbwr 1st XV. In all they played 19 games winning 11 scoring 392 points and 54 tries.


Leading Appearances Aled Pilliner 18 games, Lewis Down 17, Scott Jones 16, Josh Seldon, Luke Yardley and Joe Symons 15, Liam Griffiths 14, Ryan Pickford 13, Hywel Cosby and Liam Phillips 11, Alex Borley, Lloyd Pemberton & Aaron Mordecai 10. Scott Jones with 73 points was leading points scorer ahead of Scott Govan with 49. Leading try scorers with 4 tries apiece were Lewis Down and youth flanker Tom Davies who scored 2 in each of his 2 games, while Josh Seldon, Joe Symons, Gareth Bartlett, Hywel Cosby and Liam Phillips crossed the whitewash on 3 occasions.


A major milestone in the season was Player Manager Liam Griffiths passing his father Tony’s 2nd XV 216 record appearances. For the last 40 years either or both Tony and Liam have been Athletic 2nd team stalwarts as players, coaches and team managers.


Club Chairman Andrew Tellem reviewed the 1ST XV’s season.


The 1st XV finished 3rd in Division 1 West Central of the National Leagues. Having lost 3 of the first 4 league fixtures the coaches John Apsee, Stuart Morris, David Williams, Gerald Williams and Team Manager Paul Hearne turned things round. The side went on a 6-month, 14 game league winning streak before losing the final game of the season to promoted Maesteg Quins – the only side they did not defeat during the season. They scored 8 tries against Seven Sisters and 7 in games against Kenfig Hill, Resolven & Seven Sisters and recorded 6 league doubles including 4th placed Tondu and 5th placed Bonymaen. In all 24 games played they won 18 scoring 654 points and 87 tries.


Outside half Luke Bevan was the leading points scorer with 209 from 4 tries, 57 conversions and 25 penalties, followed by Sean Williams with 55 points, Stuart Floyd Ellis 52 points and Robin Davies 51 points. Sean Williams was leading try scorer with 11, followed by Stuart Floyd-Ellis 10, Ben Howe & Dan Howells 7, Dan James 6 & Nathan Holman 5.


Lock Jonathon Stoker played in all 24 fixtures this season, while Matt Muir & Ben Cording missed 1 game and Ben Cording & Tom Jenkins missed just 2. Others with > 16 appearances were Ben Davies, Robin Davies, Lee Murphy, Luke Bevan, Wayne Fooks, Aled Thomas, Nathan Holman, Stuart Floyd-Ellis, Ben Howe & Dan James.


Head Coach John Apsee then outlined the club’s rugby plans.


Firstly, John thanked his fellow coaches, team manager and players for their outstanding commitment throughout the season.

He then thanked many members of a relatively small squad for their outstanding achievement in finishing 3rd in Division 1 Central. He reserved special praise for backrow lynch pins experienced players captain Ben Howe and Sean Williams for their inspirational effect on the team. While at the other end of the spectrum forecast in time a great future in the game for young outside half Luke Bevan. He thanked hooker Nathan Holman for helping at tight head prop citing the occasion when he played there against Kenfig Hill in what John described as the turning point of the season with a 7 try 39-0 away whitewash which laid the groundwork for a six-month 15 match winning sequence. With a small squad he thanked 2nd XV and youth players for stepping into the breach on occasions to maintain that winning run.


He expressed his desire to see the club back in the Championship but mentioned they may have to do it via the East not West Division1 as there is an in balance in numbers between East and West clubs and the Athletic are on the border of East and West. The club await wru developments.


An important development is to integrate the youth team into senior training to familiarise themselves with both the senior match play moves and players,so future transitions from youth team to senior rugby will be much smoother for the players stepping up to senior level.


Award Ceremony

The Award Ceremony then took place, with Head Coach John Apsee and Club Chairman Andrew Tellem presenting the Awards


Captains Awards were presented to Ben Howe 1st XV, Aaron Mordecai 2nd XV and Joe Grabham Youth.


Youth A team Awards

Boys Club of Wales Cap – Morgan Clemett. Coaches Player of Year -  Matthew Hobby, Players Player of Year -Matthew Hobby, Best Forward of the Year -  Tom Davies, Daryl Dyke Youth Memorial Award – Tom Zielinski, Clubman of Year Award – Owain Leyshon.


Youth (Rags) Awards

Coaches Player of Year – Sion Vigus, Player’s Player of Year – Sean Vigus, Best Back of Year – Josh Tidy, Rags Clubman of Year – Brandon Fooks .


2ND XV Awards

Best Back Award – Luke Yardley, Players Player of the Year Nathaniel Cars Sales Shield – Aled Pilliner, Player of the Year David Perry Trophy – Aaron Mordecai.


Club Person of Year Peter Woods & Sons Trophy – Social Secretary Julie Thomas for outstanding work at Senior & M&J levels in the club.


Bouquets of Flowers presented for outstanding work during the year to Jannean Obbard, Julie Thomas, Alison Tellem & Yvonne Blackburn.


Club commemorative Mugs for outstanding services to Club Photographer John Canon, Retiring Youth Team coaches Kevin Gamble & Matthew Hobby.


Ist XV Awards

Best Back – Luke Bevan, Player’s Player of Year Nathaniel Car Sales Award – Sean Williams, Daryl Dyke Senior Memorial Award – Retiring Most successful Youth Coach in BARFC history Lee Grabham


Finally Highlight of Night

Ist XV Player of Year Jeff Jenkins trophy –  Former 5 times club captain No 8 Sean Williams to accompany his Players Player of the Year Award.


For full set of pictures uploaded by John Canon go to Bridgend Athletic RFC website - Image Gallery.

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