A 79th minute try from man-of-the-match Gareth Jones enabled Cardiff Demons to win the Total RL.com Welsh Rugby League Shield in a pulsating match at Aberavon Greenstars RFC.
Cardiff took the lead after only five minutes after a Newport knock-on from kick-off gave Demons the ball. From the last play in the resulting set-of-six, Great Britain student international, Pete Moore, ran in to give Cardiff the lead. Gareth Jones converted.
Newport regained possession almost immediately and played a clever tactical move when Ross Palmer kicked a fieldgoal on the final tackle to help them retain possession.
The tactic worked as former Demon, Scott Hirene ran in for Newport’s first try only three minutes later.
Demons struck back straight away. Newport’s kick-off went out on the full and from the resulting scrum, Gareth Jones ran 50 metres to touchdown under the posts, converting himself to make it 12-7.
However it was Newport who went in at the break with a 23-12 advantage as John Davies ran in for two late tries following Tyrone Maloney’s 24th minute effort.
Cardiff started the second half as they did the first, scoring after five minutes when Mark Dando forced the ball over the line. Then after a Newport high tackle, Gareth Jones ran in the resulting penalty to swing the pendulum back in Cardiff’s favour.
Scott Robinson put Newport back in the lead in the 56th but excellent tries each from Jon Byers and Andrew Bradshaw made it 32-27.
The furious pace of the match was not lost in the last ten minutes as the healthy crowd were to enjoy more end to end action. Earl Palmer ran in a 70th minute try to put Titans to within a point. Gareth Jones scored from a penalty three minutes later to put Demons three points up. Neil McKim scored in the corner in 76th to put Titans in the lead but it was Gareth Jones’ last minute effort that gave Cardiff Demons a well-deserved 38-35 win.
Cardiff Demons will be at home to Telford Raiders next Saturday in the National Shield Quarter Finals (kick-off 2.30pm).
DEMONS: Andrew Bradshaw, Jamie Iles, Neil Thomas, Rhodri Thomas, Idris Evans, Gareth Jones, Peter Moore, Anthony Loxton, James Madden, Dave Roberson, Evan Powell, Mark Dando, Jon Byers. Subs (all used): Pat Howell, Matt Trevelling, Andy Jones, Kyle Blake.
Tries: Moore (5), G.Jones (12), (52), (79), Dando (45), Byers (65), Bradshaw (68).
Goals: G.Jones 5/9
TITANS: John Dingle, Owen Jones, Kirk Johnson, Earl Palmer, Neil McKim, Ross Palmer, Rob Dodgson, Scott Hirene, Tyrone Mahoney, Richard Jones, Craig Drew, Pete Fullthorpe, Scott Robinson. Subs (all used): John Davies, Lee Chandler, Richard Davies, Matthew Davies.
Tries: Hirene (10), Mahoney (24), J.Davies (36), (40), Robinson (56), Palmer (70), McKim (76).
Goals: R.Palmer 3/8. Field goal: R.Palmer
GAMESTAR: Gareth Jones. No contest. Three tries and five goals said it all.
GAMEBREAKER: As it was such an end to end contest, the gamebreaker has to be the winning try from Gareth Jones sealing a match that either team was worthy of winning.
Men of the Match:
Demons: Gareth Jones.
Titans: John Davies.
Referee: Chris Williams (Aberavon)
Article by Ian Golden
8 Aug 2004