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2003 Wales A 28 England A 18

15th September 2003, 17:34

2003 Wales A 28 England A 18

The Welsh Dragonhearts have held onto the Cheltenham Regency Trophy af

The Welsh Dragonhearts have held onto the Cheltenham Regency Trophy after defeating the England Lionhearts 28 - 18 at Aberavon on the weekend. Wales who won the inaugural tournament last year, needed to win by four points or more in order to ensure England couldn't win the trophy.

England, who were undefeated at this stage in the tournament, weren't prepared to let 2003 be the year of the Dragons, and hit the lead in the 6th minute through Dave Wattam. Wales hit back in front of the home crowd through Aberavon Fighting Irish team mates, Sean O'Brien and Darren Ryan to now lead 10 - 4 after only 15 minutes of play.

England surprisingly went for the field goal option through David Harries, to bring the Welsh' lead back to five points, but when Sean O'Brien crossed just before half time, the Dragons were up 14 - 5.

A more determined England side came out in the second half, and instantly turned that determination into points. A try through Chris Keld in the corner followed by a lurking Tom Brown who dropped onto a loose ball in the Welsh in-goal area put the Lionhearts up 17 - 14, with the chance of an English victory back on the cards.

Swansea Bull's player, Simon Bevan put the home side back in front when he crossed in the 67th minute, giving the Dragonhearts a three point lead, but England clawed back at that lead again when David Harries kicked another field goal.

Wales had no intensions of letting the English get any closer though, with Cardiff prop, Wes Palmer powering over the line in the 75th minute, and winger Ben Kerr secured the win when he crossed right on full time.

Welsh coach, Wayne Williams deserves to be congratulated on his second consecutive four nations Cheltenham Regency Trophy.

WALES 28
Tries: Sean O'Brien 2, Darren Ryan, Simon Bevan, Wes Palmer, Ben Kerr
Goals: Mike Healy 2
Team: Simon Bevan (Swansea), Sean O'Brien (Aberavon), Sion Williams (Cardiff Demons), Dean Scully (Aberavon), Ben Kerr (Manchester/Unattached), Michael Healey (Aberavon), Peter Moore (Cardiff Demons), Mark Dando (Cardiff Demons), Paul Whapham (Swansea Bulls), Stewart Richards (Cardiff Demons), Sean Gilbertson (Cardiff Demons), Darren Ryan (Aberavon), John Byers (Cardiff Demons); Subs: Anthony Loxton (Cardiff Demons), Wes Palmer (Cardiff Demons), Scott O'Kelly (Aberavon), Richard Hibbard (Aberavon)
defeated ENGLAND LIONHEARTS 18
Tries: Dave Wattam, Chris Keld, Tom Brown
Goals: Gargan 2
F/Goals:David Harries 2
Teams: Tom Howden (West London), Paul Campbell (Bridlington), David Horne (South Norfolk), Rob Mason (Bridlington), John Ferguson (Somerset), David Harries (West London), Ben Lawry (Bridlington), John Dudley (Rotherham), Dave Wattam (Crawley), Tony Wright (Bristol), John Williams (Chester), Chris Richards (Somerset) ©, Chris Keld (Yorkshire Coast); Subs: Andy Gargan (Bridlington), Scott Eccles (Bridlington), Paul Shepherd (Somerset), Tom Brown (Gloucestershire)

Date:14th Sept 2003
Venue: Athletic Grounds, Port Talbot, Wales.
Half Time: Wales 14-5
Referee: Chris Nicholls

Article by Steven Birchall
15 Sep 2003