By Tivy-Side reporter

Ravished by injuries Newcastle Emlyn started the Championship season with five defeats on the trot, but a 23-17 win at the weekend gave rise to optimism for the future.

At the sixth attempt the Red and Whites mounted a superb late defensive effort to deny fourth in the table visitors Bedlinog from south-east Wales.

An injury crisis forced Emlyn to include three teenagers in the pack, but despite reshuffling with flanker Owain Powell standing in a skipper, the Teifisiders rose to the occasion.

Afterwards Emlyn head coach Marc Lloyd told the Tivy-Side: "Due to an unprecedented injury list at the club we have had to wait to see who turns up for training before selecting a team for Saturday.

"Those who have stepped in have been great, and the good news is that players are returning to full fitness. The first half showing against Bedlinog was reminiscent of some of our outstanding play last season and hopefully we can go on from here."

A driving wind down the pitch made it a contest of two halves with Emlyn taking advantage of the elements during the opening 40 minutes and roaring into a 20-0 lead, but had to cling on towards the end as Bedlinog came back strongly, crossing for three tries and earning a bonus point for being within seven points of their opponents.

As the Red and Whites used the wind to great effect, abrasive scrum-half Mike Jones started the ball rolling when going over for a try following a ruck, and further tries followed from right-winger Llyr Jones who bagged a

brace and centre Andrew Owen with fullback Shaun Leonard converting one of the scores and landing a penalty.

With the wind behind them Bedlinog dictated and went in for three tries courtesy of winger Daniel Davies, hooker Ieuan Morris and blindside flanker Aarron Harries, with fullback Sam Davies landing one conversion.

Leonard hoisted a penalty as Emlyn held out for a first win.

Despite a spirited effort and playing some attractive running rugby Crymych went down 41-27 away from home against Hendy in Division 1 West.

It has to be said that Hendy were in the ascendancy for most of the contest, but were kept up to their work until the final stages.

Crymych tries came from flanker Sion Colella, centre Ifan Phillips, flanker Aled Harries and replacement prop Carwyn Rees with Phillips landing a conversion and two penalties.

But although it was a valiant effort by the visitors the Llanelli side came out on top thanks to tries by scrum-half Cian Beynon, flanker Jack Mohammed, winger Steffan Howells, fullback Jake Newman, hooker Ben Betcup

and replacement Steffan Howells with outside half Rhydian Jones landing four conversions and a penalty.

Cardigan of League 3 West A were hit by the unavailability of half a dozen regulars for the home national Bowl round two tie against visitors and League 3 West B leaders Nantgaredig at King George V Playing Field.

And the handicap proved too much as the visitors came out on top 29-8.

Hero of the day for the Carmarthenshire visitors was right-winger Gethin Davies who ran in for a try hat-trick.

Replacement flanker Kieran Hurley got a try for the Cardis and young outside half Iwan John landed a penalty but it was not enough as the visitors reached round two.