By Ian Golden at Deeside Leisure Centre, Photo by Richard Long
Wales opened their Prabhu Ventures Ltd Celtic Cup defence in Deeside with a dominating 112-41 win over Scotland.
The hosts took the lead on 40 seconds with a Stuart Williams try which Jason Owen converted, giving them the best possible start.
That launched an onslaught for the hosts who wheeled in a further five more tries in the next 15 minutes.
Owen scored a quick brace, the second of which Harry Jones converted before adding a further try himself making in 20-0 on 10 minutes.
Andrew Higgins scored the next try four minutes later, converting himself and Stuart Williams went over from kick-off. That made it 32-0 on 16 minutes.
With Scotland only travelling with one substitute in this five-a-side sport, it was the start they didn’t want, but they did hit back on 17 minutes through an unconverted Gavin Dobson try leaving the score on 32-4.
However it was just brief respite after Jason Owen scored under the sticks with Higgins converting, bringing the score up to 38-4 to Wales after only 20 minutes.
The onslaught continued. Two unconverted Stuart Williams tries soon made it 46-4. Stephen Halsey’s try brought up the 50 with Higgins adding the extras again before Williams got another try on 31 minutes.
But it was Scotland ended the half and a high. Michael Mellon got Scotland’s second try on 34 minutes which he converted this time round, bringing the score back to 56-10.
That was before Dobson went over for the third Scottish try with Mellon converting again before adding a drop goal on the hooter, making the half time score Wales 56 Scotland 17.
Scotland’s comeback continued in the second half. Three quick Callum Young tries, the first converted by Mellon reduced Wales’ lead to 56-31.
But Wales, after conceding 27 straight points finally extended their lead on 47 minutes through a Geraint Price try that Jones converted. Owen followed him over straight away, Jones again converting. Price’s next try on 50 minutes was unconverted leaving the score on 72-31
Scotland went over for another consolation try, Dobson notching his hat-trick on 55 minutes that Mellon converted.
Williams hit back for Wales with his sixth try of the day. Gary Preece added the next on the hour, Higgins on 65 minutes then Owen on 67, all of which were converted by Higgins.
Higgins’ conversion with 10 minutes to go after Preece’s second try brought up 100 points. Preece secured his hat-trick four minutes later, Higgins converting again.
There was still time for Young to score his fourth and Scotland’s eighth try which went unconverted, but the final word went to Wales, Higgins going for his hat-trick try and smacking over his tenth goal.
Steven Halsey and Lucy Roberts won their first Welsh caps in this game.
Wales: Alan Caron, Andrew Higgins, Jason Owens, Geraint Price, Gary Preece (all Hereford Harriers), John Doyle, Stephen Halsey, Harry Jones, Lucie Roberts, Gary Taylor, Stuart Williams (all North Wales Crusaders)
Tries: Williams (1, 16, 22, 25, 31, 58), Owen (3, 6, 19, 49, 67), Jones (10), Higgins (14, 65, 79), Halsey (28), Price (47, 50), Preece (60, 70,74)
Goals: Owen 1/2, Jones 3/6, Higgins 10/13
Scotland: Jay Anderson, David Birtles, Peter Lewis: Michael Mellon (all Dundee Dragons), Gavin Dobson (Keighley Cougars), Callum Young (Leyland Warriors)
Tries: Dobson (17, 37, 55), Mellon (34), Young (42, 44, 46, 76)
Goals: Mellon 4/8
Drop Goal: Mellon (40)