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Saturday, 8 April, 2000, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Connor sees Ebbw Vale clear

Ebbw Vale: By far the hungrier of the two sides
Ebbw Vale 47-26 Pontypridd 26

Stand-off Shaun Connor enjoyed a field day as he scored 32 points to power an impressive Ebbw Vale to victory over Pontypridd.

The fly-half scored two tries and kicked two penalties and five conversions as the steelmen proved themselves the hungrier in this battle between the second and third-placed sides in the Welsh-Scottish League.

Rhys Shorney snatched another two tries for the home side, while Richard Smith rounded off the demolition.

Ponty's out-half Lee Jarvis had a miserable kicking day, landing only three goals from nine attempts.

His failure to convert the precious few chances handed to the visitors meant a penalty try and scores for wing John Colderley, Brett Davey and Jarvis himself failed to make the match a much closer affair.

Bridgend 20-55 Newport

Shane Howarth, the fullback at the centre of Wales' eligibility scandal, put his troubles behind him on Saturday to earn Newport a rare away victory over Bridgend.

He slotted 20 points with the boot as the visitors stamped an ever-firmer claim on a place in the Heineken Cup next season.

Bridgend almost went into half time in the lead through a try by John Devereux and three kicks from Paul Williams.

But Newport centre Jason Jones-Hughes ensured Newport a quick reply when he charged down an Adrian Durston kick and scored to claim the lead.

The floodgates opened as Jason Forster, Andy Marinos and Dale Burn claimed tries.

Steve Ford snatched one back for the home side before Burn, Jones-Hughes and Simon Raiwalui wrapped up the rout.

Caerphilly 30-34 Glasgow Caledonians

Caledonians survived a late scare from Caerphilly to run out winners by a narrow margin at Virginia Park.

The Scots, fielding 10 internationals, scored tries through lock Stewart Campbell, flanker Gordon Simpson (2) and Rowan Shepherd (2).

But the Welshmen, languishing at the foot of the Welsh-Scottish table, hit back with two tries for winger Chester Robinson, and scores for Chris John, prop Mike Wilson and flanker Ben Watkins.

But it was a case of too little too late as Caerphilly crashed to yet another defeat.

Swansea 52-44 Neath

Swansea kept their hopes of qualifying for next season's Heineken Cup alive in an 11-try thriller at St Helen's.

The All Whites clinched the points thanks to two superb drop goals from fly-half Arwel Thomas after Neath had threatened to pinch the game with a strong comeback.

Trailing 46-30, the Welsh All Blacks hit back to within two points of their local rivals following touch-downs from Andrew Millward and Dave Tiueti.

Swansea had earlier taken control through tries from man-of-the-match Scott Gibbs and Colin Charvis.

Llanelli 71-24 Dunvant

24 Llanelli handed Dunvant yet another humiliating thrashing at Stradey Park despite resting many of their players for next week's Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

The home side ran in 11 tries all told, although Dunvant showed spirit to score tries of their own.

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See also:

31 Mar 00 | Rugby Union
Rugby chiefs deny eligibility delay
01 Apr 00 | Six Nations
Wales triumph over fighting Irish
02 Apr 00 | Rugby Union
Brave Scots defeat England
Links to other Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.