HAVING ACCOUNTED for Division One East leaders Newbridge and Premier outfit Glamorgan Wanderers in earlier rounds, Merthyr will be relishing the visit of high-flying Pontypridd to The Wern in the SWALEC Cup quarter final. But having already been beaten at home four times in the league, Merthyr will be fully aware that Ponty will be tough opponents particularly as the Sardis Road side ran in four tries in their round three victory over Neath.
Tonmawr have reached this stage the hard way with 31-8 home victories over holders Llanelli and Pontypool. Four tries at the Whitworth Ground all converted by Luke Richards were too much for Pooler and the Premier new boys have been rewarded with the visit of Llandovery in the quarter-final. The Drovers just edged out Carmarthen Quins 20-19 thanks to a late Cerith Rees penalty but having lost 31-7 at Tonmawr in the league earlier in the season, it will take a mighty effort for them to make it to the last four.
Cardiff overturned a half time deficit to defeat SWALEC One West’s Bridgend at the Arms Park and they will meet an Aberavon side that won 33-19 at Waunarlwydd. The Wizards were beaten finalists back in 1974 and 1975 while Cardiff have won the trophy on seven occasions but Aberavon have beaten the Blue and Blacks twice in the league this season and will travel to the capital full of confidence.
The final quarter final will take place at St Helen’s where Swansea will entertain Newport. The All Whites defeated Bedwas 32-14 with James Dixon collecting 17 points while the Black and Ambers routed Blackwood 69-17 crossing the visitors try line nine times. Swansea won both league meetings this season and will start as favourites to make further progress.
SWALEC Cup quarter-final draw (ties to take place the weekend of 26th March)
Cardiff v Aberavon
Merthyr v Pontypridd
Swansea v Newport
Tonmawr v Llandovery
Aberdare of Three South East made the long trip to Ruthin in round four and won 22-16 only to be drawn away once again in the SWALEC Plate quarter-final. This time they travel the shorter distance to Three South West outfit Glynneath who beat Newport HSOB 27-17.
Risca of Three East scraped past Caernarfon 32-28 in the last round helped by a brace of tries from scrum half Rhys Morgan and they will find the trip to Ammanford just as tough. The Two West side are top of their division and unbeaten at their Recreation Ground but only the cross bar saved them from defeat to Kidwelly in the last minute of round four as the final score finished 15-14 in Ammanford’s favour.
SWALEC Three West’s Gorseinon have been drawn at home to Tylorstown of Two East. Gorseinon defeated Penallta, another Two East side 21-16 to reach the quarters and will be confident of inflicting another blow on a higher division side. It needed a last minute penalty for Tylorstown to beat Skewen 22-20 in round four so a close encounter is on the cards at the Welfare Ground.
Tondu comfortably defeated Mountain Ash 15-0 to reach the quarters where they will entertain a Pontypool United side that provided the shock of the round after beating Aberystwyth of Two West 21-19.
SWALEC Plate quarter-final draw (ties to take place weekend of 26 March)
Ammanford v Risca
Glynneath v Aberdare
Gorseinon v Tylorstown
Tondu v Pontypool United
Cardiff Medicals have proved to be the shock side in the SWALEC Bowl with victories over Dinas Powys, Canton, Old Illtydians, Nelson and now Hafodyrynys who were dispatched 22-20 in round five. The Meds have been rewarded with a home tie against Vardre of Four South West so that will be a severe test for the Students.
Four East’s Senghenydd are anxious to make it all the way this season and they set their stall out with a resounding 43-0 home victory over Blaenavon. They have been given another home tie with Monmouth of Five East who defeated COBRA 19-5 travelling to Welfare Park.
Amman United have been drawn at home to Porth of Four South East. The Four West outfit beat Tenby 31-18 while Porth were outscoring Rhiwbina 46-24 to reach the quarters.
The final tie will see Tonyrefail of Four South East play host to Maesteg Quins of Four South West in what could be an even contest. A try from wing Huw Morris helped Tonyrefail to a 14-7 win over last season’s beaten finalists Trebanos, while Quins beat visitors Llanybydder 39-18.
SWALEC Bowl quarter-final draw (ties to take place weekend of 26 March)
Amman United v Porth Quins
Cardiff Medicals v Vardre
Senghenydd v Monmouth
Tonyrefail v Maesteg Quins.