David Iles Is All Smiles After Deri Bury Hirwaun

Mid District Cup Final - Div 5 Hirwaun RFC v Deri RFC Mandatory Credit ©ReplayImages/Mike Jones

David Iles Is All Smiles After Deri Bury Hirwaun

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By Carl Field

Two out of three ain’t bad.

Those were the words of Deri coach David Iles after watching his side add the Worthington’s Mid District Division Five Cup to make it a league and cup double and cap a tremendous season.

Tom Elliott was the star of the show with a 30-point personal haul to steer his side to a comfortable 40-12 victory over Hirwaun in their final showdown at Sardis Road.

Outside centre Elliott ran in two tries, kicked four conversions as well as four penalties for Deri – who also had left wing Niall Alexander and outside half Aaron Jones on the scoresheet.

And, given where the club has found itself in recent times – on the brink of folding – two out of three certainly isn’t bad at all for Deri. In fact, it’s quite remarkable.

From struggling for numbers at the start of pre-season, the Broncos went on to top Division Six East at a canter, winning all 14 of their league matches.

“It’s been awesome,” said Iles, who coaches the team along with Jason Lundregan and Dean Higgs.

“We had a target of maybe three trophies, so two out of three ain’t bad.

“At the start of pre-season myself and Jason had 15 names on a piece of paper. But we built slowly and by September I think we had a squad of 30 – and since then the boys have put a hell of a shift in. The effort has been immense.”

The team have lost just twice this season.

They were narrowly beaten 16-13 at home by Seven Sisters in the quarter-finals of the WRU Division Five Cup – the competition Seven Sisters would go on to win in addition to Division Five West Central.

Deri’s only other defeat was in the last eight of the Glamorgan County Silver Ball against a side four divisions higher, in the shape of Llanharan – who were Division Two East Central, WRU Division Two Cup and Silver Ball treble winners.

Deri dominated the first half of their Mid District Cup final with Division Five East Central outfit Hirwaun and were out of sight by the break, leading 34-5.

Despite being overpowered in the opening 40 minutes, opponents Hirwaun kept battling and actually outscored Deri 7-6 in the second half during which the heavens opened over Sardis Road.

Centre Warren Davies scored a try which was converted by Dafydd Owens, adding to an unconverted try by captain Ashley Moss in the first half.

“The first half was unbelievable,” added Illes. “I thought the back play was superb, the forwards set a good platform.

“Sadly the weather came in second half but I’ve got to give credit to Hirwaun, they stuck at it until the final whistle.”

The match is part of a revamped format this season, with the old Worthington’s Mid District Cup and Bowl finals replaced by five new Worthington’s Mid District Cup divisional finals. The matches are being played over two ‘Worthy Weekends’ at Sardis Road – incorporating two Friday nights and two Saturdays – rather than in midweek as was the case previously.

Sold as a ‘festival of community rugby’, the two weekends also feature women’s and junior matches.

Talking about the new concept introduced this year, Mid District Rugby Union president Gareth Davies said: “We held discussions, pre-season, with Dylan Jones, former coach of Ystrad Rhondda and Colin Smith of Molson Coors, to explore and refresh the Mid District Cup and Bowl competitions.

“We came up with a solution that’s a cross between the WRU ‘Road to Principality’ and results of league fixtures between the Mid District’s clubs within their respective divisions.”

Martin Anderson, Molson Coors’ Regional Director, added: “We are delighted to see how the committee has grasped the need for change, securing the future of the prestigious Mid District Cups and applaud them for their resolute hard work and dedication.

“The new format this season has generated renewed interest in the competition, giving an opportunity for all clubs to compete at an equal level within their division.”

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