RUTHIN handed double-chasing Pwllheli a major test as a prestigious knockout competition got underway at the weekend.

The Blues travelled to Pwllheli for the second time this season, this time in the preliminary round of the Rybrook Land Rover Conwy Senior Cup.

Playing against a strong wind, and in contrast to the previous game at Pwllheli, Ruthin started strongly.

This promising opening was turned into points after just a few minutes, when second row Rich Williams went over the line for their first try.

The Blues continued to challenge the home defence, but they then went down to 14 men with a yellow card.

They had to put up a tremendous defensive display as Pwllheli tried to take advantage of the extra man.

The Blues returned to full strength and made it back into the home side’s half, where fly half Phyl Roberts jigged past a couple of Pwllheli players and offloaded for full back Iestyn Davies to make his way over the whitewash.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Ruthin continued to make life difficult for the home side's defence after this and right on half-time, flanker Tudur Parry charged over the line to stretch his side's advantage to 15-0 at the interval.

If Ruthin thought that the second half would be plain sailing with the wind at their backs, they had to think again.

Within five minutes of the restart, number eight Tom Parry was over the Ruthin try line and replacement scrum half Nick Butterworth was successful with the conversion.

The weather worsened with squally rain and Ruthin found it difficult to regain their momentum of the first half.

Man of the match Butterworth was making his presence felt and after 10 minutes, he was over the Ruthin try line himself.

He was able to convert the score to put the home side within one point of the visitors.

The Blues tried to widen the gap again, but they were really up against it when a red card saw them reduced to 14 men for the rest of the game.

Although defending valiantly for a long period against Pwllheli’s attack, eventually they couldn’t halt the home side's pick and run in their 22 and Butterworth went over for his second try.

Now in driving rain, both sides battled on until the whistle blew for full time and after an exciting and eventful match, Pwllheli won 19-15 to go through to the next round.