DIVISION 3 WEST
BRIDGEND SPORTS ... 34 PONTYCYMER ............ 24
THE Sports had to make some injury-forced changes from the side that did so well in the season’s opening game last week and it was a measure of their strength in depth that they have that the side more than came up to the mark against a strong Pontycymmer side.
The visitors took advantage of early mistakes by the Sports to gain valuable field advantage. Once more the Sports defence was up to the challenge and withstood the early offensive of the visitors.
A good clearance kick by fly half Jayce Evans forced Pontycymmer into a penalty on their 22 meter line that Sports fullback Josh Davies kicked with ease. When, then the Sports attacked deep from their own half Evans’ long miss-pass found Josh Davies, he made ground and looked to have put winger Chris Walker in for a try. But no, Pontycymmer drove him into touch but Skipper, Lloyd Wilson was in good support to score an unconverted try to take the lead to 8-0. Pontycymmer were quick to respond and forced the Sports into handling on the deck and scrum half Thomas Davies took the points easily. In the next passage of play the Sports looked ponderous and very flat-footed when slow, poor ball was shovelled out to fly half Evans, who in turn threw a loping slow pass to his center that a blind man could have read and Pontycymmer center Kyle Galtry said “thanks” took the interception and scored under the posts. Thomas added the points and the visitors were ahead 8-10. This was something of a wake up call for the Sports as they then attacked hard forcing an error from Pontycymmer on their 22. Skipper Lloyd Wilson took a quick tap and when the ball was quickly recycled to the wing, it was hooker Ryan Wallis who was at hand to make the try look easy. A well stuck kick by Davies just failed. From the restart the Sports showed just how dangerous they can be from unexpected situations when from nothing Scott ‘Scally’ Callicott opened up the Pontycymmer defence with a good half break and the whole back row were with him, Andy Gill to Lloyd Wilson and on to openside Cory Thomas to turn on the speed and out-strip the defence for a try under the posts that Davies converted to take the half-time score to 2010 to the Sports.
The first 15 minutes of the second half, following some rain, saw mistakes from both sides and a series of minor injuries mostly to Pontycymmer. This caused a loss of continuity for both sides and the game went somewhat flat. Then the Sports came gan converted to open up what appeared to be a comfortable 17-0 lead. However that lead was reduced by seven points just before the break following a forward drive over the line from the Glyncorrwg eight for a converted try.
Shortly into the second half that lead was further reduced when a slightly bizarre try was scored after Bryncethin secured the ball from a ruck in their own 22 only for the ball to be passed back to a Glyncorrwg player, who suddenly appeared, and gratefully accepted the pass to stroll in for a converted try to reduce the lead to just three points.
When Glyncorrwg levelled the score with a massive penalty kick from the half way line it looked as if they were getting the upper hand but the young home team battled back and, following another spell of good handling, full back Shane Howells crossed for a try with 15 minutes to go.
At this point Bryncethin appeared to be in control and were held up on their to life and put in a blistering attack down the right wing with Keith David prominent in the action. They almost made it to the line before switching it to the left, then a good miss pass by Evans found Cris Walker with some room but his deflected inside pass to Josh Davies was so poor it hit the full back’s shins and allowed him to drop on the ball for a very lucky bonus point try. However, the kick was anything but lucky with a superb conversion from Davies. Now Pontycymmer put pressure on the Sports and Kyle Galtry once more read Jayce Evans’ intentions, and under the Sports posts easily charged down an Evans’ attempted clearance, scoring his second which again was converted by Thomas Davies. With just minutes left the young Pontycymmer fly half, Evans ran from his own line and tried a chip over the opponents line on a number of occasions but, determined defence by the visitors, meant that they could not cross for that crucial score.
Into injury time Glyncorrwg were awarded a penalty in their own 22, which they chose to run, and although they were brought down in the home side half they were awarded a penalty which they kicked to touch and, defence, but Lloyd Wilson took it on the full and saw winger, Cris Walker with space on the outside, he deliverd a try scoring pass and the winger touched down without having to get to full speed.
Davies converted another fine kick from the touchline. It is credit to Pontycymmer that they never stopped running and were rewarded on full time when a neat chip from the fly half was well read by that man Kyle Galtry once more as he touched down for his and Pontycymmer’s third try to make the final score 3424 to the Sports Club.
Next week the Sports are home to old rivals Porthcawl in the first round of the Bowl competition.
This is a mouthwatering expectation with the sides so evenly matched in their encounters last season. KO 2.30 at the Bandstand Field. at the resultant lineout, they were awarded a third penalty which saw their pack crashing over the Bryncethin line for the try that levelled the scores at 22-22.
Next week Bryncethin travel up the Gary Valley to face Pontycymmer in the WRU Bowl competition before returning to league action the following week when they entertain Pontrhydyfen.
Shane Howells scores for Bryncethin
Chris Walker scores