WEST CENTRAL A
PORTHCAWL ............... 14 PYLE ............................... 3
THEY say that local derbies and bad weather can be great levellers and so this local derby of the day proved to be, with a huge crowd gathered at South Road.
Despite their recent problems, the last thing Pyle would do was fail to show their pride in the shirt and they ran Porthcawl mightily close with a committed display.
The home side, fresh from their demolition of Neath athletic, fortunately found all the resolve they needed to take the spoils at the end of the match, one where neither side let up, yet with the Seaweeds greater recent experience the main difference between the sides.
It was all Pyle in the opening exchanges, with a nervous atmosphere as neither side could afford to lose the match. However it was Porthcawl who had the first opportunity for points but Josh White’s 43 metre penalty faded just wide.
Porthcawl soon got on the attach having weathered the initial storm and with Matt Cooke, Jack Williams and Jamie Uren forming a strong front row, Porthcawl starting getting a hold at the scrum. Uren particularly, against his former club, put in a fine performance and is a good acquisition for the Seaweeds.
Indeed, at a scrum just outside the Pyle 22, Porthcawl shoved their opponents backwards and the referee awarded a penalty which White slotted from 27 metres for 3-0 on 12 minutes.
Pyle scrum half Rory Bodenham did his best to inspire the troops, showing great prowess in sniping from the base of the scrum and had a fine match throughout, keeping the home defence on its toes and he was well supported by flanker Jack Dryden whose strength in the loose was first class.
Pyle were rewarded for pressure near the home 22 and former Porthcawl outside half Wil Gallafant put over the 20 metre penalty square the scores.
The moment of the half saw Porthcawl come out of defence as White punted well upfield and near touch.
As the Pyle defence dithered, Seaweeds fullback Alex Davies raced up and kicked through before gathering to score an opportunist try at the corner and 8-3 at half-time.
It was Pyle on the attack first again in the second half and within minutes Porthcawl suffered the blow of losing White who needed to be helped from the field after taking a heavy knock, Jon Phillips moving from centre to outside half and Ollie Banner coming on in the Porthcawl reshuffle.
Pyle had a great opportunity to grab some points back from 30 metres but Gallafant’s penalty sailed wide, as Jake Furness came on in the home back try from second row Ben Cording extended the visitors lead before Jenkins slotted his second penalty to give the Ath a 11-3 halftime lead. The second half belonged almost all to the home side and midway through the second half hooker Jake Lewis crashed over for his second try in two games, Tatchell added the extra points from wide out to bring Tondu back within a point. Despite a powerful finish from the waterwheelers the only other points came from row. Porthcawl eased the Pyle pressure as he cleverly took a short drop out and gathered again to hand on to No 8 Leon McNally who broke like a stag upfield, handing to Gareth Rees, then Phillips again, covering 80 metres.
However at the ruck, Porthcawl were penalised and it was Pyle clearing their lines this time.
As the match moved into the final 10 minutes, Porthcawl finally moved clear as the reliable Phillips, kicking in White’s absence, saw the benefit of Anthony’s Griffiths fresh legs on at prop, Porthcawl again forcing Pyle into errors nearing the end of a hard fought match.
Firstly from 30 metres then 27, Phillips slotted two late penalties, both for offside at rucks to put Porthcawl clear at 14-3 into injury time.
This win was crucial for Porthcawl to keep up with local rivals Bridgend Sports, only one point separating these two at the head of the table.
As fate would have it, Porthcawl visit the Sports this coming Saturday, however in a WRU Bowl match. This should give a good indication of how the league match between the two may pan out.
A reminder that Rugby icon David Duckham returns to Porthcawl RFC for an evening of rugby nostalgia on Thursday, October 12, tickets just £12 with food. Call the club on 784242 or Paul Fielding on 07768 – 418308, all are welcome, in a mixed audience. another Tom Jenkins penalty for the visitors, but when Tondu full back Aled Jones was upheld with a high tackle in the dying moments a few metres out with referee Andrew Moule awarding a penalty and a yellow card it was a mystery how a penalty try was not awarded. The Athletic then held on for a memorable win over their neighbours. Tondu seconds lost 14-8 at Cefn Cribbwr and the youth went down 15-10 at Porthcawl, there have been better days for Tondu.
Alex Davies scores for Porthcawl