MAESTEG .................... 19 KENFIG HILL ............... 24
MAESTEG were quite buoyant going into this match following their narrow but well deserved 6-9 win over Bridgend Athletic the previous week.
The first 20 minutes of this game was scoreless with Maesteg having more territory with Simon Evans mixing passes and kicks in equal measures. They then took the lead when Evans chipped over the approaching defence, regathered and scrum half Ben Davies found the supporting Ethan Davies for his first try for the club. Tadgh McGuckin added the extra points.
There was plenty of action from both teams and a hack through from the visitors nearly got a result but Grant Epton got back to cover and a few minutes later at the other end he fielded a high kick, set up the ruck, and scrum half nipped round the side, kicked ahead and full back Callum Powell got the touchdown for McGuckin to convert.
Maesteg’s adventure now worked against them when a 70 metre move saw them lose the ball at the breakdown. Kenfig Hill countered and a ruck or two later they managed to free wing John Clatworthy to go over at the flag. The visitors added another try when a bouncing ball was not cleared by both sides but eventually got into visiting hands and Josh Dixon went over for Nicky Giles to convert.
Maesteg increased their lead when an attack saw an attempted clearance charged down by Gavin Ronan and Cameron took a quick tap-penalty on half-way and ran through the Cwmavon defence. He passed to outside half Mathew Harris who sprinted past the cover defence to score. A strong scrum, by forwards Sean Lambert, Mathew Phillips, Lloyd Griffiths, Mark Hillier Rees and Robert Golden, near halfway allowed Celtic to turn the ball over and Oliver Petty and flanker Jonathan Davies took the ball deep into Cwmavon territory. Mathew Harris ran the ball in under the posts from the ensuing play. He then kicked the conversion.
Celtic scored again when centre James Jones intercepted on half-way and kicked down the middle. He tackled the full back under the posts and won a scrum. Scrum half Lee Arthur moved the ball looked to continue where they left off, but within five minutes Saracens turned the ball over and missed tackles allowed them to extend their lead to 27-5.
Improved defence prevented Saracens from a lot of go-forward ball, which gave them so much success in the first half with Brackla winning some contact.
Brackla managed to score their second try on the hour mark, when a driving maul in the Saracens 22 allowed Anthony Owens-Redwood to score his second try of the Davies swooped to score. Mistakes came from both sides but a scrum 10 metres out from the home line saw the pass miss everyone and ended up over the dead ball line.
Kenfig Hill took the chance given and Tom Briggs went over for Giles to convert. Honours even at 19-19 and heading into injury time when a Maesteg attack in the visitors territory broke down and some interpassing from 70 metres saw controversy come into play, when no flag was raised for feet in touch, and former Maesteg wing Lewis Morgan went over for the winning try. quickly and centre Nathan Healey put wing Aaron Williams over in the corner for the bonus-point try.
Cwmavon began the second half with great determination and ran in three tries to close the gap to 24-26.
Celtic made a number of substitutions which invigorated the team.
Great attacking play by forwards and backs allowed wing Aaron Williams to score in the corner.
Celtic’s final try came when flanker Ryan Jones made a half break and offloaded to Rhys Bevan Jones who ran clear only to be brought down just short of the line. Celtic forwards won quick ball and Mathew Harris cross kicked to the other corner. Sam Mines gathered the ball to score. match and was converted by Cai James.
Shortly after, despite being on the back foot, Saracens scored another break away try after more miss tackles.
Brackla’s backs came to life late in the second half, as good work allowed Rob Wilson to celebrate his birthday with a try.
In the closing minutes Brackla pushed for the fourth try to secure a bonus point, but Saracens managed to hold out.
Skipper Anthony Owens-Redwood was Brackla’s Man of the Match.