Glamorgan Gazette - - Rugby Union -

PEN­COED .................... 17 NANTYFFYLLON ........ 24

DUE in no small part to a very lack­lus­tre, ill-dis­ci­plined and er­ror-strewn per­for­mance from Pen­coed, they al­lowed Nantyffyllon to take the spoils home with them.

Nantyffyllon opened the scor­ing with barely three min­utes on the clock, when out­side half, N James, kicked a suc­cess­ful penalty.

Pen­coed’s re­sponse was al­most im­me­di­ate. Fol­low­ing a mis­take from the vis­i­tors at the restart, Pen­coed had an at­tack­ing line out. From an en­su­ing driv­ing maul, Rhys Vow­els claimed the touch­down with Adam Wil­liams adding the ex­tras. Pen­coed then, through a mix­ture of un­forced er­rors and ill-dis­ci­pline, al­lowed Nantyffyllon to dic­tate the game. This re­sulted in James kick­ing two suc­cess­ful penal­ties, on 11 and 22 mins, to leave a half-time score of 7-9. Nantyffyllon started the sec­ond half strongly. After to fin­ish the move. Evans added the con­ver­sion to nar­row the mar­gin be­tween the sides to three.

Brid­gend took the lead for the first time in the match with 25 min­utes played. Neath’s former Principality Pre­mier­ship top try scorer Aaron Grab­ham dived over for the Ravens sec­ond try. An­other flow­ing move from the young and ex­cit­ing Brid­gend back­line broke the vis­i­tors de­fence and Grab­ham was able to score out wide.

Cai Evans con­verted, fol­low­ing a five minute de­lay as the ref­eree re­ceived treat­ment, to push Brid­gend into a four­point lead.

The Welsh All Blacks bagged a sec­ond try late in the half as they broke from deep in their own half. Mike Evans touched down to edge Neath ahead by a sin­gle point. Zac O’Driscoll was shown Davies brought their sec­ond try, again con­verted by Tatchell. It stayed that way till the in­ter­val. The sec­ond half brought a won­der­ful try for full back Matthew Mur­phy after a break by Marc Roberts. The vis­i­tors lead 19-0 be­fore a mix-up in de­fence re­sulted in cen­tre Kyle Davies scor­ing a try for Seven Sis­ters the con­ver­sion was added by Craig How­ell. At this point the home side seemed to find a sec­ond wind and were awarded a penalty try to bring them right back into After the early score, Sully put their own pres­sure with the stronger scrum, but Brackla’s de­fence led by flanker David Paul stayed strong. Brackla con­tin­ued to hold, when mid­way through the half cen­tre Richard Byrne won the ball to race in to score. Cai James con­verted to give Brackla a 10-0 lead. Brackla con­tin­ued to pile on the pres­sure but missed sev­eral try scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, due to 44 mins Pen­coed lost their No9 to the sin bin.

How­ever, Nantyffyllon were able to score an un­con­verted try via their scrum half, J Phillips after 49 mins. Adam Wil­liams brought the home side back in the game with a suc­cess­ful penalty. Un­for­tu­nately for Pen­coed they were the next to con­cede. Nan­ty­fyl­lon scored an ex­cel­lently worked un­con­verted try by their No 6 C Philips.

Once again Pen­coed man­aged to pull them­selves back into the game when Ricky Somers a yel­low card fol­low­ing the score.

Brid­gend held out whilst down to 14 with Zac O’Driscoll in the bin, how­ever just as the cap­tain was re­turn­ing to the field, Rho­dri Apsee was shown a red card fol­low­ing a scrap on the floor.

Brid­gend found them­selves a man short for the re­main­der of the match.

Brid­gend showed im­mense char­ac­ter through­out the sec­ond half, fight­ing back from a point down to se­cure an im­por­tant vic­tory.

The 14-man Brid­gend de­fence stood firm all half, only con­ced­ing on the last play of the game.

The ma­tu­rity shown by Brid­gend’s teenage half­back part­ner­ship helped the Ravens build a lead that would se­cure the Ravens sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son. Sup­port­ers Man of the Match Cai Evans added three penal­ties the game 14-19. But that was close enough for the Water­wheel­ers who then stepped up a gear scor­ing three un-an­swered tries to se­cure a bonus­point win. The first was a sec­ond for hooker Jake Lewis fol­lowed by a brace for scrum half Gareth Lin­den­burn, the first of which was splen­did team ef­fort, both were con­verted by Josh Tatchell.

An­other mem­o­rable week­end for Tondu who en­ter­tain Seven Sis­ters in the WRU Plate First round next Satur­day. Tondu stub­born de­fence from Sully.

Pres­sure fi­nally paid off with a penalty in front of the posts which ex­tended Brackla’s lead to 13-0.

Sully View soon be­gan tak­ing con­trol and Brackla strug­gled to get out of their 22, but they were un­able to break Brackla’s de­fence.

The break­through fi­nally came when mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion led to a loose ball, which bounced showed ex­cel­lent aware­ness at a ruck. He picked up and pow­ered his way over. Adam Wil­liams added the ex­tras with a fine con­ver­sion from near the touch­line.

To their credit Nantyffyllon re­sponded pos­i­tively re­sult­ing in their No 7, R Boast, scor­ing an­other well worked un­con­verted try.

Pen­coed then spent the rest of the game on the at­tack look­ing for a de­ci­sive score. The Nantyffyllon de­fence held firm, which al­lowed them to take the spoils. through­out the half, push­ing Brid­gend out to an eight-point lead head­ing into the fi­nal 10 min­utes.

As the clock headed to­wards 80, the Ravens made sure of the vic­tory with their third try. Cai Evans, again in­stru­men­tal, pro­duced a per­fectly weighted cross-kick to find Aaron Grab­ham on his right wing. Grab­ham sec­onds also won 84-14 away to Llantwit Ma­jor so a good day all round for straight into the Sully cen­tre who ran in, the try re­mained un­con­verted.

Brackla be­gan the sec­ond half in sim­i­lar fash­ion to the first, they won a penalty which Cai James con­verted to ex­tend Brackla’s lead to 16-5.

Around the 50-minute mark, Sully View looked down and out when they were re­duced to 14 men with a player sent off.

This didn’t put Sully off who fought back de­spite stepped passed the last de­fender and dived over for his sec­ond try of the match.

Neath didn’t give up and touched down for their third try with the clock in the red.

Brid­gend de­fended hero­ically with a man less through­out the half but we’re un­able to con­tain the vis­i­tors to the end as Tondu RFC. Head coach Matthew Tatchell said “an ex­cel­lent game con­sider- be­ing a man down, Brackla who re­dis­cov­ered their de­fence held out and con­tin­u­ally pushed Sully back or cleared their lines.

The sec­ond half was very even with no team man­ag­ing to break down the other, un­til Sully’s pres­sure fi­nally paid off with a try in the cor­ner which was con­verted to re­duce the deficit to 16-12.

More de­fence fol­lowed for Brackla, who eventu- Scott Gib­son sniped from close range.

One last big ef­fort from the Ravens, at­tempt­ing to charge down the con­ver­sion paid off as the con­ver­sion sailed wide, mean­ing Neath left with­out a los­ing bonus point, putting Brid­gend a point ahead of the Welsh All Blacks in the league stand­ings. ing the con­di­tions and a well de­served win at Seven Sis­ters.” ally got field po­si­tion and be­gan their own as­sault on Sully.

How­ever, de­spite a num­ber of penal­ties were un­able to ex­tend their lead.

The match ended in Sully’s 22, Brackla from a penalty had a driv­ing li­ne­out which came close to scor­ing after a break off but ended up in touch.

Brackla recorded a fa­mous win, their first since join­ing the WRU leagues.


Kieran Martin scores


Gareth Lin­den­burn scores

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