MAESTEG CELTIC ...... 18 AMMANFORD ............. 15
CELTIC played Division 1 Ammanford in the first round of the WRU Plate competition.
The visitors began with high intensity and dominated the first quarter of an hour. Great defence by flankers Peter Kehoe and Rhys Bevan Jones together with three quarters Rhys Fisher, Kristian Jenkins, Nathan Healey and Neil Arthur kept them pointless. Slowly Celtic front five of Sean Lambert, Ashley Poole, Mathew Phillips, Robert Golden and Alex Jones began to dominate their opponents.
At the half-hour mark the pressure forced Ammanford to give bad ball to their full back. Centres Kristian Jenkins and Nathan Healey were up fast and forced a scrum. The Celtic pack drove their opponents over their line for captain Oliver Petty to touch down. Mathew Harris converted. Am- manford attacked strongly from the kick off and created an opportunity for their winger to run in a try in the corner.
Celtic pack were magnificent in the second half and controlled posession. They drove a scrum deep into their opponents’ 22 before being penalised. Ammanford kicked to the half way and won the lineout. Celtic outside half Mathew Harris anticipated their move and intercepted the pass. He sprinted around the cover defence to score in the corner. Ammanford came level when their centre stepped inside the Celtic defence to touch down near the posts.
Celtic pack pounded the Ammanford defence with Oliver Petty, Alex Jones, Rhys Bevan Jones and Ryan Jones carrying the ball ferociously but the Ammanford defence held strong.
Eventually prop Sean Lambert forced his opposite number to concede a penalty under the posts and Mathew Harris put Celtic ahead. Celtic continued to pressure the Ammanford defence and a kick into the 22 by Harris was followed up quickly and the forwards won a penalty from the ruck which Harris kicked. Ammanford came back strongly from the kick off and forced Celtic to concede a penalty to close the score.
The remaining minutes were intensely contested but Celtic pack dominated territory to win the game.
Celtic captain and Man of the Match Oliver Petty scores