Win for Pwll – and rugby

Caernarfon Herald - - SPORT -

PWLL­HELI proved they are more than ca­pa­ble of launch­ing a big chal­lenge to win their ti­tle back this sea­son after beat­ing cham­pi­ons Nant Conwy 33-22 away from home last Satur­day.

Win­ners of Di­vi­sion One North three years in a row be­fore Nant ended the se­quence last term, the Llŷn side main­tained their 100% record for the cur­rent cam­paign while scup­per­ing the Conwy Val­ley team’s un­beaten start to 2018/19.

Pwll­heli started stronger and were com­pet­i­tive through­out in the set pieces and the loose.

After five min­utes for­wards and backs com­bined to give full-back John Pugh space out on the right wing. His pace took him beyond the de­spair­ing de­fend­ers and he touched down in the cor­ner.

Nant came back at their op­po­nents and were awarded an offside penalty, duly slot­ted by wing Stef­fan Ho­ran.

Un­for­tu­nately, on eight min­utes, Nant lost prop Gwyn­for Mor­ris with a hand in­jury.

The vis­i­tors per­se­vered with their game plan and, on 27 min­utes, the pack drove at the Nant line. They re­mained pa­tient and an open­ing was fi­nally made for flanker Dafydd An­wyl to force his way over, Osian Parry Jones con­vert­ing from wide.

Again Nant re­sponded strongly and, fol­low­ing an ex­cel­lent break by their fly-half, cen­tre Ifan Jones was on hand to breach the Pwll­heli cover and score un­der the posts. Ho­ran added the two points. Half time came with Pwll­heli lead­ing 12-10. The sec­ond pe­riod started with ex-cap­tain Nick But­ter­worth be­ing brought on as a sub­sti­tute by Pwll­heli. He and fel­low half-back Da­nial Wil­liams used the el­e­ments ef­fec­tively, pin­ning Nant back and the trav­ellers cap­i­talised on their ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage.

On six min­utes, cen­tre Ianto Parri beat the cover for pace and power to score, But­ter­worth ad­ding the con­ver­sion.

The Llŷn men main­tained the pres­sure but a se­ries of three suc­ces­sive kicks awarded by the ref­eree took Nant to within me­tres of the Pwll­heli line.

They drove on from the li­ne­out and No8 Car­wyn El­lis scored his side’s sec­ond try. Ho­ran con­verted with an ex­cel­lent kick.

Nant then saw their lock Car­wyn Roberts carded for killing the ball. Within a minute, Pwll­heli ex­tended the lead with a cap­tain’s try from No8 Tom Parry. Again But­ter­worth added the ex­tras to put the vis­i­tors 26-17 ahead.

The dom­i­nance of the Pwll­heli eight con­tin­ued and, on 26 min­utes, Tom Parry again fin­ished off a se­ries of driv­ing mauls, But­ter­worth boost­ing with the boot.

Pwll­heli went down to 14 play­ers for the rest of the match as flanker Elis Grif­fith was yel­low carded for ly­ing on. Nant now chased the game and scored via a try by full-back Caron Davies.

The game ended with Pwll­heli again hav­ing the up­per hand, de­spite be­ing a man down.

Pwll will have con­cerns that, de­spite their over­whelm­ing dom­i­nance of the set scrums, they were baf­fled by be­ing reg­u­larly pe­nalised for scrum of­fences.

Not­with­stand­ing this, they can be pleased with their day’s work as they se­cured a bonus point win by scor­ing five tries to Nant’s three.

This was a com­pet­i­tive match where rugby was the win­ner.

Both teams played well and gave all they had. Pwll­heli RFC thank their loyal sup­port­ers who matched the home fans in num­bers.

Pwll­heli’s win means that, since sea­son 201314, they have won six and drawn one of the last 11 league matches be­tween these two proud clubs. Amaz­ingly both sides have scored 201 points dur­ing this pe­riod.


Pwll­heli’s John Pugh, pic­tured in ac­tion against Bethesda, scored his team’s first try in their win at Nant Conwy

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