Young bucks show skills

Caernarfon Herald - - SPORT - Dave Jones

PWLL­HELI Rugby Club will look to make it six straight wins in Di­vi­sion One North when they host Bro Ffestiniog this Satur­day (2.30pm).

The in-form Llyn side main­tained their run of vic­to­ries in all com­pe­ti­tions last week­end by re­cov­er­ing from 15 points down to beat Ruthin 19-15 at Bode­groes in the Ry­brook Land Rover Conwy North Wales Cup.

Pwll started with a muchchanged team, sev­eral younger play­ers be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to show their skills.

From the out­set it was very ev­i­dent Ruthin were up for the match, the vis­i­tors keep­ing the ball well and tak­ing the game to their hosts.

Af­ter only eight min­utes, they scored a try through sec­ond row Richard Wil­liams.

Pwll­heli were un­usu­ally dis­jointed and their ball-han­dling skills were not to the usual level. Though Ruthin had a cen­tre yel­low-carded on 18 min­utes, the red and greens were un­able to take ad­van­tage.

Ruthin coun­tered from a loose kick on 33 min­utes, beat­ing the on­rush­ing home cover and cre­at­ing space for full-back Iestyn Davies to score wide out.

The hosts then lost prop Tudur Grif­fiths through in­jury and he was re­placed by vet­eran Al­wyn Tren­holme.

The game be­came very at­tri­tional with the teams scrap­ping for ev­ery ball. Pwll­heli strug­gled to as­sert any con­ti­nu­ity and Ruthin dealt well with the strong wind in their faces.

It was the trav­ellers who scored next when, three min­utes into added time, they cap­i­talised on some con­fu­sion in the Pwll­heli de­fence for flanker Tu­dor Parry to crash over to score his team’s third try. A third con­ver­sion at­tempt was cru­cially missed, mak­ing it 15-0 at half time.

Pwll­heli made two back-line changes at the break, with Nick But­ter­worth and Mathew Hardy com­ing on as re­place­ments.

It was Ruthin who now had the wind with them but, per­versely, this played in Pwll­heli’s favour. They were more se­cure with ball in hand and al­most im­me­di­ately cut the deficit.

Coun­ter­ing from deep and mak­ing ground on the left, the hosts de­cided to keep the ball tight. The well-or­gan­ised Ruthin de­fence ini­tially held out, but Pwll per­se­vered and had their re­ward when cap­tain Tom Parry forced him­self over. But­ter­worth slot­ted the con­ver­sion.

The game now had a dif­fer­ent feel to it as Pwll’s con­fi­dence grew.

On 10 min­utes, the home team again worked them­selves into the red zone. Ruthin’s de­fen­sive com­mit­ment was huge but they suc­cumbed when But­ter­worth pow- ered over to score. His con­ver­sion made it 15-14.

The next 20 min­utes were an arm wres­tle and, as the tempo raised, so did the fe­roc­ity of the tack­ling. It was per­haps no sur­prise that Ruthin had a player red-carded for a dan­ger­ous look­ing tip-tackle.

De­spite their nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage Pwll­heli found it dif­fi­cult to pierce the vis­it­ing cover and it was not un­til the 34th minute that they fi­nally broke the im­passe, But­ter­worth again squeez­ing over far out on the right.

Ruthin re­alised the game was still there to be won and threw the kitchen sink but, de­spite Pwll­heli find­ing them­selves down to 14 men through in­jury, their de­ter­mi­na­tion saw them through.

Pwll will now play ei­ther Caernar­fon or Bala in the next round.

Pwll­heli sec­onds are also at home this Satur­day in Di­vi­sion Three North, Holy­head be­ing the op­po­si­tion.

Pwll­heli (red shorts) get to grips with their Ruthin coun­ter­parts at Bode­groes

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