DRA­MATIC BONY WIN BLOWS THE TI­TLE RACE WIDE OPEN

Carmarthen Journal - - Midweek Sport - CARL FIELD

THERE was a dra­matic fin­ish at Aber­nant Park where Bony­maen in­flicted a nar­row 17-16 de­feat on Glyn­neath to blow the ti­tle race in One West Cen­tral wide open.

The hosts were lead­ing 16-10 and looked on their way to vic­tory when vis­it­ing fly-half Lawrence Thomas raced on to a chip over the top in the fi­nal sec­onds of the game and was pulled back as he went to touch down.

That re­sulted in Bony­maen be­ing awarded a penalty try and con­signed Glyn­neath to a se­cond straight de­feat, hav­ing sur­ren­dered top spot with a loss at Ystalyfera the week be­fore.

The vis­i­tors were 10-6 to the good at half-time thanks to a try from Nathan Brooks, with Thomas adding the con­ver­sion and a penalty.

Dy­lan Fran­cis split the posts twice in the first half for Glyn­neath who, with the slope, then took the lead after the break when Ioan Jones crashed over.

Fran­cis con­verted be­fore land­ing his third penalty although, ul­ti­mately, they had to make do with a los­ing bonus point.

“We knew it was go­ing to be tough in the se­cond half but our de­fence was ex­cel­lent,” said Bony­maen’s Paul Ham­ma­cott.

“They did bril­liantly, par­tic­u­larly for the first 20 min­utes of the se­cond half be­cause Glyn­neath were really go­ing for it.

“But we de­served it in the end and the Glyn­neath sup­port­ers were also mag­nan­i­mous be­cause I think they re­alised in that last 20 min­utes we were the only team that was go­ing to score.

“It’s a big win for us and, by the looks of it, the divi­sion could come down to bonus points.”

The win for Bony­maen also avenged the 18-12 de­feat they suf­fered at home against Glyn­neath back in Septem­ber and it’s now look­ing like a three-horse race for the ti­tle once again.

Ystalyfera, who won 40-23 at Tondu, are top of the pile with 47 points, with Glyn­neath on 42 and Bony­maen on 40. All three sides have played 11 matches.

The clash on Fe­bru­ary 16 be­tween Bony­maen and Ystalyfera could well have a huge bear­ing on the ti­tle, which Bony­maen won back in 201415.

Bony­maen now turn their at­ten­tion to­wards Satur­day’s WRU Na­tional Plate fourth-round home clash with Two East Cen­tral out­fit Cil­fynydd where a win will se­cure a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals for Stu­art Allen’s side.

It will also be Bony­maen’s first home cup tie since 2014. They were drawn at home to Porth­cawl in the first round of this sea­son’s Plate but were handed a walkover.

“We’ve had some di­a­bol­i­cal away draws over the last few years but we’ve fi­nally got a home draw in the last 16,” added Ham­ma­cott.

“If I’m not mis­taken it’s our first home tie in about five years so we are very hope­ful and are putting an em­pha­sis on the cup as well this year.

“Cil­fynydd are hav­ing a really good sea­son as well and I be­lieve they are bring­ing a se­cond team down to play our sec­onds and quite a bit of sup­port, which will be wel­comed.”

Glyn­neath, mean­while, will be look­ing to bounce back when they

Dar­ren Wil­liams and Gareth Arm­strong try to stop Loughor’s Bran­don Owens.

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