DRAMATIC BONY WIN BLOWS THE TITLE RACE WIDE OPEN
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.