BALANCED MATCH AGAINST MAESTEG CELTIC ENDS IN A FAIR DRAW
It was a close encounter at Mynydd Newydd > picture from Colin Rush
In Penlan’s away game against Maesteg Celtic in October they had secured a safe 13 – 27 win landing 5 tries so they knew that their home encounter could see a more prepared Maesteg side out for revenge. The result was an exciting and tough game of rugby between teams that were closely matched.
Referee Mr. Peter Evans from Brynamman got the game underway on time with the visitors making the kick off. The weather was fine and cold but with a slight breeze as things on the field were slow at first as the sides tested each other out. First points came just after 10 minutes when Penlan had a couple of scrums in the visitors half which led to the award of a penalty. A quick take by scrum half and captain, Bobby Scrine saw him darting through the defence and cross the line for a fine try, his sixth of the season.
Penlan were playing well but making some unenforced errors which gave Maesteg Celtic 3 points a couple of minutes later from a penalty kick that hit the crossbar but struggled over.
At 25 minutes it was Penlan’s turn for a penalty which was safely landed by outside-half Steven Williams to make it a 8 – 3 lead for Penlan.
In the late stages of the first half Maesteg were putting Penlan under pressure at their line in the corner when an infringement saw the referee award them a penalty try which was easily converted to swing the score 8 – 10 in their favour.
In the last minute full-back Jack Harris put Penlan back in front with a second Penlan penalty kick. It was a great kick scored from the touchline that made it a narrow 11 – 10 lead for Penlan as the half time whistle sounded.
The most of the second half was a to and fro affair with both sides having chances and it was not until the 25 minute point that Maesteg Celtic edged back in front 11 – 13 with 3 penalty points.
Steven Davies had come on in the second half as full-back with Jack Harris moving to the wing and their combination gave Penlan their next points. The hard battle progressed into the last stages, and at 30 minutes saw a great burst through the defence with a sprint by Steven Davies advance the ball deep into visitor territory. He made a fine long offload to Jack Harris on the wing who kicked ahead and chased up the wing. The kick looked too ambitious at first but Jack’s pace was up to the challenge as he outpaced defenders to land a great try at the corner, his fifth this season. It was a difficult conversion but Steven Davies made it look easy. This switched the lead back in Penlan’s favour 18 to 13.
With time rapidly running out it looked as if a Penlan win was on the cards but it was not to be. Maesteg responded by putting Penlan back under pressure and in the final stages gained their second penalty try award from referee Mr. Evans to even the score at 18 points. Despite being kicked from directly in front of the posts their conversion failed, much to the relief of Penlan.
It looked like being a draw but then with just 3 minutes to go Steven Davies made a great penalty kick to edge Penlan to a 21 – 18 lead. Even more drama came when a dying minute third penalty for Maesteg evened the score again to 21 all which was where things stood as the final whistle sounded.
It had been 2 tries, 1 conversion and 3 penalties for both sides, albeit that Maesteg’s were penalty tries. Although a disappointment for both teams, in the circumstances a draw was perhaps the fairest result and gained both teams a useful 2 points.
Jack Harris was fairly awarded the Man of the Match award for the second time this season.
Man of the Match Jack Harris lands his fine try > picture from Mike Evans
Thanks to Colin Rush and Mike Evans for their photographs of the action. Colin’s have been uploaded to our gallery page and Mike’s will be available on his website www.mike322.com
A rear picture of our resident photographers Mike and Colin > picture from Mike Thomas
All Division 3 South West results are presently reported as :-
Bryncoch 17 Taibach 19
Morriston 6 Neath Athletic 25
Penlan 21 Maesteg Celtic 21
Pontycymmer 6 Pencoed 24
Resolven 15 Brynamman 23
Ystalyfera 29 Glyncorrwg 10
Penlan’s seconds went down heavily against a strong Penclawdd side although exact details of the high score are sketchy. Congratulations though to Mark “Markie” Davies who prevented a whitewash by scoring Penlan’s only 5 points from what he describes as a magnificent try.