January 18, 2015, 12:45:55 PM by HonSec
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EXCELLENT WIN FOR PENLAN AWAY TO FIRST DIVISION YNYSYBWL IN SWALEC PLATE ROUND 4
In some ways it was hard that one team had to win the Ynysybwl v Penlan Swalec Plate round 4 game on Saturday. Both teams demonstrated excellent rugby in the best sporting manner and a great rugby match resulted. Either team could have won but it was to Penlan’s credit as underdogs against a Division 1 club that despite the home advantage, Ynysybwl just could not secure the win.
The very cold weather had left the Ynysybwl pitch with some surface frost and mud under the shade of the stand but, for the most part the pitch was in good condition for the game with fine weather but still very cold. Referee Mr. Gareth Newman from Cardiff was in charge of the game and competently managed play throughout.
Ynysybwl made the kick off and in the early stages the teams worked to get the measure of the opposition as they settled down. Unfortunately after 10 minutes Penlan lost the safe boot of their No. 10, Scott Davies, who had to retire from the game as a concussion precaution following an accidental knock to the head.
As the game progressed it was apparent that the teams were well matched, despite the Division 1 and 2 combination, and Penlan supporters became increasing assured that they could make a good game of it. First points, however, went to the home side at 20 minutes from a penalty kick for 3 points.
Penlan were playing well as a team and at 30 minutes were putting the opposition under pressure. A long accurate kick by centre Steven Williams found touch near the corner flag much to the dismay of Ynysybwl. A fine Penlan win at the lineout followed with a determined push for the goal line. The home side just could not hold the pressure and were pushed back until flanker Rob Green landed a fine try. Rob had travelled to the game after finishing work in Milford Haven, arriving minutes before the game kicked off. He had missed the pre-game warm up but his usual prominent play showed no ill effects as a result. It was a difficult conversion kick that just missed so Penlan settled for a slim 3 – 5 lead.
Ynysybwl continued to look dangerous with the exciting game keeping spectators engrossed and just 2 minutes later they had their revenge. They secured a scrum on the half way line and after some fine fast passing after winning the ball a determined and dodging sprint up centre field found a way through the defence for a clear try near the posts. A straightforward conversion gave Ynysybwl the 10 – 5 lead at half time.
Penlan coaches, Lee Banfield and Mark Glover, gave some timely guidance to the team at half time but surely the teams just needed to maintain their team efforts.
In the early part of the second half, although the play was constantly exciting, it was to and fro with no points. At just before 30 minutes though there was a great pass made by Rob Green to Steven Williams that caught the home side napping and led to Steven making a sprint deep into their territory and almost scoring. The territory gain put Penlan in position for a determined push for the line that Ynysybwl could not hold until flanker Adam Glover landed a well deserved and powerful try. The conversion missed closely so the score evened at 10 points.
A lineside debate ensued as to what would happen if the draw stood at half-time with at least 5 possible scenarios suggested. To clarify the position, in the event of a draw at final time the winners would be decided on greater number of tries, if equal then conversions, if equal extra time of 10 minutes each way is played – if still equal the away team will be declared the winners. In the case of semi-finals though a replay would take place and if equal then a toss of the coin will decide. In the final the result is declared a draw and the trophy held by each club for 6 months.
The debate though because academic when, within 5 minutes Penlan secured a third try from a jaw dropping interception by full back Dafydd Pritchard. He had skilfully read the opposition play well in advance and was already sprinting through as the pass was made. The defence was stunned and could only follow Dafydd as he sprinted clear through the posts to land the ball. Replacement No. 10 Steven Davies made short work of the conversion kick to give Penlan the 10 – 17 lead.
In the closing stages of the game Ynysybwl desperately tried to get back in front but apart from a late penalty kick, could make no further headway to leave the Penlan win 13 – 17 as the final whistle sounded.
It had been a great win for Penlan and a big disappointment to the Ynysybwl side that were sportingly magnanimous in their loss with their congratulations to the winners.
Good hospitality was enjoyed after the match when the Penlan side turned out in some highly dubious fancy dress for the occasion, partly to celebrate the 24th. Birthday of prop Callum Llewellyn who, incidently, earned special praise from supporters for his contribution to the win.
Penlan usually name a Man of the Match which proved to be a particularly difficult task on this occasion which was why, unusually, two were named – Scrum-half Bobby Scrine and prop Liam Richards. To be honest just about any of the players could have been elected, or even the whole team but dividing 5 pints between 20 players seemed a bit daft.
Next Tuesday we should learn who we will face in the next round, the quarter-finals, which surely will not be another away fixture, but who knows. The draw will be made following the presently reported results –
Aberystwyth 28 Talywain 8
Loughor 33 Ystalyfera 21
Newcastle Emlyn 13 Pencoed 8
Penalta 46 Heol-y-Cyw 5
Pontypool 12 Nant Conwy 47
Skewen 22 Pwllheli 13
Ynysybwl 13 Penlan 17
Ystrad Rhondda 38 Glamorgan Wanders 0
With Penlan and Aberystwyth in Plate action just four Div 2 West league fixtures were played, results reported as –
Gowerton 16 Tycroes 13
Hendy 42 Llandeilo 0
Llanelli Wanderers 42 Haverfordwest 5
Pontarddulais 36 Llandybydder 10
Next week Penlan is back in the League race and will be home to Pontarddulais. who in 6th. Place, are just one table point ahead of us.