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October 04, 2015, 12:18:20 PM by HonSec | Views: 15 | Comments: 0


Injury continues to disrupt Penlan’s squad which required more changes to be made to their line up at Nantymoel on Saturday.  In the early stages they struggled to settle down but fought back valiantly in the second half.

Penlan took the kick off as referee Mr. Phil Evans from Bridgend got the game underway on an ideal day for rugby at Nantymoel.  First points went to Penlan from a safe penalty kick by outside-half Steven Williams at just 3 minutes but it was to be the only time when they were to lead the scoring.

At 7 minutes Nantymoel were putting Penlan under extreme pressure on their line and, initially, left wing Dafydd Pritchard managed to deny them a touch down.  A Nantymoel scrum in front of the posts followed and this time the Penlan defence was breached and the try landed.  A straightforward conversion made the score 7 – 3 for Nantymoel.

For a time Penlan were successful at keeping the opposition at bay despite their determined efforts but at 25 minutes, Nantymoel had a scrum in the Penlan 22 and, with some fast passing, switched position around the defence to cross near the corner, run around and land between the posts.  A second safe conversion put the home side 14 – 3 in front.

Just two minutes later more punishment came Penlan’s way from a Nantymoel lineout in the 22.  Quick passing to the wing lead to them making steady progress up the field until, once again they crossed at the corner and ran around behind the posts for their try.  A safe third conversion gave Nantymoel a 21 – 3 lead.

The work for Penlan became harder when established players Ian Scrine and Neil Draper had to retire due to injury with Ian sustaining a nasty cut above his eye that required stitching to add to Head Coach Lee Banfield’s ongoing difficulties.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half Penlan clawed back 6 points from two penalties landed by Steven William to shave the Nantymoel lead to 21 – 9 at half time.

With the prospect of securing their first win of the season, Nantymoel came out determined to finish the job and even possibly get a fourth try for a bonus point.  To Penlan’s credit they had no intention of making it easy for Nantymoel.  At 10 minutes though 3 penalty points were added to the home tally from a safe kick at the posts.

The Penlan fight back proved successful at 15 minutes when they secured a lineout on the home 5 metre.  The through-in was made by Adam Glover and won by second row Kurt Velardo who passed across field.  Initial work by Stephen Harding advanced the ball well, leading to a constant push for the line until Adam Glover powered over the line to land a welcome first try.  Now the home lead was 24 – 14 with the welcome score adding to the fire in Penlan hearts.

Penlan had one player on permit, namely young Luke Ford from Bonymaen, who was playing at scrum-half.  It was a big call for Luke playing with a new team in such a crucial position, taking the place of key player Bobby Scrine who was injured and watching from the touchline.  Luke showed his ability at the 28 minute mark after Penlan steadily advanced the ball deep into Nantymoel territory.  Some fast Penlan passing got the ball to Luke who sprinted up the wing through the defenders to score a great try near the corner to reduce the home lead to 24 – 19 with 10 minutes to go.  Luke was awarded Penlan's Man of the Match.

Penlan now looked the stronger and more determined team and had valiantly fought back for a chance to win against the odds.  Nantymoel though had had a wake up call and managed to put in the work to prevent any more damage.  With just 4 minutes to go they made their win more secure and deprived Penlan of a 7 point losing bonus point by landing their second penalty to make the final score 27 – 19.

Nantymoel deserved their first win of the season and Penlan came away being able to hold their heads high for a spirited performance but with even more injuries to add to their problems.

In the evening the players relaxed as they attended the engagement party of player Bobby Scrine and Carla Jayne Price and a fine evening was had by all, especially as a television was on hand so that the England v Australia game could be followed.  Very best wishes to Bobby and Carla from us all.

Next week Penlan are home to Aberavon Green Stars who are currently in 8th table place immediately behind Penlan but with 6 points difference.

All Division 2 West Central results are currently reported as :-

Aberavon Green Stars 13    Ystradgynlais 17
Cwmllynfell 81    Cwmgors 13
Maesteg Celtic 19    Cwmavon 19
Nantymoel 27    Penlan 19
Neath Athletic 23    Aberavon Quinns 36
Taibach 8    Brynamman 47

September 27, 2015, 12:04:53 PM by HonSec | Views: 12 | Comments: 0


Penlan come out top against Taibach > picture from Colin Rush

Penlan juniors proudly provided a guard of honour for their senior team as they took to the field on Saturday in their home meeting with Taibach.  Penlan are known for their forward play which they knew would be disrupted as Taibach had been obliged to declare passive scrum before the game started.

Referee Mr.Steve Richmond from Bridgend got the game underway with Penlan taking the kick off and in the early stages they were under pressure to adjust their play to the passive scrums.  By the end of the first half the visitors emerged in the lead.  After just 4 minutes they had 3 points from a penalty and just 5 minutes later they scored a converted try following winning their lineout just outside the Penlan 5 metre and some fast passing that gave them the 0 – 10 lead.

Penlan had to wait until the 30th minute for their first points as they put Taibach under pressure at their goal line.  A pass to the wing was reached for by second row Luke Brooks and he deflected the ball directly into the safe hands of winger Sean Lewis who powered up the wing to score at the corner flag and make the half time score 5 – 10.

In the second half Penlan had settled down and put more points on the board after being awarded a penalty.  At just 7 minutes the ball was advanced well into Taibach territory by No. 8 Ian Scrine until Penlan set up a push for the line.  Second row Kurt Velardo powered over the line to land Penlan’s second try which was safely converted by outside-half and game Captain, Dafydd Pritchard, to give Penlan a slender 12 – 10 lead.

A third try came Penlan’s way at 15 minutes from a scrum mid 22 in Taibach territory.  Further ground was made by brothers Bobby and Ian Scrine to lead to another scrum on the Taibach 5 metre line.  Some quick passing got the ball to Neil Draper at Centre who stormed through any defence to land a fine try and advance Penlan to 17 – 10.

At 25 minutes Taibach clawed back 3 points from a penalty awarded in front of the Penlan posts for 17 – 13.

With some Penlan regulars still temporarily missing from the side there were others who had stepped up to the first team with the newest being Matthew Alford on the wing, whose player registration had only been confirmed the day before.  At 34 minutes Matthew scored a magnificent debut try which came from a Penlan scrum in the Taibach 22.  Fast Penlan passing got the ball to the wing and Matthew who powered over the line to safely land his try at the corner for a 4 try bonus point and the 22 – 13 lead.

Throughout the game Outside-Half, Dafydd Pritchard, had been making his presence felt and was well up with the action to receive the ball from Centre Stephen Davey who had advanced the ball well into Taibach territory.  His fast pass left the defence standing as Dafydd Pritchard sprinted over the line.  Dafydd also safely kicked the conversion to advance his side to a clear 29 – 13 win as the final whistle sounded.

Penlan were very grateful to our match day sponsors CrossFit SA1 and their Man of the Match was awarded to second-row Kurt Velardo.

As ever our photographers Colin Rush and Mike Evans were on hand to catch the action.  Some pictures from Colin have been posted on our gallery and Mike’s will be on his website in due course – www.mike322.com.

Next week we travel to Nantymoel for our first encounter of the season.

All Division 2 West Central results are presently reported as

Aberavon Quinns 26    Maesteg Celtic 6
Brynamman 12    Cwmllynfell 12
Cwmavon 21    Aberavon Green Stars 13
Cwmgors 22    Neath Athletic 45
Penlan 29    Taibach 13
Ystradgynlais 28    Nantymoel 9


September 20, 2015, 12:35:08 PM by HonSec | Views: 24 | Comments: 0


Penlan under great pressure > picture from Colin Rush

The nightmare for any rugby coach in the early hours of the morning is to dream that you are going to be missing most of your regular players due to commitments and injury for a game against an ex Division 1 club who will have the home advantage. Unfortunately for Penlan Head Coach, Lee Banfield, and his players it was a reality for them on Saturday as they prepared to face up to a well drilled and professionally organized Cwmllynfell side.

All teams occasionally face the same dilemma but it is to the team’s credit that Penlan loyally turned out to face a certain heavy defeat with some six second team squad in support. As anticipated it turned out to be a hard game for Penlan which saw them incur even more injuries.

Conditions were excellent for rugby at Cwmllynfell with the home side having the first half slight advantage of playing down the slightly sloping ground.  Referee Mr. Lee Roberts from Carmarthen got the game underway with Cwmllynfell intent on securing their third win in their quest for promotion back to Division 1.

It was clear from early on that the home side were well in control with a penalty at 5 minutes and two tries at 10 and 15 minutes putting them 13 points ahead.  Their fast passing and accurate kicking had secured their first try with a charged down kick giving them the second.

Then for a long period Penlan kept them at bay but failed to breach their defence until at 30 minutes, Outside-Half and game Captain Dafydd Pritchard landed 3 points from a penalty to make it 13 – 3.

Just before half time as Cwm mounted an assault, Penlan supporters were convinced that referee Mr. Roberts had missed a clear offside advantage that led to the opposition score near the corner flag to leave it a 3 – 18 home lead at the end of half time.

The score still looked reasonable as the second half started but Cwm stepped up the pressure and things went from bad to worse for Penlan, despite their valiant efforts. At 3 minutes Cwm secured a further 3 penalty points and at 5 minutes another followed.  At 7 minutes they had a scrum on the halfway line which they secured and with some fast passing dodged Penlan to the wing to cross at the corner.  Their first conversion went over and suddenly the home team were 31 to 3 in front.

By 11 minutes Penlan had lost two strong players due to injury, James Jenkins at Centre and Adam Glover at Hooker.  David Winkett had come on and also Club Captain Robert Green who had been on the bench nursing injury.

At 15 minutes Cwm’s pressure proved productive again after some more fast passing breached the Penlan defence to allow them to land try number 5 which they converted to advance their lead to 38 – 3.

It was a brave commitment from Robert Green to come on although injured but his game was brief as he too had to retire after just 4 minutes to be replaced by Rui Rebeiro making his first team debut.  As a result Penlan were forced to declare passive scrums.

Penlan were now on permanently on the defensive as the  home team pressure was relentless and at 25 minutes a Penlan fumble in front of their line was seized upon to earn try 6 for Cwm when they picked up and darted across the line for 43 – 3.

Their 7th. try came 5 minutes later from their scrum on Penlan’s 22 with some fast paced passing breaching the defence and with the conversion made it 50 – 3.

In the final stages Penlan did a fair job of keeping the Cwm onslaught at bay and it looked like the final score was in but in the dying minute Cwm took a quick penalty near our line and shot through for a final 8th crushing converted try to give them the win with 57 – 3 at the whistle. 

This was the highest losing score inflicted on Penlan for a number of seasons but had looked inevitable from the start. Some felt that the referee’s decisions seem to consistently favour Cwmllynfell which added to the Penlan pressure but maybe when your team is down it can seem that way.

Penlan supporters were proud of their team who could hold their heads up by having put their boots on the field when they were needed, even though they knew they were in for a hard crushing game.  Bloody but unbowed the team will need to regroup and organize for next week’s home game against Taibach.

Faithful photographers Colin Rush and Mike Evans were on hand to catch the action. Normally they are behind the Penlan posts to witness their tries but there was little action for them on Saturday.  Nevertheless some pictures from Colin have been posted on our gallery and Mike’s will be on his website in due course – www.mike322.com.

All Division 2 West Central results currently reported as –

Aberavon Green Stars 20    Maesteg Celtic 26
Cwmgors 6    Aberavon Quinns 6
Cwmllynfell 57    Penlan 3
Nantymoel 11    Cwmavon 27
Neath Athletic 20    Brynamman 51
Taibach 17    Ystradgynlais 57

September 13, 2015, 11:33:07 AM by HonSec | Views: 102 | Comments: 0


Penlan emerge the winners against Neath Athletic > picture from Colin Rush

The rain had stopped well in time for Penlan’s  home game against Neath Athletic on Saturday which proved to be a good day for rugby.

The teams had last played during the 2013 – 14 season and in their September home game Penlan had lost by 13 to 16 but had won 10 – 19 in their away game the following January.  Penlan knew that they were in for a good game of rugby against a side that had earned their respect from previous encounters.  Some key players were temporarily missing from the usual Penlan line up, including their new Captain for the season Robert Green who was carrying injury following last week’s game at Cwmgors.

Referee Mr. Neil Howells from Maesteg got the game underway on time with Neath Athletic kicking off into the gusting wind which did no favours for either side.  In the early stages the sides weighed each other up but it was the visitors who gained the first advantage after just 10 minutes.  Their fast passing rapidly got the ball to the wing where it was advanced by Neath’s James Williams who weaved through the Penlan defence to land a fine corner try.  Adam Rowlands landed the conversion to put Neath Athletic ahead by 0 – 7.

There followed a long period while play went both ways until Penlan placed the ball well into visitor territory with a long well aimed kick from Outside-half and game Captain Dafydd Pritchard.  There followed some four scrums on the Neath 5 metre line until some fast passing between Penlan brothers Ian and Bobby Scrine swung the ball to the wing and the safe hands of right-wing Antony Butt.  Antony sprinted clear and made a flying dive over the line near the corner for a thrilling try.  Penlan’s conversion narrowly missed to leave Neath Athletic with the slight 5 – 7 lead at half time.

Antony Butt goes turbo for his flying try > picture from Colin Rush

Penlan had looked the stronger up front but early in the second half Penlan second row Kurt Velardo took a blow in the scrum and had to leave the field with concussion which was promptly identified by Penlan Physio Bethan Davies.

At 10 minutes Penlan switched the lead to their way by 8 to 7 with a safe penalty taken by Dafydd Pritchard who slotted the posts despite the gusting wind.

For a long period the action settled in the visitor’s territory when there were three consecutive scrums on the 5 metre that saw Penlan taking the ball over the line but Neath preventing a try.   At 30 minutes more injuries saw some Penlan forward players having to leave the field so that Penlan had to go to uncontested scrums.

Shortly after, Neath Athletic secured a penalty directly in front of the Penlan posts which Adam Rowlands made short work of to put the game back in their favour by 8 to 10.

Penlan knew time was running out and that a special effort would be needed if a win was to come their way.  Inside Centre Stephen Davey had been well up for the effort throughout the game and with just 5 minutes to go, after some fast Penlan passing, he gained possession and made a long sprint through the opposition.  He shrugged off the Athletic defence and struggled clear to land the ball safely over the line near the corner.  He was buried by the pursuing defence but the ball was clearly grounded to wrest the lead back to Penlan 13 to 10.  The conversion narrowly missed as the game went into the final minutes.

An exciting try from determined Stephen Davey > pictures from Colin Rush

Neath Athletic were down but certainly not out as in the dying time they advanced the ball directly up field and pressured Penlan who conceded a penalty in front of their posts.  It looked as if the 3 points were on the cards which would have made the result a draw which an impartial spectator may have felt was the fairest result.  It was not to be though, whether due to the gusting wind or the end of game pressure, the kick narrowly missed.  Referee Mr. Howells blew the whistle to leave a relieved Penlan with a narrow win and Neath Athletic having to settle for a losing bonus point.

It had been an exciting well played game of rugby which had been nip and tuck throughout between two well matched sides that could easily have gone either way.  Nevertheless it was a useful second season win for Penlan who next week are away to unknown Cwmllynfell who have come down from Division 1 West Central last season.  They have won their first two league games in their path back to Division 1 glory so will be a challenge for Penlan.

Penlan Man of the Match was awarded to Ian Scrine, but all players did their part with a true Penlan team performance resulting.

Unfortunately Skewen had called off our second’s home game at the last minute after their struggle to field a team failed.

Many thanks to our ever loyal photographers Colin Rush and Mike Evans.  Colin’s photos have been uploaded to our gallery while Mike’s will be uploaded in due course to his website www.mike322.com

Full Division 2 West Central results are currently reported as –

Aberavon Green Stars 10    Aberavon Quinns 26
Brynamman 20    Cwmgors 16
Cwmavon 27    Taibach 10
Maesteg Celtic 27    Nantymoel 25
Ystradgynlais 10    Cwmllynfell 21

September 06, 2015, 12:19:22 PM by HonSec | Views: 158 | Comments: 0


Rob Green on the way for his try - pic from Colin Rush

For over 10 years Penlan have won their first league game each season with our 2015-2016 opener away to Cwmgors being the latest.   We were last at Cwmgors four years ago and they now present quite a professional outfit with their evident pitch improvements and advancement having finished in 5th league place last season.

Referee Mr. Jonathan Evans from Neath got the game underway on time with Penlan making their first kick of the season.  Penlan supporters were understandably nervous as their side had only been able to get in one pre-season trial game and had lost some regular players on transfer with some regular stalwarts missing the first game.  Nevertheless they went straight on the offensive and at just 3 minutes got the first try of the game.

Penlan had secured a lineout on the home 22 with Adam Glover taking the throw in his new position as Hooker.  Penlan secured the ball and passed back until Adam reached it again and made a long advancing kick forward.  He followed up with a determined chase upfield to secure the ball from the desperate defenders and sprint over the line.  It was a spirit lifting try and magnificent try by Adam (you can tell I am very grateful for the lift up the club that he gave me after the game !).   A fine conversion followed by outside-half Dafydd Pritchard to give the visitors an early 7 point lead.

Just 5 minutes later Cwmgors evened the score when referee Mr. Evans awarded them a penalty try which they converted, following a Penlan scrum.  The quick decision appeared harsh to Penlan supporters as it followed just the one scrum infringement and meant Penlan were under test to bounce back.

Thankfully, their constant pressure finally did pay dividends.  A determined push for the line seemed to have yielded them a try but was ruled short.  Undeterred, Penlan were well on the offensive and a following scrum in the home 22 saw Second Row Kurt Velardo secure the loose ball and power through the defence to land a fine try that could not be disputed.  Dafydd Pritchard was denied the conversion when his kick hit the post to leave Penlan in front by 7 to 12.

At 30 minutes Cwmgors gained 3 points back from a penalty to make it 10 – 12 but 5 minutes later the gap was restored by Dafydd Pritchard who landed a penalty from the 22 line to make it 10 – 15 which is where things remained at half time.

Things started cautiously in the second half with both sides seeking the upper hand until at 15 minutes a second safe penalty kick from Dafydd Pritchard gave Penlan a safer margin by 10 – 18.

Penlan made some replacements and continued their pressure until at about 25 minutes they secured a scrum near the 5 metre and set up a push for the line.  Stephen Davey at Centre led some quick passing until Adam Glover made a fine fast pass (thanks again for the lift !!) to powerhouse Flanker Robert Green who stormed over the line to secure a thrilling third try for Penlan near the post.  Dafydd Pritchard safely landed his second conversion to give them a seemingly comfortable 10 – 25 lead.
The Penlan army dared to start thinking about a fourth bonus point try but a leg injury to Robert Green at about 30 minutes seemed to change the dynamics of the game.  Cwmgors stepped up their pressure and at 35 minutes secured their second try after putting the visitors under constant pressure on their goal line. The conversion failed and left them at 15 – 25.

Things still looked comfortable for Penlan until just 3 minutes later a long cross kick by Cwmgors got the ball to the weakly defended Penlan wing.  A desperate tackle attempt by Penlan was shrugged off and left the home side free to sprint over the line.  The conversion narrowed the Penlan lead to 22 – 25.  There seemed to be a long period of extra time played but Penlan did a good job of keeping their lead resulting in both sides notching up 3 tries and Cwmgors having to settle for a one point losing bonus.

It was a good and fair win for Penlan which should stand them in good stead for next week’s game when they are at home to Neath Athletic who finished in 8th. table position last season and have justly earned respect from Penlan from their previous matches.  

Man of the match was deservedly awarded to Dafydd Pritchard who performed well in his unaccustomed position at Outside-half.  (runner up I am sure was Adam Glover – thanks again for the lift mate !!!!)

Thanks to our photographers yet again, those from Colin Rush have been uploaded to our gallery and those from Mike Evans will be added to his website www.mike322.com

Unfortunately Cwmgors called off our second team game with them as they had been unable to obtain the services of a referee.

All Division 2 West Central results are currently reported as :-

Aberavon Quinns 26    Brynamman 7
Cwmgors 22    Penlan 25
Cwmllynfell 39    Cwmavon 17
Nantymoel 24    Aberavon Green Stars 38
Neath Athletic 20    Ystradgynlais 35
Taibach 13    Maesteg Celtic 24

September 15, 2008, 08:39:30 PM by HonSec | Views: 16373 | Comments: 0




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