PENLAN LAND 3 TRIES TO ABERAVON QUINN’S ONE BUT HAVE TO SETTLE FOR JUST ONE LOSING BONUS POINT
A close game for Penlan against Aberavon Quinns > picture from Colin Rush
Thankfully the weather conditions had not prevented Penlan’s away game from going ahead on Saturday with the rain holding off. It was the first meeting between these teams with the Quinns safely occupying top table place. What resulted was another Penlan nip and tuck game which they looked like winning but Aberavon managed to keep them at bay until the final whistle.
Referee Mr. Matthew Evans from Pembroke got the game underway on time with Penlan making the kick off. Penlan immediately chased after the ball and gained possession deep in opposition territory. The forceful Penlan maul proved far too strong and pushed the Quinn defence back over their line until second-row Kurt Velardo safely grounded a corner try within two minutes of the game starting.
Kurt Velardo safely lands the ball for an early Penlan try > picture from Colin Rush
The early lead was reversed by the Quinns by the ten minute mark after two safe penalty kicks went over for a 6 to 5 lead.
Penlan went back on the attack but at about 15 minutes a back injury to Penlan winger Luke Davies held up play for about 45 minutes while an ambulance attended and he was able to be stretchered from the field. Thankfully he was released from hospital many hours later but remains very sore. The enquiries and best wishes from the Quinns have been passed on to Luke and their concern is much appreciated.
When play got underway again it was evident that the Penlan momentum had been disrupted as they struggled to gain the upper hand. At the 30 minute mark some scrambling Penlan defence was exploited by the Quinns and allowed them through to land a try at the posts which they converted to advance their lead to 13 – 5 which was where things stood at half time.
With play resuming under floodlights Penlan initially got their act back together with the forwards proving especially stronger. At eight minutes into the half Captain and flanker Rob Green made a long kick to the wing deep in Aberavon territory. The ball was safely gathered by hooker Dean Davies who sprinted clear up the wing to land Penlan’s second try at the corner flag for 10 – 13.
Just two minutes later the Quinns had a lineout on their 10 metre which was won by Penlan and advanced well up field by Kurt Velardo who got the ball to winger Antony Butt who sprinted clear to land a third try for Penlan at the corner to swing the lead back to 15 – 16
Antony Butt could not be caught and lands his try > picture from Colin Rush
Despite Penlan scoring 3 tries to Aberavon’s one and arguably playing the more engaging rugby, it was penalties that were to be their downfall. Despite two "almost" tries in the later stages of the game Penlan conceded another two penalties at the 30 and 38 minute mark which gave Aberavon Quinns the game at the final whistle by 22 to 15. It was a disappointing result for Penlan with the Quinns heaving a sigh of relief knowing that they had made a narrow escape. They will know that their return game next April will prove a challenge. Their win leaves them still in first table pace with 34 points, just 4 ahead of Brynamman who have a game in hand. Next week Penlan are home to Brynamman which should prove to be an interesting game.
Thanks to Colin Rush for his pictures which have been added to the gallery and to Mike Evans who will be loading his pictures on his website in due course - www.mike322.com
Games between Cwmgors v Cwmavon and Cwmllynfell v Aberavon Green Stars were postponed and the results for others are presently reported as :-
Brynamman 30 Ystradgynlais 10
Neath Athletic 7 Maesteg Celtic 17
Taibach 22 Nantymoel 34