ONE SMALL POINT FOR PENLAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR GOWERTON
A close game at Gowerton for Penlan > picture from Colin Rush
Gowerton, unbeaten in the league, had been doing their sums and as they formed up against Penlan at home yesterday knew that a win would clinch the Division 2 West Championship for them. They also knew that they would have to work for their crucial win as referee Mr. Jonathan Hardy from Llanelli got the game underway dead on time.
To be honest in the first half it was not one of Penlan’s most exciting games, but that is often the case when two equal sides meet. Gowerton had the bigger side and Penlan had to work to make any impression. All the points went to Gowerton in the first 40 minutes from 3 penalties that were to prove crucial and came at 15 minutes, 17 minutes and 30 minutes to give them the slight but important 9 points lead at half time.
In the second half Penlan came out from the off with renewed determination which caught Gowerton napping. From the kick off Penlan chased the ball until No. 8 Ian Scrine took possession and made good ground through the Gowerton defence until he made a fine off-load to hooker Dean Davies who headed diagonally for the corner post. The try should have been his but a last minute Gowerton foul led to the referee awarding Penlan the penalty try which No. 10 Scott Davies easily converted for Penlan to claw back the score to 9 – 7.
Dean Davies sprints clear towards the line > picture from Colin Rush
The rest of the game was a nail biting experience for the supporters, especially those from Gowerton, who hoped that their team would at least hold on to their slender lead. Their nerves were to be pushed to the limits when Penlan had distinct chances from a drop goal attempt and two penalty kicks by outside-half Scott Davies. His usually safe boot let him and his team down on this occasion although the outcome was welcomed by Gowerton.
There could have been points for either side in the final stages but none came and as the final whistle sounded the Gowerton side and their supporters cheered with pride as they safely put the Championship to bed, with a game still in hand away to Penclawdd next week. If my maths is right Llanelli Wanderers will also gain promotion as, even if they win no more points from their next 3 games, they cannot be overtaken.
The WRU Swalec Trophy that had been discreetly hidden until the final whistle was presented to the rightfully proud Gowerton side with plenty of champagne flowing. Penlan sincerely congratulate the well drilled and determined side and wish them every success in Division 1 next season.
Man of the Match for Penlan was awarded to Centre Stephen Davey who worked hard throughout.
Thanks as ever to our resident photographers Colin Rush, whose photos have been uploaded to our gallery.
Our second’s team had their home game against Abercrave called off so travelled away to Seven Sisters instead where they went down to a stronger side by “something like 44 to 7”.
All Division 2 West results are presently reported as :-
Cardigan 18 Haverfordwest 28
Gowerton 9 Penlan 7
Hendy 17 Tycroes 24
Llanelli Wanderers 34 Penclawdd 19
Llanybydder 10 Aberystwyth 13
Pontarddulais 132 Llandeilo 0