A FINE AWAY WIN FOR THE LAN AT PONTARDDULAIS IN A CLOSE GAME
A close exciting game > picture from Colin Rush
First an apology to Second-row Kurt Velardo for not crediting him with Penlan’s second try last week – I have corrected the match report so you can please stop punching me now !
Time moved on and our second game this week was away to Pontarddulais on a great day for rugby. Pontarddulais have a long reputation for good rugby so Penlan knew they would be in for a close game. Ponty had also suffered a one point loss away to Llanybydder the week before so would be determined to get back on form.
Referee Mr. Mark Johns from Bridgend got the game underway with Penlan taking the kick-off and ably administered what turned out to be an exciting game between two closely matched sides.
Initial scores went Penlan’s way at 6 minutes and 11 minutes from two penalties safely landed by full-back Jack Harris to provide a useful 6 points.
Full-back Jack Harris was kicking well > picture from Colin Rush
Pontarddulais were a fast and able side and at 20 minutes were on the attack at the wing when a failure in defence was seized upon by their scrum-half Martin Rees who dodged through and across to land a safe try midway between the post and the corner flag. Centre Gwyn Davies made the conversion to edge the home side in front by 7 to 6.
In the second quarter Penlan constantly showed that they were up for the challenge, especially up front and won a Pontarddulais lineout on their 5 metre to immediately set up the ruck for the line. The home side were pushed clear back over their line until No. 8 Ian Scrine landed a try. Jack Harris safely slotted the conversion to make it 7 – 13 to Penlan at half-time.
In the second half Pontarddulais came out with renewed effort and an exciting contest resulted until at 10 minutes they kicked long and high upfield which resulted in the ball going loose. It was eventually secured by home second-row Rhys Samuel who sprinted over the Penlan line for a try to make the Penlan lead slender at 12 – 13.
The contest for edge continued with some substitutions on either side during which both teams looked like taking the lead. Pontarddulais were no doubt reflecting that they had missed some 4 penalty kicks at goal by this point. Admittedly they had been long distances but had been close and the points would have been vital.
Penlan were holding the opposition at bay and always looked dangerous but they knew that the slightest error would be seized upon. Their play was determined though and in the final quarter they secured another scrum on the home 5 metre. Prop Michael Rush secured the ball while the backs formed up. Some fast passing got the ball across field and after some scrambling Penlan centre Dafydd Pritchard safely landed his try. No. 10 Steven Williams made short work of the conversion to extend the Penlan lead to 12 – 20 and deprive Pontarddulais of even a losing bonus point.
In the little time left Penlan held their position to celebrate a fine win as the final whistle went. It was a close game and lost points from their penalties proved crucial for Pontarddulais but that is the game of rugby. The results this week put Penlan in fourth league positions with Hendy, Llanelli Wanderers and Llanybydder just in front.
Next week Penlan are away again to old adversaries Tycroes which should prove likely to be another exciting close game.
As ever grateful thanks to our resident photographers Colin Rush and Mike Evans. Colin’s pictures have been added to our gallery and Mikes will be added to his website in due course www.mike322.com
Penlan’s seconds had a back to back fixture at home to Pontarddulais and it had been suggested that their competent and fit side might overwhelm Penlan. True, Penlan were beaten but by a closer than expected 6 to 15 which was an encouraging result for the future. Congratulations by the way to Bobby Honey-Jones who the players voted as their second team Captain for the season.
All West 2 Division results are currently reported as :-
Cardigan 23 Llanybydder 34
Gowerton 59 Haverfordwest 15
Hendy 34 Aberystwyth 29
Llanelli Wanderers 46 Llandeil 10
Penclawdd 9 Tycroes 8
Pontarddulais 12 Penlan 20
First Financial Solutions League Swansea B
Loughor 42 Cwmgors 5
Penlan 6 Pontarddulais 15
Vardre 0 Seven Sisters 42
Neath Athletic v Ystradgynlais and Swansea Uplands v Swansea University were both postponed.