Wanderers title hope fade
Ystrad Rhondda 29
“There are times when you have to hold your hand up and admit the opposition deserve their success and this is one of those times. You must admire the passion and commitment Ystrad showed and they deserve the league title. They should televise the playoff against Brynmawr it will be a real cracker” commented Martyn Fowler “Once again we got into a winning position but failed to manage the game. Despite the loss our season is not over. We want to finish second in the Division and we still have the Mallett cup and Silver ball semis to look forward to. Our young side will learn lots from this which will benefit them so much in seasons to come” he added.
“Phil Pariyo added his 25th try of the season, 4 off the club record set by Kevin Ellis in 1988” What an achievement that record would be” Commented manager John Lyons
On a bright afternoon the home side began well. Putting early pressure on the visitors and after Ystrad were penalised at a ruck for nor releasing Luke Fish stepped up to open the scoring with a penalty 3-0. That lead was extended almost immediately from a scrum in the Wanderers half. Moving the ball into midfield Andy Evans joined the line and he put Phil Pariyo away. Pariyo raced off and with a neat step he rounded the cover defence to allow him a canter to the line. Fish hit the post with the conversion 8-0. As per last week the game was developing into a real cracker and both sides were determined to give no quarter in the tight exchanges. Ystrad started to warm to their task and after an attack of several phases a neat sneak down the blind side gave them their first try of the game, 8-5. The Wanderers continued to prosper in the wide channels with Young centres Cameron Gibbon and Josh Male a constant threat. A break downfield from deep by Fish gained another penalty which set up another good field position and after more pressure another penalty allowed Fish to extend the lead to 11-5. Some tempers became a little fractious and the referee gave both captains a lecture as to future conduct. Male and Gibbon combined well once again, but a spilled ball thwarted another attack. On the 31 minute mark the game exploded. An up an under was chased well by Lee Highgate who caught the defender with the ball and the Wanderers counter-rucked. A penalty was awarded to the home side but something sparked a mass brawl (possibly caused by a rumour that a player from Ystrad had hidden the Wanderers missing flag in his shorts!). A long lecture followed and 2 Ystrad players received red cards , Peter Lloyd was red carded from the Wanderers and Churcher was also sent to the bin for the remainder of the half. Despite the charged atmosphere in the game the rest of the half went without incident and the sides went into the break at 11-5.
Just as in the first half the Wanderers began brightly. After a move of several phases Fish crosskicked to the on rushing Evans. He gathered and when held up he found Tom Penry Ellis in support. He carried well and found Gibbon on his shoulder and he raced away to score. Fish converted 18-5. Despite the deficit Ystrad remained positive and within minutes they were back in the game. A penalty gave them good field position and reverting to the effective catch and drive they drove at the defence. When stopped,a neat switch in midfield sent them over under the posts to put them right back in the hunt at 18-12. The game ebbed and flowed and as the last quarter approached it was anyone’s game. The Wanderers had to pull off a player to replace red carded Lloyd and they chose to remove Pariyo. More pressure from the visitors ensued and the Wanderers became more and more nervous in defence. Another penalty reduced the arrears to 18-15 and the Ystrad tails were well and truly up. The momentum had really swung round and the pressure came firmly on the home side. The visitors stormed forward and another neat piece of work on the blind side saw them cross for their third try 18-22. It was now up to the young Wanderers to respond and despite their best efforts the Ystrad defence was not going to give in easily. Several attacks in the opposition 22 were thwarted and as time ran out the attacks became more and more frantic. From one such attack a ball was spilled and the visitors raced away to gain the bonus point and deserved win 18-29. A real lesson for the Wanderers but there is still plenty to play for this season and everyone will lick their wounds and be back firing for the Mallett Cup Semi-final on Tuesday.
Tries: Phillip Pariyo, Cameron Gibbon
Cons: Luke Fish
Pen: Luke Fish (2)
Massiv man of the match: Lee Highgate