Former Cross Keys player and now Wanderers back row Nick Kelly takes lineout ball.
Photographer: Alyn Humphreys
Cross Keys 13
Glamorgan Wanderers 8
“Not the best festive season we could have had” commented Assistant director of rugby Paul Prickett after the Wanderers slipped to their third successive defeat at the hands of Cross keys at Pandy Park. On a wet and cold afternoon, on a pitch that held up remarkably well considering the conditions, the home side coped with the conditions far better than the Wanderers to emerge with a 13-8 victory.
The home side were first on the attack and after 2 minutes following a neat kick through the Wanderers defence a drive following a line out allowed one of the Keys props to crash over to open the score. The conversion followed and the keys led 7-0. The visitors struggled to get their game going in the mud and despite the packs best efforts territory was difficult to come by. After 10 minutes another Wanderers drive was halted and the turnover led to the Wanderers conceding a penalty which Leon Andrews slotted over to increase the home side lead 8-0. Finally the visitors got into the keys 22 after some neat interpassing between Gareth Williams-Davies and Aled James. Keys conceded a penalty but James missed with the kick attempt. 20 minutes into the half the home side increased their lead after a high tackle on the Wanderers 22 let Andrews slot over another penalty. The score at last produced a response from the Wanderers. Gareth Morris sent up an up and under which Jamie Jones chased superbly. The Wanderers recovered possession and Gareth Williams-Davies placed a pin point accurate kick through for Simon Rosser to slide over for an unconverted try. The half ended with the Wanderers continuing to drive the ball forward with their scrum giving the home side plenty to think about but there were no more points conceded by either side.
A change of shirts for both sides at half time failed to improve the fortunes of either team. The Wanderers conceded an early penalty but the kick went wide to leave the score at 13-5. Both sides tried valiantly to run the ball but the conditions dictated that a simple kicking game was the order of the day. This was executed better by the home side and time and time again the wanderers gave away possession and territory with a poorly directed kick. After 22 minutes of the half the Wanderers gave themselves a chance after Gareth Williams Davies kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears to 13-8. The last quarter produced a number of Wanderers attacks and the Keys defence became more and more desperate. The referee was reduced to producing a number of yellow cards but despite a numerical advantage the visitors could not produce the final thrust to get back on level terms. The Cross Keys line held out and with possession regained they ran down the clock to record a double over the Wanderers this season.
Author: Alyn Humphreys