Bridgend Athletic 10
“We showed glimpses of what we are capable of but more importantly we won” commented a happy head coach Matthew Bolton. “Our control in the red zone is still a worry though”
“I think at half time we were patting ourselves on the back thinking we’d won the game, it nearly backfired” said backs coach Gareth Cull.
On a sunny afternoon at Newbridge fields the visitors were on the scoreboard early on after a ruck infringement allowed Ianto Griffiths to step up and open the scoring with a penalty. Both sides moved the ball wide when the opportunity arose and both defences came under some early pressure. The Athletic had more of the early play but the Wanderers showed glimpses of their attacking potential with Nick McGowan and Ed Doe to the fore with ball in hand. Unfortunately when play got into the opposition 22 the visitors struggled to convert any advantage. Owen Marshall had a great opportunity to increase the lead when he intercepted a pass near his own line. Unfortunately the ½ marathon last week had sapped all his pace(?) and he was hauled down with the line at his mercy. From the resulting pressure the Wanderers furnished another chance but once again when in the scoring zone poor execution let them down. Griffiths had a chance to increase the lead with a penalty, soon afterwards, but he saw his attempt go just wide. The pressure continued and the visitors did register another score after 20 minutes. A move in midfield involving Marshall and Lloyd Chalke put Ed Doe in the clear and he eluded the defence to score. Griffiths converted 0-10. Bridgend responded well and their pressure resulted in them getting a couple of penalty chances but both kicks went wide. The Wanderers backs were getting plenty of freedom in attack and just before the break the lead was extended. Another midfield move saw Ed Doe go through and when the ball went to ground the hack through was followed up by Loren Quick who responded quickest and he touched down to score. Griffiths missed the conversion and the sides went in at half time 0-15.
The break at half time breathed new life into the home side and the Mogadon that the Wanderers took worked well! Bridgend started to monopolise possession and the visitors defence was forced into long periods of tackling practice. Despite the turnaround in fortunes the Wanderers defence looked to have the game under control but the Athletic pressure started to take its toll. A penalty in the Wanderers 22 gave the home side their opening score and as the half progressed their belief grew. Both sides used their bench players but the Wanderers failed to gain any momentum at all. With a quarter of the game left an intercepted pass lead to a breakaway and Bridgend scored a converted try to set up a nail biting last 20 minutes. On the rare occasions that the visitors entered deep into home side territory the same old failings let them down and as a consequence the home side kept the chance of a victory alive until the very end. With the final play the Athletic ran a penalty and went through several phases until the Wanderers defence finally snapped up a loose ball and the clearance to touch gave hem a vital away win. Final score 10-15.
Match Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12570451@N04/