“Frustrating, clearly we have the ability but at this moment things are not going our way” said a disappointed head coach Matthew Bolton.
“Certainly a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory” added manager Luke Burton
On a dry day at Glan-Yr-Afon Park it was the home side that threatened first. A break in midfield put the home side backs clear and it took some desperate scrambling defence by the Wanderers to prevent the first score. Despite the greasy surface both sides showed a willingness to move the ball wide and the Wanderers started to find their feet, especially when running from deep. A succession of penalties established good field position for the visitors but sound defence from Blackwood eased the pressure. The Wanderers declined a three point opportunity in favour of a five yard scrum but the attack was foiled and the home side cleared their lines. The visitors were having the better of the first quarter and eventually a penalty received when Captain Luff took a swinging arm gave Ianto Griffiths the chance to get the scoreboard moving 0-3. Back came Blackwood as the half entered its last ten minutes. A neat move from a scrum in midfield followed by some good recycling and a neat run around sent the home side over for a converted try 7-3. The score galvanised the home side and they piled on the pressure. The Wanderers defence started to creak and before the break Blackwood extended their lead with their second try and conversion 14-3. Just before half time the Wanderers were forced into a change with open-side Andrew Bradbury being forced off with a damaged elbow which gave a first appearance to Dave Ellis in the back row.
The second half began with some aerial tennis and once again the Wanderers showed a willingness to run from deep. Ed Doe lead the line and with the pace of the game increasing Blackwood were forced into conceding a series of penalties. From one such penalty Griffiths reduced the arrears to 14-6 and the home side were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes after a yellow card. The visitors once again gained the ascendancy and with the man advantage they started to drive the ball up front. A series of good driving mauls took play deep into the opposition 22 and showing good control the forwards forced their way over with Alex Luff claiming the try. Griffiths converted and the Wanderers were right back in it at 14-13. Now down to 13 with another yellow card the home side were under the cosh and the Wanderers backs started to find more space. Lloyd Chalke went close and from another attack another penalty allowed Griffiths to put the visitors ahead 14-16. The game entered its final quarter and the home side regained their desire. With the Wanderers still happy to run from deep when a more pragmatic approach may have been more suitable the home side seized their opportunity. When the visitors offended at a ruck a well struck penalty re-established the lead for the home side and as the game entered its final minutes the Wanderers were forced into some desperate attacking. On several occasions they had chances but the Blackwood defence had shored itself up. The home side extended the lead to 20-16 but there was still time for the Wanderers to snatch a victory. Going through the phases they piled on the pressure but despite all their efforts eventually the attack broke down and the home side cleared the field to hang on for victory.
Final Score 20-16.