GLAMORGAN WANDERERS 15
BRIDGEND ATHLETIC 39
“Rugby is supposed to be a contact sport. Clearly we had forgotten that at times!” commented manager Luke Burton. “Moses couldn’t have parted the Red sea as well as the Athletic parted our defence” he added.
“In severe adversity there is always a positive. Joe Russell had his best game in Wanderers colours” Linesman Gwyn Thomas
“We dominated the first five minutes of the game! Unfortunately rugby is an 80 minute game” The Wanderers Massive
On a bright sunny afternoon the crowd were in spring mode and the home side certainly began with a spring in their step. Forwards and backs combined well and Bridgend were forced into desperate defence to prevent an early score. A penalty under their own posts allowed them to clear but good scrum and lineout pressure kept them in their own half. Play returned to the halfway with a Wanderers lineout which sparked the most bizarre 10 minutes! An overthrown lineout landed in the Athletics’ back rows lap and Sean Derrick sauntered up the field, probably wondering where the defence had gone, to score under the posts. Steve Lewis converted. As the Wanderers wondered what had gone wrong The Athletic increased their lead. A lineout provided their backs with the ball and Stuart Morris was invited to waltz his way to the line by a defence that pointed the way and laid on a red carpet. Lewis converted again 0-14. The stunned home crowd then watched as a scrum in the Wanderers half allowed Ben Thomas to pick up and make his way to the line untouched by human hands. The conversion was missed but at 0-19 the game looked already lost. As has happened on many occasions this season when games seem to have gone away from them the young Wanderers showed that they have real spirit. A period of pressure followed, with evidence that there was still hope. Ianto Griffiths put the home side on the board with a penalty and there were prominent performances from Joe Russell and Mike Stephens. Just before the break a neat move from a lineout was recycled and Tim Cronin set Josh Hurley up with a chance. He raced down the wing to score and give the home side hope. The half ended with the wanderers on the attack again but they could not reduce the arrears anymore and the sides went in at half time 8-19.
The second half began brightly for the home side again but Lewis extended the lead for the visitors with a penalty 8-22. Again with the game appearing to have slipped away the home side went through a period of applying pressure and with the tempo of the game increasing the Wanderers narrowed the gap with a well taken Mike Stephens try and Griffiths conversion. At 15-22 there seemed to be a real chance for the home side but Bridgend gathered themselves and they steadied their ship. The visitors controlled the ball for a period of time without really threatening but the clock was now against the home side. The Wanderers strived for a levelling score but poor execution denied them more opportunities. As the game entered its final quarter the Wanderers play became more desperate and the Athletic found their form again. Two more tries from Morris and Howley with conversions and a penalty from Lewis sealed their deserved victory and left the home side wondering what lies ahead.
Match pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12570451@N04/