Wanderers delighted that “Duracell” Jones goes on and on
Last play try seals Silver ball for Wanderers
Maesteg Quins 32
“What a game to end our season” commented Manager Ieuan Davies “The Quins played their part in a superb final and I’m sure they will pick themselves up for the playoffs this week and we wish them luck in those games”
“Once again our young side showed massive character” added coach Martyn Fowler “I think a lot of people expected Luke to call a drive with that last play but he trusted his backline and Will had the energy and power to force his way over”
Before the game began the was a wonderful minutes applause in remembrance of Gareth Williams the famous Bridgend, Wales and British Lion back row forward whose brother and nephews have played for the Wanderers.
On a glorious sunny afternoon in Bridgend the Wanderers were straight into their stride. From a lineout near the halfway the ball was moved wide and wing Andy Evans made ground before putting Phil Pariyo away. He was hauled down by the defence just short, turned over and the Quins cleared their lines. From the subsequent lineout the Wanderers mounted a concerted catch and drive and Rob Lewis burst through the maul to cross for the opening score. Luke fish converted 7-0. Quins restarted but the ball failed to make it 10 metres and from the first scrum of the game the Wanderers were back on the attack. Evans again prominent in attack but the Maesteg defence was solid and nothing came of it. The Wanderers were then forced into an early change when Charlie Johnson heard the sound of the local ice cream van and he went limping off in search of a cone with a flake. He was replaced by “Handsome” Rob Evans and soon afterwards the Wanderers went further ahead. A penalty at a ruck was marched on 10 metres and Fish accepted the yardage to step up and land his first penalty of the afternoon 10-0. At this point the Llynfi valley side were struggling to get into their stride but a penalty of their own gave them good field position and they took full advantage. Moving the ball wide they stretched the defence and when another penalty came they took a quick tap and raced away to score in the corner 10-5. The game started to warm up like the weather and both sides showed a willingness to play out wide when the chance arose. James Loxton put in some sterling rearguard work and defence was turned into attack with a cross kick from Fish. The Wanderers set up another catch and drive but this time great defence and jackaling from the Quins gained them a penalty. Back came the Wanderers and Will “Duracell” Adams Jones did well and after recycling the ball once again it was moved wide. This time the defence was strong but the referee deemed there to be a deliberate knock on and because of the location a Quins prop saw yellow. The Wanderers assaulted the Maesteg Quins line with a series of close quarter drives but they met a solid and impenetrable wall of tacklers and time and time again they were repelled. Finally, as the half entered its final quarter they relieved the pressure. From another penalty the Quins were awarded an extra 10 metres and the penalty was gladly accepted to reduce the arrears 10-8. Back came the Wanderers again and when the Maesteg side transgressed at a ruck Fish landed his second penalty to restore the 5 point lead 13-8. The half entered injury time and it seemed that balance was tipping into the Quins favour. Once again a penalty gave them field position and a well executed drive of their own saw them crash over to level the scores. The conversion was landed from out wide and the sides went into the break at 13-15 in favour of the Quins.
The Wanderers coaches urged the side to be the next to scorers to stop their resurgence but the Quins were out of the dressing room with renewed impetus. Showing why they are Division champions they attacked with forwards and backs handling well. Recycling the ball in the 22 they crossed for a well worked try to increase their lead 13-22. Enjoying their superiority this time the Wanderers defence was stretched but it held firm. There then followed a long discussion between the captains, referee and one of the assistants and after what seemed like an eternity the Wanderers were awarded a penalty on halfway. Re-establishing play in the Quins half the Wanderers were then forced to make a second change with Myles Churcher leaving the field to be replaced by Colin Fulthorpe. This forced a reshuffle with Loxton moving from centre to scrum half. The game surged from end to end certainly entertaining the good crowd as the Wanderers tried to get back into the game. This they did when Adams Jones did well from a deep kick he set Andy Evans away. He took the play deep and when the defence transgressed in their own 22 Quins saw yellow for the second time. From the lineout Lewis drove well and the ball was moved back blind as Fish used his considerable bulk to crash over. He converted his own try 20-22. The Maesteg side started to ring the changes and they were soon back on the attack. The pressure paid dividends and when awarded a penalty in front of the posts they extended the lead to 20-25. Once again back came the Ely side on the attack with Adams Jones prominent again. Pariyo was bundled into touch within yards of the line and this set up another chance. Once again the Wanderers chose the catch and drive and for the second time in the game it was Rob Lewis who crashed over. Fish converted to put the Wanderers ahead again 27-25. With just under 15 minutes to go it was all to play for. The Quins emptied their bench and Josh Sheehan was replaced by Anthony Cox for the Wanderers. The pressure was mounting for both sides and the Wanderers nudged themselves further ahead when fish landed his third penalty to make it 30-25. The Quins now needed a try to win the game as time started to run out. Before the game restarted there was a long delay as the officials and Wanderers management got into a discussion as the Wanderers tried to make a substitution. Captain Joe Russell clearly struggling with an injury hobbled off only to be replaced and them reinstated whilst the crowd looked on in astonishment. The game entered its final minutes and the Quins mounted a series of attacks. Loxton was once again outstanding in defence, but a series of penalties ensued and Rob Weston saw yellow for the Wanderers. Declining an easy three points the Quins elected for a 5 metre scrum with Russel struggling the scrum came under pressure and eventually to the clear delight of the Maesteg side the referee ran out of patience and awarded a penalty try 30-32.
That seemed to be that, but the referee allowed time for the restart. In desperation the Wanderers chased the kick and Loxton forced a knock on. The scrum broke down but the referee awarded the Wanderers a penalty allowing them to kick for the corner one last time. Most in the ground thought the Wanderers would go for a drive to set up a drop goal attempt but Fish had other ideas. Taking ball off the top from Penry Ellis he sent the ball wide and “Duracell”, now playing full back came surging into the line. With the defence slightly off guard he crashed through and despite the defence he crossed in the corner. Fish landed the touchline conversion to break the Mighty Quins hearts and send the Massiv into celebration mode. Final score 37-32.
Tries: Rob Lewis (2), Luke Fish, Will Adams Jones,
Pens: Luke Fish (3)
Cons: Luke Fish (4)
Glamorgan County man of the match: Luke Fish
Wanderers Massiv man of the Match: James Loxton & Andy Evans