Wanderers rue missed first half chances
“We should have been more clinical in the first half when we were dominant” Commented head coach Martyn Fowler “But it was a valuable hit out and we certainly picked up some positives and had the chance to give some players valuable game time”
“If Fowler had only put me on at centre near the end we would have won” commented forwards coach Brendon Lampitt
On a cold still night in Glynneath both sides played out an exciting game with both sets of coaches getting plenty out of the encounter. The Wanderers began brightly with newly deployed centre CJ Davies carrying well in attack. Declining kicks at goal from penalties, as both sides did all game and electing for lineouts deep in the home side 22 the visitors set up several chances. From one lineout drive Mike Owen went close but the Glynneath defence was solid and they repelled the attacks. Both sides seemed content to keep the ball in play allowing counter attacks from deep and Tom Richards, never one to give up a chance to run, set up a number of attacks from his own half. The deadlock was broken after a neat move back and forth across the field and when the ball was moved wide Josh Male made enough of a break to allow Ioan Cooper to crash over for the opening try 0-5. At this point the home side were struggling to get any real foothold in the game and it wasn’t until halfway through the half that any field position was established. Unfortunately for Glynneath it was a foray into the Wanderers half that led to the second Wanderers try. Turning the ball over Gruff Tough, who was orchestrating most of the visitors play sent the ball wide and Male set off downfield. He fed Will Adams Jones who then drew the last defender and slipped the ball inside to Male who was on hand to take the pass and race away to score 0-10. Further pressure from the Wanderers continued and then there was a spell of aerial tennis from both sides. As the half entered its final minutes the Abernant faithful finally had something to cheer. A penalty allowed them good field position and a well-executed driving maul led to the Glynneath opening try. That turned out to be the final action for the first half and the sides went into the changing rooms at 5-10.
The score just before the break and a few personnel changes certainly galvanised the home side and they were straight out of the blocks at the start of the second half. Using their effective driving maul weapon, they soon scored their second try to nudge ahead 12-10 after the conversion and their tails were well and truly up. The Wanderers were dealt a blow when sub scrum half Dan James saw yellow and the visitors became firmly camped down in the bottom corner of the pitch. The game mirrored the first half with one side, this time Glynneath, dominating proceedings. The visitors battled hard in defence but they could not break free from the stranglehold. With the Glynneath pack driving well they added their second converted try 19-10 to get some clear ground on the scoreboard before the visitors started to rally. The home side were reduced to 14 for 10 minutes near the end of the game and this gave the Wanderers a renewed sense of purpose. Once again Tough was the instigator and with Davies carrying deep Male was on hand to score his second try and set up a grandstand finish. The final minutes saw the Glynneath line come under pressure once again but despite every effort the Wanderers could not find the defining scoring pass that would win the game. The home side defended valiantly and with the visitor’s final attack a chip over the top was gladly marked and the home side cleared the ball from the field to record the win. Final score 19-15.
Tries: Josh Male (2), Ioan Cooper
Massiv MOM: Gruff Tough (special Mention CJ Davies)
Management MOM: Mike Owen
Match Pics: https://flic.kr/ps/c7gzd