Try-line drama thwarts Wanderers
Ystrad Rhondda 23
“Considering the changes we were forced into making, one of them after we had arrived at the ground, it was a gritty performance from the side” commented coach Paul Matthews “Set piece was solid we deserved more than the one point”
“I Don’t think there would have been many complaints from the home side had the referee awarded the try on that last play” added manager Mark Gould. “As they say in cricketing terms look in the book and it was deemed held up!”
On a grey day under heavy clouds both sides served up an excellent game in occasionally dreadful conditions. The home side were straight out of the blocks. With the Wanderers defence sitting deep a neat chip over the top was regathered by the Ystrad backs and they raced away to score the opening try 5-0. The visitors responded well despite the heavy rain they were prepared to run with the ball with Gruff Tough, playing out of position at fullback, to the fore. Both forwards and backs carried well and when Josh Male scythed through the defence he was able to feed Morgan Williams, another player playing out of position, who crossed for the Wanderers first try. Jacob Lloyd converted 5-7. The home side weren’t down for long. Once again happy to move the ball despite the conditions and they worked a nice mismatch in midfield. Cutting through the defence they were away again and their second try followed 10-7. The game ebbed and flowed despite several penalties halting proceedings. Ystrad were able to gain a solid foothold in the Wanderers 22 and they turned to their power game. Drives from lineouts followed and before long, with penalties being conceded the home side added to their try count with their third try 15-7. Despite having backs to the wall the visitors came back hard. Tough countered well with a splendid 50-22 and the Wanderers mounted a series of drives themselves. Finn Davies went close as did Sam Turner. Despite the pressure the Ystrad defence held firm and they managed to clear after Male had spilled a ball just short of the try line. The heavy rain returned but both sides continued to try their best to play if the chances arose. Despite the efforts of both teams there were no further scores and the sides headed for the warmth of the changing rooms with the home side ahead 15-7.
An early penalty in the second half gave the visitors a chance to reduce the arrears but the shot went just wide. The Wanderers maintained the pressure and when a ball was spilled in the home side in gaol area they took their chance. A solid set piece gave them a platform and after a couple of drives Finn Davies forced his way over for the second try. Lloyd converted and the Wanderers were back in it at 15-14. Having now emerged from the changing rooms the home side picked their game up and the pressure was once again back on the visitors. The game became camped in the Wanderers half but the defence albeit creaking held out. A driving maul , deemed collapsed by the visitors, allowed Ystrad to keep up the pressure with another kick to the corner but their lineout malfunctioned and the Wanderers recovered the ball. Looking to clear they set up a ruck but somehow the control of the ball was lost and it was one of the home side who responded quickest. Diving on the ball they recorded their bonus point try 20-14. Both sides started to send for fresh legs as the game entered its final quarter and when a penalty was awarded in front of the posts the home side extended their lead to 23-14. Time was running out but the wanderers dug deep. A spilled ball in midfield allowed the visitors to break clear and George Cotrell went close. The resulting ruck ended with a visitor’s penalty and using a now dominant scrum they applied the pressure. Again more drives and Davon Davies popped up to force his way over to make the last few minutes a close game at 23-19. The visitors looked for one last chance with the clock in the red and a penalty gave that it them. Lloyd put in a superb kick deep into the 22 and the lineout provided the chance. The forwards drove then broke and drove again. Crashing over the line they appeared to score but after a long look from the referee he deemed it to be held up and the game ended in disappointment for the visitors and relief to the home side. Final score 23-19.
Tries: Morgan Williams, Finn Davies, Davon Davies
Cons: Jacob Lloyd (2)
Massiv MOTM: Morgan Williams
Management MOTM: Gruff Tough