Keys outlast Wanderers



“Against a very strong set piece we dug really deep” commented head coach Paul Matthews “We must learn to start on the front foot and at this level we need to take our chances”.

“A really hard-fought battle, we must be more accurate at the crucial moments of the game” added Lee Highgate.

“Did you see how shiny my new studs were?” said Gareth Reid.

On a grey but mainly dry day at Pandy Park both sides served up an excellent hard-fought battle with the outcome in doubt until late in the game. The early exchanges were fairly tight with the forward dominated Keys side looking to power their way through the Wanderers and the visitors looking to put the ball wide and get the game moving about. A strong home side scrum was providing the platform but good dogged defence by the Wanderers kept them at bay. The visitor’s defence was forced to work a little harder when Chadd Davies saw yellow after a deliberate knock on, Keys tried to exploit the missing wing but the visitors scramble defence proved resilient. Eventually something had to break the deadlock and the powerful home side pack applying the pressure finally provided the chance. Going through the phases Keys forced their way over out wide to open the scoring 5-0. The half entered its final 10 minutes with the home side maintaining their lead, but the Wanderers continued to show that given the chance their backs could create chances. Ned Bennett took play deep and after several drives an attempt to shift the ball wide left saw a pass go astray and the home side recovered and cleared. Just before the break Keys doubled their lead. Once again it was their scrum that provided the chance. Good control and drive set their number 8 away and he ploughed over. The conversion attempt was charged down by Davies and the sides went into the break with the home side ahead 10-0.

The second half sprang into action from the off. From a stolen lineout the Wanderers attacked. Aron Arthur charged through the defence and Davies was in support to finish off a fine move and to get the Wanderers back in the game. Ceri Morris converted 10-7. With their tails up the Wanderers looked more assured and their confidence with ball in hand grew. Another stolen ball in their own half set Bennett away but he was denied by a superb covering tackle by the Keys right winger. Despite that from the subsequent lineout the visitors struck. After recycling the ball into midfield, a superb dummy from Morris cleared the defence out of the way and he fed Amir Jiwa Walji who crossed for the second score. Morris added the conversion 10-14. With the scores rocking the home side back on their heels they responded straight away. Taking play deep their backs joined the party and the Wanderers were forced into more desperate defence. When clearing the ball from a 22 drop out the kick chasers missed a tackle and Keys took full advantage. Two phases later they crossed to retake the lead 17-14. The game had everyone on their toes as advantage went one way then the next and the visitors were ahead again soon afterwards. From a scrum on halfway Steff Davies, on as a sub, broke blind. He raced through the gap and when the cover defence appeared he fed Bennett who raced away to score. Morris added the touchline conversion 17-21. The game entered its final quarter with the result in the balance, but it was the home side who lasted the better. Back on the attack they once again went through the phases and with good handling they crossed for the decisive score 24-21. Time was running out and the visitors were forced to chase the game. Happy to run from deep they tried to manufacture the winning score, but Keys were able to control the game and snuff out any more chances. The home side ended the game with their final try to seal the hard-fought win and leave the Wanderers rueing missed chances. Final score 31-21 to Cross Keys.

Wanderers Scorers

Tries: Chadd Davies, Ned Bennett, Amir Jiwa Walji

Con: Ceri Morris (3)

Massiv MOM:  Ashley Bissett
Management MOM: Luke Pearce


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