GREAT GAME – PITY ABOUT THE SCORE
Still missing some key players due to work commitments, Penlan were nervous for their away game against Ystradgynlais on Saturday. Despite their apprehension, what followed was a good display of rugby that almost gave them victory but for the second week running they were to see the win taken from them right at the end.
Conditions for rugby were ideal, although cold, as referee Mr. Robert Mota from Cardiff got the game under way with the home side making the kick off.
As the previous week, initial points went against Penlan when Ystradgynlais landed a try within 4 minutes at the corner which put them 7 points in front after the conversion.
For the following 30 minutes the teams were testing each other out and it was clear that Penlan, especially at the front, were a match for the home side.
Just after 30 minutes, Penlan were firmly in the home quarter and their lineout got them to a second one on the 5 metre. After winning the ball Penlan pushed for the line and propelled the defence back over their line to enable Captain, Robert Green at flanker to ground a try at the corner. An excellent conversion kick by outside-half Paul Spowart took Penlan to 7 points all.
Just 5 minutes later the Penlan work paid dividends again when they were awarded a penalty which was quickly taken by scrum-half David Felton who advanced the ball deep into Ystrad territory until it was taken on by Robert Green who sprinted through the defence to land his second try. Paul Spowart made another fine kick to advance Penlan to 7 – 14.
Just before the half time whistle Ystradgynlais clawed back 3 points from a penalty kick to leave the tally at 10 – 14.
Just 5 minutes into the second half constant pressure by the home side at Penlan’s goal line resulted in them gaining a penalty. Taken quickly they found a way through the defence to land their second try to put them ahead by 15 to 14. The Ystradgynlais coach, who could definitely shout for Wales, urged his side on by assuring them that Penlan were no threat. Penlan though proved to be more than a threat when at 12 minutes Paul Spowart put his side ahead by 15 – 17 by a sound penalty kick.
The threat deepened at 20 minutes when Penlan centre, Dominic Cambriani, made a strong sprint through the defence to land a superb third try that Paul Spowart once again ably converted to put his side ahead by 15 – 24.
The Ystradgynlais coach speedily reassessed his analysis and form the opinion that his side was a “shambles”, a view that he conveyed with great volume to his team.
Maybe his bellows helped his team though, as in the last 10 minutes they were putting Penlan under extreme pressure. Crucially for Penlan, Referee Mr. Mota felt that separate technical infringements warranted yellow card action which reduced Penlan to 13 players. Penlan had lost two strong players at a vital stage and Ystradgynlais seized the advantage. At the last minute they were attacking Penlan down the wing and some questionable blocking went unchallenged to allow a long sprint by Ystrad outdistancing chasers to land their fourth, bonus point try and give them the 27 – 24 win at the final whistle.
For the second week running Penlan had seen their excellent game enable them to make a brave come back against a strong team, only to see their likely win dashed at the last minute. It had been an excellent game of rugby though and Penlan supporters were justly proud of their players who could have come home with the win.
All teams now have a fortnight to rest and prepare for their next games on 17th. December; for Penlan that will be a home derby against Morriston, who are now in fourth league place after their resounding 50 – 0 home win against Cwmavon. It will be Christmas jumper day at Penlan after the game and they are hoping they will have something to celebrate.
More photos were taken by loyal supporters Colin Rush and Mike Evans. Colin’s have been uploaded to the website and Mike’s will be added to his site www.mike322.com.
Other results in 2 West Central are currently reported as :
Aberavon Green Stars 0 Maesteg Celtic 36
Morriston 50 Cwmavon 0
Nantymoel 24 Brynamman 28
Pencoed 0 Resolven 24
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