PENLAN HAVE TO SETTLE FOR A LOSING BONUS POINT
In their away fixture last season Brynamman had piped Penlan to a narrow 19 – 17 win while Penlan had secured a win in their return home encounter. On Saturday Penlan were due to play their re-arranged away game at Brynamman following the postponement of the original fixture from early October due to the waterlogged pitch. The rain and snow last week had meant that there was a slim chance of a further delay by on the day the game went ahead as planned. It was cold with fine rain for most of the afternoon and the state of the pitch made things heavy going which was never going to be ideal for Penlan. They had some temporary problems with forward players which saw veteran forward and Club Steward, Ben Martin, abandon his bar apron for the afternoon and put in 40 minutes as prop. It was his first game for a long time and, despite not having regularly trained, he had a good game and his contribution was much appreciated.
Referee Mr. Gareth Butler from Llanharan got the game underway with Brynamman making the kick off and in the early stages most of the action took place in Penlan’s 22. A series of scrums and line-outs constantly put Penlan under pressure especially up front although they managed to keep the home side at bay.
At last Penlan managed to clear the ball and at 10 minutes had a line-out near the halfway. They won possession and advanced well up field until they were awarded a penalty from the 22, which was ably slotted by centre Paul Spowart for the early 3 point lead.
For most of the remaining first half both teams vied for the upper hand until, shortly before 30 minutes, Penlan players and supporters on the touch line were incensed when the Brynamman linesman apparently suffered a lack of concentration when the ball went into touch as his side mounted an attack up the wing. Brynamman went on to score a try at the corner which they converted to put them ahead by 7 – 3.
Two minutes before the half-time whistle the home side had their first successful penalty kick to extend their lead to 10 – 3.
Despite the deficit Penlan came out for the second half determined to get back in front. For the first 20 minutes it was a to and fro game until a second penalty put Brynamman further ahead by 13 – 3.
The increasingly wet and muddy conditions made handling difficult for both sides and at 25 minutes a mistimed Penlan clearance kick got bogged down and was speedily gathered up by Brynamman. Their fast sprint up the touchline proved unstoppable for their second game try. Another safe conversion left Penlan with a high 20 – 3 hill to climb.
To their credit Penlan continued their efforts to make progress, but it was not until just after 30 minutes that they made an impression. They secured a scrum in the visitor’s half and with some fast and determined play advanced to the goal-line until centre Steven Williams powered over for his fourth try of the season. A safe conversion from Paul Spowart narrowed the home win to 20 – 10.
In the final minutes Penlan looked the stronger team but they had left themselves little time to reverse the lead. At 35 minutes Paul Spowart made his second safe penalty kick to narrow the score to 20 to 13 which at least earned his side the bonus losing point. The kick brought Paul’s personal point tally this season to 91, which includes 5 tries.
More looked possible from Penlan but the time was just not available so the final game went to Brynamman with Penlan having to settle for the losing bonus point. The fixture was the only one that was being played in Division 2 West Central this Saturday and the score did not change the table place of either team. Brynamman stay in tenth place but with a game in hand, while Penlan remain fifth.
Next season a full raft of games are programmed with Penlan away again this time at Nantymoel. Last season Penlan lost away to Nantymoel by 27 – 19, although they won 17 – 0 at home, and they will be hoping for the strongest side possible to help them secure a win this time.
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