09 April 2018 / Club News

Match Report: Furnace United Vs Pontardawe

Furnace v Pontardawe April 7th 2018


Pontardawe had narrowly lost at home to Furnace earlier in the season in a game that was pretty evenly contested with perhaps our forwards coming out on top. The team sheet for this game was very much changed given the unavailability off some of our regulars who were replaced by former players of the club who now play for other teams and playing for us under permit. Apart that is from Shaun Stevens who is back from his prolonged walk about “ played his first game of the season and we were all glad to see his return. 


The pitch was in relatively good condition, the sky very overcast and occasional fine drizzle, with no wind. 


The first quarter of the game saw the teams evenly matched; Furnace better with the ball in hand and Ponty better at the set pieces. From the touchline the Furnace team looked quite a young lean and reasonably fit side. The difference in the pack weights must have been quite significant given the size and shape of some of our players. Furnace did make a good break, to score a try which was disallowed for some reason ( I think a knock on at the line) by the Referee Ian Buckland from Cardiff. 


The second quarter saw the Ponty forwards begin to dominate the scrummages and loose play and a few minutes of sustained pressure saw Ponty with the put in at the scrum five yards out. No 8, Nigel Williams controlled the ball well; given the speed that the scrum was moving forward and was in no way going to allow scrum half Mathew Birt get his hands on it as he sensed the closing proximity of the try line and he nicely rounded off the play with a well taken try 5 metres in from the touch line. Leon Withey missed the conversion.  Ponty continued to dominate play and a few minutes later it was Nigel again picking the ball up from the back of the scrum near the half way line that set the backs off on a 5 to 3 man overlap which couldnt have been seen by the scrum half who choose to kick the ball instead of running it and worse still the kick itself went directly into touch. Ponty were now dominating the play for long periods which resulted in a penalty for them 28 metres out in front of the posts which Aaron Buford slotted over nicely moving the score to 0-8 in Ponties favour. With only two minutes to half time Furness ran the ball from the half way line, through the hands and should have scored an excellent try only for it again to be disallowed for the last pass being forward. We looked to have relieved the pressure when Nigel again picked up from the ensuing scrum and carried the ball forward some 10 metres or more before being brought down. Somehow Furnace stole the ball and with some good power play and inter-passing scored some 15 meters to the right of the posts. The conversion was missed, so the score at half time was 5 -8. 


The first few minutes of the second half saw Ponty make a number of substitutions to allow  others to have a game and 5 minutes into it Furnace were penalised for dissent and a very kickable penalty some 30 yards out was missed by Aaron. Some 18 minutes later he made amends by slotting another awarded penalty clean through the posts with kick taken from more or less the same spot as the earlier miss, moving the score onto 5 -11.


As the game moved into the final quarter the scrummages became unopposed as Furnace did not have a replacement prop. This was to be a major advantage for Furness whose leaner and fitter pack took advantage of our heavier and beefier pack. They upped their tempo and run the ball at us time and time again, with their inside centre really looking the part.  Yet for all their good play and effort Ponty remained resolute and made the tackles that needed to be made. That said we were very lucky on a few occasions that their outside centre and right hand winger fumbled the ball three or four times when nothing other than certain tries were there for the taking. It was an anxious last few minutes for all playing and watching and we were relieved to hear the final whistle. 


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