10 December 2017 / Club News

Match Report: Pontardawe V Furnace

Today Ponty were hosting Furnace (also known as the Cherries & Whites) who at 5th place in the league were two places below them. There had been snow overnight, the day was cold with thankfully no wind chill, the pitch soft but no doubt playable. 


It was good to see Calum Jones last seasons Pontardawe Player the Year”  on the field for his first game of this season having recovered from an earlier medical operation. 


Only two minutes after referee Jason Bessant from Bridgend had started the match, the score board was opened with a try from centre Mike Hodges  who made a nice break some 25 yards out to score some ten yards from the touch line, which unfortunately Calum failed to convert. 


Furnace did not take long to respond after choosing to kick an awarded penalty to the corner and attempt to drive the resulting line out ball over, which although thwarted by the Ponty forwards, retained procession of the ball saw the Furnace backs run a nice try under the posts which made for an easy conversion. 


From the restart Ponty went on to dominate the next ten minutes of the game winning lots of possession and territory, but Furnaces  defence was resolute and helped by both winning, crucial line-outs against the throw in, and receiving a number penalties awarded them, from Ponty misdemeanours.  So at the end of the first quarter the teams appeared evenly matched with Ponty dominating territory but Furnace winning the majority of line-outs. 


More good phase wins saw Ponty with much of the ball and territory and a good clean break down the left hand side looked to be a certain try had the try scoring pass been delayed a fraction of a second thereby preventing the sole defender the opportunity to put in the try saving tackle. Ponty were giving lots of penalties away which saw the Ref call for the Captain (who was one of the two brothers) to inform him of his displeasure. Ponty seemed to lose there way somewhat doing lots of little things wrong and their heads were starting to fall somewhat particularly after a clanger was dropped on the half way line that allowed Furnace to kick and chase the ball to score another try under the posts that again, was easily converted. So at half time the score was 5 - 14.


A minute into the start of the second half saw No 8 Nigel Williams yellow carded and minutes later so too was No 7 and captain Jamie Jarrett from which offence Furnace collected three penalty points to move further ahead. There then followed period of not very pretty rugby to watch, but perhaps the most important, for even though Ponty were two men down they did what they had to do, try and prevent Furnace capitalising further on their two man advantage. In this period Furnace did land a 43 yard long range penalty. 


As we moved into the final quarter Ponty were back to full strength and mentally in a better position   Furnace substituted their loose head prop and the Ponty scrummage that we have enjoyed watching in recent previous games, suddenly turned up. A great Ponty scrummage rewarded with a penalty which was kicked for the corner touch and power play from the resulting line-out saw Mike Hanson go over for a lovely try which was well converted by Carl. Minutes later saw Mike Hodges kick through from the half way line and look certain to score but for some reason didnt but nevertheless Nigel Williams collected the ball and scored close to the posts which again was converted. So now the score was 19 - 20 in favour of Furnace, but with 10 minutes to go and Ponty on fire, most betting peoples money would have been on Ponty.   Indeed minutes later they took the lead with a nicely taken penalty by Calum. From the restart Furnace managed to get into the Ponty half and from a scrummage they were awarded a penalty some 26 yards out which was well taken and restored the Furnace lead. After which they regained there scrummaging mojo and were able to somewhat negate the dominant Ponty scrummage. Furnace cleverly run down the clock through a training field tactic they called Whiskey” which was essentially a pick and drive movement time and time again.  Ponty were awarded a last minute penalty which was 50:50 as to whether it could be landed. On the touch line Calum,s Dad was asked by those around him, should Calum attempt the kick to which his response was naturally to protect his son “ it is difficult and its going dark.  In any event this conversation was an irrelevance for the players choose to kick for the corner from which they subsequently didnt score. 


So when the game ended it was congratulations to Furnace and disappointment for Ponty with some consolation in that we get a losing bonus point.  


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