06 May 2018 / Club News

Match Report: Cwmgrwach vs Pontardawe

May 5th 2018 


Ponties Glorious Day in the Sunshine 


This was the last game of season and the players were up for it being in a cheerful and buoyant mood. It was a glorious, hot, blue sky day which was great for the supporters; most of whom were from Pontardawe , but tough for the players. The grass was long, full of daisies and dandelions, but no pansies either in the vegetation or playing on the field. For game was to be hard fought with intensive tackling and robust play. 


The referee Joseph Rees from Ammanford got the game underway with Cwmgwrach kicking off with the sun somewhat behind them. Within three minutes they went ahead through a penalty. A few minutes later with play in the middle of the field, good procession was passed out to the right allowing centre Jamie Jarrett to kick through a good 30 m grubber which was well chased by Nigel Williams and Calum Jones thereby pressurising the home team into conceding a penalty. Ponty choose to kick for the corner rather the posts and a good line out taken by Nigel and subsequent pack drive saw Mike Hanson power over for a good try in the right hand corner some 6 meters in from the touch line. An excellent conversion from Aaron Burford took the score to 3- 7.  


The home team started to make good use of the sun and peppered our full back with lots of high balls in the middle of the field which proved to be difficult to gather and under lots of pressure to get safely kicked into touch. And during this period Cwmgwrach started to control the game and work the ball up the right hand side of the field through a number of pick and goes. They then threw the ball out along the line to the left in an impressive movement for Captain Robert Collins to score in the left hand corner which went unconverted but regained the lead for Cwmgwrach 8-7. 

Minutes later they were back in the same corner piling on the pressure including a missed drop goal, too which Ponty did well to relieve. Whilst still in their own 22 a lovely break by Nathan Thomas saw him race down the left touch line chased by many defenders whom one by one give up the chase except for one who managed to tackle him only a few meters from the try line. At the end of the first quarter the teams were pretty evenly matched perhaps the home team better in the line outs . 


Well into the second quarter saw Aaron Burford gain 50 meters from an awarded penalty and from this started a period of excellent power play by Ponty with well executed pick and goes and offload rugby down the centre of the field forcing the defenders into mistakes and the award of a scrum five. This was well won and passed out to the right wing but the home teams number 8 (one of their better players) had him well covered and prevented the try. In this period the Cwmgwrach Captain left the field injured.  


Minutes before half time and in the middle of the field Ponty were caught napping when the Cwmgwrach no 10 took a penalty quickly to get behind the gain line and run in a try under the posts. Which was simple to convert and move the score onto 15 -7. The last plays of the first half saw Mike Hodges make a break of some 30 yards and support play continue it with a number of good offloads and try beckon but last ditch tackling saw Nigel Williams bundled into touch and the half come to a close. 15-7.


5 minutes into the second half Dai Morris and Darren Rees came on for Sion Jones and Peter  Withers and their freshness upped the tempo for Ponty and the next 10 minutes saw lots of good running offloading and power play rugby by Ponty, and when needed, good defence. A long distance clearance line kick by Aaron Davies being such an example. Ponty got themselves into cracking position in the left hand corner being awarded a five metre scrum which they muscled forward 4 metres leaving Josh Willis much to do to control the ball, pick up and get over the line with three defenders trying to stop him.  A cracking try and really cracking conversion from the touchline by Aaron Burford moved the score to within a point at 15-14. What followed was fantastic to watch when Carwyn Jenkins caught the re-start kick and begin his 30 metre run, not only breaking tackles but being elusive as well before committing a defender to the tackle him before offloading to Nigel Williams. Upon receiving the ball Nigel faced the back of the only remaining defender who was dispiriting trying to turn around the right way to get the tackle in, but Nigels deliberate changes of direction made sure that the defender didnt know which way to turn, other than to be turned inside out. It was another cracking try in the right hand corner. And this was once again followed by yet another cracking conversion by Aaron Buford this time from the right hand touchline. So in two minutes we had scored 14 points and the score moved onto 15 -21. 

It was a great third quarter for Ponty who were dominating the broken play with good runs and offloads and clean breaks in what was sweltering weather. 


Cwmgwrach were not beaten yet and worked themselves back into the game earning a scrum five some 10 meters to the left of the posts. For some reason I dont know why Carwyn Jenkins was yellow carded when Cwmgwrach pushed over for a try and a penalty try awarded thereby enabling Cwmgwrach to regain the lead with 10 minutes to go. Being a man it was going to be tough to win but some resilient play earned us a mid to long range penalty and  Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man” when Aaron Burford stepped up to take a crucial penalty some 35 metres out and 15 meters in from the left hand touchline. Over the ball flew and back into the lead we went. With only minutes to go Cwmgwrach piled on the pressure for it all to be relieved this time by another great field kick by Aaron Davies from somewhere near the half way spot right into the bottom left hand corner touch. What a kick and great tension reliever for the Ponty players supporters and total deflation for the home ones. Ponty remained camped in his corner for the remaining minutes of the game and as the time run out Leon Withy nonchalantly kicked the ball into touch to end the game. 


Everybody played their part in this win non more so than Aaron Burford s 3 our 3 successful touchline conversions and of course the winning penalty. 


What a game to end the season, hard fought, well played, great to watch, WELL DONE 


Enjoy your summer. 


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