23 April 2017 / Club News

Resolven v Penlan 22 April 2017


Penlan were the clear underdogs when away against Resolven on Saturday. A series of bad injuries in the previous fortnight including, Ian Scrine and Steven Williams with broken arms, Ben Martin and Luke Davies with hand tendon injuries, had seriously disrupted the team.  Playing Resolven on their home turf when they would be going all out to secure the second top league place to win promotion was a big challenge.  To their immense credit Penlan put in a great team effort which took Resolven by surprise.  The conditions were hot with a virtually cloudless sky on a firm pitch that was hard going for both sides.

Referee Mr. Colin Kirkhouse got the game underway well on time and, as ever, made a fine job of managing the game throughout.  Penlan made the kick off from which Resolven immediately mounted a determined attack.  Taking Penlan by surprise with some fast passing they breached the defence and landed a fine try at the corner in less than a minute of play.

At about 10 minutes Penlan were given a penalty from a high tackle and centre Paul Spowart secured the kick from just outside the Resolven 22 to claw back the score to 5 – 3.

As the duel continued it was apparent that Penlan were a match for the promotion seekers who were being put under great pressure.  At just after 30 minutes Penlan had been constantly putting the home side under sustained attack on their goal line.  A series of Resolven infringements kept Penlan at bay until, finally a deliberate knock on earned Penlan a penalty try from Mr. Kirkhouse and a yellow card for Resolven.  The safe conversion from Paul Spowart left Penlan ahead at half time by 5 – 10.

Both teams took on plenty of fluid at the break before the contest resumed.  Penlan were keen to press home their advantage but it was Resolven who made the progress when after just 4 minutes they turned over a Penlan lineout near the half way.  They went on the attack and a slight mistake in defence was seized upon by Resolven and let them through and around for their second try.  Safely converted they went back in front by 12 – 10.

At 10 minutes Resolven extended their lead from their scrum on their 5 metre.  They chased their long kick, won possession and made a strong sprint up the wing to land a fine try at the corner that increased their lead to 17 – 10.

Both teams were finding the closely contested encounter hard going, especially in the hot conditions and there were stops for minor injuries during which both sides took on water.  Penlan never let up and pushed Resolven all the way and at 15 minutes had another scrum on their 5 metre.  Penlan turned them over and immediately set up a push for their line.  The home defence were propelled back until Robert Di’Lulio at No. 8 safely grounded the ball.  It was great to see Rob back at Penlan even though on kind permit from Birchgrove and he narrowed the Penlan deficit to 17 – 15.  It was his third Penlan try of the season, having had 2 against Aberavon Green Stars back in September before he went north.

At 25 minutes Penlan went back ahead when Paul Spowart made a second great penalty kick from the 22 to make the score 17 – 18.

Penlan had shown that they were more than a match for Resolven and all that they needed to do for a win was to hold them out in the remaining minutes.  Desperate for the win Resolven stepped up their game and as time went into injury were putting Penlan under constant pressure at their line.  Penlan did a first rate job of keeping them at bay until 5 minutes into injury a Resolven player made a brave kick at goal.  His confidence was well founded as the ball sailed over and put the win back for Resolven by 20 – 18.

Either side could have won the game and both deserved a win but, once again, at the last minute Penlan were deprived of success and settled for their seventh losing bonus point of the season.  They remain in sixth league place on 56 points, equal with Maesteg Celtic who are just ahead having won one game more than Penlan but each have one game remaining.  Tondu stay firmly in top position with Resolven and Morriston fighting it out for the second promotion winning place.  There are just 5 points between them with Morriston behind but with two games left to Resolven’s one.

Next week Penlan are away again to Nantymoel for their re-arranged game from January when the pitch was frozen.  It will be Penlan’s last game of the season and we know there will be a fight, thankfully it will be after the Nantymoel game when Penlan are screening the Joshua v Klitschko IBF World Heavyweight title match live on the big screens.  Programmed to start at 10pm, subject to progress of previous bouts, all are welcome.

All results in Division 2 West Central are presently reported as –

Brynamman 43  Aberavon Green Stars 21

Cwmavon 21   Nantymoel 14

Cwmgors 15   Morriston 43



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