THIRD CONSECUTIVE NARROW LOSS FOR PENLAN
For the third consecutive game Penlan were disappointed to lose a match that they had looked like winning. On Saturday it was at home to Morriston for the long anticipated Christmas derby, with prospects looking good for Penlan with the home advantage and a stronger team than in recent weeks. Conditions were good with no wind but there was a trace of a light mis,s as referee Mr. Justin Williams from Llanelli got the game underway with the visitors kicking off.
In the first quarter, the teams tested each other out and looked fairly equal until at about 28 minutes, Morriston went ahead with 3 points from a long penalty kick by their number 10.
Penlan stepped up their game and at 35 minutes some great passing advanced the ball deep into Morriston territory putting them under pressure. Then a scrum lead to Penlan setting up a determined push for the line that propelled Morriston back until scrum-half Bobby Scrine could ground the ball. A fine kick from Penlan full-back Paul Spowart put them ahead by 7 – 3.
Just before half time though, Morriston No. 10 slotted his second penalty kick to narrow the score to 7 – 6 at half time.
The close score indicated how closely matched the teams were and as the second half started both sides knew that they would have to put in extra effort to secure the game. The first hope went to Penlan at 10 minutes when they had the second of two line-outs, this time on the Morriston 5 metre line. The ball was safely taken by second-row Robbie Watkins who made the initial powerful advance until Penlan set up their strong push for the line until Bobby Scrine safely grounded his second try. Another competent kick from Paul Spowart gave Penlan the 14 – 6 lead.
Things seemed promising for Penlan who looked like having control of the scrum but Morriston always looked dangerous when they got possession. Almost at 30 minutes Morriston narrowed the score to 14- 9 from a third penalty kick from their No. 10.
There was plenty of time left for the game to be won by either side and both stepped up their efforts to go ahead. At just 30 minutes Penlan lost their slender lead when Morriston took a quick penalty that led to them moving the ball across field to score at the corner and equal the score at 14 all.
Penlan had suffered two consecutive narrow loses in their previous games when they had looked like winning and should have been conscious that they needed to concentrate on the game if they were not to do it again. In the final 10 minutes they put effort into clawing back a lead but Morriston were intent on doing the same and the game could have gone either way. In the final minute though Morriston were threatening the Penlan line but were being kept at bay. Then some fast passing took the Penlan defence by surprise as the ball was switched towards the corner for an excellent try for Morriston. Almost incredibly, Penlan had lost their third game running in the final minute due to their lack of concentration, in a game that they could have won. It had been the closest of games and there was no argument that Morriston had deservedly secured a fine win. There were no complaints from Penlan who appreciated the good management of the game by referee Mr. Williams throughout the match. It can be argued that Penlan lost due to their slight lapses of discipline (which gave Morriston a crucial 9 points), their loss of concentration and, on occasions, running the ball when they might have kicked and vice versa. In fairness though, Penlan had put on a good display of fast rugby and can learn from their mistakes in time for their next game against Aberavon Green Stars at home on 7th January. In the meantime Penlan wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy and Sporting New Year.
Photographs were being taken by our loyal team, Colin Rush and Mike Evans. As usual, Mike’s will be uploaded to his website www.mike322.com in due course, while Colin’s have been posted on our website.
After the game teams retired to the clubhouse where Penlan held their Christmas Jumper day and celebrated the birthdays of twins Ben and Leigh Martin, before being entertained by the group The Villagers.
Other results from Division 2 West Central are currently reported as :-
Brynamman 3 Cwmgors 26
Cwmavon Aberavon Green Stars 15
Maesteg Celtic 3 Nantymoel 16
Resolven 18 Ystradgynlais 26
Tondu 31 Pencoed 8
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