BONUS WIN AT HOME FOR PENLAN AGAINST PENCOED
It was a beautiful day for rugby, or even cricket, at Mynydd Newydd on Saturday for Penlan’s home game against Pencoed. At their November away game Penlan had scored a 6 – 20 win but had come away with respect for the Bridgend side.
Penlan had good numbers for Saturday’s game and were pleased to have Kurt Velardo back into the side after his recent illness and Robert Green after his sabbatical up north. The full Penlan side were needed as they were kept on their toes by Pencoed who were fielding a strong and mostly young outfit.
Referee Mr. Carwyn Williams from Swansea made a fine job of managing a flowing and entertaining game throughout and got the game going on time with the visitors making the kick off.
In the first half the teams were closely matched and they used all their strength and skill to keep each other at bay but it was Penlan who made any headway. At the 25 minute mark after a phase of determined pick and go play they advanced towards the Pencoed line. Shortly after crossing the 22, the second-row Kurt Velardo seized an opportunity to take possession and sprint for the line. The Pencoed defence were with him all the way but his pace and strength saw his dive over the line for a fine try. Not only did Kurt show that he was match fit again but he had scored his eighth try of the season to keep him in top try scorer position. The close 5 point lead at half time was testimony to the challenge from the Pencoed side and Penlan knew that they needed to pull out all the stops in the second half.
Last season’s top try-scorer at 13 was Robert Green and, having missed a few games, he was keen to top up his tally this season. He made a start just 6 minutes into the second half when Penlan had a scrum just outside the visitor’s 22. The ball was initially advanced well by scrum-half Bobby Scrine and worked by the pack towards the line until Rob Green got possession and stormed over the line taking two defenders with him. It was his sixth try of the season and with an excellent kick from centre Paul Spowart it put Penlan ahead by 10 – 0.
The Penlan fitness was standing them in good stead and they increasingly looked the stronger side as time progressed.
Paul Spowart’s accurate boot was needed again at 15 minutes when Penlan had a penalty kick which advanced their lead to 15 – 0.
At just after 30 minutes Penlan were advancing again from their scrum until some cross passing found centre Steven Williams who powered through and over the line, buried by chasing defenders. Steven was also keeping his bid for top try scorer alive as his latest brought his tally to six which, with a second fine conversion from Paul Spowart made the score 22 – 0.
For the remainder of the game it looked as if Pencoed would hold the Penlan rout at bay but, in the last minute, Paul Spowart, who had been constantly making his presence felt, was passed the ball after constant Penlan work for the line. Almost from a standing start Paul sprinted forward and over the line taking two defenders with him. It was an excellent try which earned Penlan their 4 try bonus point with a 27 – 0 score and put Paul into second try scorer place at 7 and his top point scorer tally to 129. In the final seconds Paul Spowart lined up the ball on the tee for his final conversion kick of the afternoon and as he made the familiar post and ball eye calculation was surprised as Rob Green suddenly ran past him and took the kick with his left foot. It was a cheeky kick to celebrate his return to the side and their fine win and it went over to make the final score 29 – 0 for Penlan as Mr. Williams blew the final whistle.
So the stars who scored the tries may have been Penlan’s top try scorers – Kurt Velardo 8, Paul Spowart 7, Steven Williams and Rob Green 6 but it had truly been a fine team win. There was no Penlan player who did not have a good game with discipline and good communication resulting in Penlan playing at their best. It had been their seventh bonus win of the season and their second in the row but Penlan know that they will need to continue their form and more when they meet second table placed Resolven away next week. In their home encounter at the end of November Penlan had to settle for just one bonus losing point after a 21 – 26 score. It had been an exciting game but Penlan had been missing some key players and the result had been disappointing so both teams will be looking forward to another exciting game with anticipation next week.
As ever, we are grateful to our resident photographers Colin Rush (pictures on our gallery) and Mike Evans (uploaded in due course to his website www.mike322.com)
All results as presently reported are :-
Aberavon Green Stars 13 Tondu 40
Brynamman 10 Morriston 46
Cwmavon 0 Resolven 20
Cwmgors 17 Nantymoel 5
Maesteg Celtic 24 Ystradgynlais 13
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