09 April 2017 / Club News

Penlan v Ystradgynlais 8th. April 2017


Ystradgynlais came to Penlan on Saturday needing a win to keep their championship hopes alive.  In their early December home encounter they had beaten Penlan by 27 – 24 and were lying in second league position behind Tondu. Penlan were back in numbers though but had missed a game the previous week and needed to be at their best to meet the challenge from the visitors.

Referee Mr. Jamie Morgan made a fine job of managing the game against two balanced sides in a closely contended game.  Ystradgynlais made the initial kick off and for the majority of the first half it was a to and fro encounter with neither team getting the upper hand.  The visitors proved to be a well drilled side capable of fast passing that constantly put the Penlan defence under pressure.  Penlan were up to the challenge though, but it was not until the 35 minute mark that they gained points.  Penlan secured a lineout just outside the 5 metre which went to Ystradgynlais but second row Kurt Velardo charged through and secured the ball.  He sprinted clear and leapt over the line for a fine try, his ninth of the season.  It was a tight angle for full back Paul Spowart and his conversion attempt struck the near post.

From their kick out Ystradgynlais immediately put Penlan under pressure at their line until, just two minutes later, they got through the defence to land their retaliatory try which they converted to give them the 5 – 7 lead at half time.

The warm conditions made things hard going for both teams and they knew that the second half would be even harder.  Penlan showed their metal and came out with renewed determination.  At 9 minutes they had a lineout on the visitor’s 5 metre.  The ball was secured by Kurt Velardo and Penlan set up a push for the line until second-row Luke Brooks stormed over for a fine try to put Penlan ahead by 10 – 7.

The duel continued until at 20 minutes Ystradgynlais had their lineout on Penlan’s 5 metre and made their own push for the line that earned them their second try which, when converted, put them back in front by 10 – 14.

In the remaining quarter the close contest became tougher with Ystradgynlais intent on retaining their lead.  The effort and heat were taking their toll and the visitors were obliged to go to passive scrums.  At about 30 minutes, Penlan centre Steven Williams bravely charged down a clearing kick to give a chance to attack the line until centre Nathanial Llewellyn managed to make a stretch over the line try despite being buried by defenders.  It was a crushing blow for Ystradgynlais and they hotly contested the decision.  Play was held up for a while until full-back Paul Spowart could make his fine conversion to make the final score a 17 – 14 win for Penlan.  It had needed a strong team game for Penlan to meet the determined challenge from the able Ystradgynlais set up. Penlan had relied on their skill and fitness which saw all players performing well to come away with the win.  Ystradgynlais earned just a one losing bonus point and could still achieve promotion but not the championship, as present leaders Tondu had also secured a 32 – 0 win against Cwmgors to give them an unmatchable 85 points.

Another hard game is coming next week when Penlan are away in a classic derby against Morriston who are also contenders for possible promotion.   

Photographs from Colin Rush have been uploaded to the gallery and some from Mike Evans will be uploaded to his website

Other results from 2 West Central are presently reported as –

Brynamman 50  Nantymoel 22

Cwmavon 14  Morriston 43

Maesteg Celtic 48  Aberavon Green Stars 0

Resolven 31  Pencoed 9

Tondu 32  Cwmgors 0

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