Fixture

Taffs Well RFC | 1st Team 18 - 27 Abercwmboi RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
28 April 2017 / Team News

Abercwmboi Maintain Promotion Push with 18-27 Win at Taff’s Well

The visitors were made to work hard for a win that keeps them in contention for a promotion place against a Taff’s Well side who were looking to make up for the disappointing performance against Treherbert in the previous league match.

Before a large expectant mid-week crowd swelled by the numbers of travelling supporters, it was the home side that were to get off to a flier as the visitors fumbled the kick-off and had to defend on the their 22 from the resultant attacking maul. With the defence seemingly well set, flanker Rhys Watkins produced some sleight of hand to peel off unnoticed and sprint to the line with the bemused defence stood staring at each other, full-back Tom Benjamin producing a fine conversion to take Taff’s Well into the lead 7-0 with the first play of the match. Not to be outdone, Abercwmboi took advantage of some hesitation from the kick-off and were awarded a penalty from 40m out from which their scrum-half took quickly and with Taff’s Well defenders in close proximity and not allowed to touch him, he sprinted all the way to the line and scored a converted try to level the score at seven apiece after only two plays in the game.

The first half was to be nip and tuck as flankers Watkins and Rhys Green put in some great tackles and the Taff’s Well scrum had the edge on their counterparts. Winger Chris Kidley-Bergwyn showed some signs of what he can do by producing a lovely jinking run from defence and a terrific take under pressure from a high kick plus scrum-half Nick Hill did well in getting some decent possession away but as with most of the season, both wingers were struggling to get a sniff of the ball out wide. After the Taff’s Well scrum managed to win a penalty, Benjamin could not quite connect well enough but he was to make amends with another penalty shot from 43m and yet another from 42m to put the home side in front at 11-5. With half-time approaching and the Taff’s Well under pressure, the dam burst for a typically burly prop’s try as he bowled over from a metre out but with the conversion going wide, it was Taff’s Well who were good for a one point lead at the interval. The only sour note of the half being a strange decision to yellow card home skipper Gareth Gibbs for what seemed a totally legal tackle.

                         Half-time Score:  Taff’s Well 11 v 10 Abercwmboi


                                                     Second-half

Taff’s Well were starting to believe they could win this encounter and were immediately on the attack but as the ball was spun wide, a telegraphed pass saw an interception in the centre and clear 55m run under the posts for a converted try and the visitors in the lead at 17-11. With the referee earning scorn from both sides and both sets of supporters, it was Abercwmboi who were to suffer his wrath with a yellow card and a chance for the home side to capitalise. From the resultant penalty and line-out on the 22, the ball was spun wide for youth centre Jack Shaddick to make a fine break and feed left-wing Ronan Barrett steaming in from a great angle to touch down for a fine try and the bonus of another Benjamin conversion to put Taff’s Well back in the lead 18-17. Abercwboi are not promotion candidates for nothing and were straight back into the home 22 and it took one of the tackles of the season from Shaddick to stop a certain try.

Abercwmboi had started to up their game and it was taking a mighty defensive effort to keep them at with centre Justin Jones back at flanker and showing how versatile he is with another good all-round effort. The referee was continuing to be the subject of home ire and he did his cause no favours with another penalty which was to concede an attacking line-out and series of penalties which were to eventually concede a try thanks to some quick thinking from a quick tap. As the game wore on, the visitors were not only protecting a 22-18 lead, they were starting to monopolise possession and territory and it was no surprise when they finally sealed the match with a try wide on the left and a bonus point win which keeps them well in the hunt for a second-promotion place in their first season in the division.

                             Final Score:  Taff’s Well 18 v 27 Abercwmboi


The Verdict

This was a much better effort from Taff’s Well who were playing a side with everything to play for as the season draws to an end and with the front row of Gibbs, Desmier & Harvey helping to get the nudge on at scrum time, the side looked to compete in most facets of the game in a match where although both sides were trying best to play open rugby – officialdom perhaps, had other ideas. Flankers Green & Watkins put in a huge tackle count in a hugely physical contest with Watkins just shading it as my Man-of-the-Match capping it with a fine opportunist try and the backs all looking individually menacing with ball in hand but not quite gelling well enough on the night as a unit to take advantage of some good possession, especially in the first half. Abercwmboi were good value for their win thanks to to a stirring second half performance but this was a game that could have gone either way, if not for a few key moments.

The lads have one more match to play as they take on unbeaten leaders Cambrian Welfare away on Saturday so let’s give them a good send off as they earn a good long rest after the debacle of being asked to play 7 games in 13 days at the end of last season!


Dave Beese  mail davecbwales@gmail.com

 

More for the calendar:

Thu. 04/05/17 Taff’s Well Youth XV v Barry Youth XV KO (Playing for league title!)

Sat .06/05/17 Old Penarthians 2nd XV v Taff’s Well 2nd XV

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