Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 52 - 7 Neath Athletic RFC | 1st Team
Nathanial Llewellyn
Try 1
Scott Beard
Try 1
Joshua Key
Try 2
Nicholas Fisher
Conversion 6
Try 1
Robert Green
Try 1
Robert George Scrine
Try 1
Robert Di'ulio
Try 1

Match Report
30 September 2017 / Team News


Neath Athletic were today’s visitors to Parc Bedw with Birchgrove given the opportunity to make up their game in hand and consolidate their position in the league.

The home side started with a bang and the Athletic were very fortunate to repulse concentrated early pressure. But after 15 minutes or so their defence finally wilted as Rob Green went over for the first try well converted by Nick Fisher.

A well marshalled forward effort continued to ensure a wealth of good ball and  scrum half Robert Scrine and No 10 Liam Garland were getting the best out of the home backline and it was a surprise that after 25 minutes the visiting defence had only been breached on one occasion. 

It was indeed only a matter of time though as an Adam Percival, Luke Beynon and Lee Harris move put the home side in an attacking position and the pack did the rest driving on 20 yards or so before Robert Scrine  touched down for try No 2 with Fisher on hand to add the extras 14 – 0.

The Athletic were now in a backs to the wall situation and desperate defence was only giving Birchgrove the opportunity to counter attack through the balanced jinking of wing Lee Harris and the strong running of Nick Fisher out of defence. A defensive  break out carried on by Scott Beard almost led to an increase in the score only for an accidental clash between the two No 10’s to hold up play with the Athletic’s Tom Griffiths having to leave the field injured.

It was not long to wait  though for the inevitable next score which came in the form of one of the most outrageous dummy’s seen at the ground for many a year as Josh Key seemed to mesmerise the opposition to such an extent that the whole team seemed to stand still as he sprinted away for an amazing 40yard run- in which Fisher again converted 21 – 0.

Approaching half time with a bonus point in their sights the attack platform remained relentless as forwards and backs continued to combine and Lee Harris so often the scorer in recent weeks on this occasion turned provider as he offloaded to the supporting Scott Beard to go over for the bonus try. A fourth Fisher conversion giving the home side a comfortable 28 – 0 half time cushion.

The second half was to bring more of the same with the Athletic looking very uncomfortable against the pressure exerted by the home side. Scrine and Garland at half back continued to vary their game with the comfort of good ball from probably the best forward effort seen so far this season and try No 5 from  Josh Key after a secure line out take by R J Di’iulio was soon registered , unconverted 33 – 0. Di’iulio himself was then on the shoulder of Lee Harris to gratefully receive and secure try number 6 again unconverted 38 -0.

Although now looking a well beaten team the Athletic tried hard to raise their game and benefitted from a short mini revival to obtain a foothold near the home line. The home defence with Captain Adam Percival again a tower of strength was unyielding though and once again the home side struck with a gratefully received interception allowing substitute Nathanial Llewellyn the opportunity to put in a lung bursting 80 yard run (maybe 180 by 7 o clock ! ) to touch down under the posts, Fisher with the easy extras 45 – 0

The visitors although down were not out though as once again they started to build up phases to take them towards the home line and their persistence eventually paid off as Gareth Bowden went over for a consolation try well converted by Arin Gulsen 45 -7.

With the game well and truly in the bag for the home team and the clock running down there was still one trick up the home side’s sleeve which resulted in one of the best worked tries seen at the ground for some time. The ball was quickly and deftly worked through the hands of Rob Scrine, Connor Gallivan and Rob Green before being recycled and Lee Harris, Josh Key, Harris again and finally the prodigious and extraordinary exponent of skill and grace James Evans all combined bringing the game to a stylish conclusion as Nick Fisher finished the move under the posts. The conversion followed,  final score of 52 – 7.

So Birchgrove now sit proudly at the top of the Table with a visit to Pyle next up Saturday 14th October.  




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