Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 25 - 29 Swansea Uplands RFC | 1st Team
Adam Percival
Try 1
Robert Green
Try 1
Nicholas Fisher
Conversion 2
Penalty 2
Try 1

Match Report
03 February 2018 / Team News


When you get to a position of watching a winning team week after week piling up the points with solid scrummaging and silky running skills it is a serious reality check when it comes to an end !

So although in my dreams I did not think I would be reporting this event, Birchgrove did actually lose last night as Swansea Uplands took the spoils and returned to their West Swansea Millionaires Haven 25. 29 victors but not without one or two upsets on the way and a nerve jangling final five minute onslaught from the home side.

The game kicked off with Birchgrove looking to be in the ascendancy and within five minutes some concerted forward pressure resulted in the first score of the game a penalty from Nick Fisher 3 – 0. Maintaining the pressure with forward hard yard drives from Callum Llewellyn, James Evans and Scott Beard a succession of penalties gave Birch an attacking foothold near the visiting line. A catch and drive move resulted in the first try , a collective forward effort, with Rob Green perfectly executing the touch down from his ball carrying duties at the back of the Maul 8 – 0 and everything going to plan !!

The Ups ! had other ideas though and started to create a bit of superiority at the scrum and lineout which allied to a number of enforced home handling errors put them in a good attacking position near the home line. A swift strike and equally swift pick up from the base of the scrum saw the powerful visiting scrum half race in under the posts for a converted try 8 – 7 game on !

Birch were quick to strike back though but the smooth structure of their game which we have become accustomed in recent weeks seemed to be misfiring and although there was plenty of fight and endeavour you got the sense from the line that this was not going to be an easy night. To their credit though the battle to get to the line continued unabated with Josh Key and R J Di’iulio galvanising the forward effort and Leigh Di’uilio, Adam Percival and the returning Jordan Williams orchestrating things behind.

Home Effort, Grit and Determination were eventually rewarded as a quickly taken short penalty saw the ball skip rapidly through two sets of hands leaving Nick Fisher with a sight of the line which he eagerly  took advantage of with a try topped off with his own touchline conversion 15 -7.

The advantage was short lived though as Uplands again upped the ante and manfully set about the task of shortening the home lead. Some gainful kicking from their No 10 placed them in a strong position encamped on the home line. A succession of scrum penalties awarded them by the referee, whose interpretation of the scrum laws was causing Birchgrove some consternation, had a very ominous feel to it. It was no surprise therefore when a Penalty Try was awarded, a straight 7 points nowadays, to take the game to a knife edge 15 -14 half time.

Birchgrove started the second half with a one man disadvantage as James Evans took an enforced rest and things did not improve as they conceded a penalty from the restart and lost the lead for the first time in the game 15 - 17. Closely followed by a “Rush of Blood” yellow for Rob Green.

Down temporarily to 13 men and in the unusual position of trailing the opposition, the team dug deep to stay in contention and were rewarded  with a penalty which brought the biggest ironic cheer of the night as the crowd appreciated that the referee was able to point in more than one direction !. Nick Fisher again stepped up to convert and was order restored at  18 -17.?

Afraid not ! . The game entered a messy stage where both sides conscious of the glory awaiting the victors started to overdo things a little and a succession of errors entered the game.

 It was the visitors though who were able to gain the upper hand and after a solid forward effort capitalised on a home handling error. They were then able to show off their own attacking skills quickly moving the ball through their backs to go over for a third try, converted and an 18 – 24 lead.

Birch started to ring the personnel changes now to try a regain superiority but once again Swansea Uplands were to strike what appeared to be a mortal blow with another try and bonus point 18 – 29. before Adam Percival started the fight back with a try converted by Fisher 25 - 29.

Some brave action was now required to get out of this situation and you could see a renewed sense of determination in the home side as they launched wave after wave of assaults on the Uplands line. 6- 7 – 8- 9 phases of play and astute and cautious ball management inched them toward the ultimate goal, more front row controversy added to the drama. Could the pendulum be swung at the last minute and the perfect record maintained ?

 One last super human effort would see us over the line and Matt Harries was the man to deliver.So over to the villain of the night, decision fairly (maybe misnomer !) and squarely in the hands of the referee.


No!!!!!!!!!           held up ! , knock on!   forward pass ! double movement  ! not grounded !!

Take your pick he didn’t give it   Game Over !


Great drama and maybe perversely some good can come out of this result.  Unbeaten Monkey off the backs, maybe a few harsh lessons to be learned but no team showing the Determination to win exhibited in that final onslaught is going to be rattled by this one set back. Let’s re group and move on Lads -  Promotion still firmly in sight.

Next league game home against Aberavon Green Stars Sat 17th February 2.30. A little matter of a West Wales Semi Final first Wed 7th v Bynea at Dunvant but watch this space for confirmation of that.






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