Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 24 - 21 Aberavon Green Stars RFC | 1st Team
Robert Green
Try 1
Nicholas Fisher
Conversion 1
Leigh Di'iulio
Try 1
Scott Beard
Try 1

Match Report
18 February 2018 / Team News


After suffering two successive defeats Birchgrove were determined to get back to their winning ways against Aberavon Green Stars at Parc Bedw today and succeeded with a 24 .17 victory but not without a few shocks on the way in addition to  the Seismic one registered locally which coincided with kick off !

The home side, with some key forwards missing, started in confident manner and stand in number eight R J Di’iluio  was soon in action with a brilliant scrum base pick up and 25 yard drive in to opposition territory. Support was soon on the scene and with the ball handed swiftly through the hands of half backs Leigh Di’iluio and Liam Garland, Scott Beard was on hand to go over for the first try, unconverted 5 – 0.

The Stars tried to strike back from the kick off but were thwarted by strong front line defence which resulted in them resorting to a succession of aerial attacks which eventually allowed them to gain some momentum but a neat turnover presented the home team with a chance to break out of defence. The ever illusive Lee Harris was able to make substantial ground and some slick handling from supporting Liam Garland and Adam Percival almost brought a second score.

The second try did come shortly later however as some solid forward driving from Tim Nkurunziza, the tenacious Rob Green and the “old firm” Scott Beard and Luke Williams put Birchgrove in a good attacking position. A  scrum close to the line gave R J Di’iluio  another  chance to pick up at the base but with only 5 yards to go this time he exercised a bit of brotherly love slipped the ball to brother Leigh who went over for try number two converted by Nick Fisher 12 – 0.

The game was soon to turn though and the second shock of the day was about to kick in. Some home indiscipline which had crept in to the game was punished by the pedantic referee and it was Prop Callum Llewellyn who had to suffer the communal reprimand. No sooner had he reached the touch line than a Green Stars scrum produced an attacking opportunity, gratefully received, as they went over for  a converted try and a 12 -7 half time score.

Still with the one man advantage Stars kicked of the second half with a bang and some sloppy tackling allowed them to run in under the posts for their second converted try and the lead for the first time in the game 12 -14.

Birchgrove were quick to bounce back though and as the visitors this time fell foul of the referee, losing a man to the bin, the home side took advantage. A succession of forward drives  took the home eight closer to their target and it was that man Rob Green who had been a driving force all game who got the touch down and the lead back 17 – 14.

But this game still had more twists and turns in it yet as Leigh Di’iluio’s indiscretion followed by some verbal afters gave Green Stars a chance to bite back. The upright was to save the day initially as the reliable visiting kicker was denied. But when Captain Adam Percival was also sent to the side-lines to join his scrum half things looked very ominous. And so it was to prove as another missed tackle in midfield gave the visitors a two on two attacking option which once again they took advantage of with a converted try and Birchgrove behind 17 – 21 and staring what should have been an unlikely defeat in the face.

Well this team has galvanised itself in similar situations before in this season, most notably in the opening game against Bryncoch. Could they once again extract victory from the gaping Jaws of defeat.

Back up to fourteen men and with some fresh legs on they set about their task. Dale John almost found the line but was bundled “Scott Williams “ like in to touch at the last minute.

It was the forwards though who were to play the “Get out of Jail” card as they took control close to the line putting intense pressure on the visiting pack. The referee who had been much maligned and public enemy No 1 to the home supporters up to this point was to become an unlikely ally as the clock ticked away .A set scrum some 5 yards out saw the home pack strain every sinew to put pressure on the Stars which was too much for them to withstand and “our hero!!” had no hesitation in running under the posts to award a last second penalty try and a bonus point victory 24 – 21.

A bit too close for comfort for those of a nervous disposition but it’s a result, albeit ugly, which edges us closer to the goal of promotion, so we’ll take that and move on .

Next game away to Bridgend Sports 3rd March followed by a home game against Briton Ferry 10th March. I know the mathematicians are working out probabilities for promotion but probably the recipe as  always is keep winning!

Well done Lads.





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