Fixture

Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 13 - 8 Nantyffyllon RFC | 1st Team
Lee Harris
Conversion 1
Penalty 2
Lewis Cox
Try 1

Match Report
09 December 2018 / Team News

HALF WAY MARK AND STILL UNBEATEN !!


 

The visit of Nantyfyllon, lying a creditable fourth in the league, marked the half way stage of the season and a hard fought but deserved 13 -  8  victory was just reward for this remarkable journey in the higher grade of Division 2 Rugby for this young Birchgrove side.

Like last week the home side were rapidly out of the blocks with Lewis Cox showing an outstanding turn of speed for a big man to burst through the Nanty cover defence and cover almost 70 lung bursting  yards before being held up. The supporting troops of Josh Key. Luke Myatt and Adam Percival were soon on the scene and you sensed that a repeat of last week’s two minute try was on the cards. It was not to be though as the persistent pressure and numerous phases of play failed to produce any return.

Nantyfyllon were relieved when they finally cleared their lines courtesy of some home indiscipline and it was they who then found themselves encamped upon the home line. With their forwards going through their phases in orderly and tidy fashion and the home scrum unsettled with the temporary loss of talisman Josh Key Nanty took the lead with a penalty from Callum Jones.0 - 3

Birchgrove though tried their hardest to bounce back and Scrine, Sturgess, Percival and full back Lee Harris  carved out a great opening before being held up. Tom Downing and Scrine again were on hand to carry on the move but the curse of the “lip” intervened again and a penalty with a ten yard advantage took the pressure off the visitors and put it firmly on the home side again.

Once again providence, simplicity and application paid off for the away eight as they inched towards the home line and despite resolute defence from the usual quarters after a number of penalties being conceded near the line and one try being disallowed for a foot in touch Nanyfyllon managed to breach the line with a try from Lyndon Davies, 0 -8.

Not to be outdone in this see saw of a game Birchgrove once again looked to bounce back. This time powerful centre Nathanial Llewellyn was the carrier from defence making 30 yards with a storming run before being impeded by the away cover defence. The ensuing penalty put Birch on the front  foot with a foothold in the away 22. Being the third meaningful visit to these parts the Birchgrove faithful were on this occasion expecting a return but a Josh Key led attack brought a knock on decision and the half came to a close with the home side 0 – 8 behind.

As has happened on a number of occasions this season the second half started with Birchgrove in more purposeful mood. Flanker Lewis Cox, captain Scott Beard and hooker Joseph Davies combining to blast a hole in the Nanty midfield. Ever alert Rob Scrine took swift advantage of an indiscretion with a tap and dart movement and the home side were once again in the ascendancy. Support from hard working wing Leigh Di’iulio and No 10 Jamie Sturgess put the maurauding Lewis Cox over for a home try, converted in  swirling wind, by Lee Harris and game on at 7 -8.

Birchgrove were now playing with much more fluid intensity and Tom Downing ,Dai Cullen and Kyl Thompson helped to move them closer to the away line but again indiscipline saw them knocked back with a combination of the elements and measured kicking from the away half backs. Not to be outdone though home full back Lee Harris was also having a great day with the boot and after Lewis Cox had driven out of defence and the Birchgrove pack did a job on the Nanty eight Harris pegged them back into their own half once again.

A simply executed line out set up a backs move resulting in Leigh Di’iulio being held up illegally and Harris once again made a mockery of the conditions and coolly slotted over the penalty to put Birch in the lead for the first time in the game 10 – 8

With normal service being restored and the home side now looking more confident it was Harris again who took the next score, another penalty following a well regimented home scrum  13 – 8.

Although by no means all over with the well drilled visitors continuing to offer a threat there was more entertainment to come for the home supporters. Ultra dynamic flanker  Lewis Cox having already displayed a well disguised affinity with a Usain Bolt “starting block” break in the first half  once again took the players and supporters by surprise with an astonishing supercharged surge out of defence. Covering 50 or maybe 150 yards in what seemed like nano seconds the crowd waited with baited breath to witness what would be the try of the season and indeed it would have been but for the fact that he put the air brakes on in mid surge to pull his shorts up and lose control of the ball !.frown

The game continued though and with only one more scare resulting in Adam Percival “taking one for the team” the home side were home and dry, half a season gone in the “big league “ and still unbeaten.

Brilliant.

No photos this week, sorry, Jeff Miles away.

Next week Nantymoel at home 2.30.

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