Fixture

Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 3 - 13 Porthcawl RFC | 1st Team
Nicholas Fisher
Penalty 1

Match Report
08 April 2018 / Team News

PORTHCAWL HOLD UP PROGRESS

The last few steps in the arduous route to promotion are proving to be frustrating  for Birchgrove as after defeat to Swansea Uplands followed by recovery last week at Bryncoch , Championship rivals Porthcawl took the spoils at Parc Bedw today 3 – 13.

Knowing that one win would do the trick Birchgrove came out of the blocks all guns firing and very soon were threatening the visitor’s line. It was an early indication of what was to follow though as Porthcawl were handed opportunities to clear the lines time after time.

It was from such a clearance that a rare foothold was gained by Porthcawl just inside the home half and when a penalty was awarded the opportunity to go for the posts was gratefully accepted and converted and despite the energetic  and vigorous start Birch were behind 0 – 3.

To their credit the home side battled on in the same adventurous fashion and were soon back on the front foot courtesy of a Liam Garland raking 40 yard touch finder. Although the line out was not functioning perfectly Birchgrove once again put the visiting defence under all sorts of pressure before once again shooting themselves in the foot with a needless penalty providing more relief and another advantage gone begging.

More of the same was to follow with Scott Beard, Tom Downing, James Evans ,( in possibly his last home game for the club before another retirement !) and the fired up Rob Green leading the  forward charge and centres Adam Percival and Leigh Di’ulio in close support. I counted at least 5 visits to the opposition twenty two which were beaten back admittedly by a well organised defence but also by our own indiscretions and a creaking line out before frustration set in and Rob Green was given a ten minute rest.

The assaults on their line continued even with 14 men and with Josh Key playing his usual blinder behind a weakened pack and the rest of the super seven raising their game you thought at least one score before half time was likely but it was not to be even though scrum half Ricky Rosser thought he had earned the score.  So the organisation and particularly the defensive astuteness of the opposition 10 Jon Phillips saw the half finish with no further score  0 -3. Birchgrove though could comfortably claim that the Possession and Territory Stats were well stacked in their favour

The start of the second half brought a swift return for Birchgrove from the boot of Nick Fisher as he converted a penalty 3 – 3. A loose kick though then left a home player isolated and their kicker Ben Thomas once again punished us from the resultant penalty and their lead restored at 3 – 6.

Porthcawl were now starting to look a lot more composed and going smoothly through the phases to establish some territorial advantages. The next score was to come from Porthcawl and came from the likely source of outside half. Phillips on this occasion choosing to take on the home defence from just outside the 22 and spotting a gap glided through and in under the post for a converted try 3 -13.

With fresh legs joining the fray the Birchgrove side manfully stuck to their task with what looked like a good number of scoring opportunities being created but with the final execution falling short on the day. Porthcawl played with a steely resolve and whilst never exhibiting outstanding flair always had an air of control to their game which was going to be difficult to break down.

It is unheard of this year for me to be reporting on a game where Birchgrove did not score a try but at the final whistle that indeed was the case. Despite all the Territorial advantage, a glut of possession especially in the first half and undeniable effort it was not to be our day and the wait for the elusive points to secure our deserved promotion goes down to the last two games.

These games are against Porthcawl and Bridgend Sports both away and both will need to be arranged so watch this space. In the meantime, the Silver Ball quarter final against Ystrad Rhondda awaits at Glynneath  Wed 11th April kick off 7.00

Keep going lads !!

 

 

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