Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 21 - 16 Ammanford RFC | 1st Team
Mathew Edwards
Penalty 3
Josh Key
Try 1
Steffen Williams
Conversion 1

Match Report
19 January 2020 / Team News


Birchgrove won a tough and combative game against visitors Ammanford at Parc Bedw today but had to regain the lead on three occasions to run out 21 -16 victors.

On a crisp and ,at last, dry day Birchgrove started confidently and were soon on the score sheet with a well worked try. Putting together a number of their usual short , quick handling bursts in to the opposition defence a typical Curtis Davies power break opened up the defence and the ever alert Josh key was on his shoulder to go over for try number one 5 – 0.

Ammanford though quickly made it clear that they were not here to make up the numbers and soon showed that they would be a match for the home side with their similar brand of open and attractive rugby. Following some of their pressure our usually dependable first line defence showed a rare fraility and their own powerful No 13 made ground before off loading for the ir first try , converted and a lead  of 5 – 7.

Both sides then became guilty of some loose play but quite understandably as they both employed a similar tactic of forward bursts and quick offloading to search out defensive weaknesses sometimes leading to some hairy interception moments !. it was Birch though who were able to regain their lead for first time. Wing Matt Billett  made ground, from the breakdown Rob Scrine fed to first receiver Scott Beard and from the next breakdown Birchgrove were awarded a penalty and Edwards was on hand to secure the points 8 -7.

See saw mode was quickly resumed though as a Bircghgrove offside decision gave Ammanford the chance of taking the lead once more and with a successful penalty the score was 8 – 10 to the visitors. A lead which could have been extended had the away 10 taken advantage of a further penalty from the exact same position a few minutes later.

It was Birchgrove who reacted best to this set back and with five minutes or so left of the half conducted an all out assault on the visitors line. With three penalties being awarded and the scrum firing on all cylinders it looked likely that we would turn around with another score under our belts. But it was not to be and the Ammanford defence breathed a sigh of relief as the whistle brought  an end to hostilities 8 -10

Birch continued to press from the second half kick off and Rob Scrine continued to feed Beard and Chris Gorvett with swift loose ball and you would have thought that the pressure was starting to tell as Edwards took advantage of another penalty decision to put the hosts back in front again 11 – 10.

That lead was extended shortly after with another penalty as the visiting prop took one for the team to prevent Scott Beard setting up another sortie in to the belly of their defence and got a yellow for his trouble. Edwards extended the lead and at 14 – 10 and them down to 14 , should be plain sailing now !

A team that has beaten Bonymaen at home and lost to other leading league teams Dunvant by only five points and Bridgend Athletic by three points had other ideas though. So having stubbornly resisted all the home efforts to improve our position whilst one short it was Ammanford who stole the only score during this period with a penalty reducing the home lead to 14 -13. Restored to a full compliment it was also them who pilfered the lead again, another penalty 14 – 16.

What was going on , time to step up to the plate here and the home side did not disappoint once again. This was not the time to abandon structure or belief and Birch set about building their attacks with purpose . New 10 Steff Williams ensured territory and the rest of the team employed the tried and tested tactic of make the hard yards and the gap will appear. Ricky Rosser was now the provider from the base of the scrum or loose. Joseph Davies, Scott Beard, Josh Key and Adam Percival taking responsibility in turn to test the visiting defence. With a combination of power, concentration and patience the gap eventually appeared and Adam Percival went over for try number two converted by Steff Williams and at  21 – 16 and having regained the lead for a third time it was almost home and dry.

I say almost, as  before the final whistle and with the home side in control, there was a heart stopping moment as a safe opportunity to clear to touch was spurned giving Ammanford control of the ball with the clock ticking but a more than useful line out steal steadied nerves and provided the hard fought win 21 - 16

Congratulations to both sides for an entertaining afternoon. Kenfig Hill away next week 2.30 be there, these boys deserve it.

I’d just like to finish with our best wishes to club centre Curtis Davies who played his last game for the club today before heading off on an Australian adventure where he will combine playing Rugby out there with a bit of work and hopefully plenty of enjoyment. Curtis has been a great servant to the Club in his short stay with us and will be sorely missed but we wish him Bon Voyage.





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