Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 19 - 35 Glynneath RFC | 1st Team
Mathew Edwards
Conversion 1
Penalty 3
Steffen Williams
Drop Goal 1
Try 1

Match Report
12 January 2020 / Team News


Birchgrove’s excellent cup run and dreams of the Club’s  second visit to the seat of Welsh Rugby in Cardiff were brought to a grinding halt by a well drilled Glyneath team today 19 – 35.

Birchgrove started with the advantage of a  vicious swirling wind at their backs and could have taken the lead from a slightly miscued Matthew Edwards penalty. But it was Glynneath who were the first to score and set the mould for the day. A penalty to touch gave them a line out platform for their strong pack to drive over in classic style for the first try 0 – 5.

Birchgrove battled straight back and tried to get their running game together bringing the best out of the visiting defence and a penalty from Matthew Edwards brought our first score 3 – 5. Birch were never short on guts throughout this encounter and the visitors certainly knew they were in a battle. A defensive indiscretion however reduced the home side to 14 and a Carbon Copy repeat of the first try looked on the cards. Once again the touch line was found ,the Glyn jumpers soared and the visiting eight hugged together like a group of reintroduced long lost friends trundling along to a reunion party. The result was try number two  3 – 10.

Birch again though with the wind at their back battled for some parity up front and  even stole a lineout in an attacking position in the opposition 22. Rob Scrine got the backs moving , durable centre Adam Percival took a hit and moved the ball on in the same movement and the Glynneath defence panicked. Edwards on target with the resultant penalty 6 -10.

Well maybe the wind and our superior enterprise could pull this game back in our favour but the Glynneath defence and their continued superiority up front continued to counter our best efforts. But with the limited opportunities presented to us we were slowly clawing our way back. A well taken drop goal after another line out take and forward phase play took us to within one point 9 – 10.

With renewed confidence Birch continued to make inroads in to the visiting defence and a silky break from defence saw centre Curtis Davies break for the line. The support was soon up with him and a quickly recycled ball allowed the home side the first real opportunity to exhibit their attacking flair and a converted try gave the home side a 16 – 10 half time lead. But against this wind in the second half a man down again for the first ten minutes would it be enough !

Glynneath kicked off the second half with the wind still howling and although Birch were able to clear their lines a collective home support groan came as yet another penalty gave the Glyn No 10, this time with the wind, an opportunity to peg us back. The script nor the game plan had not been changed at half time and more déjà vu awaited as the Glyn side went through the motions and collectively piled over for Catch and Drive 3 and a crazy wind assisted boomerang conversion to put them back in the lead 16 -17.

It was the visitors now with the bit between their teeth and Birchgrove bodies were on the line as first Josh Key then Liam Richards then Kyl Thompson and Joseph Davies held up the away onslaught. But three phases later of quickly recycled ball allowed Glynneath to go over for try number 4 this time from open play and a 16 - 24 point lead

Birchgrove though although down were not out. It was they who tried to get back in to the game with Rob Scrine and Josh Key operating bravely and more competantly behind  a stretched scrum and Scott Beard, Aled Mogford and Chris Gorvet still relishing the ball carrying responsibilities albeit with limited success. A penalty was due reward and a 19 -24 score was both creditable and still keeping the game alive as a contest.

Glynneath had other plans though and it was back to our line with their No 8 being valiantly held with our line in his sights. A penalty to touch and oh no here we go again ! But on this occasion contesting the line out did enough to prevent the No 4 sequel but a kickable penalty , especially with the wind, gave Glynneath more of a cushion at 19 – 27. The margin was increased again shortly afterwards and at 19- 30 things looked done and dusted.

A raft of fresh legs from the home side, even if some of them were shrewd heads on older legs, was the last throw of the dice for Birchgrove. But despite continued stubborn, obstinate and plucky resistance it was Glynneath who finished the stronger sealing the game with another penalty and  their fifth try of the day to run out well deserved winners 19 -35.

So the dream is gone. We wish the victors of the day, a very good side, all the best in their continuing journey to Cardiff and we will regroup and turn our thoughts to consolidating and improving our  hard fought for and worthy position in the league.

That quest starts at home against Ammanford next Saturday kick off 2.30. See you there .


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