Glynneath RFC | 1st Team 19 - 15 Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Castle
1 Conversion
1 Penalty
Adam Percival
1 Try

Match Report
11 September 2021 / Team News

SO NEAR BUT SO..............................................

Another frustrating day for the lads today as they once again gave their all to secure a first victory in the WRU Plate Competition but due to a combination of circumstances fell just short once more in the return leg against last week’s victors Glynneath  by 19 points to .15.

The game started in a positive vein for the visitors when although there was no score after 10 minutes Birchgrove had showed most of the enterprise and aggression as they chased their first victory. It was the silky skills of Adam Rowlands playing at outside centre which was to lead to the first score. Expertly collecting his own high kick in to enemy territory he set up a backs movement which ended with permit player Josh Mapstone forcing his way over for the first try of the game, unconverted 0 – 5.

With both sides showing some enterprise, territory was being monopolised by the visitors and Steff Castle, Rowlands and some astute probing from full back Sean Hamer  was giving the visiting fan base some optimism that today would be the day to register that first win. As is the way with these things though it was a rare counter attack from Glynneath that was to bring the next score. A fluid backs movement ended with their right wing placing a foot in touch en route to the line and with play being brought back for an earlier offside decision prolific home kicker John O’Reilly slotted a penalty over 3 – 5

Birch immediately bounced back though as deadly tackler Adam Percival and ebullient back row player Rob Green combined to earn Steff Castle a shot at goal. Always happy to oblige another straight through the posts effort and an increase in the lead 3 – 8 and a well deserved half time lead.

Glynneath kicked off the second half and a mix up in fielding the kick put the home team on the front foot.O’Reilly was once again pleased to pop over a penalty and at 6 – 8 it was anyone’s game. A plethora of home penalties, some deemed extremely dubious by the visiting faithful were to follow and another offer in front of the posts following an even more dubious Birchgrove yellow card put the home side in the lead for the first time 9 – 8.

The penalty count continued to rise against the visiting side and the score board was once again ticking in Glynneath’s favour as O’ Reilly made it 12 – 8.. Then the fickle finger of fate that has dogged us in this competition was to strike once more.

A speculative kick from the home team looked to be heading to any easy fielding by up to now the cultured arms of full back Sean Hamer. A cruel slip though and an equally unforgiving bounce gave a marauding home forward the opportunity to hack through and score near the posts and with a successful conversion put Glynneath in a very strong position leading 19 -8.

Was it all over ?  Not likely !!

Birch came bouncing back in true grit style and forward surges from Kyl Thompson, the effervescent Liam Richards , Scott Beard and skipper Josh Key put the Robins back on the front foot. Some very efficient recycling created a perfect platform for Adam Percival to plunder a crash ball try and a Castle conversion put the game back within reach at 19 – 15

With the smell of victory now wafting through their veins an all out assault was launched against the home line and after a siege of numerous minutes and phases the referee denied us a try adjudging our assault to be held up over the line. That “finger of fate “was to wag its evil spell on us once more as the new “Goal Line Drop Out Rule” was enforced by referee giving the home side the respite of a goal line drop out to clear their lines leaving the visiting forwards exasperated after their sterling efforts.

With the game now innocently centred around the midfield area and yet another penalty awarded to the home side increasing the unhealthy bias of awards in their favour the game ended at 19 – 15.

Another great effort from the lads,I have said it before and will say it again it is only a matter of time before effort brings just reward.

Keep going lads. Dunvant next week at Broadmead – EASY !




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