Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 27 - 34 Glynneath RFC | 1st Team
Adam Rowlands
Try 1
James Samuel Evans
Try 2
Steffan Castle
Conversion 3
Penalty 2
Robert Jack O''reilly
2 Conversion
5 Penalty
Conor McMenamin
2 Try
Geraint Workman
1 Try

Match Report
04 September 2021 / Team News




A much changed Birchgrove side today welcomed Glynneath to Parc Bedw . Captain Josh Key and influential centre Adam Percival both injured last week were out together with a number of other absences but there was a warm welcome back to veteran James Evans and second row Scott Beard for his first game since lock down.

Glynneath took the early initiative with a penalty from centre Jack O’Reilly which was soon countered by a typical long range effort from Steff Castle 3 – 3. Glynneath  then took  the lead again  as a run out from defence went wrong and the visitors loose forwards picked up and some sharp handling saw them in for the first try , converted by O’ Reilly 3 – 10.

The visiting team continued to press and frustrate the home side efforts to open the game up but again Glynneath were the more accomplished attackers as they again crossed the line with a conversion to create what might appear to be the start of a rout at 3 -17.

But the home side had something to say about that and slowly came back in to the game as lively Scott Hawkins got things moving quickly and a back movement involving Hanno Dirksen resulted in Adam Rowlands going over for the home side first try  and touchline conversion from Castle 10 -17.

The game was becoming more of an equal contest now as both sides tested each other. Glynneath edged ahead with another O’Reilly penalty 10 -20 but Birch were not done yet. A forward drive from Kyl Thompson carried on by Dirksen, Austin and Rowlands resulted in a penalty to the home side and a kick to touch.

An assured Beard win set up the drive for the line and veteran James Evans was the man to dot down a concerted forward effort and following a Castle conversion turn the game around at half time only three points behind at 17 – 20 an excellent comeback and good heart for the second half.

From the kick off Birch looked as if they meant business forcing the visitors in to the role of defence against concerted sorties in to their territory by Liam Richards, Tom Wright and Jack Perkins. The visitors held out though and getting back down field were to increase their lead by a further penalty 17 – 23.

Birch bounced back once again and another Castle penalty brought the difference back to 3 points 20 – 23. The curse of this competition was then to strike again  though as an innocuous tackle from James Evans was not only adjudged foul play but sufficient to warrant a yellow card.!!. and the penalty sailed over for a 20 -26 lead,

With Birchgrove a man down and some manic kicking and chasing from both sides reward was to come for Glynneath in the shape of a somewhat scruffy try (but they all count) and at 20 – 31 it looked as if it was all over .Even more so when the 12 once again dissected the posts for a penalty 20 -34.

But the home side once again dug deep, a huge credit to what was virtually an untried combination of players and it was the old hand James Evans who was to benefit from the combined work of a forward drive to secure his second try of the day, converted by Castle 27 – 34.

Were we in for a fairy tale finish and a share of the spoils , a comeback and even a hat trick from you know who ?  Well it nearly came to pass. A penalty gave Castle the opportunity to go for position and he did not disappoint. A line out,5 metres out  Beard collects, a drive is on but the ball slips out of control, a penalty and it’s all over.

Another thriller in this competition, another narrow defeat but another day to be proud of the boys and on this occasion the wider squad.

 Keep it going lads see you when we visit Glynneath next week for the return fixture.




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