Glynneath RFC | 1st Team 37 - 15 Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team
Jack O’Reilly
Conversion 3
Penalty 3
Alex Burton
Try 1
Jonothan Griffiths
Try 1
Gregory Ian Roberts
Try 1
Dylan Rhys Frances
Conversion 1
Owen Nesbitt
Try 1
Josh Key
1 Try
Mathew Edwards
1 Conversion
1 Penalty
1 Try

Match Report
29 December 2019 / Team News


Birchgrove travelled up the Neath Valley to  Glynneath today looking for a second double of the season having already beaten the hosts at home and on a run of seven consecutive victories but were well beaten on the day in a 37 -15  four tries to two defeat.

The game started with an even look to it but Glynneath soon started to gain territorial advantage and took the lead after 10 minutes with a penalty kick from No 10 Jack O’Reilly 0 – 3. Birchgrove though stuck at their continuity game and saw moves involving Adam Rowlands, Adam Percival and powerful co centre Curtis Davies challenge the home defence before being rewarded with a penalty which Matthew Edwards converted 3 – 3.

Glynneath’s eight though were also starting to build in confidence and the home side were maximising this advantage to keep themselves on the front foot and the Birchgrove  defence , good as it was, in retreat. Their first try came from forward pressure and second row Jonathan Griffiths was over for a try ,converted 10 – 3.

Birchgrove again tried to bounce back  with Joe Davies , Scott Beard  and Liam Richards sharing the ball carrying responsibilities probing for gaps in the home defence to get the backs moving. The home defence was well up for this task though and it was they who increased their lead on the half hour. Once again forward pressure got them in to  an attacking position and having sucked in the cover defence released the ball where  two swift passes saw the away line breached again, try converted 17 – 3.

Having lost influential No 10 Adam Rowlands, Birchgrove regrouped and battled hard to regain parity at the breakdown where the back row of Josh Key, Jack Perkins and  Chris Gorvett were putting in a tremendous shift. The visitors were in fact next to score and showed perhaps the best side of their counter attack play as replacement 10 Owen Evans somehow managed to pirouette out of a tackle and have the presence of mind to launch a long pass to centre Curtis Davies. Davies showed his mettle and galloped in to the opposition 22 leaving some flailing defenders behind him. Matthew Edwards supporting at speed did the rest and Birchgrove although not winning the contest could definitely claim the try of the game so far 17 – 8. 

With renewed confidence Birchgrove started to put some phases together but were constantly being undone by the home side superior scrum and a line out that in all honesty was also failing to function and a further home penalty brought the game to half time 20 -8.

The second half started with another set back for the visitors. Strong running centre Curtis Davies had almost brought a confidence building score with another searing run in to the heart of the home defence which was only stopped by desperate cover. From the ensuing loose play though a body blow interception try from home centre Alex Burton  converted by O’Reilly left Glynneath firmly in the driving seat and Birch chasing the game at 27 – 8.

A yellow card offence gave O’ Reilly another penalty success and at 30 – 8 the game was looking well out of reach. But as we have seen before although down we are never beaten and despite now really suffering at the tight scrum and being constantly driven back Josh Key was exhibiting his  usual aplomb at the base and we were still able to put some threatening phases together. It was Curtis Davies once again who turned a loose play off load into a serious attacking threat and his partner in crime Matthew Edwards helped the ball on to a supporting Josh Key, for “the second best try of the day” as he raced away from the cover defence for our second of the day converted by Edwards 30 -15.

The need to chase the game proved too much in the end though and our propensity to keep the ball in hand in search of another breakthrough was to prove a late downfall as the ball bobbled about and was picked off by the home defenders and No 9 Owen Nesbitt crossed for the home bonus point converted try and a deserved home victory 37 – 15.

Despite the score line the home Chairman in his after match address  acceded to the fact that the game had been a hard and competitive match and that some elements of the Birchgrove play would be cause for concern when the two sides now meet at Birchgrove on Jan 11th to battle for a coveted semi final WRU Plate position.

So let’s take heart from this, get back together, Waunarlwydd at home next week and then the big one !


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