Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 25 - 10 Ystradgynlais RFC | 1st Team
Leigh Di'iulio
Try 1
Scott Beard
Try 1
Nathanial Llewellyn
Try 1
Jamie Sturgess
Conversion 2
Penalty 2
Curtis Davies
1 Try
Josh Griffiths
1 Try

Match Report
06 January 2019 / Team News



A much changed Birchgrove side determined to move on from last week’s unexpected reversal at Morriston delivered the goods today with a three try 25 – 10 victory over visitors Ystradgynlais.

The game started with a bit of close quarter action but you sensed that there was a dogged resolve to get back to winning ways as the home side launched attack after attack upon the Ystrad defence ably led by the industrious forwards Joseph Davies and Tom Downing. Support in the shape of Jamie Sturgess , looking far more composed than last week’s debut and reliable centre Adam Percival almost brought an early try but for the final pass from Davies to prop Callum Llewellyn  to break down with the line in sight.

Continued pressure was soon to pay off though as Sturgess stepped up to score his first points for his new club with a well taken long range penalty 3 – 0. A second penalty quickly followed after ever alert Rob Scrine had made ground from a quick tap and on this occasion Sturgess was again successful with the help of an IN-OFF from the near post  6 – 0.

Ystrad though were no push overs and had their moments particularly when a defensive slip from full back Matthew Edwards created a little panic in the home defence but some slick cover defence kept the visitors at bay. The first try was on the way though for the more dynamic home side and after a number of forward sorties in to the Ystrad underbelly Joe Davies slipped an innocent looking ball to skipper Scott Beard who shrugged off at least 20 defenders!! on his 140 yard gallop !! to the line for a fine individual touchdown converted by Sturgess 13 – 0

The visitors again looked to hit back though and a good backs loop move orchestrated by their nippy No 9 gave notice to the home side that this game was not cut and dried as Curtis Davies finished off the move with an unconverted try and a 13 – 5 half time score.

The second half started with Birch again in the ascendancy with the back row of Myatt, Key and  coach R j Di’luilio making good yardage towards the visitors line. Quick ball provided an opportunity for Scrine to get his backs moving and a looping pass from Adam Percival put combative wing Leigh Di’luilio in for an unconverted second try 18 – 5.

Birchgrove were now playing a more settled and  higher tempo  team game  with forwards and backs combining to put pressure on the Ystrad line and Josh Key was unlucky not to break the away defensive shackles with a powerful burst for the line.  But the third try was not long in coming. After regrouping following another Ystrad attempted counter attack  the ball passed swiftly through the home back’s hands for energetic back row replacement Rob Green to hand on to another notable returnee, powerful  centre Nathaniel Llewellyn , to go over for his fourth try of the season . Sturgess added the conversion to take his points tally in to double figures 25 – 5.

With a bonus point try now the target it was a bit disappointing to see the game go off the boil a little as Ystrad stole a second try through Josh Griffiths 25 -10 and the game stumbled to an untidy end at 25 -10.

A great effort nevertheless and a huge improvement upon the performance at Morriston which has put us firmly back on track and top of the Table 5 points ahead of Resolven  who still have a game in hand but lost at Builth Wells today.

We can now confidently look forward to hosting Builth next Saturday 9th Jan and game Sponsors Steve and Chris Powell have asked me to mention that with the Neath RFC connections of Steve and Builth legend Jeremy Pugh it is expected that a few old Neath players may make an appearance and they hope that nostalgia will prevail and a few Birchgrove ex players of the same era might also enjoy an after match pint in the Clubhouse.

Finally can I offer Adam Beard a speedy recovery from his neck and shoulder injury sustained whilst playing for the Ospreys today and it is pleasing to read that Osprey’s Coach Allen Clarke has indicated that the “ procedures were precautionary and things are looking promising”.


I understand that our No 10 Jamie Sturgess who left the field injured towards the end of today's game may have broken a bone in his foot. If this is the case it is most disappointing for him and will probably mean he will be sidlined for some time, a great pity after such a fine game today. We wish him a speedy recovery too. 



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