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SWALEC WRU National League Division 3 South East Saturday 17th December 2011

Pentych 28 - Brecon 15

After what has been an excellent second quarter to the season, Brecon travelled to Pentyrch with great hope. That hope was severely dented during the warm up period when first a flanker failed to turn up at Pentyrch and then they lost influential tight head prop Joe Tigg in the warm up. These setbacks added to the disruption of the team caused by the suspension of two players and the departure of second row Seb Evans did nothing to help Brecon’s cause but facing a side that had only won one previous league match there was still an air of confidence at the kick off. That good feeling did not last too long.

On a bitterly cold afternoon and with the ground very heavy, Pentyrch started by far the better of the two teams. They tried hard to keep the ball in hand while facing a strong breeze and they found plenty of players who offered themselves to carry the ball. For the first ten minutes Brecon found themselves pinned almost exclusively in their own 22. In spite of the fact that they were on the back foot for most of the time they managed to keep Pentyrch at bay thanks to a great defensive effort led by centre Alun Davies.

Eventually, however, the inevitable happened when Pentyrch for the third time ran from a quick tap penalty. This time Brecon did not have sufficient time to re-organise and winger Andy Watson squeezed in for a try in the corner.

From the re-start Brecon found themselves again under severe pressure. Winger Stuart Slough dealt brilliantly with a dangerous cross kick and saved Brecon from falling further behind. Much against the run of play Brecon were in fact the next team to score. Having weathered the constant pressure they finally got some good possession and Gari Davies initiated a good move. The ball was worked to wing Matthew Watkins, who made good ground before being brought down in the opponents 22. A penalty followed and Gari Davies reduced the deficit.

From the kick off Pentyrch restored their advantage when flanker Nick Jones kicked a penalty before Brecon took the lead with a great phase of play. Tom Daley started the move deep in his half. With Brecon at last re-cycling quick ball, outside half Eifion Jones made an excellent break and put supporting hooker Alan Taylor away for an excellent try under the posts. Gari Davies converted.

The passage of play was reminiscent of the way Brecon had been playing during the past two months and there was hope that having got off to a slow start they would now pick up the pace and take control of the game.

That hope was short lived. Again the energetic Pentych side worked hard to keep the ball alive in difficult conditions and it wasn’t too long before their efforts were rewarded. Again the score came from a quick tap. On this occasion excellent No 8 Jeff Steele broke the defensive line and scored near the posts giving Jones the easiest of conversions.

Brecon’s response this time resulted in an absolutely brilliant individual try. From deep in his own 22, No 8 Tom Daley broke. He burst through the first defenders and then his pace took him into the open. Just over the half way line he was confronted by cover defenders and he used supporting full back Owen Morgan as a decoy. He shaped to pass and then backed himself and burst past the last line of defence to score a magnificent try.

The try signalled half time and having drawn level again Brecon’s supporters were given hope.

That hope was dented early in the second half with two significant setbacks. Firstly Brecon gave away a simple penalty and Jones restored Pentyrch lead. Then the impressive Tom Daley succumbed to the flu which had made him a doubtful starter. Again on the back foot Brecon finally fell further behind partly due to their own mistake. Gaining a penalty in their own half they decided to run. They lost the ball and put themselves under pressure. No 8 Jeff Steele again showed alertness as he scored his second try again from a quickly taken tap.

Brecon really were now out of the game with the best they could hope for being a losing bonus point. Captain Wyn Davies did his best as he came more and more into the game and with the support of the likes of prop Ryan Harris Brecon produced some spirited play. It was, therefore, harsh when in the dying moments Pentyrch sealed their victory with a bonus point fourth try. The try was well created and well deserved. Gaining a foothold in the Brecon half, outside half Hywel Williams, spotted that Brecon were defending on a narrow front. He put in a beautiful cross kick which found winger Andy Watson in acres of space. The winger failed to grasp the ball at the first attempt but he had time to turn, re-collect the ball and score.

This final act signalled the end of a disappointing display which hardly filled the Brecon supporters with Christmas spirit as they made their long way home.





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