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WRU National League Division 3 South East Saturday 18th April 2009

Brecon 26 - Aberdare 23

Saturday’s match between old rivals Brecon and Aberdare was a fascinating contest. Following a series of disappointing results Brecon needed a win to restore some much needed pride. Aberdare in spite of a good recent run still needed a win to mathematically ensure survival in Division 3. With weather conditions almost perfect the stage was set for an interesting and entertaining match.

The game matched up to expectations with the result in doubt until the final whistle and with the lead having changed hands five times. Although into the final quarter Brecon gained the upper hand, Aberdare came back and could have shared or even taken the spoils. The fact that Brecon held out, when for most of the time they were down to fourteen men following a sin binning, was a credit to their character, which has been questioned in recent weeks.

Brecon certainly had the better of the opening exchanges. Full back Owen and wing Eurin Morgan were given the opportunity to display their attacking capabilities in the early stages of the match and one run where they interchanged passes led to a penalty opportunity which Dan Edwards converted.

Having made a good start Brecon were then struck by injuries. Both Wyn Davies, who has not missed a game in an outstanding season for the young second row, and influential Huw Baldwin suffered cuts which needed treatment. In their absence the reshuffled Brecon team were put under severe pressure. For a long time they survived but eventually they gave away a penalty which centre Gary Williams converted to level the scores.

With Davies and Baldwin returning to the fray Brecon looked to re-establish their early ascendancy only to suffer from a huge lapse in concentration. The ball emerged from the Brecon side of a ruck on half way. With scrum half Rob Price trapped in the ruck nobody covered the ball and the first to react was Aberdare flanker Ryan James. Gathering the loose ball he set off on a run to the home 22. Owen Morgan made the tackle as he off loaded to prop John Williams. With 22 metres to go he should have been stopped but Brecon defenders fell off the tackle and he broke completely clear to score under the posts. Williams converted.

Stung by this reverse Brecon’s response was swift and clinical. A lovely flowing move gave Huw Baldwin the opportunity of delivering a well timed pass to Owen Morgan who entered the line from full back. He flew through the gap, chipped his opposite number and won the race to score. Dan Edwards levelled the scores with an excellent conversion.

Now level Brecon at first threatened and then gained the lead. No 8 Andrew Fergusson made a great touch line run to set up the pressure and when a dangerous Eurin Morgan run was halted with a high tackle Dan Edwards kicked a penalty.

It was now all Brecon but on the stroke of half time concentration once again deserted them. Gary Williams, a powerful young centre, caused problems with a straight hard run and once players were sucked in the ball was spread wide and wing Matthew Rafferty crossed wide out to give the visitors a two point half time advantage.

In spite of now playing into the breeze Brecon were the first on the score board in the second half. A searing run through the middle by flanker Sean Davies set up the attack. The finish was supplied by Owen Morgan whose pace took him outside the defence for him to score an outstanding try.

With momentum growing Brecon extended their lead when after a period of concerted pressure hooker Alan Taylor crossed the line after being in the heart of an unstoppable forward drive. Aberdare responded with another Williams penalty before Brecon almost sealed the game when prop Richard Galea set off on a storming run which took him to within a metre of the try line. He failed to score put Dan Edwards kicked another penalty and the eight point lead seemed to be a winning margin but there was a sting in the tail. Gary Williams, who was a threat in midfield whenever he had the ball, scored in the corner reducing the lead to three points and setting up a tense finish. Brecon survived and celebrated a well earned win.

To crown a good afternoon for Brecon, the 2nd XV pulled off a notable victory as they took Methyr’s unbeaten league record with an outstanding 24 points to 17 victory.

 

 

 

 

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