Penallta RFC | 1st Team 27 - 36 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Jake Crockett
1 Conversion
2 Try
Ryan Price
1 Try
Lewys Cooke
2 Try
Dean Gunter
3 Conversion
1 Penalty

Match Report
29 September 2019 / Team News

Penallta 27 - Brecon 36

With two bonus point league wins under their belts Brecon faced a major new season test as they travelled to encounter arch rivals Penallta. With Penallta having been equally successful in their two league matches to date, the stage set for a critical, early season, top of the table clash. The background to the match was also intriguing. Last season matches between the two sides largely decided the fate of both League Champions and Plate Winners. Brecon emerged victorious in both competitions courtesy of narrow victories over their close rivals. There could, therefore, be no doubt that both sides saw this latest contest as a vital stepping stone towards fulfilling any league ambitions for the coming season.

On their own 3 G surface there could be no doubting that Penallta started the game with far more energy and purpose than their rivals. They played at higher pace and with greater intensity than Brecon have faced in any match this season. Within 7 minutes they left Brecon stunned and led by 12 points to nil after scoring two good tries. The first came almost from the kick off when Penallta won a penalty and Outside half Will Keep kicked to touch deep in Brecon’s 22. At the line out the home pack drove effectively and then released centre Lewis Alexander who cut back towards the pack and opened up the Brecon defence. Full back Ryan Grant added the conversion and Penallta were off to a great start.

In no time at all they improved on their great start. Brecon won the ball at the kick off but lost it at a tackle near half way. Penallta moved the ball wide with pace and accuracy and created space for wing Ryan Davies to dive over in the corner. To say that Brecon players and supporters looked shell shocked would be an understatement. They needed to re-group and impose their game but they looked anxious and rushed. Although gradually they began to secure possession they could not match their opponents’ pace and continuity. A third try was almost created as Keep worked a neat loop only for the move to be spoiled by a dropped pass. That let off finally spurred Brecon in to positive action and out of their lethargy.

Owen Morgan from full back was the catalyst. He picked up a loose kick and set off on a brilliant counter. Deep in Penallta territory he was finally brought down but with support on hand he freed Jake Crockett who sprinted in for Brecon’s first try. Dean Gunter converted. The first sign of niggle between the two sides then emerged as a verbal confrontation was halted by the referee who sent a player from each side to the sin bin.

The game now settled with both sides looking to use width. Brecon were hampered by a line out which was far from secure but they were at least now beginning to impose themselves and the game flowed from end to end . Hooker Ryan Williams made a great run in midfield before centre Tom Richards was forced to pull off an outstanding cover tackle to halt a dangerous Penallta move. This was followed, at the other end, with another trade mark Owen Morgan run and a threatening attack featuring Jake Crockett. A second Brecon player was shown yellow following dissent but in spite of being a man down Brecon took the lead with a great try. Captain Ewan Williams made the initial break before feeding Lewys Cooke who reached the line with a great dive and slide. Crockett converted and put Brecon ahead.

Straight from the kick off a scrum was awarded to Brecon in their 22. The scrum came under some pressure and a pass back was intercepted by Penallta scrum half Zak Cusack.  His score went unconverted but with half time approaching Penallta held a three-point advantage.

Suddenly the match blew up into a mass brawl. The unsavoury scenes were totally out of character with what had been before where the emphasis had been on width and pace. It took some time for calm to be restored and when it was the referee showed four players red cards – one to Brecon and three to Penallta and with that he blew for half time.

The second half started with Brecon fielding fourteen players to Penallta’s twelve. They made the advantage count immediately. Thomas Richards kicked deep into the home 22 and from a scrum Lewys Cooke broke and scored in the corner. With numerical advantage and now in the lead Brecon supporters must have felt confident but that confidence was soon undermined by a resilient Penallta team. A penalty to the home side gave them position and from there they released wing Ryan Davies. Right at the try line Tom Richards hit him into touch but with the referee adjudging that the tackle was made with no arms he awarded a penalty try and sin binned Tom to take Brecon’s contingent down to thirteen.  Penallta were buoyed by their response to adversity and began to believe that they could achieve an outstanding win against the odds. The confidence was boosted as they struck a penalty to give them an eight point lead. However, Brecon re-grouped and with Crockett, Morgan and Ewan Williams making some great runs Brecon finally hit back when space was created for Ryan Price to run in at the corner. Gunter converted brilliantly to leave Brecon a point adrift but with time running out. Brecon now pressed and pressed but Penallta resisted. A long range penalty was missed and the game entered the final two minutes. Brecon now camped in their opponents 22 finally won a penalty if front of the posts. Gunter added the points and Brecon took a slender 2 point lead with one minute to go. They made the most of that time. After gathering the kick off Crockett broke and delivered the killer blow. His weaving run took him to a try under the posts giving Gunter the easiest of conversions which not only sealed the match but denied Penallta the comfort of a losing bonus point, something that was the very least they deserved for their battling performance.