Fixture

Abercynon RFC | Youth Team 29 - 30 Brecon RFC | Youth Team
Ben Griffin
2 Try
Thomas Young
1 Try
Ryan Williams
1 Conversion
1 Penalty
Joshua Pritchard
1 Try
Thomas Richards
1 Try

Match Report
29 October 2018 / Team News

Abercynon Youth 29 Brecon Youth 30

WELSH YOUTH CUP

BRECON CLAIM NARROW WIN IN CUP THRILLER

Abercynon Youth 29 Brecon Youth 30

Brecon Youth travelled to the Cynon valley in their Round 2 fixture in the Welsh Youth Cup on Saturday, where Abercynon RFC were their opponents. After their emphatic win over neighbours Gwernyfed in the last round, the squad knew that this tie would be a different proposition, the home side playing their league rugby in the division above Brecon in the Blues Region Premiership. Being the only club match for Abercynon on Saturday, the game was played in front of a good crowd, boosted by a large contingent of Brecon supporters – and both sets weren’t left disappointed by the rugby on show.

In a nervy start to the game, both teams struggled to gain any good possession and consistency, with frequent infringements at the breakdown and scrum areas from both sides meaning unfortunately, the referees whistle dominated the early exchanges. Home flanker Connor Dixon was a thorn in Brecons side all match and was industrious at the breakdown making the quick ball Brecon thrive on a rarity at times.

Brecon did however break the deadlock and got on the scoreboard first. A quickly taken penalty by captain Josh Pritchard on the half way saw prop Josh Hamilton set off on a trademark barnstorming run off the resulting ruck. After breaking the first line of defence, a brave tackle by the home full back halted his charge, but a great support run from second row Tom Young saw him collect the pop-up pass and crash over for the opening try. The home sides response was immediate. Brecon failed to gather the restart and after a series of forward drives and pressure in the 22, their prop went over for an unconverted try to level the scores.

Playing up the slope and into the stiff cold breeze, another quickly taken penalty, this time by scrum half Dan Hiscocks, saw Brecon close in on the try line. Another charge by second row Matthew Williams was held up but the ball was recycled by the forwards and the pass wide was superbly gathered by wing Ben Griffin, who beat his man and dived in at the corner with inches to spare for Brecons second unconverted try. In a carbon copy of their first try, Abercynon gained possession after Brecon once again failed to secure the kick off and scored through their forwards to once again level the scores. No further scores were added and at half time with the scores level, it was all to play for.

Due to injuries, Brecon were forced into changes at half time and a reshuffle of the backs after the loss of both Hiscocks and Young who were replaced by Iestyn Havard and Keiran Dunford. As the half restarted, Brecon took time to settle and after turnover ball, Abercynon struck with a well worked try after their wing made a fine break in midfield, which was finished by their full back, to give them the lead at 15-10.

As the game opened up, Brecon settled and responded with their best spell of the match. Following a scrum on half way, centre Charlie East made the initial break and off loaded to his centre partner Tom Richards, who had moved from full back at half time, who showed great pace to beat the cover defence and score Brecon’s third try to once again level the scores. With Abercynon rocked, Brecon extended their lead again. After a wide loop move following another a scrum near half way, Ollie Lewis made the initial break and fed Ben Griffin, now at full back, who bedazzled the defenders to go over in the corner for another great individual finish to extend the Brecon lead. Brecon’s fifth try came soon after, and a tap penalty near the try line, initial charges by the back row trio if Iwan Havard, Henry Gervis and James Roberts were halted but the pressure saw skipper Pritchard eventually plough over which was converted by Ryan Williams to give Brecon a seemingly comfortable lead of 27-15 going into the final quarter.

Abercynon, to their credit, had other ideas, regrouped and then had their best period of the match. Substitutions saw them bolster their pack and it was their forwards who led their way. They responded strongly with two well converted tries to stun Brecon and take the lead at 29-27. With limited time remaining, the game was seemingly drifting away from the visitors and a place in the last 16 of the cup lost.

In a final twist to this excellent match, Brecon gained possession in the home half and after Abercynon went off their feet at a ruck, Brecon were awarded a penalty. On a difficult afternoon for kickers due to the strong breeze, scrum half Ryan Williams stepped up and bisected the uprights to give Brecon the lead at 30-29 with a well struck kick. In a very nervy last 2 minutes both sides made a series of errors following the restart.  Brecon were awarded another penalty at the final play by the referee following foul play and the ball was booted into the stand to end the match to the delight of the players, management and the travelling supporters, knowing they had held on and won a match they so nearly lost.

The match was a superb advert for Youth rugby and both sides deserve huge credit for the rugby they put on show. For Brecon, the man of the match went to wing/full back Ben Griffin for his two superb tries but the whole squad deserve credit for their performance and character they showed throughout the match. As well as those mentioned above, there were strong contributions from prop Rhys Mills, wing Rhys Peters along with substitutes, Dewi Worwood and Glyn Powell. The unused subs of Iory Hughes, Angus Cloke and Joe McDean were part of the match day squad, and all played their part in the days success.

Brecon now go forward into Round 3 and the last 16 of the Welsh Youth cup and await the draw this week for their next opponents who they will face in a match scheduled for December 8th

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