Fixture

Brecon RFC | 1st Team 31 - 24 Aberdare RFC | 1st Team
Jake Crockett
Try 1
Celfyn Haydn Davies
Try 2
Gari Wyn Davies
Conversion 3
Davey Herdman
Try 1

Match Report
14 February 2015 / Team News

Brecon 31 - Aberdre 24

Having lost a game to the weather on the previous Saturday it was important that Brecon maintained some continuity on the field as they prepare for critical period which involves three matches against sides which are all still within sight of promotion. The quarter final bowl match against Aberdare was therefore valuable and timely. Aberdare come as no strangers to Parc de Pugh. For a number of seasons they fought many close battles against their hosts while both sides played in Division 3 South East. Last year, however, Aberdare were relegated but in their new lower league they have shown good form to date this season as they battle for top spot with close rivals Treherbert. The Bowl contest was therefore interesting as it pitted together two teams fighting for promotion in their respective leagues. Brecon, being in the higher league were certainly favourites but cup competitions notoriously throw up surprises.

While Brecon in the end justified their ranking as favourites it was certainly not one-way traffic with Aberdare producing some exciting running which pushed Brecon all the way. Brecon were aided by a dominant scrum which not only gave them a firm base to work from but also provided ball against the head and lead to a penalty try and conversion in favour of the home side. In spite of Brecon’s domination in this phase Aberdare did their best to make good what possession they had and refused to buckle. That stubbornness was highlighted when having fallen 31 points to 10 behind they, from somewhere, conjured up a scrum which drove Brecon off the ball. When their scrum had been retreating all evening this was a complete shock. From the advancing possession they put together a lovely flowing move which ended in a converted try. This gave the team momentum an when their outside half cut through some weak defence to score another converted try, with ten minutes to go, they certainly rang some alarm bells in the home team’s camp. With ten minutes left Brecon closed the game down and finished winners by 31 points to 24.

The whole game had some interesting patterns. Aberdare started brightly and pressurised the home side. They could have taken an early lead but their penalty opportunity was squandered. Brecon found it difficult to assert themselves during this opening ten minute period until No 8 Craig Davies made a storming run from deep. His momentum seemed to spur on the whole team and suddenly Brecon took control. They quickly converted that control into points with two excellent tries.

The first came when the Brecon pack drove Aberdare off the ball at a scrum in the visitors half. Gari Davies brought centre Eifion Jones onto a short pass and he drove hard in the mid-field. Prop Rhys Jones was quickly in support and he carried deeper into opposition territory. With quick ball at the breakdown the Brecon backs made no mistake as they spread the ball wide to left wing Jake Crockett who went in to score his 15th try of the season and his 5th in his last three matches. The second try which was converted by Gari Davies was scored in the opposite corner when right wing Celfyn Davies finished off a lovely move which featured a Craig Davies break off a scrum, a lovely miss pass from Eifion Jones and a well-timed incursion into the line by full back Jake Newman.

With ten minutes remaining in the first half Brecon were comfortably placed but then another shift in momentum drew Aberdare back into the game. Some poor tackling allowed an Aberdare centre to create pressure in the corner and the pack drove over to score a converted try. With minutes of the half remaining they closed to gap between the two sides to just two points as the kicked a straightforward penalty.

The half time signalled another major shift as Brecon came out for the second half full of purpose and energy. Their superiority at this stage was quickly converted into points. Jake Newman again made a telling incursion in mid-field only this time it was his boot rather than his hands which set up a second try for Celfyn Davies. The grubber kick through was inch perfect and Celfyn gathered and scored in the corner.

Within a further 5 minutes Brecon went further ahead when the referee awarded a penalty try after the third collapsed scrum on the Aberdare line. At this stage Brecon were in complete control and in the 58th minute they went further ahead when Davey Herdman, at the heart of a driving maul, scored and Davies converted.

With just ten minutes remaining and a lead of 21points Brecon looked to be home and dry but that discounted the resilience of the Aberdare team. First they turned the tables on the Brecon scrum on half way and then finished a lovely move with a try that was well converted.

Within minutes they scored again when their outside half skipped through under the posts. The conversion put them just seven points behind Brecon and within sight of a famous victory but it wasn’t to be. The final eight minutes were played out in a fairly uninspiring fashion. At the final whistle Brecon celebrated their progress into the semi-final of the bowl and acknowledged that they had been pushed hard by their young and enterprising opponents.

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