Gwernyfed RFC | Youth Team 15 - 13 Brecon RFC | Youth Team
Dafydd Edwards
1 Conversion
Sam Hellard
3 Penalty
Ben Griffin
1 Try

Match Report
27 April 2018 / Team News

Gwernyfed Youth15 - Brecon Youth 13

For the second successive year Gwernyfed Youth faced Brecon Youth in the final of the Breconshire Youth Cup. In the 2017 final Brecon triumphed with a slender 2 point margin of victory on a damp evening at Parc de Pugh. With the venue moving to the Brian Jones Memorial Ground at Talgarth this year and the match played in dry conditions the result also was a mirror image of the previous encounter with Gwernyfed winning with a two point margin. A large and vociferous crowd were entertained by a match which was once again a very close encounter between two excellent Youth teams. It was a classic local derby match which was a great advert for local youth rugby. Although only three tries were scored the game flowed and the main reason for the lack of points was the commitment of the defences and the effectiveness of the tackling.

The early stages of the match did not accurately reflect what was to come. Brecon dominated with a free flowing brand of game and when they scored their first try, which followed a sustained period of pressure, it looked as if the match would develop into a high scoring affair. During that early period Brecon camped themselves in the Gwernyfed half and after a few close calls eventually finished clinically when, from a scrum on the 5 metre line, wing Ben Griffin was put away for a score in the corner. Dafydd Edwards converted beautifully from wide out on the touch line and Brecon had tangible reward for their early dominance.

The game continued in a similar fashion for a period with Brecon winning good ball particularly from the scrum and looking to find gaps wide out. They looked sharp and moved the ball with pace but the Gwernyfed defence was rock solid. Important tackles were made, to the delight of the home support and Brecon’s attacks floundered. As frustration built so Brecon gave away penalties and gradually Gwernyfed asserted themselves. A penalty kicked to the corner gave them their first real opportunity and they took it with a well organised and effective driving maul off the line out. At the heart of the maul was Cellan Skyrme got the touch down to trim Brecon’s lead back to just two points.

That lead was quickly overturned as the Gwernyfed back row frustrated Brecon at the breakdown and following three successive penalties in favour of the home side Joe Winfield kicked a goal to give Gwernyfed the lead.

Brecon’s cause was further dented as from the kick off Rhys Evans was justly sent to the sin bin for making contact with the catcher when he was still in the air. A man down, Brecon still looked to play an open offensive game but were regularly pinned back some great kicking in support of the aggressive defence.

As the half drew to a close Brecon almost restored their lead as with the last play of the half prop Josh Hamilton drove for the line. He crossed it but was brilliantly held up by a great tackle.

The second half initially started once again with Brecon on the offensive. Yet again the Gwernyfed defence proved to be rock solid. One superb cover tackle by scrum half Levi Phillips halted an almost certain try and the only reward Brecon reaped from their efforts was two Dafydd Edwards penalties which restored their lead.

With the scores so tight and so much at stake it was not surprising that the referee should again turn to his pocket for a yellow card when over committed players offended. This time Gwernyfed suffered and Brecon hoped to make the most of their numerical advantage but it wasn’t to be. Gwernyfed again moved the game into the Brecon half and when they kicked a penalty to the corner for a line out 5 metres out, a repeat of the first half score seemed to be the most likely outcome. This time Brecon stole the line out and lifted the pressure by running out of defence to put themselves back on the attack. They initiated a promising move just outside the home 22 but again the move floundered on the rock of the Gernyfed defence and as the ball broke loose in a tackle, Oscar Lennon pounced. He picked up the loose ball and raced away into open space. A cover tackle came in but he brushed that aside and strode over for a try which Joe Winfield converted to restore Gwernyfed’s narrow 2 point lead.

Gwernyfed now just had to hold their nerve and continue to frustrate the Brecon offense. That was easier said than done as Brecon threw everything into a final flourish to steal the match. No matter what Brecon threw at them from line outs or scrums on 5 metres Gwernyfed were not to be moved. They tackled as if their life depended on it and as a result Brecon’s game became frantic and error ridden. In the dying seconds Brecon won a penalty but from fairly long range. They opted to go for the posts but the kick failed. Gwernyfed re-started from the 22 and immediately reclaimed the ball which they kept through to the final whistle to earn themselves a notable Cup victory in front of a delighted home crowd.