Newcastle Emlyn RFC | 1st Team 24 - 37 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Geraint Walsh
1 Try
Sam Jones
2 Try
Oliver Lewis
1 Try
Jake Crockett
1 Try
Dion Mcintosh
3 Conversion
2 Penalty

Match Report
14 April 2024 / Team News

Newcastle Emlyn 24 - Brecon 37

Brecon’s quest to maintain their Challenge at the top of Championship West continued with a long journey to Newcastle Emlyn. With a promotion place already secured the main focus for the team was to consolidate their position in second place behind Narberth and to maintain pressure on the leaders. That objective was achieved as Brecon returned home with a 24 points to 37, bonus point victory. With two games now remaining Brecon remain four points behind Narberth and need just two points from their remaining games to ensure that they, at least, finish in second place.

The victory at Newcastle Emlyn was certainly not all plain sailing. Newcastle Emlyn were fighting for the last remaining promotion spot and they battled hard. Their efforts reaped a degree of reward in that even though they emerged from the match with no points, other teams also stumbled and they remain in the battle for the last promotion spot with Crymych, Brecon’s next opponents at Parc de Pugh and Dunvant. While Newcastle Emlyn made Brecon work hard for the win it has to be said that Brecon were guilty of failing to shake off their battling opponents. On three occasions Brecon put themselves ahead by fourteen points and yet each time Newcastle Emlyn hit back to reduce the arrears to just one score before Brecon finally, with the home team threatening to cause an upset, they took the pragmatic route and closed the game out with two successful Dion McIntosh penalties.

The pattern of the game could hardly have been predicted. On a very heavy pitch the home side started well and claimed an early lead with a penalty from the boot of full back Jac Crompton. Brecon’s response was not immediate as they battled to quell their opponents’ enthusiasm. They did, however, look the more dangerous when they moved the ball wide and after a number of close calls, they finally took the lead. When the try came it was not perhaps the most clinical in terms of its build up. Captain Alwyn Lee, who had an excellent game until he was led off with an injury in the second half, was held up near the line and a loose ball was hacked away by a home defender. Brecon failed to claim the ball cleanly but fortunately the ball went backwards and Ollie Lewis picked up the loose ball, drove hard for the line, bumped off the last defender and crossed the line to score. Dion McIntosh added the conversion.

Within minutes Brecon extended the lead with a well worked try. Logan McIntosh won a turn over penalty just inside the Brecon half. Scrum half, Carl Blacker spotted that the home defence was slow in reorganising and he took a quick tap. He made good ground before linking with second row Geraint Powell who again showed good skills with ball in hand as he drew and fed wing Geraint Walsh on the 22. Walsh had a lot to do but his step off the left foot took him inside the scrambling defence and then his pace took him over the line for a try.

At this stage Brecon were at their best. Working hard at the breakdown with Dewi Edwards and Ioan Edwards prominent, excellent in defence, carrying effectively through Richie Davies, Logan McIntosh and Alwyn Lee and enterprising across the back line. With Andy Nicholl anchoring the scrum and Ioan Edwards everywhere, it was not long before Brecon scored again. Once again the scoring move started just in the Brecon half. Width was created when Dion McIntosh fed the ball quickly from the breakdown. Carl Blacker, in the outside half role, fed full back Jake Newman, who had timed his incursion into the line perfectly. He broke clear and when confronted by the last defender gave wing Sam Jones space on the outside. His pace saw him run in for a try.

Fourteen points up and into the last ten minutes of the half, Brecon should now have taken control. This was particularly so when Brecon were pressing deep in the home 22. Under pressure Emlyn conceded a penalty and powerful prop Gethin Davies was shown a Yellow card. Already in the ascendancy and now with a man advantage, Brecon should have closed out the half with another score. Instead, they went through a period of mistakes and wrong options which culminated in a ball being poorly kicked away when there was an option to run. Newcastle Emlyn made the most of the free ball and strung together a number of phases mostly using their forwards. Hooker Alex Williams, Number 8 Aled Jones and flanker Callum Evans all made ground and finally Brecon ran out of defenders allowing wing Harry Fuller to run in for a try which Crompton converted.The half time talk was interesting. Clearly coach Dale McIntosh was annoyed that his players had allowed Newcastle Emlyn back into the game when, in reality, they were the ones who should have closed out the half on a high. “How much do we really want it?” McIntosh asked. For a while Brecon answered with actions on the field. A great Ben Pritchard tackle dislodged the ball and a long Jake Newman kick gave Brecon the platform. Off a line out Brecon went wide, with blind side winger Geraint Walsh making the extra man in midfield. He put Sam Jones in possession on half way. Sam first stepped outside his opposite number, then stretched away on the outside, before cutting in twice to leave a line of prostrate defenders in his wake as he scored his 20th try of the season. McIntosh’s conversion was a formality.

Again, ahead by fourteen points Brecon should have been able to close out the game comfortably but they gave Newcastle Emlyn possession with a poor pass and from there the home side worked hard for a deserved converted try. Again, Brecon were forced to respond. A great kick and chase set up the position. Off the scrum both McIntosh brothers committed the defence and when the ball moved wide Jake Crocket clinically stepped inside to score and McIntosh converted.

Still Newcastle Emlyn could not be suppressed. They bounced back and made the most of a man advantage after Brecon’s influential player, Logan McIntosh was shown a yellow card. Again, they scored a converted try and with ten minutes remaining Brecon faced a nervous period with their opponents just seven points behind. Fortunately, most of that time was spent in the Newcastle half and Brecon made the pressure count with two McIntosh penalties sealing the victory.

Back at home the Athletic pulled off an outstanding semi final cup victory over Bargoed by 31 points to 7 and the Youth won their league fixture against Llandaff by 31points to 10.