Fixture

Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 25 - 10 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Benjamin Andrew Davies
Try 1
Lewis Glyndwr Tutt
Try 1
Dean Luke Ronan
Try 1
Rhodri Davies
Conversion 2
Penalty 2
Steffan Castle
1 Penalty

Match Report
30 April 2018 / Team News

Maesteg Quins 25 - 10 Ystalyfera

Saturday, April, 28th, 2018

Maesteg Quins 25 – 10 Ystalyfera

Division One West Central

Half a dozen league matches remain and before kick-off the Quins were ten points ahead of Ystalyfera. A win would push the South Parade men between twelve to fifteen points further ahead. On the other hand, defeat could cut the deficit to just five, with another fixture between the clubs lying ahead in a fortnight.

Quins had already defeated ‘Fera in the High Motive Silver Ball quarter-final. It was a tense affair in which the defences were unyielding. A single try scoring moment early in the match decided the result. Those who know the two clubs understood the previous result meant nothing. Each team was focussed on the day’s single objective – win: to improve the chance of a league title. Anticipation was high and all eyes were fixed on South Parade.

It was a scintillating opening for the Quins. Rhodri Davies made a break and handed on to Dean Ronan on the follow up. From the ruck, Rhodri Davies put in a cross-field kick that was booted on the half volley and landed close to the visiting try-line. Bravely visiting full-bak Davies tried to deal with a host of Quins men bearing down on him. Winning the ruck, Lewis Tutt scored in the corner. Rhodri Davies converted all within ninety seconds.

Ystalyfera remained on the back foot but were holding out as only they can. Tenacious tackling and handling errors halted the slick game the Quins attempted to play. Clawing their way back into the match, ’Fera kept possession for long periods, but expended a great deal of energy for no material gain.

Rhodri Bwye’s anticipation saw him intercept in the home twenty-five. On realising how far he had to run, Bwye passed but timed his supporting gallop to perfection. Retaking possession inside the opponents ‘red zone’, he was stripped of the ball when trying to offload and a great move ended.

From the Quins half Geraint Evans ruptured the gain-line. His teasing, weaving run drew defenders towards him. Ben Davies offered outside support and taking the pass, the scrum-half sped thirty yards up the touchline to the corner.

There appeared to be a shortage of Prozac in the Swansea valley, particularly on the sideline. Volatility set in and ‘Fera conceded a number of penalties that just drifted wide.

Scrums were a highly competitive aspect of the game. Both teams pride themselves on their set-piece and on this occasions, the Quins got the nod on a scrum penalty decision. Davies goaled for a 15-nil lead.

In the second half the Quins continued to shut out ‘Fera, despite the visitors making several breaks. Entering the home twenty-five a disorientated defender went through at the side of a ruck and Steffan Castle slotted the penalty to open ‘Fera’s account.

The line-outs were competitive. Hookers Jay Ronan and Owain Phillips generally found their men and featured in the loose. In a monumental back-row clash, the sextet of rear rowers produced a special combined performance and the ‘stats’ would confirm a colossal challenge. Lewis Tutt, Steve Williams and visiting skipper Steffan Jones stood out.

Stealing possession from under the Quins noses at an attacking ruck, Mark Scott embarked on an eighty yards run. With open space in front of him, by the time he reached half-way the speedy three-quarter looked odds on to score a deficit reducing try. Suddenly Lee Ronan emerged. Locking onto the jet stream of the ‘Fera centre inch by inch, yard by yard, Ronan scorched earth as he honed in on his target. His angle prevented a pass and he downed the ball carrier just inside the home twenty-five in a spectacular example of cover defending.

A ruck offence allowed Rhodri Davies to take the Quins to eighteen points.

Lloyd Bradley collected a quickly taken penalty clearance. His gather and return play was very good throughout. From halfway Bradley’s angled run led to a switch with Aled Edwards. Quick recycling left Rhodri Davies in possession. Surveying the tightly assembled narrow defence, the cross-kick he executed exposed the huge gap on the flank. Lurking with intent out wide, Dean Ronan expertly judged the tricky trajectory to catch the ball like a Kodiak bear snatching a leaping migratory salmon and score. Davies converted.

It was a difficult task for the referee to officiate the robustly contested scrum. Adjudged guilty of scrum disruption, the match ended with an Ystalyera penalty try.

This was a tough game between Division One title challengers. Quins now have to reach 91 points, meaning twelve points are required from the next five games to win Division One. They face Ammanford on Wednesday [2nd], Bridgend Athletic [5th], visit Ystalyfera’s Ynysdarren home [12th] and have the High Motive Silver Ball final at the Morganstone Brewery Field [19th].

There’s still much to play for.

 

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