Fixture

Croesyceiliog RFC | 1st Team 20 - 14 Cwmbran RFC | 1st Team
Haydn Simons
Penalty 5
Stephen Drummond
Try 1

Match Report
07 February 2017 / Team News

Croesyceiliog win battle of the bridge in nail biting encounter

After an impressive display the previous week, Croesyceiliog welcomed Cwmbran to Woodland Road in what was sure to be a hard fought local derby despite there being 6 places and 22 points between the two sides.  Croesyceiliog were keen to gain revenge on Cwmbran after losing to them earlier in the season by a single point.

 Croesyceiliog kicked off towards the river end in front of several hundred spectators and the game started in typical fiery fashion when Luke Loder immediately put in a strong tackle on the catcher of the ball only for it to be deemed as a penalty for tackling without the use of arms.

The first ten minutes of the match were even as both sides shared penalties to make the score 3-3.  Another infringement by a Cwmbran forward gave Croesyceiliog outside half the chance to slot a penalty from 40 metres to put the home side 6-3 ahead after just 15 minutes.  Minutes later, from an attacking line out on the Cwmbran 10 metre line, Croesyceiliog won clean line out ball which gave their backs a good attacking opportunity.  The ball was cleverly shifted through the hands of the Croesyceiliog backs eventually making its way to right wing Stephen Drummond to score a well taken try in the right corner.  The try was unconverted leaving Croesyceiliog ahead at 11-3.

The game failed to gain any sort of rhythm as the referee dominated proceedings with his whistle.  Following a number of penalties for each side Cwmbran slowly made their way into the Croesyceiliog half and once again received a penalty, this time in kicking range.  Cwmbran outside half struck the ball well only for it to rebound off the upright with Sean Pattimore being the first to react to retrieve the ball for Croesyceiliog to clear.  Minutes later, Cwmbran were awarded another penalty, this time the kick was successful leaving the score at 11-6 at the half way point.

Cwmbran kicked off for the second half and in typical Croesyceiliog style they failed to clear the ball straight away putting them under unnecessary pressure.  Unfortunately, with the  referees whistle dominating proceedings the game struggled to flow and both teams were unable to build phases and some momentum.  The teams again shared penalties to bring the score to 14-9.

Croesyceiliog started to take command of the game and build some pressure as they continued with their strong ball carrying putting the Cwmbran defence under pressure leading to a number of infringements in quick succession which then saw the Cwmbran number 8 being yellow carded.  Haydn Simons kicked the resulting penalty to put Croesyceiliog 17-9 in front and more than one converted try ahead for the second time in the game. 

With Croesyceiliog now in command of the game, they piled on more pressure with some clever, tactical kicking followed by their forwards gaining good ground ensuring the Cwmbran defence were work tirelessly for the next 10 minutes.  This led to another infringement by the Cwmbran pack leading to another penalty in kicking range which Haydn Simons converted to make the score 20-9 to the home side. 

The game seemed all but won at this point with only 10 minutes remaining in the game but Cwmbran had other ideas.  After again failing to clear their lines following a Cwmbran kick off, A number of Croesyceiliog mistakes meant Cwmbran were awarded a scrum 15 metres out in front of the Croesyceiliog posts.  Croesyceiliog made a change in the front row with loose head prop Rob Stark making way for Greg Stephens.  From the resulting scrum, Cwmbran were awarded a penalty and an opportunity to attack the Croesyceiliog try line.  After building phases for the first time in the game they eventually made their way towards the Croesyceiliog try line and were rewarded with a try in the corner.  The try was unconverted leaving the score at 20-14 and ensuring the final 5 minutes of the game would be nail biting for the home side and their supporters.  

Following the try for the visiting team, the referee yellow carded Greg Stephens for violent conduct and gave Cwmbran a penalty instead of the usual kick off.  Cwmbran kicked for the corner and started pressurising the Croesyceiliog try line.  The only thing to stop them from scoring was some outstanding defence, in particular from the Croesyceiliog forwards.  Cwmbran eventually decided to pass the ball out and finally made an error knocking the ball on which was collected by Matthew Cummings and kicked down field.  A good chase followed and Cwmbran were forced into touch which brought the game to an end.

This was a hard fought game which Croesyceiliog deserved to win but credit must go to Cwmbran for never giving up and battling until the very end.  Croesyceiliog travel to Garndiffaith in their next league game on 18th February in what is sure to be another tough game.

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