Baglan’s tough nuts conquer Porthcawl with aplomb

Thursday, 20 October 2016

By GEM Community Correspondent

in Rugby

Porthcawl visited Ty Isaf Field in Baglan in search of their fourth league win of the season and full of hopes with a strong side.

Baglan however, had different ideas and when the rain started just as the teams were coming out, the home side’s usual warm welcome became somewhat more difficult to overcome.

The early exchanges were more than a little scrappy, with Porthcawl’s backs finding it difficult to establish a rhythm against Baglan’s more direct approach, up the middle with harassment the key weapon.

Josh White had an opportunity after 15 minutes to put Porthcawl ahead but his penalty drifted wide and it was fully half an hour before any type of score looked likely in the pounding rain which was to play such a big part in the match.

Whilst Porthcawl’s welter of possession produced little, Baglan’s spoiling paid dividends as they bossed the breakdown with aplomb.

From sustained pressure near the visitors line, scrum half Ashley Watkins scooted in for the opening try, converted by burly fly half Mark Thomas and that brought in half time at 7-0.

Porthcawl missed the experience of the injured Ross Parsons at scrum half although young Jack Robbins did his best but was unprotected from the marauding home back row for much of the time.

Flanker and workhorse James Burge-Davies did his best to galvanise the Porthcawl effort in the opening period of the send half with some typically strong driving play and when full back Gareth Rees pounced on a loose ball on halfway, he kicked ahead and won the race for the touchdown try, converted by White and it was game on again.

Baglan are a tough nut to crack at home in the wet where keeping it close and driving up the middle is required and when Mark Thomas sensed a gaping hole in the usually reliable Porthcawl defence, he cantered in from fully 40 metres to score at the posts, a try which he also converted and things now looked bleak for the Seaweeds.

White took advantage of home indiscipline with a fine penalty from wide out on 43 metres to bring Porthcawl within a winning score of Baglan but the home side cleverly kept the ball close, using their bulky pack to good effect.

Porthcawl came very close to snatching the match with a series of scrums close to the Baglan line but these failed to produce the opening required and the home side were elated at the final whistle, taking a big scalp. Final score was Baglan 14, Porthcawl 10.

Porthcawl still remain top of the division by some margin, however, and the visit of second placed Crynant to South Road on Saturday promises to provide a cracker of a match.

Paul Fielding

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