Bridgend Athletic cut loose against Nantyffyllon | News

Monday, 2 December 2019

– Rugby

by Contributed ItemContributed Item

Bridgend Athletic were in Seventh heaven as they recorded the highest winning margin in Division One West Central this season with a 37-point differential, in outscoring local rivals Nantyfyllon by seven tries to one in a comprehensive 44–7 win.

This moves them level on 28 points and 22 tries with leaders Bonymaen, but the Swansea side have conceded fewer tries and have a game in hand, All 44 points were scored by the backs, determined to silence their critics and their 16 league and cup tries this season is now only one short of the forwards.

Leading the way was man-of-the-match outside half Luke Bevan with 19 points from two tries, three conversions and a penalty. Wing Sam Richards also bagged a brace, with single touchdowns for fellow wing Lindsay McCausland, full back Robin Davies and scrum half Aled Thomas, who played on permit in Nantyfyllon’s last season’s Glamorgan Count Silver Ball victory.

Nantyfyllon had first use of a strong wind and tactical kicking kept play mainly between the halfway and Athletic 22. In the 20th minute, good work by flanker Sean Williams and elusive running by Bevan took the Athletic into the Nanty 22. It looked like the Athletic backs, playing a penalty advantage with centres Jacob Lloyd and Danny O’Sullivan moving the ball wide would score, but the final pass was grounded. With no advantage Luke Bevan kicked the penalty.

In the move Athletic prop Wayne Fooks sustained a leg injury to be replaced by Nathan Holman. A grubber kick over the Nanty try line from scrum half Thomas rolled over the dead ball line before the chasing Sam Richards could touch down.

Richards was not to be denied. He gathered a Nanty kick inside his own 22 and rounded his opposing wing before reaching halfway. Lock Ben Cording carried on the move and a slick well-timed pass saw Richards run in from 30 metres.

Fellow wing Lindsay McCausland then ran strongly into the Nanty 22. Nanty managed to clear to the halfway line where Athletic full back Robn Davies gathered and ran diagonally, breaking a tackle inside the Nanty 22 to get up and cross for a solo try.

A good run by youth centre Danny O’Sullivan set up a ruck. When the ball was recycled slick passing at half back released wing Richards to step inside his man and cross for his second try.

Nanty tried desperately in the closing minutes of the half to get something from their wind advantage. A final minute scrum penalty five metres out was repelled by the Athletic front row of Holman, Lee Murphy and Matthew Muir (making his 150th First XV appearance), leaving the Athletic with a healthy 18–0 half time lead and the elements in their favour for the second half.

Good early Athletic pressure saw flanker Ben Howe break clear from 22 metres out. A last-ditch tackle halted him, but scrum half Thomas was on hand to pick up and cross wide out for the bonus point try. Bevan converted.

Five minutes later, No 8 Ben Davies broke from the back of a scrum and fed Thomas, who threw a long pass to wing McCausland to cross in the corner to give his side a 30-0 lead.

Two minutes later a flowing back move inside the Nanty 22 saw Robin Davies break the defence and cross the try line – but to the astonishment of the Ath team, coaches and supporters, the referee whistled for a suspected Nanty head injury when two of their players collided trying to halt the move.

When Nanty exerted pressure inside the Athletic 22, a crushing tackle from lock Will Petchell ,on as a replacement for Jonathon Stoker, promptly halted a potential try scoring move. Scrum half Matthew Hobby, youth hooker Ben Owen and young prop Callum Swinford came off the Athletic bench. Good work by Holman, Cording and Hobby released Bevan who glided 20 metres through the Nanty defence to bring up his 50th point this season and add the conversion for a 37-0 lead.

Nanty opened their account with a penalty try for an Athletic infringement at a five-metre scrum.

The final play saw Bevan again showcase his talent as he sidestepped his way over from 30 metres out – adding the conversion for a personal haul of 19 points.

This Saturday, December 7, the Athletic return to Newbridge Fields when Brynamman are the visitors.

The club would like to thank Alan Henson of A L Henson Roofing, a former Athletic Player Coach for sponsoring the Nantyfyllon game.


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