Porthcawl RFC survive second half fightback – Glamorgan Gem







Thursday, 14 January 2016




By GEM Community Correspondent

in Rugby





The atrocious weather having played havoc with the South Road pitch, this match between Porthcawl RFC and Alltwen RFC was switched to a strangely windless Rest Bay.

Porthcawl were seeking a double over the Swansea valley outfit, which had initially proved difficult to overcome in the away match before Porthcawl secured victory.

The 17-15 scoreline in this match shows what a close match this turned out to be also.

The home side took the game by the scruff of the neck from the outset and within five minutes were 5-0 ahead as Richard Hnyda notched an early try.

With the pitch in good condition but likely to deteriorate quickly, Porthcawl took the opportunity to move the ball whenever possible, even though Alltwen provided stubborn resistance.

Indeed, it was with Alltwen pressing themselves that Porthcawl extended their lead as a dropped pass from the visitors, saw a swift move up the left-hand touchline, with the sublime Gareth Rees at centre, skipping into space and drawing the cover perfectly before laying on the scoring pass to full-back Joey Jones to cross and round behind the posts for a great try.

He also converted to make it 12-0 and Porthcawl looking comfortable, with James Burge-Davies a real workhorse at flanker.

The performance of home pack was going to important in laying a good foundation on an increasingly muddy surface and an almighty scrum in the visitors’ 22, saw the Seaweeds pack shove Alltwen backwards fully 20 metres for No. 8 Jobe Owens to pounce for the pushover try, unconverted for 17-0, with Alltwen not really getting any joy, despite their efforts to compete when in possession.

The visitors did grab a consolation penalty right on half-time, at 17-3 but it would take a mighty effort to turn the match around in the second half.

Yet, rugby is often a strange game when sides under pressure suddenly get into gear and the half-time pep talk by the Alltwen coach obviously paid dividends, as they emerged resurgent in deteriorating conditions.

With Porthcawl failing to capitalise on their first-half performance, the visitors took heart and following a series of scrums near the home line, the referee saw enough to award a penalty try, which was converted and at 17-10, it was game on again.

The match proceeded to become a ballet in the mud with both sides trying still to play rugby but with handling having become a lottery. That said, Porthcawl had their chances with possession aplenty, only for the final execution to scupper the opportunities.

With 10 minutes remaining, Porthcawl were awarded a penalty 15 meters out and bang in front of the sticks. A successful goal would have put them two scores in front but they opted to run the ball instead.

The move came to grief and this only spurred the visitors on, as they moved upfield with purpose, patiently working the touchline and resulting in a well-deserved wrestled try, right out on the touchline.

With barely two minutes of the match left, a successful conversion would have secured a dramatic draw; however it fell thankfully wide for Porthcawl, who kept Alltwen at bay to edge home.

A useful win for Porthcawl, if rather fraught in the final moments, and the visit to Tonmawr on Saturday presents an opportunity for another win on the road.

TW


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