Seaweeds edge win in high-profile encounter

Thursday, 13 September 2018

– Rugby

by Contributed ItemContributed Item

Porthcawl RFC welcomed table-toppers Nantyffyllon to South Road on Saturday for an early season, high-profile clash, and ran out worthy victors in a fascinating and hard-fought encounter.

The Porthcawl pack’s willingness to take the game to the visitors laid the foundation for the win, as this allowed Porthcawl’s creative back division to gain the upper hand in territory and creation of scoring chances.

Flanker Ben Asprea seemed to have got the Seaweeds off to the ideal start as he cantered over behind the posts, following a flowing home attack, only for the referee to call it back for a scrum for an apparent forward pass, a tough call.

However, minutes later the versatile Ben Thomas, in at outside-half for the absent Josh White, kicked Porthcawl into a deserved lead with a penalty for off-side.

Nanty are a very useful side and put Porthcawl under pressure at times, however the Seaweeds defence, outstanding all last season, kept them at bay, before again moving upfield.

One such foray saw Thomas slot his second penalty, this time from 35 metres, and 6-0.

With some 30 minutes gone, Porthcawl playmaker centre Jon Phillips made a superb break from defence down the right touchline, the ball moving through several pairs of Porthcawl hands, before moving back left to see wing Jake Thomas stride over at the corner for a fine try. Thomas’ conversion off touch dipped short.

Both sides were enjoying good amounts of territory in turn, however Porthcawl’s better use of possession steered them into half-time at 11-0.

As is often the case after the interval pep talk, Nanty came out more purposefully at the start of the second half and were soon rewarded as Porthcawl indiscretions at the breakdown soon led to outside half Cameron Jones slotting a neat penalty for Nanty to cut the deficit.

Thomas had a chance immediately afterwards to slot his third goal for Porthcawl from 27 metres, his kick going astray, however, to keep it at 11-3.

When Jones then cut the gap to five points with his second penalty for Nanty at 11-6, the Seaweeds needed to regalvanise, which they did with aplomb.

With Phillips, co-centre Aled Davies and full-back Jordan Skidmore proving a handful in attack, a couple of penalties saw Thomas drive Porthcawl to the corner for a line-out 10 metres from the Nanty line.

The home pack, starting now to dominate matters, took clean ball to instigate a driving maul, with substitute flanker Owen Thomas being driven over the line for the try that increased the gap to 10 points at 16-6, Thomas’ conversion agonisingly shaving the post.

Nanty would now have to score twice going into the closing stages.

However, with the Seaweeds defence holding firm, the final whistle blew to bring Porthcawl’s second win from two ahead of Saturday’s interesting trip up the Ogmore Valley to face Nantymoel, always a tough proposition on their home patch.


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