Two-try Will the hero as Seaweeds snatch cup triumph!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

– Rugby

by Contributed ItemContributed Item

Porthcawl’s season drew to a successful close as a two-try salvo from flanker Will Robinson inspired a superb win over Division One outfit Skewen at Maesteg RFC’s Old Parish Ground, to bring the District Cup back to South Road.

On a bright and sunny afternoon that was perfect for Rugby it was always going to be a hard afternoon for the Seaweeds pack against a much heavier Skewen eight, however under the leadership of Captain Richard Hynda they gave a performance of true grit and actually became stronger as the match wore on. That provided plenty of opportunities for Porthcawl’s vaunted backs to test their opponents to the full and the first half platform set the basis for the victory.

It all started brilliantly well as Skewen risked an offside at a ruck, not realising that Porthcawl outside-half Josh White would happily take a pot at goal from the halfway line. The ball was still rising as White’s monster kick sailed between the posts for 3-nil with just two minutes gone.

The initial exchanges saw the two sets of forwards test each other out, with Skewen’s round the corner driving calling on the lighter but fitter Seaweeds eight to make no mistake in their first-up tackling. On 15 minutes Porthcawl lost White to a facial injury, with Gareth Rees coming on at full-back and Ben Thomas moving to outside-half. Two minutes later Skewen got reward for their driving play as they nabbed a try in the corner for 3-8 and when they notched a second try just leading before half-time for 3-13, it looked like Porthcawl would have to climb a second half mountain.

Cometh the hour cometh the man and with a just two minutes to go to the break, Porthcawl’s lineout take and drive saw Will Robinson crash over for a crucial score, bettered only by Ben Thomas’ magnificent touchline conversion and at 10-13, the Seaweeds were in with a tremendous chance as the half-time break arrived.

An unwelcome shower threatened to impose upon the match, however the threat evaporated and Porthcawl set about taking the game to their opponents with some purpose, a great position winning a crucial penalty but Ben Thomas inexplicably missed the 24 metre shot he would normally have converted with his eyes closed but this seemed to increase the Porthcawl resolve.

From a promising position midfield and just inside the Seaweeds half, Thomas’ pass found left wing Ross Jenkins, who scurried off left and fed the perfect pass to centre Aled Davies, who hared down the left touchline to score a brilliant try from halfway at the corner to put Porthcawl ahead again. Thomas made up for his recent glaring miss with a magnificent touchline conversion and at 17-13 on 55 minutes Porthcawl could sense the swing of the match in their direction. Jenkins left the field minutes later to make way for Joe Downes, with prop Jamie Uren, who’d had another very good match, going off for Matt Cooke, fresh legs upfront.

A harshly awarded scrum offence against Porthcawl saw Skewen snatch three points back with a 20 metre penalty for 17-16 but as Porthcawl came back almost immediately at them, Skewen simply couldn’t clear the pressure and as the ball went loose close to the Skewen tryline, there was Robinson, picking up and gleefully crashing over under the posts for what would be the decisive try, his second. Thomas’s easy conversion put Porthcawl 24-16 ahead with the match lapsing into injury time, some 8 minutes.

Skewen managed to pull back another penalty for 24-19 but they were by now out on their feet upfront.

A final play scrum inside the Porthcawl half saw the pack successfully deliver the ball for Ben Thomas to joyfully boot the ball out as the final whistle sounded to signal a very well-deserved victory for Porthcawl.

Many of the Porthcawl players had an excellent match but none more so than converted Prop Mattie Davies, who played the full match and was outstanding throughout. Tom Davies was his usual ebullient self at scrum-half and kept his backs moving but it was centre Aled Davies who was named Man-of-the-Match by the match officials, upon his return to the Maesteg ground where he had plied his trade in recent seasons, before returning to Porthcawl colours.

A superb end to Porthcawl’s first season in Division two and a fantastic achievement for all involved, the expertise and guidance of coaches Rhys James and Jon Phillips, the leadership of Richard Hnyda, the Club’s most successful Captain, the whole squad for their commitment and attitude and the volunteers behind the scenes: Physio, Team Management, Committee and the army of supporters cheering from the sidelines week in week out.

The players now take a well earned break and look forward to the Annual Presentation Night on Friday 7th June with special guest Martyn Williams.

Paul Fielding

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