Having the home fixture versus Bonymaen postponed due to the weather the week previous, Ystalyfera were eager to get a league fixture completed before the Final of the National Plate. In strong sunshine and warm conditions, home side Builth Wells kicked off knowing that a win versus their visitors was vital in their quest to avoid the drop into Division 2. In a fast open start, both sides were obliged to kick out of defence. Builth fared better in the exchange getting an attacking 5m line out. A resultant catch and drive fails however, with a knock on. A penalty awarded in the 8th minute after the first scrum, allows Builth full back Seb Barratt to convert the first score of the game. A set of scrums on the home 22 lets Ystalyfera make their first attack, and a good move by the backs sees centre Martyn Davies run in the first try under the posts, full back Steffan Castle converting in the 14th minute: score 3 – 7. Having a 22m drop out after the re-start, the ‘Fera complete a smart move which earns a penalty. The game remains quite open with both sides seeking to find gaps in their opponents defence. Ystalyfera wing Josh Jarrett makes a break but Builth come back, Steffan Castle of the ‘Fera being yellow carded in the 20th minute for a stiff arm tackle. Despite being a man short, Ystalyfera remain in the ascendancy, the visiting forwards passing the ball between each other and setting plays up for the backs. With strong scrums keeping possession, a risky pass allows the Builth back line to make a break into the ‘Fera half of the field and the man advantage allows Gethin Lewis to run in a try for the home side in the 31st minute. This was converted by Seb Jarrett giving Builth Wells a 10 – 7 lead. The remainder of the first half was a contest for possession in midfield.
Play at the re-start was again governed by the kick. The Ystalyfera forwards were now beginning to master possession however, and from a scrum in the 44th minute scrum half Nathan Cornelius sprints under the Builth posts for the second ‘Fera try.This was converted by Staffan Castle regaining the lead 10 – 14. The power play by the Ystalyfera forwards was now starting to tell on the home side, and despite having to change players up front the visitors continued to dominate. Builth Wells were not broken, but their over enthusiasm and element of frustration saw the home side give away penalties. Steffan Castle was merciless with his boots and kicked over in the 60th, 70th and 77th minute raising the ‘Fera lead to 10 – 23. To finish his man of the match display a kick and chase up the touchline in the 82nd minute got him the third Ystalyfera Try, which he again converted: score 10 – 30. The referee did not end proceedings just yet and ‘Fera became hungry for the bonus point. A kick and chase set up by Gareth James saw Jonathan Bayliss stretch for the chance but the referee disallowed with a knock on. Builth were still alive - and after a speedy break from the now uncontested scrum they tore down the field where Richard Dickson scored a consolation Try in the 88th minute. A certain hot end on the hottest day of the year so far. Final score 15 – 30 to Ystalyfera.
A very open game of rugby played at a quick pace by both sides. Ystalyfera remained the dominant side throughout and finished deserved leaders.
Penalty counts were 15 for Ystalyfera and 11 against;
1 for hands in the ruck, 3 holding after a tackle, 2 scrums, 2 holding ball on floor, 1 head butt and 2 for crossing.
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