Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 21 - 38 Bridgend Athletic RFC | 1st Team
Andrew David Llewellyn
Try 1
Steffan Castle
Conversion 2
Luc Caines
Try 1

Match Report
16 April 2018 / Team News

Ystalyfera 21 –38 Bridgend Athletic

In dry sunny conditions with only a slight breeze, Ystalyfera entertained Bridgend Athletic in a return league fixture at Ynysydarren, having won at the Brewery Field 15 – 7 last September.  

The ‘Fera kicked off towards the Swansea end, full back Scott Gibson setting up the first break, after a return kick by the Bridgend defence. A penetrating punt forward by outside half Steffan Castle saw a race for the visitors’ try-line, the Bridgend full back falling on the ball 5m out. A tussle for possession ensued, Bridgend defenders themselves breaking into the Ystalyfera half, only to become offside and giving away a penalty. A return penalty quickly followed, Bridgend outside half Luke Bevan swinging his effort wide. Play remained in the Ystalyfera half, the Bridgend backs moving the ball quickly, seeking gaps in the ‘Fera defence. In the 9th minute this paid off, Luke Bevan running thru between the posts for the first Bridgend Try, this he converted: score 0 – 7. Ystalyfera restarted with a scrum on the away 22m line. Coming away with the ball possession was unfortunately lost, and Bridgend kicked the ball into the home 22. The lineout earned Bridgend a scrum, and a second penalty chance was this time converted by Luke Bevan in the 18th minute: score 0 – 10. A set of kicks by both sides looking for territory gain, presented a line out for Ystalyfera on half way. Winning the ball, an attempt at a kick and chase gave the Bridgend backs the ball. They quickly surged forward and some good passing worked a gap where their scrum half Dan James darted through for the second Bridgend Try in the 22nd minute. Luke Bevan converted: score 0 – 17. The ‘Fera forwards now decided to make a difference, and from a lineout in the Bridgend half drove the ball towards the Changing Room corner. Further penalties and scrums pushed the game to the Bridgend 5m line. The strength of the ‘Fera pack was applied relentlessly, and after further infringements by Bridgend, the referee decided upon a penalty Try in the 32nd minute: score 7 – 17. Ystalyfera Lock Jesse Patton made an excellent catch whilst under pressure from the restart, and play settled in the home part of the field. Bridgend continued to move the ball across their back and Ystalyfera had to be alert to keep them out. In the 36th minute, their outside centre raced for an opening left-field and winger Jacob Lloyd was able to race into the Garage corner and touch down the third Bridgend Athletic Try: score 7 – 22. Ystalyfera were not finished yet and breaking out from a scrum after the restart, a neat kick by Steffan Castle allowed top try scorer, wing Luc Caines, to speed forward and run in a Try in the Tunnel corner in the 40+2 minute. Steffan Castle kicked an admirable conversion to leave the half time score at: 14 – 22.   

The second half began with an Athletic line out on half-way. Bridgend moved forward quickly with fast ball handling and were soon on the ‘Fera 5m line. After some pressure a further line-out and text book catch and drive saw hooker Nathan Holman score the ‘bonus’ Try in the 46th minute, this again converted by Luke Bevan for a 14 – 29 lead. Ystalyfera attacked from the restart wanting to redeem the score but defensive kicking moved the game back into the ‘Fera half. The game continued in this way, Ystalyfera gradually creeping forward, and Bridgend Athletic, with no obvious opportunities in the home defence, kicking the play downfield. After the use of substitutes to relieve key players, Ystalyfera forwards made a determined attack in the Garage corner. Relentless pressure carried Andy Llewellyn over the line for the third home Try in the 60th minute, Steffan Castle with another fine conversion pulling the score back to 21 – 29. Bridgend Athletic were not however going to lose their grip on the game. All the Ystalyfera efforts from this point only served to deliver three more penalty kicks to the indomitable Luke Bevan, who finished the game with 23 points of his own. Final score: 21 – 38.     

This was a Division One second and third placed clash, which proved too difficult for home side Ystalyfera. Bridgend Athletic stuck to their game plan and deserved to win. The ‘Fera certainly did not shirk to the challenge and showed their strengths, but only in patches. Ystalyfera do have enough games in hand to climb up the table, and by applying some patience, building confidence and team determination, can lift to the top before the West Wales Cup Final can add some icing on the cake.

The penalty counts were;

9 for Ystalyfera – 2 holding ball when on the floor, 1 offside, 3 in scrum, 1 obstruction, 1 – 10yds and 1 not releasing after a tackle.

11 for Bridgend Athletic – 1 offside, 2 holding ball on floor, 4 in the scrum, 3 holding player in tackle, and 1 – 10yds.


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