Bonymaen RFC | 1st Team 13 - 16 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Castle
1 Conversion
3 Penalty
Owain Morgan
1 Try

Match Report
22 February 2018 / Team News

Bonymaen 13 - 16 Ystalyfera

Ystalyfera took on last season’s losing finalists Bonymaen at Morriston in the Semi-Final of the West Wales Cup. ‘Bony’ have been three times winners in 1999 (18-8 over Dunvant), 2011 (a then record 62-22 win over Cwmllynfell) and a 41-19 win over Kidwelly in 2015. Ystalyfera lost in the final in 1947 (0-6 versus Tumble) but won in 1939, beating Loughor 7-3 in a replay after a 0-0 draw at Pontardulais. This being the last final before the war meant that Ystalyfera hold the record of keeping the Cup the longest, seven years until resumption of the event in 1946.  

Conditions were dry and cold, the pitch firm and not too soft. Bonymaen kicked off slightly uphill towards the Clubhouse end, Ystalyfera quickly taking the ball into the ‘Bony’ 22. The ‘Fera pressed the attack with wing Josh Jarrett making a positive run, only for the ball to be turned over by the Bonymaen defence and booted away. Ystalyfera resumed their attack and moved the ball speedily across the back line, the Bonymaen defenders picking up a loose pass and kicking out on the full. The game progressed with fast interplay between the sides in midfield, both sides looking for an opening. After a penalty, Bonymaen launched their first determined attack and won a chance of opening the scoring after Ystalyfera were offside, full back Richard Cunniffe hit the post with his kick. Ystalyfera broke away looking for an opening, and a penalty allowed a 5m line out in the ‘Bony’ half. The ‘Fera drove for the Bonymaen try-line and a knock on ensued. Ystalyfera forwards now began to work but after a set of scrums it was Bonymaen who broke away. Full back Steffan Castle put in a saving tackle, and his team responded likewise when Bonymaen pressed on the attack. The game continued at a fast pace, both sides working hard to open up the scoring. Ystalyfera lost out on chances with some loose ball handling, but made up with strong defensive tackles to thwart all of Bonymaen’s efforts. At the end of normal time, Ystalyfera pressed again, shifting the ball across the backline, this resulted in an offside penalty in the 40+1 minute. Steffan Castle converted and in a quick chase after the re-start, the ‘Fera regained the ball. Fast passing between scrum half Nathan Cornelius and flanker Owain Morgan broke thru the Bonymaen defence and Owain went over for the first Try in the 40+5th minute. This was converted by Steffan Castle leaving a half time score of 0 – 10 to Ystalyfera.

Bonymaen took the game at Ystalyfera straight from the re-start, and after some pressure ‘Fera outside half Gareth James cleared the ball upfield with a fine line kick. The fight to gain possession between the sides was intense and Bonymaen re-aligned their backs in an attempt to outwit the Ystalyfera defence. The ‘Fera backs put in some long clearances and Bonymaen came back again and again. Ystalyfera then made substitutions, Cameron Miguel on for Paul Davies and Ben Williams for Callum Papp. In the 52nd minute Bonymaen kicked a penalty to open their score: 3 – 10. Ystalyfera remained alert and after a long kick up-field Steffan Castle put in a good tackle on a Bonymaen defender. A penalty was given away needlessly by Bonymaen and Steffan Castle kicked over in the 55th minute, score: 3 – 13. The contest continued in midfield with a set of scrums, and Bonymaen kicked a return penalty in the 63rd minute, score: 6 – 13. This lifted their game further, looking to redeem the score. After a line out on the Ystalyfera 22, a kick and chase allowed wing Nathan Brooks to race thru and score a Try for Bonymaen, this being converted to level the score at 13 – 13. Playing with much greater purpose Bonymaen now looked to take the lead. Ystalyfera however are made of much sterner stuff and their game was certainly not over yet. The contest continued in midfield with both sides looking for gaps and making big tackles. In the 73rd minute Bonymaen got the chance of a penalty but the effort went wide. Likewise Steffan Castle had a go at a very long kick which just fell under the Bonymaen posts. Both teams were now beginning to tire, with cramp occurring on a number of players. With everyone expecting the need for extra time to get a result, Ystalyfera made a last determined attack in added on time. This earned a penalty just outside the Bonymaen 22 in the 80+6 minute, and cool dude Steffan Castle kicked over no problem, to win the game for Ystalyfera.  

This was an excellent West Wales Semi-Final worthy of the name, two very good sides giving their all to entertain a large crowd in the cold February air at Morriston. Ystalyfera earned it with their resolve, releasing their younger players at every opportunity, whilst keeping an experienced Bonymaen side with limited chances to score.

The 79th final of the West Wales Cup will now be between Ystalyfera and Felinfoel, six times previous winners in 1948, 1953, 1962, 1974, 1990 and 1993 – this last year a League and Presidents Cup Treble.

Penalty counts were;

16 for Ystalyfera – 6 in scrum, 1 holding ball when on the floor, 2 offside, 1 high tackle, 2 not releasing tackled player, 2 over the top, 1 late tackle and 1 not 10 yards.

8 for Bonymaen – 4 offside, 2 holding ball on floor, 1 high tackle and 1 over the top.



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