Felinfoel RFC | 1st Team 6 - 27 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Castle
1 Penalty
Steffan Jones
2 Try
Jesse Patton
1 Try
Gareth James
3 Conversion
1 Drop Goal

Match Report
20 June 2018 / Team News

Felinfoel 6 – 27 Ystalyfera

The rain did not dampen the keen anticipation and enthusiasm of a large crowd gathered at Loughor RFC, on Wednesday 30th May, for the West Wales Cup final against Felinfoel.  This game was the culmination of a long season, the ‘Fera players and Rugby support staff having worked hard throughout a most successful campaign. Having won the West Wales Cup back in 1938-39, when we held the trophy throughout the Second World War, we failed to retain it in the next final in 1946-47, losing to Loughor. Not haunted by the venue, Ystalyfera were confident having ended the league program with four straight wins, three away from home and amassing a creditable 156 points in the process.

The 'Fera kicked off away from the clubhouse end, and play for the majority of the first quarter of the game was contained within the Felinfoel half of the field. The Division One West Champions were made to work hard to prevent Ystalyfera from scoring, and after a few missed opportunities the first points came on 20 minutes. A series of determined forward surges saw ‘Fera lock Jesse Patton cross over for the first try of the game; Outside Half and Senior Coach Gareth James adding the extra two points. The next 12 – 15 minutes saw a big effort by Felinfoel to make amends, with the 'Fera pinned back in their own half. The Ystalyfera defence however held firm, and Felinfoel, despite all their efforts, only managed a penalty goal on 35 minutes, despite a 'deluge' of penalties awarded for various offences: score 3 – 7. The time spent defending the 'Fera line seemed to spur the side on, and within two minutes of the re-start a powerful scrum 5m out allowed captain Steff Jones to cross over for the second try, Gareth James again adding the extras: score 3 – 14. Felinfoel were certainly still in the game, and added another penalty goal well into added 'on time', the first half closing 6 - 14 to the 'Fera.

When the second half commenced the drizzly wet weather had vanished, but conditions were still wet and slippery, both teams managing to cope with the conditions admirably. The pattern of the game continued with The 'Fera in control, putting the opposition under considerable pressure and playing attacking rugby at all opportunities. Felinfoel were certainly not yielding however, and on 45 minutes Ystalyfera brought on the first substitutions, exchanging both props. This did not quite have the effect hoped, substitute Jon Williams soon being yellow carded for a scrum offence. Despite now being 14 men, Ystalyfera continued to dictate and ten minutes later after his return,  'Fera increased their lead when Gareth James, coolly stroked over a drop goal from 30 metres: score 6 – 17. A few moments later it was Felinfoel's turn to play with 14 men when their No 7 was yellow carded for continuous infringements. Ystalyfera's superiority in all departments was now becoming visibly evident and in the 70th minute another strong, solid scrum close to the Felinfoel line shunted the opposition backwards. No8 Steffan Jones scored his second try of the evening, Gareth James converted again lifting the lead to 6 – 24. The remaining substitutes on the Ystalyfera bench were now brought into the game and a penalty on 72 minutes was converted by Steffan Castle. The game concluded with 'Fera well in control, their all round superiority being too strong for Felinfoel. After a wait of 80 years the West Wales Cup returned back to Ystalyfera and well deservedly so.

Numerous 'Fera players had outstanding performances and deservedly the honour went to outside half Gareth James. He controlled the game superbly with his first class distribution and lengthy kicks from hand, which pinned the opposition back in their own half for long periods of the game. His contribution to the scoreline with 3 conversions and a very well taken dropped goal was superb. The season was brought to an end with a professional, skilful and determined display which epitomised the way the team has played all season, well done everybody - lets go and enjoy a well deserved summer break!!! 


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