Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 29 - 28 Waunarlwydd RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Castle
Conversion 2
Penalty 1
Bowdy Davies
Try 1
Benjamin Williams
Try 1
Luc Caines
Try 1
Lee Evans
2 Conversion
3 Penalty
Robert Bagley
1 Try
Leighton Lamb
1 Try
Nicholas David Jones
1 Try

Match Report
05 September 2018 / Team News

Ystalyfera 29 – 28 Waunarlwydd

The opening home Division One West Central 2018-19 fixture versus Waunarlwydd, took place at Ynysydarren in cloudy but warm conditions with no wind of note.

The visitors kicked off up-field, away from the clubhouse end, and Ystalyfera gave away a kickable penalty after 20 seconds. This was missed and ‘Fera cleared the ball from the 5m line. With a well balanced side Waunarlwydd began full of vigour and Ystalyfera responded accordingly. In the 4th minute ‘Fera worked a line-out in the visitors half and a smart line kick by outside-half Gareth James allowed wing Bowdy Davies to run in the first League Try of the season. The referee did not give the conversion attempt contested by the linesmen. Straight from the re-start Waunarlwydd took a quick line-out and attacked into the Garage corner where they forced over a Try by Leighton Lamb. This was also not converted leaving the score 5 – 5 after six minutes. Returning into the visitors half the home pack pressed, Waunarlwydd getting a 5m scrum under the posts. A penalty was awarded to Ystalyfera for lifting and full back Steffan Castle kicked over for an 8 – 5 score. The game moved back and fore across the half way line. Continued line kicks by Gareth James tested the Waunarlwydd defence which worked hard to counter the threat. Keen play between both sets of forwards looking to keep control of the ball, kept events in midfield until Waunarlwydd broke into the home half and earned a penalty in the 21st minute. Lee Evans kicked over equalising the score at 8 – 8. Ystalyfera upped the pace after the re-start and good passing saw pressure in front of the Waunarlwydd posts. A clearance was returned and pressure continued. The game was all with Ystalyfera at this point, attacking into the Changing Room corner. Some desperate tackles were made by the Waunarlwydd defence, until a break out rushed the play into the ‘Fera half. Frantic tackles were returned and Gareth James was yellow carded in the 38th minute. The resultant penalty was converted by Lee Evans leaving a half time score of 8 – 11.    

Both sides began the second period with an exchange of long kicks, play settling in the Ystalyfera half. From a line-out error the home side were forced to defend a scrum in the Tunnel corner, a Steffan Castle line kick providing relief. Back came Waunarlwydd until, after a knock on, ‘Fera broke away. Steffan Castle passed to wing Luc Caines who touched down in the 47th minute. Castle converted score 15 – 11. After the restart the referee yellow carded center Jonathan Bayliss for a sliding tackle, Waunarlwydd getting a third penalty in the 52nd minute score 15 – 14. Pressure was now on Ystalyfera and Bowdy Davies made a try-saving tackle in the Changing room corner. After another defensive scrum in the 57th minute a pass was intercepted by Waunarlwydd and Robert Bagley ran in the second Try returning the lead to the visitors. This was converted by Lee Evans lifting the score to 15 – 21. With the restart going straight out Waunarlwydd won the next scrum and tidy passing saw Nick Jones get the third Waunarlwydd Try, also converted score 15 – 28. Ystalyfera were now 13 points behind and 20 minutes remaining, they needed to start playing and the forwards started the comeback. The ‘Fera pack worked the ball up-field and won a line-out in the Garage corner. A series of scrums, penalties and line-outs was finally decided by the referee in the 71st minute who awarded a penalty Try score 22 – 28. The impetus was now with the home side and despite long clearances by Waunarlwydd when they had the chance, Ystalyfera kept driving on. Tiredness was starting to show on players from both sides, but the ‘Fera kept at it, being urged by the home supporters in their numbers. Play returned to the Garage corner and applied pressure, well practiced by the ‘Fera forwards, delivered scrums, penalties and line-outs. In the 82nd minute, a catch and drive saw flanker Ben Williams power over the Try-line to score his first senior Try for the club, and a bonus pointer at that. All was now on Steffan Castle to convert a difficult kick from the touchline, which he did in heart stopping style. Final score 29 – 28.

This was an excellent starter for the season, played between two well organised Division One established sides. Whilst Ystalyfera commanded the play but not the score in the first half, Waunarlwydd showed ther mettle to keep working and build a deserved 13 point lead. Ystalyfera are made of sterner stuff however, and a positive attitude, effort and determination won the game in a now traditional exciting finish. You can’t leave early when ‘Fera are playing…..

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