Llangennech RFC | 1st Team 7 - 24 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Ryan Lee James
1 Try
Andrew David Jenkins
1 Try
Jonathan Bayliss
1 Try
Jesse Patton
1 Try
Bowdy Davies
2 Conversion

Match Report
07 February 2019 / Team News

Llangennech 7 – 24 Ystalyfera

On Wednesday 6th February, Ystalyfera met Llangennech in the Semi-Final of the West Wales Cup at Morriston. 2018-19 is the 80th year of the competition, Llangennech having won in season 2004-05 versus Waunarlwydd – the first using the Merit Table System, and Ystalyfera winners in 1938-39 after a replay versus Loughor, and last season when the ‘Fera beat Felinfoel. The two sides have met four times previously in the competition, Llangennech victorious every time, the last meeting in 1998-99.

Not as cold as of late, with no wind to speak of, light rain settled on the first half proceedings, Ystalyfera kicked off towards the town end, Llangennech returning the ball. ‘Fera outside half Gareth James immediately punted into the left hand corner, offering a chance to his winger, but the Llangennech defence clear up-field. Keeping their momentum, Ystalyfera attack again with the same result, Llangennech clearing their lines. Both sides were looking sharp, Ystalyfera carrying the ball, and looking for gaps in the Llangennech defence. At the first scrum, the Ystalyfera pack put in a big push, but again Llangennech move the ball to their outside half who clears off the field. The contest continues in much the same way, with Ystalyfera advancing and Llangennech clearing the ball, until ‘Fera scrum half Andy “Shenko” Jenkins steals the ball from a Llangennech scrum and sets up a determined surge past the Llangennech 22. Again however, the ball is lost and a kick clears over half way. After a Llangennech kick is charged down, the ‘Fera forwards charge forward, the ball moving out to the wing and again being cleared by Llangennech. A set of penalties for both teams does not break the deadlock, and the Ystalyfera forwards began to hold possession and drive forwards with some close passing. 5m scrums ensue, and the Llangennech defence stands resolute. In the 25th minute, an Ystalyfera line out inside their half after another clearance by Llangennech, is handled badly, letting the Llangennech half-backs break thru the centre. With neat passing Llangennech deliver the first Try of the game under the posts. Easily converted the score, against the run of play, is Ystalyfera 0 – 7 Llangennech. From the re-start play returns to the leaders half with Ystalyfera in possession, attempting to break the Llangennech defence. After ‘Fera full back Steffan Castle has to leave the field with a head injury, Josh Jarrett coming on, the ‘Fera forwards appeared to be well fired up and bagan to drive most directly at the Llangennech defenders, Eventually in the 33rd minute, ‘Fera lock Jessie Patton forces himself thru a melee of players to get the first Ystalyfera Try. This conversion is just missed by Gareth James: score 5 – 7. Both sides continued to play at a generous pace, with penalties being awarded and attempts to increase the score being unlucky for both sides. Events continued with Ystalyfera certainly with the greater possession, and the tackling by both sides most effective.      . 

The rain stopped for the second half, and Llangennech kick off. Bowdy Davies, now playing full back for Ystalyfera, catches, runs and kicks the ball long into the leaders half. ‘Fera press on and play settles in the Llangennech 22. From a scrum, Andy Jenkins breaks thru, closely followed by his forwards. Play moves to the left corner and a set of line outs, penalties and scrums gives “Shenko” a chance which he takes in the 46th minute, getting the second ‘Fera Try: score 10 – 7. Ystalyfera were now gradually gaining the upper-hand with their relentless attacks and the power of their scrum starting to tell. In the 55th minute, after a penalty and quick movement of the ball off the back of a scrum, centre Ryan Lee James cuts inside his outside half to sprint for the Llangennech posts, despite a tackle attempt, nothing was stopping the “Rhino” and he delivered the third ‘Fera Try. Bowdy Davies converts: score 17 – 7. A set of kicks by both sides looking for position from the re-start saw the game settle in midfield. Handling errors by Llangennech and the strength of the Ystalyfera scrums, ensure the ‘Fera remain in control. An attack into the north-west corner saw a chance for wing Josh Jarrett, Llangennech being saved by another penalty. Llangennech now began to make a big effort to redeem the score. Attempts to run at Ystalyfera become apparent, but the ‘Fera were in no mood to release their grip on proceedings, they keeping alert and full of fire. Substitutions having now been made for both sides, helped to keep up the pace of the game. Ystalyfera kept looking for the chance to increase the lead, and excellent movement of the ball with neat passing saw an attack on the right hand side, shifted to the left where the Llangennech defence lost their shape. Centre Jonathan Bayliss crossed over for the fourth ‘Fera try in the 67th minute. This was converted by Bowdy Davies: score 24 – 7. Llangennech did not give up and continued to make an effort, but the task was too difficult with the Ystalyfera tackling not giving any chance for recompense. Both sides kept going until the end, with no further addition to the score.  .  

This was a good hard contest between two creditable teams from Division One. Llangennech have been a Division One side for the last 16 seasons, earning respect and showing their experience. Ystalyfera in turn showed their organisation, determination and individual talent which keeps their relentless progression to achieve better things. The final of the West Wales Cup will be the fourth for the ‘Fera, and they very much deserve to be there.  .

The penalty counts were 8 for Ystalyfera and 13 for Llangennech..



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