Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 0 - 13 Cross Keys RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
17 March 2020 / Team News

Ystalyfera 0 – 13 Cross Keys

Having not played since the trip to Cardiff Met. University back on 25th January, Ystalyfera were the only senior home side in Wales on 14th March when we entertained Dragons Region side Cross Keys for the very first meeting between the clubs. Ynysydarren was very wet and slippery, with rain limited to sparse showers.

The ‘Fera kicked off towards the School end, with a slight breeze from behind. The Keys came forward winning the first penalty of the game, the effort being missed and Ystalyfera having to defend. From the back of a scrum No8 Steffan Jones made a break and the ‘Fera slowly crept up field. The visitors then gained possession and make a quick break down to the Tunnel Corner. The home forwards recovered well and play moved to half way. Ystalyfera wing Bowdy Davies made a charge up the touchline but a knock on allowed the visitors’ advantage and they attacked again. Early on ‘Fera flanker Cerith Gibson had to leave the field and sub Gareth Jones came on with some adjustments in the ‘Fera pack. Play moved from half to half with both sides seeking to gain the advantage. Helped by the conditions both sides stood strong in defence and chances were scarce. A period of kicks by both sides ensued, looking for weakness but none was forthcoming. At the end of the first period the sun attempted to come out but there was no change on the park other than ‘Fera centre Talfan Alcock having to leave the field, Josh Jarrett coming on. An Ystalyfera attack in the Garage Corner earned a penalty, and the effort by Iestyn Scott, on permit from Pontardulais just drifted wide. Half Time no score.

The second period began with an Ystalyfera line-out just inside the ‘Fera half. Cross Keys attacked into the Garage Corner where outside-half and Senior Coach Gareth James cleared his lines. The match continued much alike the first period, neither side risking too much and keeping their defences solid. After a time rotating across half way, Cross Keys generated a line out in the School Corner. The home forwards worked hard, ‘Fera getting a scrum and then a penalty. With no success events returned to the Garage Corner, and the visitors maintained a period of pressure which delivered a penalty in the 71st minute. This was converted by Keys outside-half Curtis Povey to open the score 0 – 3. Having broken the stalemate Cross Keys pressed again and in the 77th minute won a second penalty which Curtis again stroked over, score 0 – 6. With the contest now close to ending, play became more open. Both sides having worked hard were feeling the cost of the lack of fixtures. A break out in the 80th minute by wing Bowdy Davies looked promising for Ystalyfera only for the referee to stop for a forward pass. A penalty for the visitors moved play back into the Garage Corner where pressure by Cross Keys was rewarded with a Penalty Try in the 89th minute. This denied Ystalyfera a losing bonus point finishing the game at 0 – 13 to Cross Keys.    

Some regular players were missing from the Ystalyfera side, markedly top scorer Steffan Castle who suffered a twisted ankle in midweek after 51 consecutive appearances for the side. Both young scrum-halves Zac Beynon and Ben William-Jones, having made 19 consecutive appearances each were unavoidably detained, allowing Andy (Shenko) Jenkins to stand in for his 64th appearance for the club. Not a bad total since December 2014.  

Penalty count was 11 for Ystalyfera and 11 for Cross Keys.


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