Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 34 - 28 Felinfoel RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Lloyd Castle
Conversion 4
Penalty 2
Gareth James
Try 1
Jonathan Bayliss
Try 2
Luc Caines
Try 1

Match Report
09 May 2019 / Team News

Ystalyfera 34 – 28 Felinfoel

Division One West Champions Felinfoel were the visitors to Ynysydarren for the First Leg of the Championship Promotion Play Off. Weather was dry with no wind of note, the pitch in excellent condition.

In front of a large and vociferous crowd Ystalyfera kicked off downhill towards the Swansea end. Both sides returned the ball to each other until the Ystalyfera forwards set the game up only to give away the first penalty in the 2nd minute. Felinfoel full back Aled Roberts obliged score: 0 – 3. From the restart play moved to the ‘Garage’ corner and the first meeting of the forwards saw a second penalty awarded to Felinfoel with the same result score: 0 – 6. Both sides were cautious of one another, chosing to test for position using the boot. Ystalyfera won the first scrum in midfield and moved the ball to the right. ‘Fera prop Robat White made a determined drive and won the first Ystalyfera penalty, full back Steffan Castle pulling his effort slightly to the right of the posts. ‘Fera wing Luc Castle collected the ensuing drop out and set play up in midfield. Play slowly drifted into the ‘Changing’ room corner close to the visitors 22. Ystalyfera eagerness gave away a penalty and Felinfoel quickly switched events back to the opposite corner of the field. Making an attack the visitors had another penalty chance which this time was missed. Ystalyfera then stole possession, scrum half Zac Beynon moving play into the visitors half. Supported by wing Bowdy Davies the game moved into the ‘Changing room’ corner, Felinfoel having to defend a 5m line-out. A resulting Felinfoel scrum saw a tremendous push by the home pack, the ball popping out on the Felinfoel side where the alert ‘Fera outside half Gareth James, closely supported by flanker Owain Morgan, pinched the first Ystalyfera Try in the 18th minute. This was converted by full back Steffan Castle, score: 7 – 6. Straight from the restart, ‘Fera centre Jonathan Bayliss caught the ball and burst through a somewhat weak defence, racing downfield under the posts for the second Try. Steffan Castle converted, score: 14 – 6 after 20 minutes. Felinfoel put the next restart out on the full giving Ystalyfera a scrum on the center spot. Another penalty for Felinfoel in the 24th minute, saw an excellent kick by Aled Roberts pull the score back to 14 – 9. From the restart Ystalyfera continued to attack, Felinfoel appearing to be in a slight panic. After Ystalyfera wining  a line out in the 28th minute, a smart kick by wing Luc Caines gave Jonathan Bayliss another opportunity to burst through the middle. This he took ‘diolch yn fawr’, and his second Try was converted by Steffan Castle, score: 21 – 9. The Ystalyfera backs were now tearing into the Felinfoel defensive line at every opportunity. The ‘Fera forwards were pressing the visitor pack and only penalties was giving Felinfoel any respite. In the 35th minute against the run of play, the resourceful Aled Roberts kept the visitors in the game with another excellently taken penalty kick, score: 21 – 12. Three minutes later after a poor tackle behind a scrum, Steffan Castle returned the favour with a fine penalty kick of his own, score: 24 – 12. After play resumed Felinfoel won an immediate penalty which Aled Roberts converted giving a half time score of 24 – 15.

Felinfoel commenced the second period, ‘Fera Captain Steffan Jones collecting. A clearance kick was gathered by Felinfoel and a scrum ensued on half way. The game progressed with the home forwards looking to dominate up front. Felinfoel in turn sought for gaps in the ‘Fera line of defence, which were hard to find. Another penalty given away in the 48th minute saw Aled Roberts convert again, score: 24 – 18. In response like before, Steffan Castle returned the favour four minutes later score: 27 – 18. Play moved into the Ystalyfera half with Felinfoel getting a line out in the ‘Changing room corner’. The visiting forwards now made a very strong effort to redeem the score and the battle up front was fierce. A push saw an effort drop over the line and when pounced upon the referee gave a Try. This was contested by the home team and supporters, After checking with his assistant linesman the try was awarded. Alex Roberts converted score: 27 – 25 after 58 minutes. Ystalyfera resumed on the attack and the game moved to the Felinfoel 5m line. The home scrum was at its strongest and Felinfoel had difficulty in keeping together. The game was broken up with Felinfoel injuries and interchanging of front row forwards. Penalty after penalty and scrum after scrum were being awarded to Ystalyfera until the 75th minute when, after releasing the ball, wing Luc Caines scored his record matching 24th Try of the season in the corner. Steffan Castle converted admirably bringing the score to 34 – 25.  Three minutes later and Aled Roberts kicked his 7th Penalty of the game leaving a final score of 34 – 28 to Ystalyfera.

Ystalyfera take the 6 point lead up to Felinfoel for the return leg next Sunday, together with a 4 – 1 difference in Trys scored.  

The Penalty count was 8 for Ystalyfera and 16 for Felinfoel at half time, 15 for Ystalyfera and 19 for Felinfoel at full time..



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