Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 16 - 12 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Jonathan Bayliss
2 Penalty
Steffan Lloyd Castle
1 Penalty
Gareth James
1 Penalty

Match Report
15 October 2019 / Team News

Maesteg Quins 16 – 12 Ystalyfera

Ystalyfera travelled to South Parade (Maesteg Quins) last week, hoping to take the first opportunity against a lower half side to get that elusive first win in the Championship. Conditions were cloudy with a slight wind, the persistent rain holding off at the start of the game.

Ystalyfera kicked off playing toward the town end, getting the first line out just inside the ‘Fera half. Losing possession Quins ran the ball, Ystalyfera getting the put in at the first scrum, thanks to a fine tackle by centre Martyn Davies. The scrum saw the home side gain the first penalty in the 4th minute, Outside half McGuckin converting: score 3 – 0. Ystalyfera again gained the first line-out after the kick off only for Maesteg to get another penalty. The third scrum saw another penalty, this time for Ystalyfera, opting for a line-out on half way. Scrum half Ben William-Jones fed the ball to outside half Gareth James who kicked for position in the home half. The speed of the penalties conceded by both sides reflected the eagerness by the sides to master early possession of the ball, another against Maesteg Quins in the 12th minute being kicked over by ‘Fera full back Jonathan Bayliss: score 3 – 3. Ystalyfera attacked this re-start only for Maesteg to pinch the ball. Not wanting to be out-done the ‘Fera forwards won it back, and played it out across the field. A further penalty attempt by Gareth James struck a post, and a searching kick by Jonathan Bayliss was marked by the Maesteg full back Geraint Evans. Kicking the ball out on the full allowed the Ystalyfera forwards to win possession and drive forward, looking for gaps in the home defence. Working hard they won another penalty on half way, choosing to run only to fumble and their opponents get possession. Maesteg decided to try a run but flanker Ben Williams stopped that idea. Both sides were attempting to move the ball but the slippery conditions would not allow it. ‘Fera substitute Zac Beynon came on as a blood substitute for Ben William-Jones, Maesteg forwards tried again, this time lock Jesse Patton stealing the ball for a half-way clearance. Creeping forward Maesteg won a penalty setting play up in the away 22. Ystalyfera defended aggressively only for the Quins to get a scrum. In the 35th minute another penalty kick by McGuckin lifted the score to 6 – 3 for Maesteg, only for the home side to be offside after the re-start and Gareth James to level at 6 – 6 in the 39th minute. The half ended with a set of kicks for position by both sides.    

The second period was started by Maesteg Quins and Ystalyfera from a line-out drove forward. After a second line-out Maesteg came forward and in the 46th minute won a penalty which their No10 again kicked over to regain the lead 9 – 6. This motivated the home team and Maesteg began to link up some attacks. Ystalyfera defended well up until the 55th minute when, after a 5m catch and drive Maesteg got their 6th Try of the season so far. This was converted by McGuckin lifting the lead to 16 – 6. Searching kicks after the re-start pushed Ystalyfera into the middle of the Maesteg half. Ystalyfera wing Josh Jarrett then made a good effort to break forward, winning a penalty on the 10m line which substitute back and top scorer Steffan Castle put over: score 16 – 9. Maesteg then kicked off but put the ball off the field. Ystalyfera took the scrum on the centre spot winning a penalty. Full back Jonathan Bayliss calmly collected the ball and in his own time landed the penalty narrowing the score to 16 – 12. Ystalyfera now began to run the ball forward at every opportunity but the home side were having none of it. Time and time again the ‘fera made determined attempts to break the Maesteg defensive line, all to no avail. A couple of times the Quins had opportunity to break out and finish the game off, in the end no further score being forthcoming. Final score 16 - 12  

Ystalyfera found it difficult to break down the well organised Maesteg Quins side, and whilst the penalty scores remained close the one try of the game made the difference. Again Ystalyfera contested all the way to the end, frustratingly not getting that first win. Consolation came in the losing bonus point which raised the ‘Fera off the bottom, leaving hope that next week that elusive prize will come.  

Penalty count was 9 against Maesteg Quins and 12 against Ystalyfera.


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