12 March 2018 / Club News



Porthcawl stand just one match away from a trip to the Principality Stadium after leaving Penygraig with a sound victory in the bag, to reach the semi-finals of the WRU Bowl Competition for the first time.

It was the outstanding opening exchanges that set the tone for this victory against a Penygraig side that recovered to force a frenetic finale to the match, with 15 minutes added time on a pitch that cut up easily, making play difficult for both sides.

From the first scrum, the Seaweeds flung the ball wide for centre Jordan Fox to carve through with a searing break and following pressure in the home 22, Porthcawl went ahead as Josh White popped over a penalty for offside in front of the posts and nil-3 to give the visitors a great start.

A good lineout take by skipper Richard Hnyda saw the quick ball reach Jordan Skidmore wide out on the right wing and he made good progress with a strong run, being stopped just short of the try-line at the corner.

This whirlwind start saw Porthcawl pose all kinds of problems for Penygraig and when the home side attempted to run the ball out of defence, Porthcawl left-wing Jake Thomas won a ruck, only for the indiscipline of the home forwards to yield a penalty and Josh White struck a decent kick out of the mud, only for his effort to fall just short.

Skidmore found himself in the bin for 10 minutes for a yellow card offence as Penygraig tried to get back on terms with some good forward only for Porthcawl’s vaunted defence to hold them back. Flanker Ben Asprea, making light of the mud, set off on a typical charge, leading up to Penygraig again falling off-side and White struck a superb penalty from 45 metres to increase the lead to nil-6.

The defining moment of the half came as a tremendous move saw the ball move through several pairs of hands with Jake Thomas and full-back Ben Thomas prominent and Asprea it was who ended the ensuing forward drive to crash over for a fine try, converted by White and nil-13, at half-time.

Shortly after the restart, Penygraig at last got something on the board as fly-half Owain Davies struck a good 32 metre penalty for 3-13, before a few minutes later, Tim Lunn came on for Matt Cooke, with Skidmore also departing to be replaced by Jack Power.

With the home side now making good use of their possession by playing the deteriorating conditions with some sustained driving mauls upfront, their pressure paid off as lock Daniel Lewis emerged with the ball as they drove over the Porthcawl try-line, with Davies converting and suddenly it was game on at 10-13.

However with his pack again picking up their game, White nabbed what was effectively the crucial score as the Seaweeds drove into the home 22 for the try that meant Penygraig having to score twice to get ahead, with Wil Robinson coming off the bench with fresh legs as Nick Nutman left proceedings at lock, the score at 10-18.

As the match moved into the final 10 minutes of normal time, Porthcawl were forced to weather a frenzied onslaught from Penygraig who were desperate to get the win and when Davies slotted over a penalty for 13-18, Porthcawl’s defence was tested to the ultimate as the home side pressed and pressed.

There  followed a farcical 15 minutes of added time as the match went to passive scrums, with the referee awarding penalty after penalty to Penygraig as they strove for a result. However, the Seaweeds had enough in the locker to keep them out and a Penygraig knock-on signalled the final whistle and a famous win for Porthcawl against a Penygraig side that gave it everything, in a compelling match.

Porthcawl now await the outcome of the draw for the semi-finals and coach Rhys James will know only too well, that his side will need to be on absolutely top form as the final beckons.

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