08 May 2018 / Club News

Aberavon Green Stars 8 Porthcawl 17

Following the midweek demolition of Briton Ferry 3-62, in a match blown-up 20 minutes early by the referee, the Seaweeds were back on the road and edged closer to promotion with a hard fought win at Green Stars who boasted a much-changed team from that which lost at South Road earlier in the season. Added to the fact that this was Porthcawl’s third match in six days and with players rested, the team did well to step up to the plate in a ‘banana skin’ match that the home side dominated for long periods.

The opening exchanges were frenetic with the home side all out to disrupt the usual Seaweeds style of play and when outside half Sean Curran kicked them ahead with a penalty with Porthcawl on the back foot, it was no more than they deserved for 3-nil.

The Stars huge pack employed an effective driving game, continually testing the Porthcawl resolve in the tackle and with 28 minutes gone on the clock, lock Kevin Thomas drove over for an unconverted try following sustained pressure by the home side and at 8-nil they were decent value for money.

Stars were guilty of a number of high tackles, a feature that let them down in the first half and Porthcawl finally took advantage of one such indiscretion to get points on the board with a Josh White penalty just before the break and an 8-3 scoreline.

White uncharacteristically missed a couple of straightforward penalties in the first ten minutes of the second half as he tried to adjust his kicking into the breeze although he got back on song after 20 minutes when full back Ben Thomas conjured up a superb attacking kick through the advancing Green Stars defence and WRU Bowl Final hat-trick hero right wing Jordan Fox used his lightning speed off the mark to chase up and grab the try, with White’s conversion settling the Porthcawl faithful’s nerves at 8-10, to lead for the first time.

Seaweeds lock Nick Nutman was unlucky from the kick-off as he was clobbered heavily by the advancing Stars forwards as he tried to take the catch and he made his way thoroughly dazed, from the action.

Porthcawl’s pack started to get back on terms with skipper Richard Hnyda seemingly everywhere, leading from the front, ably supported by hooker Jack Williams and the irrepressible No.8 Leon McNally and the match starting to turn going into the closing stages.

As White and Thomas started to drive the Stars back into their own territory, it was Hnyda himself who made the match seemingly safe as he drove over for the try from a smart line-out and a quick succession of rucks exerting pressure on the Stars defence. White’s excellent conversion for 8-17 left the Stars needing to score twice but they couldn’t deliver and another victory was well-greeted by relieved Porthcawl players and supporters.

Porthcawl should clinch promotion if they can turn over Glais in the Swansea Valley on Wednesday, with Saturday’s visit to South Road of League leaders Birchgrove becoming the defining match of the season as far as the honour of becoming League Champions is concerned and an enormous crowd will gather to witness what should be an awesome match.    

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