11 January 2018 / Club News


Porthcawl started the New Year with a double over visiting Abercrave with a devastating second half display and therein lies the story of this match. The visitors will wonder how they did so well to frustrate the home side with a committed and competent display in the first half, with their pack doing well in most phases and their attack threatening at times.

On a dry but bitterly cold afternoon, it was fully 30 minutes before Porthcawl managed to conjure up the first score of the match as their pressure in the Abercrave 22 saw flanker Ben Asprea add further to his season’s try tally by finishing off a powerful drive. The returning Josh White, back after a long layoff, added the extras for 7-nil.

When scrum-half Ben Thomas nabbed the second try just before the break, again improved by White’s conversion, 14-nil was at least some return on Porthcawl’s workmanlike efforts.

The first half proceedings suggested that the best way for Porthcawl to outplay the visitors in the second half was to surely move Abercrave’s  huge, heavy pack around the field, which the Seaweeds took to with aplomb.

With playmaker Jon Phillips back from injury at fullback to inspire Porthcawl and Aled davies, returned from Maesteg, the home backs took to the task with some incisive play. However it was a forward, No.8 Leon McNally, outstanding throughout the match, who got the next try as he won the race for Jordan Skidmore’s cross-kick to the corner, White’s conversion sailing wide for 19-nil.   

The same scorer continued his act as he then charged down a desperate clearing kick from Abercrave and again nabbed the try, unconverted, and at 24-nil the visitors seemed incapable of coming back into it.

A searing break from Phillips over 30 metres, saw centre Gareth Rees turn on the gas to finish a great move and cross for a super try with White again driving his conversion just wide but at 29-nil the match seemed over as a contest.

When Aled Davies took a sublime pass from Phillips on halfway, he left the Abercrave defence in no man’s land to cross at the posts and Ben Thomas popped over the conversion, with White having departed the pitch for 36-nil.

As Porthcawl coach Rhys James rang the changes to provide some game time to his squad, the forceful Jordan Fox, on as a sub on the wing, took his chance to run in from fully 40 metres for a great try that Thomas again converted for 43-nil. With the match now in injury time, it fell to Aled Davies to complete his return to South Road, as he scythed through and cantered in to score, from fully 75 metres, for the ultimate try, converted by Thomas and bringing up the half century at full time.

For Porthcawl nobody worked harder upfront than Gavin Williams, Jake Furness and the outstanding McNally, with Phillips and Co. doing a great job behind, this was a satisfactory job well done.

The Seaweeds take to the next round of the WRU bowl on Saturday as they welcome Newport Saracens to South Road for what could be another step towards the Principality Stadium.



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