14 May 2018 / Club News


Porthcawl’s best season, possibly ever, saw them take the League title on Saturday with an outstanding and comprehensive home win and ‘double’ against season-long table-toppers Birchgrove in front of a very large South Road crowd.

Although they will not officially win the title until they have played Pontycymmer at home in this coming Saturday’s final match of the campaign, they are well clear and cannot be overtaken and will take the League and Cup Double for the 2017-18 season, a magnificent achievement.

Against a stubborn and capable Birchgrove side, a good start was vital and it couldn’t have gone better. As the home side got immediately into their stride, a bout of superb passing across the backline saw centre Aled Davies storm through to score under the posts, outside-half Josh White adding the points to the try for 7-nil inside two minutes.

With the visitors employing their usual forward orientated driving game, getting the ball wide was likely to benefit the Seaweeds and when on 12 minutes, Davies’ fellow centre Gareth Rees brilliantly dummy his way through from 35 metres to sprint and score at the posts, White’s conversion made it 14-nil, just reward for some exceptional attacking play.

The home side’s pack was supplying a good amount of useful possession from all phases yet pushing for openings can often have the opposite effect and the visitors got back on track with a try of their own on 23 minutes; with Porthcawl pushing for a third try, an interception around halfway provided the opportunity for Birchgrove flying wing Evans to pin his ears back and hare for the corner, to make it 14-5.

With halftime approaching, there was still time for drama as an illegal Birchgrove tackle provided White with the opportunity to kick a well-taken penalty and push to score to 17-5, yet back came Birchgrove who were not going to lie down without a fight. Following some great driving play up the right, again it was Evans scooting over for his second try, with Porthcawl wing Jake Thomas in the bin for a yellow card and at 17-10, there seemed little in it at the break.

The half-time pep talk from coach Rhys James again galvanised his charges and they set about the most important second half of the season with an accomplished display.

Full-back Ben Thomas, who has been a revelation in many matches with his assured handling, running and kicking skills, cut through the midfield to carve the opening 40 metres out, before finding wing Jordan Fox who took the move on towards the posts. As Fox was stopped, there was flanker Jake Furness at his shoulder, to power over, defenders hanging from his back, for an outstanding try goaled by White and at 24-10, the visitors had a mountain to climb.  

There followed a period of forward orientated play as Birchgrove did their best to get on terms and there followed an unsavoury period of frustration as tempers flared and a couple of dust-ups crept into the frenzied play, with a cheap late tackle on White spoiling the match. However, Porthcawl’s better discipline kept them moving forward and with every man standing his ground and more, the home eight effectively killed off the match.

Sensing the prize getting closer, a super driving maul by the rampant Seaweeds pack saw Birchgrove pinned back into their 22, and when the ball went to ground, the quick recycled possession saw Aled Davies seal the victory by strolling over at the right corner for his brace and the bonus-point try. Ben Thomas’ outstanding conversion from touch for 31-10 ensured that the visitors were well-beaten and the League Title secured and deservedly so. The Seaweeds will welcome Pontycymmer at 2.30 on Saturday when another large crowd will gather to see Porthcawl crowned as Champions. 

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