16 October 2017 / Club News

Bridgend Sports RFC 10 Porthcawl 16

This match almost didn’t get off the ground at all as the referee arrived late following a hold-up on the M4 and the match finally got underway some 30 minutes late. With Porthcawl having arrived at the Bandstand Field unbeaten and the Sports smarting from losing the Bowl match between the sides just three weeks ago, this was bound to be a full-blooded affair.

Porthcawl fielded a side shorn of the injured ace goal-kicker Josh White, with a broken finger and broken-thumbed No.8 Tom Butcher and the Sports seemed to sense their chances, especially as they requested passive scrums from the outset, allowing their fast back-row and backline to prosper throughout the match, with the play from both sides setting a standard to set an example to certain of the regions, considering the gap between the two levels.

It was the home side that had the better of the opening exchanges as they asked many early questions of Porthcawl’s vaunted defence, as the match started at a frenetic pace, with nothing held back by either side. Sports drew first blood as they benefitted from a sustained period of pressure deep in Porthcawl’s half and when they worked the narrow side to grab a converted try, it was no more than they deserved for 7-nil.

Within minutes, the Seaweeds almost pulled back the deficit as Jon Phillips in place of White, brought centre Jordan Fox onto a beautifully weighted pass and he gleefully cut clean through with a try begging. Only a timely interception of Fox’s pass to a colleague prevented a certain score. However, it wasn’t long before Porthcawl did get a try on the board as some great handling saw centre Gareth Rees finish of the move for the score, with Phillips’ conversion drifting just wide and 7-5.

With half-time looming, Porthcawl nosed ahead following an outstanding break down the left by Phillips which found Jordan Skidmore in support and as the play moved back right and the ruck was set up, prop Tim Lunn scooped up and barged his way over for the try, again unconverted for 7-10 to Porthcawl at the break.

Sports went quickly ahead at the start of the second half with a penalty that levelled the scores at 10-apiece before full-back Ben Thomas, taking over kicking duties, slotted a fine 44 metre penalty for 10-13 and it was Thomas himself who was unceremoniously bundled over in a late challenge just two minutes later, the late challenge providing the penalty shot that he coolly slotted from 26 metres and 10-16.

As James Burge Davies came on in the back row for Mattie Davies who’d been outstanding for Porthcawl and Alex Davies took over from Skidmore, Sports got their act together once more and put the Seaweeds under a huge amount of pressure as they strove to get back on terms with the match in its final quarter.

As the home side pressed again and again, Porthcawl second row Nick Nutman pulled off two magnificent tackles, minutes apart, that snuffed out the threat from Sports as they seemed destined to get something more for their efforts. Porthcawl lost scrum-half Tom Matthews for the final minutes, Ben Thomas going to scrum-half as Lloyd Rosser went to wing in the reshuffle. Despite their efforts the Sports couldn’t crack the resolute Porthcawl defence and the Seaweeds took the final spoils at 10-16, to remain unbeaten this season.

Porthcawl entertain Briton Ferry at South Road on Saturday, looking to continue their marvellous run.


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