23 August 2017 / Club News

First XV show some good pre-season form in warm up game

On a beautiful sunny afternoon only blighted by a strong westerly wind, Llantwit Major RFC made a good account of themselves against Bridgend Athletic RFC at the Recreation Ground for the Lyn Dolman memorial game. The visitors eventually pulling away in the last quarter to win the game 17-22 after stubborn resistance by the home side.

The Athletic who play some three divisions higher than Llantwit in Division 1 were fielding a somewhat dubious Development XV; started the game playing towards the School End. The first quarter a game of attrition as both teams competed for dominance with neither side allowing for any continuity with powerful defensive lines. In the scrummage the Llantwit coaches must have been quietly pleased with their performance as they dominated the early exchanges with captain Geraint David causing his opponent no end of problems in the front row.

The deadlock was eventually broken as the Athletic using an extended period of dominance powered over. But Llantwit were quick to respond as some pressure of their own brought a penalty kick from Iestyn Jones. Which was shortly added with a further seven points as youth player Evan Holloway marked his debut for the senior team with a peach of a try. The moved started inside the Llantwit half as fullback Wise Vakacegu collected a ball and evading some covering defence took the play over the half way line, some lovely passing with player/coach Stuart Edbrooke took the move on before Edbrooke released Holloway from the wing. The youngster still having plenty to do then jinked his way inside the defence and pinned his ears back as he raced away and went under the posts. The try converted by Jones to take the lead at 10-7.

The lead though as the sides changed ends was short lived with the Athletic using a very efficient maul went over twice from driving lines out. This followed up in the last quarter with another try   put the victory well out of reach for the home side but they were not outclassed by their opponents in any facet of play. And particularly in the contact area could arguably be said to have dominated, with forward and Man of the Match Dan Farrell very much to the fore in these exchanges.

Llantwit did though have the final say by scorinng the last try which was well taken after some good driving play freed up Vakacegu who after a tread mark shimmy spotted a gap in the Athletic defence and raced away to go around the covering defence, touching down behind the posts, again converted by Jones and ending a thoroughly entertaining game. The only thing left to do was to head to the Clubhouse for some much-needed refreshments and some alternative team bonding.

This Saturday the Llantonians take on Pontrhydyfen RFC in their final warm up game before the league commences. Pontrhydyfen from the Afan Valley sit in the equivalent western league as Llantwit. So, will hopefully be well suited warm up opponents and will provide another opportunity for players to stake a final claim for a place in the team for the opening league game the week after. Kick-off is at the later time of 3pm, due to the Llantwit 10k race taking place at the Recreation Ground in the morning.

It will be a busy bank holiday weekend for the towns Recreation Ground as Sunday then sees the field taken over by the annual Party on the Pitch festivities. This free community music festival hosted by the rugby club will be open from ‘1pm till Late’ and will feature several live acts including Juice (formerly Cabin Fever), Jeff Philips as Neil Diamond, The Cove (formerly Burning Bridges), Luke James and resident DJ Doctor Eazy Love. The music will be accompanied by stalls including a fair ground, making for a great family days entertainment.

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