20 September 2017 / Club News

The Druids win away at Maesteg Celtic in the cup

With the First XV game against Cardiff Internationals in the National Bowl competition unfortunately cancelled as their opponents couldn’t raise a side then it was the turn of The Druids (Second XV) to take centre stage as they travelled to Maesteg Celtic for a Enoch Lewis cup game in their Mid Glamorgan competition. The Druids progressing to the quarterfinals with a good 10-17 win.

The Druids however were also struggling before hand to get a side together just a few hours before kick off, which disappointingly is often the way now in Welsh rugby. But some frantic last minute phone calling and recruiting made sure that a fifteen and just two reserves made the trip up to the Llynfi Valley. The Druids after completing the game are now the only team in their league to fulfil their fixtures just a mere three weeks into the season. A nice accolade for the club but a sad indictment on the state of regional community rugby.
The game was played at the Llan Siro Park in Llangynwyd just south of Maesteg and it would seem that the park acts as a flood plain for the whole area as the ground conditions were saturated as the game kicked off and not assisted by torrential rain for most of the game.
The conditions were ideal for the home team who had a monster of a pack and set about playing ten man rugby from the off, battering the visitors line with a strong mauling game. The Druids were though well organised in defence and managed to keep Celtic at bay and were glad to have the big boot of outside half Dan Powell to give them some rest bite from what was becoming an onslaught.
Their rear guard work though eventuallyrewarded as their first venture into the Celtic half after some strong running from the tight forwards led to a well worked try. The Druids cunningly after territory had been won by the forwards kept the ball away from their heavy opponents by spreading it wide through the hands of the three quarters with Luke Dawes finding enough space at centre to cross. The conversion slotted over by Powell.
And, this was the story for the rest of the half as time and time again the big Celtic pack rumbled up field and came closer and closer to scoring with The Druids just managing to keep them out with a thoroughly impressive defensive line. And they even managed to deflate the home side once more before the break as scrum half Rhys Balmont raced away for a great individual try again converted by Powell.
The second half become a bit of a dour spectacle as the heavy rain took its toll on proceedings and even though both sides did try and play rugby the game became scrappy as the ball was often spilled as it was now more like a bar of wet soap.
With both sides swapping penalties, the Druids had a 3-17 lead going into the last quarter and to their credit Celtic did manage to finally cross minutes from the end for a converted try it was too little too late. 
Man of the Match was Henry Maravu who had a great game at number eight with some strong running and good positional play. Further mention going to both Mathew Young who volunteered to take up an unfamiliar place in the front row at hooker so to make a decent game rather than opting for passive scrums; and to Leon ‘beans’ Turner who with no experience at the senior game came on as a substitute in the second half and although took a few knocks he wouldn’t have been used to, he kept smiling and kept trying and didn’t let his team mates down, a great advert for community team spirited rugby.
If anyone would like to join the Druids team then they will always welcome new or old players, if interested please contact Team Manager Roger Elliott on 07971 223001.
This Saturday the First XV return to action in the league as they take on Canton in Cardiff. Meanwhile the Druids bizarrely make another trip up to Maesteg to again take on the Celtic this time in a league fixture.
The youth team were also in action last week as they commenced their league fixtures with an away game at Dinas Powis. They lost narrowly 24-19, the game also a scrappy affair as the weather took hold. Their opponents could not raise a full side so the game was reduced to thirteen aside and passive scrums. The score at half time 12-12 with the home side nudging ahead with a breakaway converted try from a fortunate bounce of the ball. 
The game was then held up for over three quarters of an hour as a Llantwit player awaited hospital attention for a suspected neck injury. Thankfully the player made a full recovery.
The return to the action though saw Dinas Powis again extended their lead with another unconverted try. The Llantwit boys though did dig deep and managed to pull a try back but couldn’t muster anything further in the time remaining.
The Llantwit points coming from two tries from Evan Holloway and one from Tom Slimings, who also contributed with the boot, and further points added by Liam Padmore.


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