13 September 2017 / Club News

First XV fall to derby defeat at Cowbridge

The sun eventually broke through on Saturday afternoon after a torrential downfall before hand to allow a large crowd to witness an enthralling derby game between Cowbridge and Llantwit Major at the Fred Dunn, with the home side managing to hold off a late surge by Llantwit to win 23-17.

The game soon started as last seasons encounter finished with Llantwit waiting gloomily around the posts as they watched Cowbridge’s emphatic kicker slot over a penalty. And this yet again was a sight that the visitors would watch far too often for their liking as he changed the tempo of the game regularly with big defensive touch finding kicks and slotted over penalties and conversions with ease. A stark contrast to the visitors whose conversions and lack of attempts at goal were found wanting.
Llantwit though after going down 3-0 from the first penalty replied admirably by putting pressure on the Cowbridge defence from the kick off and a series of strong runs and a penalty kick to touch, gave them a good positional line out five metres out; the old head of lock Shaun Shea was used at the front to secure possession and then a well worked driving maul allowed Dave Taylor to rumble over for an unconverted try.
This though was to be the last time the visitors would put any points on the scoreboard in the first half as the home side dominated by racing into a 16-5 lead. Their scores coming from penalty kicks and a well worked breakaway converted try.
The first half though was not one way traffic in any sense as Llantwit arguably dominated possession and had plenty of opportunities from good field positions but were time and time again let down by over complicating plays, poor execution or found possession being handed over far too often for self inflicted infringements at the tackle area.
The second half though started brightly for the Llantonians as a series of drives deep into the bridge sides half eventually allowed scrum half Rhys Balmont to break through before being joined by a by now hungry set of forwards for the whitewash as they again powered over Taylor for another unconverted try.
This then set the tone for most of the second half as Llantwit battered the Cowbridge defence in an attempt to claw themselves back into the game but in a repeat of the first half as much attrition as they could muster was let down by fumbled passes and poor decision making at crucial times.
Cowbridge on the other hand when given a glimmer of hope executed their plays clinically and were rewarded with another converted try. At this stage a now deflated Llantwit side looked ready to throw the towel in but they still weren’t finished and some strong drives from replacement forwards Rhys Davies and Dan Farrell had the Cowbridge defence in tatters as scrum half Balmont took the play on with great pace before off loading to tight forward Gareth Watts to scramble over the whitewash with several defenders attempting to bring the big man down. The conversion kicked by Iestyn Jones to give the home side a nervous final period. But to their credit their defence held firm against several last charges to snatch a win.
A disappointing afternoon then for the Llantonians but you could not fault their effort in what at times was a brutal but fair game of rugby football with both sets of physios working overtime to deal with the wake from a busy afternoon of big power plays. 
This after all is only the second game of a long season and the feeling is there is much more to come from this side; man of the match was captain Geraint David who led from the front and seemed to cover every blade of grass in his work rate.
Next week Llantwit are competing in the first round of the National Bowl cup competition as they welcome the famous Cardiff Internationals to the Recreation Ground. The CIACs as they are known (pronounced in Cardiff fashion as “kayaks”) have a rich history having being formed in the Cardiff Docks area of the city in 1946, with the intention of reflecting the multicultural nature of the dock by embracing all races and religions and proving that all peoples can live together in harmony as one community. Their favourite son being the rugby league legend Billy Boston. 
Llantwits second team, The Druids came off much better last Saturday as they won their second league encounter with a comfortable victory against Maesteg Harlequins 31-10. The tries scored by Tom Richardson, the ever youthful Tony Burrows, James Elliott and Mike Sims. The rest of the points coming from the trusty boot of Dan Powell including a long range penalty and in doing so kept his 100% record so far, in front of the posts. Man of the Match was Tom Richardson who had an impressive game at hooker and in particular was very effective at counter defending a useful and strong Harlequins mauling game.
The Druids are also competing in the cup this week as they travel away to Maesteg Celtic in the Enoch Lewis cup, k.o. also at 2:30pm.


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