14 November 2017 / Club News

Losing bonus point short change for First XV efforts at Ynysowen

The First XV might have missed out on the full points available but head coach Stuart Edbrooke was quick to point out the positives following a narrow loss 18-14 at Ynysowen in Merthyr Tydfil. Especially as his injury list has grown and grown over the last few weeks meaning thirty different players taking the field in just the last three games.

As the game commenced at the picturesque but heavily sodden Willows Recreation Ground the home side were the first on the scoreboard early as they kicked a penalty after some pressure yielded an advantage in territory. 
The visitors though were soon into their stride as a big touch finding penalty kick from outside half Lawrence Howley gave Llantwit a platform from fifteen metres out. The ball collected firmly from the line out allowed the pack to settle and then set about a driving maul which eventually after some opposition from the home side drove hooker Rhys Hewitt over the whitewash, with Howley adding a further two points from the conversion.
And it wasn’t long before Howley was again called upon to add another conversion as a period of domination by Ynysowen saw the Llantwit defence tested to its limits and coupled with some great turnovers at the tackle area by Hewitt allowed a super counter attacking move which saw fullback Rhys Balmont break free and race under the sticks from 30 metres out.
A 3-14 lead just rewards for a lively first half for the Llantonians the only blot on the copybook being a perceived lack of concentration in their defensive pattern allowing the home side back into the game with a converted try of their own just before the break. And how they would rue this glitch in an otherwise dominant display.
As the second half saw a turn of fortune as Ynysowen rallied back into the game and asked questions of the visitors defence across every quarter of their half. In the main though Llantwit were resilient but the Ynysowen eight who were a big heavy pack eventually after a quarter of brutal no holds barred wrestle put together a nice period off loading at the tackle which resulted in a deserved converted try.
The score going into the final period 15-14 to set up a tense finale. And great entertainment for any neutral it was as both teams threw everything at each other with neither team seemingly not wanting to blink such was the persistency and determination on offer.
Llantwit did have an opportunity to edge ahead again with a penalty awarded after some counter rucking, Llantwit though this time in reversal of last weeks events decided to go for a kick at goal rather than put the ball along the touch line but the distance was just a few metres too far for the boot of Howley as it dropped short.
Ynysowen though were to be the victors after they were given some breathing space with a penalty kick to seal affairs; after a Llantwit scrummage in front of their posts was deemed to be illegal. A bewildering decision which brought a stern look and burrowed frown to the official from the old head of Shaun Shea at lock. 
An entertaining game but the feeling amongst this proud Llantwit team was that they had again for the second week running left some points out on the pitch such is the standards that they have set themselves. Man of the Match was David Liscombe who at the sprightly soon to be age of forty stepped up from the second team with a solid and abrasive display at inside centre. There is no first team fixture with a postponement this week as the opponents Tonyrefail are unable to make such an early trip down for a game which was deemed to be played by the powers to be at the Welsh Rugby Union at 12pm due to the Wales v Georgia international being played a few hours later. A blessing in disguise it maybe though for Llantwit as an opportunity for time to nurse some of the never ending list of injuries.
The second team the Druids bravely travelled up to Maesteg Celtic with a bare fourteen players as they were decimated with some call ups to the first team and their own share of injuries and unavailability. But none the less they took to the field and with the full complement of fifteen as the originally appointed physio Mike Edwards dusted off the cobwebs from his boots and made up the numbers. They did their best the score at the final whistle being quite a lot to the home side and a solitary try to the visitors.
With the Autumn Internationals now well under way all games are being shown at the clubhouse with non-members always warmly welcome.


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