26 October 2018 / Club News

Winless run continues for First XV

The First XV last won a game on the opening weekend of the season some seven weeks ago when they beat Wattstown emphatically 26-0. But after such a good start they have been in dire straits as they got knocked out of the cup and now have lost their last five league games on the trot.

This game yet another where it was felt that the team should have taken more from the fixture than the mere losing bonus point they picked up.

It was though nice for the team to get a game under way after the week before when Glyncoch were unable to raise a side and called the game off.
The Llantonian’s made there way up the A470 to take on Ynysowen in Merthyr Tydfil with a make shift side due to several players disappointingly crying off. But the team that travelled felt they still had enough in their arsenal to get a final win under their belts.
Prior to kick off the players of both sides stood together facing down the valley towards the village of Aberfan, just a half a mile from the ground and paid their respects with a minutes silence in memory of the catastrophic disaster there on the 21 October, 1966.
The game got under way in beautiful late summer sunshine and it was the home side who immediately had the ascendency as they pushed Llantwit back into their half with some strong penetrating runs. And with a strong scrum against Llantwit’s make ship front row, it was no time before they were having a penalty kick at goal, thankfully for the visitors it sailed wide.
Llantwit then had a fine spell with number eight Dan Farrel making good ground with ball in hand and with Ynysowen now on the retreat. Llantwit had a penalty kick of their own but didn’t fair any better with the kick hitting the post.
Llantwit were soon pressurising again and a line-out close to the line allowed the pack to maul captain Geraint David over the line for a well earned unconverted try.
Ynysowen came straight back at the visitors and after defending for a long period a now familiar site of the Llantwit scrum back peddling, earned the home side a penalty try. And with it Llantwit were penalised further as they were reduced to fourteen, for a front row infringement. 
Ynysowen quickly taking the initiative of the extra player to keep the visitors pegged back in their 22 and just when they thought they had kept repeated attacks at their line at bay, Ynysowen managed to clamber over for their second converted try.
The half time score 5-14.
The second half started as a stale mate with both teams now even in numbers they battled for territory but once again just as they started to gain any momentum they would shoot themselves in the foot by trying quick tap penalties when a kick for a line-out and the try line begging or making great moves and runs before over elaborating with one handed or pop passes which would have been better addressed at a sevens tournament not in a tight game when you are desperate for a win!
Ynysowen on the other hand were clinical with their outside half kicking controlling the game while with good field positioning kicks and added a further penalty kick to his personal tally.
The effort though of the Llantonians could not be faulted and they finally did put enough decent phases together to allow Gareth Watts to crash over after a neat wrap around with Dan Powell for a converted try. This led to a nervy last ten minutes for the home side as Llantwit went in search of a converted try to snatch the win. They came close on several occasions but were held out by a just as determined home side. The final whistle coming too soon for the determined visitors. Man of the Match for Llantwit was Gareth Watts playing out of position at prop. With further mention going to replacement Callum Stephens who had a strong game despite playing with an injured shoulder.
Llantwit were under strength and several players were playing out of position including two of the front row but this could not excuse this should have been yet another game they could have won.
Llantwit are now second from bottom of the league such is there woeful form and only have one game left before the first Autumn Internationals break. They desperately need a win and have a daunting task as they welcome fourth placed Caerau Ely to the Recreation Ground, we shall see if they are up to the challenge. Kick off is at 2:30pm.
Due to the fall out of the First XV the seconds team were reduced to ten men but under the WRU initiative ‘Game On’ still travelled to Cowbridge and borrowed some players from their opponents they suffered a heavy loss but played in the spirit of second team rugby. A plus for them was that they got to play against an Irish International as Simon Easterby dusted off his boots and played for Cowbridge. Ryan Allinson, Ieuan Williams and Aaron Dance having fine games for the Druids.
The clubs Fireworks Display will be held at the Recreation Ground on Monday 5th November from 6:30pm. Free admission.

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