08 November 2018 / Club News

Mid District Match Report

Penallta v Nelson Match Report.

Penallta against Nelson is always one of the tastiest games of the season whichever competition we play in. And after going up to the top of the world at Rhymney last Friday and narrowly snatching a win under Luke Purnell’s stewardship, he was rewarded for his hard work as captain of the night. Alongside him club captain, Rhys Stephens and club stalwart Jon Wright, respectively returning from injury knew that any Nelson team that turns up is going to be strong. F-Troop stand outs from their WRU Conference experience also reinforced the ranks, so it would’ve been naïve not to expect a dust up.

Handling was always going to be a premium with the rain lashing down more than Tom Bailey’s bowser on a 7’s pitch. So early exchanges into each other’s halves were terse and usually ended up in a kick at goal. Nelson’s outside backs worked tirelessly off the line out platform created by career chasing Chris Baxi. Making severe inroads into the Penallta half they were rewarded with the first cross of the whitewash, supported by a gutsy pack. We were under the kosh.

At 3-7 and under your own posts is never a nice place to be with your line out misfiring so the boys rallied towards a stronger scrum through Gwyther, Power and Spiller, and a bit of open play to get themselves back in the game. And they were rewarded with Ieuan Sims busting the defence open and young Charlie Wright pumping the corners. Lloyd Bodman kept turning up in the midfield like Willow the Whisp, passing the ball like a Harlem Globetrotter in contact but forays into the Nelson 22 meter were not clinical enough to gain a score.

Despite Nelson’s physical defence it was spread sufficiently enough for Aaron Owen to squeeze round the outside and to get a nice picture from club photographer Pete Tomms as he scored. Due to Andre Sirocko being unable to take the kick Laurence Pritchard stepped up and unfortunately was charged down by Nelson’s determination to keep us out. 8-7 and lots of time to play.

As the 50 minute mark came the only notable mentions to report were Nelson’s line out and Penallta’s scrum. Both sets of backs tried to get a foot hold but were stifled by the set piece and breakdown. Something had to change.

Jon Wright, Arfon Pritchard and Corey Chubb were introduced into the fray. It was time to go at them. The next 15 minutes were an absolute classic of a Penallta Nelson game, muck and bullets on a plastic pitch. Huge tackles, totally open play and bodies littered all over the park. I’m flagging writing about it.

Young Will Keep was rewarded with his first team performances by clinching the decisive try and Laurence Pritchard found the right boots to put on to put it over. Despite being 2 scores behind Nelson rallied and pummelled the Penallta defence scoring at the death and converting.



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