Penallta RFC | 1st Team 17 - 10 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Adam Hoskins
1 Try
Joe Evans
1 Try

Match Report
11 March 2018 / Team News

Penallta 17 - Brecon 10

Brecon travelled to third placed Penallta knowing that anything less than a win would almost certainly result in placing any remaining title ambitions well out of reach and put theirPenallta play a fast, expansive game, well suited to the artificial 3G pitch on which they play. They are also a team with a pedigree of success in cup and league competitions and apart from Brecon’s outstanding pre-Christmas win at home have been the dominant team in previous encounters over the past two seasons. There would have been no doubting that Brecon’s coaches, Andy Powell and Martin Keylock, would have prepared the team well and emphasised the need for a good high tempo start but when the match kicked off it was the home side that got out of the blocks the quicker.

In the opening exchanges, Penallta showed pace across the park and a well organised forward game. The first Brecon loose kick was run back with interest and even in these opening moments the half back pairing of Aeron Bidgood and Joe Scrivens looked dangerous and posed the Brecon defence all manner of problems. It was no surprise when Penallta opened the scoring with a clinical finish. Scrivens threatened to run but then put in a beautifully weighted kick which pacey wing Ryan Davies latched onto and scored. In the build up to the move there was minor flare up and as well as awarding the try the referee sent Brecon prop Andy Nicholl to the sin bin and awarded Penallta a penalty at the re-start.

If Brecon’s task at the start was big it was now hug and became enormous when Scrivens danced through the Brecon defence to score and convert to give the home side an early twelve points lead. At this point Brecon were way off the pace and needed to respond quickly if they were to get any foothold in the game. Spirits were lifted when scrum half Adam Hoskins broke down the blindside and took the game deep into home territory. For the first time Brecon pressurised the home team and looked as if they would score. Mark Squirrel, who had another big game for the club, was held up just short of the line as were Ewan Williams and Kevin Jones. Brecon threatened but the home defence was impressive and held out.

Although they failed to score at least Brecon were now beginning to compete and pose problems of their own. Adam Hoskins looked sharp and his willingness and ability to run meant that the home defence could not relax. Yet during this critical period Brecon failed to score and Penallta broke out. Once on the front foot Bidgood and Scrivens again became assertive. A great run and wide pass would have resulted in a try had not the pass been forward but the threat was there for everyone to see. With Andy Nicholl returning to the fray, Brecon hoped they had weathered the storm but then a second forward sin binning took its toll. Scrivens kicked a penalty to touch five metres out and from there a well organised forward drive against a reduced Brecon pack resulted in a try which Scrivens converted.

At this point a big defeat looked a distinct possibility but in spite of being a man down for the second time Brecon fought back. The final five minutes of the half were spent under the shadow of the Penallta posts. Time and again the scrum went down and had to be re-set. Brecon had the edge but not enough to finish the job and the critical five minute period ended with a half time whistle leaving Brecon still trailing by 17 points.

The second half looked as if it was about to start as did the first with Penallta being the dominant force but Brecon showed resilience and with the return to full strength began to impose themselves. Penallta’s former accuracy became less evident as they were put under pressure but still Brecon found it difficult to break down the well organised defence until Hoskins showed the way. Having worked their way onto the Penallta 22 Brecon won a scrum. Again the scrum collapsed under pressure and Brecon were awarded a penalty. In a flash Hoskins took the quick tap and ran at the defence. His speed of thought and foot caught Penallta off guard and he danced through to score. Although the conversion failed Brecon were at last on the board and in with a chance.

The game now flowed from end to end with both sides threatening to score and only resolute and determined defence by both sides preventing a breach of their lines. However, slowly but surely Brecon were winning the territorial battle. Jake Crockett made an incisive run an on another occasion almost latched onto a wide kick which would have put him through. Finally and with 10 minutes to go Brecon conjured up a second score. Richie Davies won a turnover and earned Brecon a scrum on the 22. A lovely interchange between number 8 Ewan Williams and scrum half Hoskins, created space for wing Joe Evans who took his opportunity brilliantly to put Brecon within seven points of their opponents. With time running out Brecon thought they had scored again when Mark Squirrel made the initial run and Dean Gunter switched with Cameron Gardner to put Evans away only for them to be pulled back and penalised for crossing. The opportunity seemed to be lost only for one last chance to present itself. With the last play Brecon won a penalty and went for a kick to the corner. The kick was almost perfect but not quite. It was gathered almost on the line and thumped into touch by the overjoyed Penallta defender and the home celebrations began. Brecon now have two weeks to re-group before facing Nelson at Parc de Pugh. second place in jeopardy. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the task would be easy.