Ynysybwl RFC | 1st Team 17 - 22 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Jake Crockett
1 Try
Ewan David Williams
1 Try
Mark Christopher Squirrell
1 Try

Match Report
01 April 2018 / Team News

Ynysybwl 17 - Brecon 22

In the midst of so much unseasonable bad weather Brecon were fortunate to be able to travel to Ynysybwl and play on a good surface and in dry conditions. The only element that, to some extent, made life difficult for the players was a strong, cold wind which blew across the field. In such conditions and with Brecon starting very brightly, Brecon’s travelling supporters anticipated an entertaining afternoon. The start was certainly bright. Brecon took an early lead when Dean Gunter stroked a long range penalty through the posts. Brecon then immediately returned to the attack from the kick off as Davey Herdman and Johnny Bowen set off on a couple of powerful runs which earned a penalty. That was kicked to the corner and in spite of the fact that Brecon spurned that opportunity with a crooked throw at the line out they made up for that mistake with a scrum drive that earned another penalty. Ewan Williams took a quick tap and was over to give Brecon an 8 point lead within the first ten minutes.

At this stage everything looked to be going to plan with Brecon dominating their lowly opponents and it seeming only to be a matter of time before they extended their lead. What was to follow certainly did not stick to that script. Although Brecon continued to look the more dangerous team when they got into full flow their game became littered with mistakes. Ynysybwl grew in confidence as Brecon failed to pull away from them and the game became attritional rather than free flowing with mistakes being made by both sides and scoring looking less and less likely. In fact the only other score of the first half was a penalty kicked by home outside half Dion McIntosh.

For the whole of the middle 40 minutes, Brecon’s early domination of the game totally disintegrated. Their scrum, which for three quarters of the first half had been in control, suddenly fell apart as Ynysybwl increasingly put Brecon’s scrum under pressure and it wasn’t until the closing stages of the match that control was re-established. The line out too was inconsistent. At times Brecon won excellent ball but at other times it was error ridden. In fact for a large part of the game the impressive team play of earlier in the season was not evident. That wasn’t to say that individuals didn’t show up well. The back row was generally impressive. Ewan Williams and Davey Herdman carried well and their powerful surges should have led to more productive results while Ioan Edwards was tireless both in supporting attacks and in defence. Hooker Johnny Bowen also had an excellent game with ball in hand and wing Jake Crockett threatened every time he had the ball. Sadly that did not happen too frequently until Brecon were forced to pull something out of the bag, in the later stages of the game, to secure a victory. All too often promising moves broke down and as frustration built so did the penalty count.

The half time lead of 8 points to 3 was disappointing but there was a feeling amongst the Brecon support that soon things would click and Brecon would surge ahead. That didn’t happen until deep into the half and not before the resurgent and increasingly competitive, Ynysybwl team had taken the lead with a converted try. That try came after a long period of pressure. Brecon’s defence held for some time but finally one missed tackle allowed flanker Corey James to burst through and score a deserved try which McIntosh converted.

With 15 minutes of the second half gone Brecon looked as if they could be facing an unexpected defeat. Fortunately they pulled themselves together and at last began to find the continuity and accuracy they had shown in the opening phases of the game. It wasn’t easy to turn things around as Ynysybwl now had momentum and were buoyed with the prospect of taking the scalp of one of the league’s leading teams. Some changes from a strong Brecon bench helped and Brecon for the first time in a long period threatened the home line. Second row Mark Squirrel almost created an opening for the young and impressive scrum half Geraint Workman. Although that move just failed it wasn’t long before Squirrel was on the end of a move initiated by Jake Crockett and carried on by Richie Davies. Dean Gunter converted the try and Brecon now moved into a five point lead.

With the game now opening out Brecon looked to run from everywhere and that paid off as Jake Crockett made a stunning run out of his own half and finished with a try which Gunter again converted.

With little time remaining the game was now safe but Brecon were now looking for a bonus point try and prepared to take risks. A promising position on the home 22 was spurned when Brecon were penalised for being over eager and pushing early at the scrum. Ynysybwl cleared up-field and Brecon looked to run back out of defence. This time their ambition was cut short as a pass on the 22 was intercepted and Gruffydd Lloyd ran in unopposed to score under the posts. McIntosh converted to earn Ynysybwl a well-deserved losing bonus point.