Brecon RFC | Youth Team 25 - 21 Builth Wells RFC | Youth Team
Joshua Hamilton
Try 2
Henry Morgan-Gervis
Try 1
Thomas Richards
Try 1
Ben Griffin
Conversion 1
Penalty 1

Match Report
25 November 2018 / Team News

Brecon Youth 25 - Builth Youth 20

Brecon and Builth Youth met one another in a traditional local derby match at Parc de Pugh. With both sides having made a good start to their Blues Championship North campaign it was a match with all to play for. Both Brecon and Builth, placed second and third respectively in the table, had to date lost just one match each in their league campaigns. Saturday’s match was, therefore, always going to be a tense competitive contest. The match itself lived up to the pre-match build up. On a dark November afternoon but in otherwise perfect conditions, both teams gave their all and entertained a large crowd of partisan spectators.

As a contest it was certainly a game of two halves. There was no doubting the fact that Brecon gained the upper hand during the first half. The 18 points to 3 score line at half time accurately reflected the greater pace and power shown by the Brecon team during the half. As the second half started any neutral observer would have thought that the game was very much in Brecon’s hands. Such a consideration would not have taken into account the pride and determination of the Builth team which fought its way back into the game to such an extent that Brecon’s winning margin was trimmed to a narrow 5 points. When the final whistle blew the game was still in the balance with a critical second half Brecon try, scored by Man of the Match Josh Hamilton, being the difference between the two teams.

The opening phases of the game gave some indication of what was to follow. Brecon, with ball in hand looked sharp. However, they failed to maintain continuity as they frequently lost the ball in contact or were turned over with Builth being very competitive at the breakdown. Brecon were also hampered by a failure to secure ball in the first few line outs. Fortunately they overcame this problem and with that possession they gradually took command of the game. Ben Griffin put them in front with a penalty although Builth drew level with a penalty of their own after Brecon made a hash of reclaiming the kick off.

Brecon responded immediately with three of their stand out players making important contributions. Captain and hooker Josh Pritchard made the first of many powerful runs and got behind the Builth defence. Outside half Tom Richards, whose pace caused Builth problems throughout the afternoon, continued the move and delivered the ball to prop Josh Hamilton who showed great strength and mobility by driving through the remainder of the Builth defence.

That lead was quickly extended when Richards who had been the provider for the previous score became a scorer himself. Taking a ball from a relieving kick near half way he broke on through the first line of defence and then sped away from the remainder of the cover to score a great individual try.

For the next ten minutes Brecon were in complete control with the game being played totally in the Builth half. However, the visitors defended heroically and continued to make a nuisance of themselves at the breakdown and they held Brecon out until Ben Griffin made a break through mid-field. Facing the final line of defence he chipped ahead and was impeded in his chase. Flanker Matthew Williams showed great awareness by taking the penalty kick quickly and throwing out a wide pass to Number 8 Henry Morgan-Gervis who finished in the corner.

In the remaining 5 minutes of the half Builth managed to take play into the Brecon half and exert pressure. Although they failed to score it was perhaps a sign of a shift in the balance of play.

Builth started the second half as they finished the first. They carried the ball hard at the Brecon team and their work at the breakdown ensured that they developed good continuity. Brecon’s defence held out for the first ten minutes but eventually the Builth Number 8 broke clean through the middle of a ruck on Brecon’s 22 and ran in unopposed to score. Almost immediately they closed the gap even further. With Brecon making their first concerted attack of the half a long pass was read and intercepted to give the Builth centre a clear run through to the Brecon line.

With the momentum distinctly having swung in favour of the visitors Brecon were in danger of being overhauled and needed to impose themselves in the Builth half. At the right time that was exactly what they did. After a few probes with Ben Griffin, Rhys Peters, Josh Pritchard and Matthew Williams prominent, the ball came to Josh Hamilton on the 22. For a big man he showed great pace as he burst through the defence to claim his second try which Griffin converted.

For a period then the match became a scrappy affair with both sides making mistakes until finally Builth won a scrum on the Brecon ten metre line. They moved the ball left and their big left wing cut outside the Brecon defence and would certainly have scored but for a last ditch tackle by Tom Richards which bundled him into touch in the corner. However, the referee judged that the tackle was made with the shoulder and not the arms and awarded a penalty try and sent Tom Richards to the sin bin.

Brecon now faced the last ten minutes with 14 men and with a cushion of just 5 points. To ease all the home supporters’ nerves, Brecon lifted themselves and the final ten minutes of the match were spent almost exclusively in the Builth half. The final whistle blew with Brecon camped on the 5 metre line and yet there was a sense of relief when they kicked the final penalty to touch to ensure a very hard fought victory against opponents who tested them to the limit.