16 December 2019 / Club News

Newcastle Emlyn 22 - 16 Gorseinon

Match report from the Newcastle Emlyn website 

Emlyn returned to League action and winning ways on Saturday with this victory over Gorseinon which, coupled with other results, meant that they climbed towards the top of the table. This game though was far more competitive than the first time the clubs met in the opening game of the season as the visitors showed that their recent results were no fluke as they played their full part in a very open game. Indeed at half time they were fully deserving their two point lead and on another day their lead could have been considerably more. They capitalised on Emlyn mistakes and their outside half Liam Popham controlled proceedings expertly.
The opening score came after only two minutes as Emlyn looked to move the ball from inside their own twenty two area only for a pass to go astray and Emlyn at the subsequent ruck were penalised for not releasing the ball. Popham strode up and converted a relatively simple penalty kick. From the restart Emlyn started to exert pressure on the visitors’ line but Dan Davies was unable to convert a penalty attempt from some thirty metres out.  Minutes later a series of controlled drives saw flanker Callum Evans cross the line only for him to lose the ball when tackled by two Gorseinon players.

The next twenty odd minutes belonged to the visitors as they ran at the home side at every opportunity. Full back Andrew Steel proved to be a real handful with his strong runs from the back and against most defences they surely would have scored at least two tries. The Emlyn defence on occasions left a lot to be desired as time and again they missed the first tackle and it was left to the cover defence to halt the Gorseinon attacks. Inevitably such last ditch defending concedes penalties and Popham extended their lead with another well struck penalty kick.

To say Emlyn opened their account rather against the run of play would be an understatement. Gorseinion were once again attacking and from a ruck on the Emlyn ten metre line moved the ball to the narrow side. Unfortunately for them they had not spotted the lurking presence of Emlyn scrum half Dafydd Evans who intercepted a pass and sprinted some sixty metres to score a fine individual try converted by Dan Davies. Scrum half Evans had a fine match and his box kicking was exemplary and time and again he drove Gorseinon back into their own half.

Gorseinon were undeterred and continued to attack the Emlyn defensive line at every opportunity and Popham regained the lead for them with another penalty goal. As the end of the half neared Emlyn did stir themselves into action and put together a series of rucks taking play deep into the Gorseinon twenty two. When they moved the ball wide a try looked almost certain for the red and whites only for winger Llyr Jones to drop the ball with the line at his mercy.

The second half began in a very positive manner for the home side with a superb try. From a ruck on the half way line Emlyn centre Andrew Owens ran an excellent straight line bursting through would be tacklers. When he was brought to ground he managed to turn in the tackle and found number eight Brynmor Jones running in support and he passed back to him. The big number eight needs no second invitation if he spots a try scoring opportunity and neatly side stepped the full back to sprint thirty metres to score by the post for Davies to convert.

Emlyn then proceeded to dominate the second half but any thoughts of a try fest were dispelled by a determined Gorseinon defence and some poor finishing by the home side. Normally reliable finishers prop Emrys Davies, second row Osian Davies and flying winger Llyr Jones all dropped what would have been try scoring passes. Emlyn did extend their lead when Dan Davies converted a penalty kick on the twenty minute mark.

Despite the urgings of man of the match Dafydd Evans, Emlyn continued to struggle to cross the Gorseinon line. Powerful carries throughout the game by Elliot Rees and Brynmor Jones more often than not, came to nothing until the thirty fifth minute when an excellent series of drives saw the ball moved wide and Teifion Davies timed his pass for winger Dan Davies to cross for Emlyn’s third try in the corner.

Credit has to go to the visitors who continued to counter attack every time they had the ball. With time running out they ran the ball from their own twenty two, although the attack was halted it was Gorseinon’s turn to lay siege to the Emlyn line. With the last play of the game Gorseinon moved the ball along their three quarter line and the Emlyn defence basically went looking for the interception and eighty metre sprint for their fourth try. Unfortunately they missed the ball and Gorseinon centre Luke Cross strolled over for a try, converted by Popham to give the visitors a well deserved losing bonus point.

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