Abertillery Blaenau Gwent RFC
In the only match in Division One East, the Green Army fell to another disappointing defeat against Brecon at Parc y Pugh on an almost springlike afternoon, considering the snow and ice of recent days, falling away in the second half to a nineteen points deficit.
Tillery were missing up to twelve players through injury,work or family commitments and looked a strange and disjointed selection as the team was led out by prop forward, Dafydd Cripps, Luke Pegler having reluctantly relinquished the captaincy on Tuesday. An early penalty was conceded, pulled wide by outside half Davies, but Brecon showed a willingness to run the ball even if their handling was inaccurate and conditions underfoot were heavy.
It took Abertillery BG twelve minutes to enter the opposition half, but the creaking scrum made it difficult for young half back Gwilliam to clear the ball and pressure was soon back on. Matthew Jones was injured and left the field in the 19th minute as full back Davies-Newman opened the scoring with a straightforward penalty, but Liam Crandon restored parity with a similar effort two minutes later. Play moved side to side on the whole, but mainly in the visitors’ half and eventually a second penalty in the shadow of the posts restored a three point lead for the red and white shirted hosts.
As the whistle beckoned Brecon eventually scored the first try, converted by Davies-Newman and the half ended at Brecon 13 Abertillery BG 3.
Before the second period opened prop Jack Woodland replaced lock Adam Collins and Jordan Legge took Anthony Isgrove’s place in the middle of the front row, changes which brought a quick response as Crandon was able to land a penalty from 40 metres, but within two minutes the home full back was again on the scoresheet, crossing wide on the left for a try to extend the lead to 18-6. Crandon kicked an even bigger penalty from 48 metres but at this point things unravelled almost completely and within 10 minutes Brecon had scored their 3rd and 4th tries to claim a bonus point and a 5th put them out of sight at 35-9.
Moving Woodland to tighthead prop strengthened the scrum and No 8 Lewis Prosser was able to burrow over for a try which was little more than a consolation, Crandon adding the conversion. A 16-35 defeat was a chastening end to a difficult week and the Team Management, plus physios, must lift heads before a tough trip to second placed Nelson next Saturday.
Man of the Match-the battling Lewis Prosser, once again the pick of the forwards.
Abertillery BG; 15 Mike Williams (Jonathan Daniels);14 Rhys James, 13 Kurtis Haile, 12 Darren Miles,11 Ryan Price; 10 Liam Crandon,9 Shaun Gwilliam; 1 Dafydd Cripps,captain,2 Anthony Isgrove (Jordan Legge),3 Scott Hoskins; 4 Adam Collins (Jack Woodland),5 Jordan Davies;
6 Iestyn James,8 Lewis Prosser, 7 Matthew Jones(Will Carter)