Abertillery Blaenau Gwent RFC
Back on track! After a difficult two weeks Abertillery BG returned to winning ways, a 29-11 victory over Senghenydd gaining a five try bonus point vctory and a move back up to 5th in Division One East.
Still missing four injured backs the Green & whites were grateful to obtain the services of Bedwas outside half Richard Powell and former Ospreys, now Dragons coach Shaun Connor at centre, the latter back on the Park he graced as a younger man.
Darren Miles, back at full back for the first time in a while, was up to the first test dealing comfortably with a catch under pressure, but within four minutes the visitors were ahead after charging down a kick and scrambling over in the corner, Williams the scorer. It took just seven minutes to overturn the deficit when after a penalty for a high tackle the home team forced a good position from which No 8 Dan Crandon worked his way over. Powell added the conversion and things looked promising when Scott Hoskins and Rhys Pendrie showed real aggression in the tackle area, but on 19 minutes Senghenydd regained the lead with a penalty from outside half Davies. The scrum was working hard and well at this point and after forcing a good position on the left Connor arrived late on the blind side to crash through the remnants of the cover in the 27th minute. Powell's conversion was wide but the lead achieved was not going to be lost again. For the rest of the half the defence was excellent and the team seemed to become stronger with each passing moment. Half time Abertillery BG 12 Senghenydd 8
The second half was just three minutes old when a lovely pass from Connor set the old firm of Miles and Aled Penn away down the left and with some slick interpassing the wing crossed for the third try of the afternoon. Although both touch judges agreed that the conversion was good and added to the scoreboard, at the next stoppage the referee informed the operators that he had disallowed the goal, so when Davies landed another penalty for the visitors the score showed 17-11.
In the 45th minute prop Hoskins was yellow carded, not to return despite a good showing, and on 50 Lewis Prosser was forced off with a head injury to be replaced by Iestyn James; at this point Mike Thomas came into the fray in place of the excellent Pendrie who had had a storming first half.
Connor showed a flash of the young man as he dummied his way to the line but was held up just short and at the resultant scrum the square shouldered Jack Woodland had to take the field in place of Jack Summers who was also putting in his usual big shift. Despite the changes Crandon was first held up and then drove over for his second try and a bonus point, Powell's conversion counting this time and it was 24-11. Woodland remained on the pitch when Summers returned and the Tillery pack was by now dominant. Jordan Legge replaced Isgrove at hooker and it cannot have been a pleasurable last 14 minutes as the home forwards totally overwhelmed what had looked a very solid pack at the outset. Scrum followed penalty followed scrum and eventually the dam was breached again by the ageless Miles who ran over as the defence was stretched to breaking point. It only remained for an absolutely bone crunching head on tackle by the "Tallboy" Woodland which brought gasps and cheers from the home supporters before no side was reached.
Final score Abertillery BG 29 Senghenydd 11
MoM; Despite being on the field for only 50 minutes no one could have failed to be impressed by the industry of second row Rhys Pendry in a storming pack performance.
Abertillery BG; Darren Miles;Conor Miles,Kurtis Haile (Ryan Price),Shaun Connor, Aled Penn; Richard Powell, Luke Pegler,captain; Dafydd Cripps, Anthony Isgrove (Jordan Legge), Scott Hoskins (Jack Woodland; Rhys Pendry, Matthew Catlin;Jack Summers, Dan Crandon, Lewis Prosser (Iestyn James)