Abertillery Blaenau Gwent RFC
What a match! Probably the game of the season which ended in a narrow defeat, with a pulsating fightback and a satisfactory two bonus point haul after conceding an early 15 point deficit in the opening 14 minutes-The resolve shown in pushing the hosts all the way and certainly having the better of the last half hour deserves great credit, Tillery within a score on several occasions as the clock ticked away
What looked a disorganised backline, with Darren Miles at outside half and Aled Penn at centre, was caught on the ropes in a ferocious barage in the opening rounds and three unconverted tries were on the board before Kurtis Haile was able to put the first points on Tillery's side of it,a penalty the result of good attacking play, Penn slipping away a lovely delayed pass to create the opening
Unfortunately, Bwl's 4th and bonus point try was chalked up in the 23rd, McIntosh Junior kicking his first conversion of the afternoon, but 6 minutes later Tillery hit back, a quick tap penalty enabling Mike Williams to cross for the third time this season at the posts-Haile's conversion brought the deficit back to 12 at 10-22, but the abrasive Jack Summers was injured to be replaced in the back row by Joel Wright, son of former captain Darren;
McIntosh took the lead back to 15 with a penalty from 45 metres before the resurgent Penn burst through the home defence on a powerful run to the line-Haile converted easily and it was 17-25 but Ynysybwl scored a 5th try, converted once more to retain a three score buffer at half time-Ynysybwl 32 Abertillery BG 17
As the second period opened Haile missed an early penalty, Jordan Legge replaced Isgrove at hooker and Jack Woodland replaced Hoskins at tight head prop, but from a strong position on the home line a loose pass set up an interception chance gratefully accepted and finished off ninety five metres further up the field in the corner by a grateful home left wing, who held off the cover in the forty ninth
Ten minutes on and Dan Crandon battled over for a third try, but was injured in touching down, Matthew Jones replacing him as Haile kicked a fine goal from the left touchline and moments later Legge took a strike against the head causing a penalty incident from which Williams was able to kick to the corner- The pack won the throw and skipper Pegler was able to exert enough control through the phases for Penn to get his second try, at the foot of the posts- Haile's goal put the Green & Whites in for a second bonus point, within 7 points, and an unlikely victory was now a possibility
However, two penalties in three minutes from McIntosh extended the gap to 12 points again, but it wasn't over yet and Conor Miles charged down a clearance kick, reclaimed the ball and put supporting flanker Iestyn James in for try #5! Haile converted again from wide out for 38-43, but moments later wing Ryan Price was harshly yellow carded for an offside offence and The Bwl took advantage to drive over for their 7th of the afternoon
Haile was given a chance to reclaim the second point with a wide angled penalty and he duly obliged, but that was it as far as scoring went! Final score 48-41 and a try count of 7-5! Full credit to both teams who fought out an exciting and enthralling contest!
MoM; Difficult where so many contributed well, but Mike Williams performed very well at full back, kicking beautifully from hand and getting a try; Aled Penn was almost back to his storming best, 2 tries while out of position; Haile kicked excellently for 16 points, but without the combative leadership of Luke Pegler the fight back would have been unlikely, so on behalf of his team he deserves this week's award!
Abertillery BG; Mike Williams; Ryan Price, Kurtis Haile, Aled Penn, Conor Miles; Darren Miles, Luke Pegler,captain; Dafydd Cripps, Anthony Isgrove /rep Jordan Legge), Scott Hoskins/rep Jack Woodland);Dan Crandon/rep Matthew Jones),Matthew Catlin;Jack Summers/repJoel Wright),Lewis Prosser, Iestyn James
Next week Cwmbran visit the Park for a Ben Francis Cup Tie, kick off 2:30
The next Home league match is on 12th November, v Brynmawr , ko tba