12 December 2016 / Team News

Emlyn lose in the Rain

NEWCASTLE EMLYN 7 GLAMORGAN WANDERERS 13 The Red and Whites would have been hoping to end their run of indifferent home form against the visitors from Cardiff but unfortunately the elements conspired against them, an hour before kick off the heavens opened and so it continued all afternoon.
Emlyn had also lost their experienced outside half, Barry Thomas, to injury with Richard Hope pulling on the 10 shirt for the first time in only his second start for the club.
Glamorgan Wanderers had come with a game plan which suited the conditions and were intent on using their heavy pack to carry the ball up the field. From the first whistle this is what they tried to do but had an early setback with loose head prop Josef Russell being replaced by Morgan Louch following a leg injury.
This allowed the Red and Whites into the match, before the Wanderers settled back into their game plan, giving them territorial advantage for much of the first quarter and able to win lineout ball against the throw on several occasions as flanker Ryan Morgan was lifted higher than his heavier opponents.
The visitors soon got their game going again and on one of their forays into the Emlyn half the Wanderers were awarded a penalty when referee Jason Morris spotted a player off side during a ruck. This was kicked by outside half Luke Fish to give them a 3 point lead.
As the downpour continued the Wanderers' heavy pack's persistent pressure brought them more and more into the game and allowed them to dominate the second quarter.
Near the end of the half Emlyn lock Dylan Davies was yellow carded for holding a Wanderers' player back. Fish stepped forward successfully kicking the visitors into a 6-0 lead at half time.
The Red and Whites made changes in the scrum to try and counter the visitors dominance, Emrys Davies came on for Jack Parry with Ceiron Evans being replaced by scrummaging specialist Gethin Davies at tight head. The replacements made an immediate difference with Emlyn regaining supremacy in the set piece.
One of the first Emlyn attacks of the second half resulted in a scrummage on the visitors' 22 metre line when a ball was lost forward at a lineout. The Red and Whites pushed the Wanderers back towards their try line and were awarded a penalty 5 metres out and opted for a scrum again. Emlyn again had the better of the set piece and when the following move through the hands petered out referee Morris brought them back for a second penalty. The Red and Whites opted to scrummage once more and when the Wanderers offended in the scrum again the referee ran under the posts to award a penalty try which was converted by full back Sean Leonard. Emlyn were back in the match and leading 7-6.
The persistent heavy rain caused the playing surface to continue deteriorating which started to nullify the advantage the Red and Whites had gained in the scrum due to the lottery of finding some decent footing during the set piece.
Emlyn were unable to play their usual running game due to the ball being the proverbial bar of soap and it being almost impossible to run with any pace through the now ankle deep mud. Their long relieving kicks played into the hands of the heavy Wanders pack providing them with possession to carry back and continued to press forward.
Emlyn brought on fresh legs with hooker Tom Curry replacing captain Alex Williams and Bleddyn Davies replacing Dylan Davies in the second row.
Wanderers continued to attack and were rewarded with a penalty which Fish kicked to the corner. The driving maul from the lineout was well defended by the Red and Whites but the visitors' forwards retained the ball expertly and drove again and again towards the Emlyn try line taking play from one side of the pitch to the other. The constant defending began to tire the Emlyn pack and gaps began to appear allowing the ball to be passed to left wing Ioan Mortimer who was able to make a short dash down the touchline to score in the corner. The try was converted brilliantly by Fish considering the angle and horrendous conditions. The Wanderers caught the ball from the restart held on to it skilfully for the few remaining minutes until referee Morris blew up to end the game.
The Red and Whites will be hoping to put this game behind them and continue with their impressive run of away form to get their season back on track in next week's local derby against Narberth who are currently riding high in third place in the Championship.

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