12 January 2019 / Team News

Emlyn just miss out on bonus point


Lady luck was most definitely not on the side of the red and whites in this pulsating encounter with the result in doubt right up to the final move of the game. A Shaun Leonard penalty goal with fifteen minutes to go had brought the red and whites within reach of a losing bonus point and so it remained until the final play of the game when the visitors moved the ball across their three quarter line for centre Sion Simmons to juggle the ball but just retain possession and cross for the visitors fourth try.

Probably on the balance of play the visitors were the better side for in the half backs and full back they had three players who controlled their possession and field position, but there was very little to choose between the teams.  Emlyn were unfortunate to have a try by replacement scrum half Mike Jones ruled out by the excellent referee Gavin Roberts, only because Jones crossed the line on the other side of a ruck to where Roberts was standing. When he ran around there was a pile of forwards on top of the ball carrier completely obscuring his view. Emlyn had two other wonderful scoring opportunities in the first half which could have changed the course of the game.

In the first ten minutes a break by lively second row Osian Davies inside the Ystrad twenty two, saw him feed hard working prop Lewys Jonathan. The prop looked as if he might score only to be tackled short of the line. The resultant ruck was won quickly by Emlyn, unfortunately with the line at his mercy and only five metres to go flanker Callum Evans knocked the ball on. Later in the half a powerful burst by Emlyn number eight Brynmor Jones took him through the Ystrad defence on the half way line, unfortunately his inside pass to supporting Dafydd Evans was dropped by the scrum half with support around him and only one player to beat.

Emlyn started off positively and took the lead after two minutes when the hard working flanker Jon Hill was awarded a penalty at a ruck for full back Leonard to convert to open the scoring. Both sides looked to attack each other with some excellent handling and it was the red and whites who came the closest to scoring when the ball was unfortunately knocked on. Ystrad soon settled and a lovely break by scrum half Foulkes took play deep into the Emlyn twenty two. When tackled short of the line the ball was quickly recycled by them and moved to the opposite wing where Jay Harris managed to outstrip the Emlyn defence to score in the corner for a try converted by full back Shephard.

The rest of the half territorially, was dominated by the visitors and Emlyn did not help themselves by their line out failing miserably to operate. Indeed the home side only won one ball on their own throw throughout the half. A bright spot for the home supporters was the break by Jones on the twenty five minute mark but the rest of the half was spent defending. On the half hour Emlyn did put together a series of attacks resulting in a penalty for offside which Leonard kicked to bring the home side within a point of the visitors.

Ystrad responded though with a try basically out of the Emlyn play book. A series of attacks by the visitors took play into the Emlyn twenty two but it looked as if the home defence would hold out. Outside half Truelove noticed that the home defence were coming up quickly with no cover behind the defensive line and he raised a lovely kick behind the Emlyn defence and speedy winger Kurtis Williams won the race for the touchdown, converted by Shephard.

Things looked ominous for the home side as Ystrad dominated the opening period of the second half and they extended their lead when a missed tackle by an Emlyn player saw centre Adam Lewis cross for a try converted by Shephard. Emlyn had to dig deep or else they were looking at another hammering as the visitors showed why they were second in the League. Respond they did, and actually scored a try from a quite unexpected situation. From a ruck on the half way line outside half Steffan Evans picked up the ball and went straight through the ruck. He fed the supporting Andrew Owens and the centre was brought down inches from the line, fortunately wing Llyr Davies was in support and picked up the ball to flop over the line for an unconverted try.

This inspired the home side and with fresh legs being introduced in the form of props Emrys Davies and Ifan James along with scrum half Mike Jones it was Emlyn’s turn to exert pressure on the visitors. The drive from the line out saw a potential Emlyn try ruled out by the referee being unsighted was followed by a two five metre scrums, unfortunately Emlyn were unable to control the ball at the second scrum and Ystrad were able to clear their lines.

With quarter of an hour to go Leonard brought Emlyn within seven points of the visitors and a potential deserved bonus point. With Osian Davies winning some useful line out ball and his fellow second row Bleddyn Davies carrying powerfully Emlyn looked to have taken some control of the game. The visitors were not to be denied as they also looked for their fourth bonus point try. With time running out they launched one last attack and with the last play of the game centre Sion Summer just managed to control a juggling ball and crossed wide out for a try converted by Shephard to bring the game to a conclusion.

There were a number of plus points for the Emlyn players and coaches to take from this game. There were some excellent individual performances from number eight Brynmor Jones, second rows Osian Davies and Bleddyn Davies, outside half Steffan Evans always looked to create problems for the visitors. Emlyn need to continue to build on their performances of the last two weeks, they have some formidable places to visit, starting this coming Saturday with a trip to Bedlinog, but if they continue to play like this they will win more games than they will lose for the rest of the season.


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