21 January 2019 / Team News

Important away win for Emlyn


Emlyn secure first away win with impressive team performance when they travelled to a damp Bedlinog on a cold January afternoon, and secured a win which takes them two places from the foot of the table. All Emlyn's points were scored with the reliable boot of full back Shaun Leonard, who notched six penalties from six attempts.

From the Bedlinog kick off it was plain to see what Emlyn tactics were, as the ball was immediately returned downfield with interest by the siege gun boot of Leonard. There was high intensity and pressure from the Emlyn team from the first kick off, and after only two minutes Bedlinog were penalised for holding on in their own 22. Leonard slotted the penalty.

Both teams attempted to play open rugby, although it was the ferocious defence from each team which thwarted many efforts. Bedlinog however were guilty on numerous occasions of infringements at the breakdown, and when stand in centre Llyr Davies won a tackle, Bedlinog were again penalised, and Leonard made no mistake for number his second.

After 15 minutes the Bedlinog forwards started to get into the game with their impressive no 8 picking up at the base of the scrum and creating space for his fellow back rowers. The red & whites defence on the whole was outstanding with a great shift put in by back row Calum Evans and locks Osian Davies and Bleddyn Davies. The Bedlinog attack could not be thwarted and soon after, one missed tackle resulting in a break for the centre who was left with a two on one and he fed his winger for an unconverted try.

Emlyn exits were proving effective and time and again Dafydd Evans at scrum half and Leonard pinned the home team back with some accurate kicking. Emlyn response was to attack into the home 22, and a flick pass from outstanding flanker John Hill put winger Llyr Freeman away but he was stopped some 5m from the line. As has been the case all season, decision making and being clinical in the red zone continue to be amiss. The move ended with an unfortunate forward pass and Bedlinog cleared their lines.


From a scrum near the halfway the home 8 picked up and fed his scrum half down the blind side. Following a succession of phases the homesters utilised their back line and again, one missed tackle again allowed the left winger to cross the whitewash. Unfortunately for the home side, they were playing without a recognised goal kicker and again the conversion was missed. With Bedlinog again on the attack, Emlyn centre Llyr Jones secured  a crucial penalty for holding on but in the process, suffered a shoulder injury and had to be replaced by scrum half Mike Jones, who actually relished in this unaccustomed role as centre. Emlyn continued to defend tenuously until half time, score remained 10-6.


The second half started in much the same vein as the first except that now the red and whites had the advantage of the slight slope. The heavier home pack struggled to move as fluently around the pitch. Emlyn number eight Brynmor Jones was back to his best form with numerous forages with ball in hand, gaining a number of metres and breaking the line each time.


The scrum was well on top, with solid performances from Lewis Jonathan & Emrys Davies in the front row, creating a good platform for the half backs. Following a catch deep in his own half no.8 Jones bulldozed his way through three defenders and following a couple of phases a home forward was penalised again, and Leonard slotted a 40m kick.


Bedlinog came back immediately and their big no8 broke through a weak tackle before punting ahead. Good cover from winger Daniel Davies however stopped a certain try. From the resultant line out the Emlyn three quarters were caught offside and Bedlinog extended their lead to four points with a penalty from in front of the posts. 


Emlyn got back almost immediately when inspirational skipper Alex Williams powered through the home defence, and when the ball was recycled Bedlinog backs were caught offside resulting in another penalty converted by Leonard. The Emlyn coaches began to utilise their bench and on came the fresh legs of Dexter Thomas, Luke Hanford and David Jones. Bedlinog have made their home ground a difficult place for away teams, and their strong defence continued to keep out any line breaks for the remainder of the game.


The score was still 13-12 until 80th minute with both teams cancelling each other out with some relentless tackling and a dogged midfield battle. However with the game moving into injury time, the red & white pack pushed their opponents off the ball in a scrum, and a Bedlinog flanker was penalised for leaving the scrum. Leonard showed no signs of nerves and calmly converted the ensuing penalty from 40metres. From the restart Alex Williams safely caught the kick before setting the ball ready for another successful kick exit from defence. Bedlinog had to run the ball, however, the ever alert Jon Hill was in the right place to tackle and win yet another penalty. Leonard made it 6 out of 6, to round off a superb result, and a fully deserved first away win of the season.

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