Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 40 - 14 Pontypool United RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
18 May 2023 / Team News

13/05/2023 Dowlais v Pontypool Utd Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Pontypool United 13/05/2023 Match Report


Dowlais: 40

Pontypool United: 14

A fantastic bonus point victory and final game of the season for Dowlais this week at home against Pontypool United.

After a number of solid victories in the closing months of the 2022/23 season, hopes were high for Dowlais to end the season on a high note, especially considering their previous triumph over the visitors back in March. Even more so than their impressive mid-week repeat victory against Monmouth, I think it’s safe to say that they more than managed to bid a strong farewell to this year of rugby.

Despite what the final score might lead one to believe, Dowlais was by no means in total control of the game in the first half, in fact, they spent quite a sizeable chunk of it behind, although not at first.

Fairly early on, Dowlais were the first to get a mark on the score board, with a converted try touched down by Kyle Prosser and converted by Sion Martin.

But any hopes that this pre-emptive strike would turn the game over in Dowlais’ favour – as had been the case in their previous victory – were quashed when Pontypool quickly struck back with a converted try of their own, erasing Dowlais’ lead and bringing the score to an even 7-7.

From there, contrary to Dowlais’ hopes, the visitors began to take control of the game, swiftly following up their first converted try with another, rushing ahead of the home side and bringing them to a 14-7 disadvantage.

Following this, Pontypool would keep their hold on the game for most of the remainder of the half. While Dowlais managed to eventually get a grip on the visitors’ attacking front and prevented them from widening the gap any further, they were showing little signs of success in terms of thinning it.

Many close attempts were brought to swift, frustrating ends by penalties, including one painful example in particular where the boys were penalised and then sent back a further two times for backtalk, moving their position from a hopeful one just outside the Pontypool twenty-two straight back to defending on the halfway line.

As the half began to wind down to a close, things became increasingly tense as the boys struggled to close the gap and bring things even before half-time to have a clean slate for the second forty minutes.

After a few more thwarted attempts, they finally broke through and managed to shatter Pontypool’s vice grip on the game with a second converted try, touched under the posts by Ceri Morgan and converted once again by Sion Martin.

With very little time remaining, the first half came to a close shortly after that, tied at 14-14.

After their last-minute equaliser, morale had soared back up for the home side going into the second half, with the boys looking driven and determined to put in a stellar, winning performance for the last forty minutes of the season.

As the curtain rose on the second half, things started out quite evenly matched. Although Pontypool were no longer as comfortably in control, Dowlais had yet to take the reins of the match either, leading to an early stalemate.

But that all permanently changed for the rest of the match when Dowlais’ forwards battered the Pontypool try-line with their third converted try of the game, this time touched down by Luke Price and once again converted by Sion Martin.

Once they got back in the lead, Dowlais were off to the races and remained totally in charge for the rest of the game, with their lead only widening from there.

After a few more attempts, the boys had themselves a fourth try and yet another bonus point on their hands, this one both scored and converted by Sion Martin.

With only a quarter of the game to go and a fourteen point divide between them and their opponents, it’s possible that Dowlais began to feel quite secure in their victory, but unlike their previous outing, they didn’t even for a second let their opponents back into the game and definitely didn’t get complacent. In one last encore for the season, the tries kept on coming.

Over the course of the rest of the game, Pontypool couldn’t get a word in, while Dowlais managed to squeeze in two last tries, the first of which was touched down by Chad Thomas and the second – the final try of the season, being touched down and converted by Cameron Trowbridge in spectacular fashion.

With the visitors buried under four tries worth of points and thoroughly beaten, it was finally over, Dowlais ended the final game of their season with a fantastic 40-14 bonus point victory.

I don’t think much else needs to be said in regards to this final match. The hopes of both supporters and players alike to end the season on a winning high note were met and then some, with Dowlais showing great resolve in holding out and breaking free from Pontypool’s grip over the first half and wonderful spirit and energy to bring in try after try in the second. While some of their season-long flaws still reared their heads at points, each one was wholly overshadowed in the end by all the good that the boys poured into this final performance, one to celebrate and be proud of.

With that said, farewell for now, and we’ll see you again next season!

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