Abergavenny RFC | 1st Team 41 - 33 Dowlais RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
14 September 2023 / Team News

09/09/2023 Abergavenny v Dowlais Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Abergavenny Vs Dowlais 09/09/2023 Match Report


Dowlais: 33

Abergavenny: 41

An unfortunate comeback defeat for Dowlais this week in their first away match of the season over in Abergavenny.

Hot off the heels of their season opening win last week, Dowlais faced the new arrivals to the league on a truly sweltering day, with hopes of a repeat of their previous performance. Despite the final result, in a lot of ways, it certainly was.

In the opening minutes of the game, Dowlais’ attack got off to fiery start, with the boys putting two impressive tries on the board in quick succession.

The first was wonderfully intercepted by Ben Thomas straight from under the home side’s noses. With a quick run under the posts, Dowlais had the try before Abergavenny even knew what had hit them. With a conversion from Sion Martin, Dowlais were off to a great 7-0 lead.

But it wouldn’t take long for Dowlais to widen this lead, as only minutes later they landed themselves another one, this one touched down by Evan Thomas after an excellent catch of a kick down the wing. Although this particular try went unconverted, the visitors had still managed to shoot ahead with an impressive and early 12-0 lead.

The game calmed down for a spell after this, but although Dowlais’ attack had fallen quiet, Abergavenny were having similarly little luck getting points on the board. They did finally manage to get their first and close the gap somewhat thanks to a penalty, but the three points seemed of little importance once Dowlais struck back with their third try, this one powered over the line by Joel Braddock and once again converted by Sion Martin.

With much of the first half now behind them and with a powerful lead of 19-3, Dowlais were looking very strong and had thus far more or less been dominating the entire game. After the ease with which their first three tries had come to them and the opposition’s middling attempts to fight back, their lead was starting to look like a very comfortable one.

Yet in a very similar fashion to their previous bout, Dowlais’ opponents wouldn’t go into the second half quietly. After having spent most of the game on the defensive, Abergavenny finally began to bring some bite to their attack, a sudden shift which appeared to catch Dowlais off guard.

With this renewed offensive onslaught, Abergavenny managed to get in two tries in quick succession. Although the lack of conversions for both of them only brought the score to 19-13, Dowlais’ lead was starting to look very small and very fragile.

But thankfully for them, another interception and try from Ben Thomas brought Abergavenny’s assault grinding to a halt for the rest of the half, and thanks to yet another conversion from Sion Martin, their lead was widened once more to 26-13, before the end of the half arrived shortly after.

Although their lead was still fairly comfortable in theory and they’d put on a fantastic attacking display for most of the half, the speed and ease with which Abergavenny had come back into the game struck some nervousness into Dowlais’ players and supporters alike during the half-time break.

And as it would turn out, they had good reason to worry, as in another parallel to last week’s game, the opposing side began the second half by entirely turning the tables on Dowlais in terms of attacking and their control over the game.

In the opening breaths of the second half, Abergavenny scored themselves an early and very easy looking try. With a conversion bringing the score to 26-20, things only got worse for Dowlais from there.

After Abergavenny’s opening try, control of the game completely slipped from Dowlais’s grasp and the boys found themselves completely on the defensive, scrambling to control and put a stop to the home side’s runaway comeback.

But unfortunately, after scoring three tries, it appeared as though Abergavenny had already found plenty of holes in Dowlais’ defence, holes that they continued to fly straight through.

Slowly but surely, Abergavenny continued to whittle away at the rest of the extensive, hard-earned lead that Dowlais had built up all throughout the first half, first with one converted try, then another.

While they desperately tried to retake control of the game and put a stop to Abergavenny’s assault, Dowlais’ attacking efforts to take some of that lead back had little in terms of progress or success, and before long, their lead was finally erased and the home side shot ahead with a new lead of 34-26.

But Dowlais weren’t entirely out for the count yet. Despite the battering they’d been subjected to throughout the entirety of the half, they did manage to strike back with another hard-earned try, touched down by Sion Martin and converted this time by Cameron Trowbridge.

With the score sitting at a painfully close 34-33 and the home side’s lead down to just a single point, it was still anyone’s game going into the closing stages of the match and Dowlais were still up to retake their lead.

But unfortunately, the momentum from what would be their only try of the second half and their last points of the game didn’t carry Dowlais back into the lead as their attacking strength faded and they were put back on the defensive once again.

Although they put up a valiant effort, Abergavenny broke through their defence one last time for their final converted try of the game, widening their hair-thin lead to a much more daunting 41-33.

From there, after the beating they’d taken all half and with their energy thoroughly drained by the scorching conditions, the lead proved too much for Dowlais to take back, with a yellow card in the closing minutes being the final nail in the coffin.

With the final whistle, the game came to an end, 41-33 to Abergavenny.

After what had been a promising start, it’s unfortunate to say that the game came to a rather crushing comeback defeat for Dowlais in the end.

As was alluded to earlier, the game as a whole followed a loosely similar structure to last week’s opening match against Risca. A good number of tries and a strong offensive to start, a few tries for the opposition before half time and a sudden runaway comeback at the start of the second half.

But while Dowlais had managed to get that comeback under control and ultimately managed to hold their lead in the last game, it unfortunately proved to be too much this time around and what appeared at one point to be a comfortable lead sadly managed to slip away from them.

Although they had quite a fantastic showing in terms of attack in the first half, that spark seemed to fade and fizzle out as the game went on. Similarly, while their defence had started out strong enough, once Abergavenny broke through the first few times, they seemed powerless to stop them.

It’s likely that the extraordinarily hot and draining conditions played a large role in this slow shift over the course of the game, but it’s still unfortunate to see and fitness as a whole seems to be something that would be wise to work on in the coming weeks.

With the weather hopefully returning to normal next week, let’s hope that the boys fare better in their next bout at home against Bedlinog.


There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos