Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 38 - 14 Senghenydd RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
25 October 2023 / Team News

21/10/2023 Dowlais v Senghenydd Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Senghenydd 21/10/2023 Match Report


Dowlais: 38

Senghenydd: 14

An excellent bonus point victory for Dowlais this week, at home against Senghenydd.

While the eventual result of this bout ended up being a great one for the boys, it certainly didn’t look like it was going to go that way in the beginning.

In the opening minutes of the half, with some late supporters still filtering in through the gates, Senghenydd claimed the first points on the board with a very early and concerningly easy-looking try. Although these first five points went unconverted, the fact that they were there at all while the minutes were still in the low single digits seemed like cause for concern.

Thankfully however, any fears that Dowlais were in for a cricket score were allayed over the course of the next few minutes, as the breakneck pace of the visitors’ opening attack soon fizzled away.

But it wasn’t all calm, while Dowlais weren’t conceding any more tries, they had their fair share of close calls, and Senghenydd had more than a few runs that went on for longer than supporters and players alike would have liked, mostly down to the some noticeably loose tackling and defence.

But these heart-stopping breakthroughs wouldn’t come to much, and soon after the minutes slipped into the double-digits, Dowlais would make their first marks on the score board, courtesy of a penalty, kicked by Sion Martin.

Having chipped away at more than half of Senghenydd’s lead in one fell swoop, Dowlais’ spirits seemed up to take the rest of it as well.

But unfortunately, their efforts to do so would come across more than a few hurdles. Plays that couldn’t quite get off the ground and some more loose tackling played a partial role, but the two penalty kicks they conceded and Senghenydd kicked in short succession definitely didn’t help matters either, more than doubling the visitors’ lead.

With the score sitting at a much more daunting 11-3, it was clear that Dowlais needed a try to get back in the game.

Thankfully, following those penalties and going into the second quarter, the home side’s attacking efforts finally began to pick up some steam, with their offensive efforts soon driving Senghenydd back into their twenty-two and flush against their try line.

One effort came painfully close, but a dropped ball at the last second sufficiently put an end to it.

But Dowlais didn’t let up after that one failure, instead they firmly kept the pressure on the Senghenydd defence and didn’t let up their possession, ultimately leading to a lengthy campaign in the visitors’ twenty-two that would last for most of the remainder of the half.

It was hard-going, but with some grit and perseverance, the boys finally pushed it over for their first try of the game, touched down by Nick Thomas and converted by Sion Martin.

But even still, Dowlais didn’t let up. With the score at 11-10, they were tantalisingly close to taking to lead, something that another try would do nicely.

But despite another good effort in pushing Senghenydd back to their line, time would eventually catch up to them, with the visitors ending the half with a swift kick off the pitch, bringing the half to a close at 11-10, almost even.

Although understandingly disappointed in their last effort of the half bearing no fruit, spirits seemed high for Dowlais going into the second half. From a very uncertain few opening minutes, they’d successfully managed to pull the tide of the game back in their favour and managed to keep Senghenydd on the back-foot for a large chunk of the half’s latter stages.

With the momentum they had built up, supporters seemed confident and players seemed determined to finally push ahead into the lead.

Although it didn’t happen right away like the first try of the first half had, Dowlais’ lead-taking try would come soon enough during the next forty minutes, with the home side securing their second try, this one touched down by Callum Williams and converted once again by Sion Martin.

Having finally taken the lead with a score of 17-11, spirits were even higher as Dowlais’ efforts had finally paid off, but there wasn’t room to celebrate quite yet.

They’d taken the lead, but with most of the second half left and Senghenydd still within a try’s distance of taking that lead back, they couldn’t afford to get complacent. They had to defend, and perhaps more importantly, they had to extend that lead.

And that they certainly did.

While the next points of the game would end up going to Senghenydd in the form of a penalty, those three points would also end up being the visitors’ last of the whole match.

Now, it was Dowlais’ game.

The fire from their earlier try came to life once again, and soon enough, Senghenydd found themselves on the back-foot of an entirely different twenty-two.

But their defensive efforts would eventually prove futile, as a drive over the line would net Dowlais their third try, touched down by Jake Hurley and converted again by Sion Martin.

With their lead sitting at a much more comfortable 24-14, Dowlais certainly had more room to breathe, but they didn’t let that stop them.

Almost right away, they were back in the Senghenydd twenty-two, and before much longer had passed, they left, a penalty try and bonus point in hand.

But even with their extra point secured and the visitors more or less left in the dust as the final few minutes began to roll down, Dowlais still didn’t let up and ultimately went out with a bang with one final try in the last play of the game, this one touched down by Ben Thomas.

As one last conversion from Sion Martin soared between the posts, the final whistle blew the game to a close, 38-14 to Dowlais.

Overall, despite a rocky start and some loose tackling that could be tightened up in the weeks to come, this turned out to be a great victory for the boys, with the second half in particular perhaps being the best half they’ve played all season.

Let’s hope this quality carries over into next week as Dowlais face some visitors from up North in their first cup match of the season, at home against Mold.


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