Talywain RFC | 1st Team 29 - 5 Dowlais RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
25 April 2024 / Team News

13/04/2024 Talywain v Dowlais Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Talywain Vs Dowlais  13/04/2024 Match Report


Dowlais: 5

Talywain: 29

A decisive defeat but still valiantly-fought match for Dowlais this week, away against Talywain.

After their previous loss to the second ranked side in the league, there were certainly some anxious expectations for Dowlais’ match this week. The opening breaths of the match didn’t inspire much confidence at first, as a conceded penalty from Dowlais in the first minute gave Talywain a clear runway to three free points, and the first points of the match.

Once play resumed after the subsequent kick-off, the home side continued to keep a firm grip on the match, but not quite an overbearing one. Although their attacking might was formidable and their backs were swift, Dowlais managed to still hold quite strong, even as they spent a large chunk of the match’s early stages confined to their twenty-two. Their defensive efforts were also helped a fair bit by a few handling errors between the hands of the Talywain backs.

But eventually, despite those mistakes, the home side’s might just proved to be too much, and they managed to break through for the first try of the match, albeit an unconverted one.

But from there, things finally began to pick up for Dowlais, as they managed to escape their own twenty-two for the first time in the match and started to have a good go at the Talywain defence.

The first few attempts would predictably be met with quite a bit of resistance and would lead to a few duds, in turn leading to some more attacking efforts from the home side to defend against. But after some perseverance, at around the twenty-five minute mark, Dowlais managed to break through, with a try touched down by Matthew Llewelyn, albeit also an unconverted one.

Although it began to look for a moment like this could be the beginning of a surprise Dowlais comeback, those hopes were humbled shortly enough when Talywain broke through for another try, with this one’s conversion hitting its mark, bringing the score to 15-5.

But as the half crossed into its final ten minutes, Dowlais didn’t give up and continued striking against the Talywain twenty-two, almost breaking through a number of times and looking as though it was merely a matter of time until they were graced with a try just before the forty minute whistle.

But unfortunately, while another try would hit the score board just before half time, it wouldn’t be one of their own, as a fumble and moment of weakness from the visitors paved the way for the home side to sneak back behind their try line just before the whistle.

With another conversion managing to hit its mark, that brought the score to a sour 22-5, swiping a potentially great number of points right from under Dowlais’ noses, a number of points that could have been a great help going into the second half.

After a relatively high-scoring first half, the second half would end up being quite the opposite. Despite fierce competition and strong efforts from both sides, ultimately, only one extra mark would be made on the score board, a fourth and final try for Talywain at around the sixty minute mark. With one last conversion flying between the posts, the home side earned themselves a bonus point, their score rising to 29-5.

Although Dowlais continued battling on from that point, from the sizeable points gap that they still had ahead of them – one that they hadn’t managed to make a dent in for almost forty minutes, as well as the relatively minimal time that they had left, it was quite plain to see that things weren’t looking good for them.

And despite many good efforts and flashes of promise and brilliance, Dowlais ultimately failed to get the ball behind the Talywain try line again, and indeed, failed to get another point for the rest of the half, ending the game off with the scoreboard in the same position that it had been at twenty minutes earlier: 29-5, a bonus point victory for Talywain.

Despite expectations being relatively low for this bout and the eventual final score not looking great on paper, I’d still say that this was a pretty good performance for Dowlais overall.

Considering the vast gulf in success between them and the home side in terms of league standing, the boys came at the game with their all, didn’t back down for a moment and even looked as though they were in with a shot of taking the lead at points.

I’d definitely say that failing to score just before half-time and then conceding a third try straight after was definitely the turning point of the match. With the score sitting at 15-5 prior to that point, Talywain were far from out of reach, and after a few failed attempts getting there, Dowlais were starting to look like a real threat in their twenty-two.

Scoring at that critical junction could have meant going into the second half 15-12 instead of 22-5, and entering the second forty minutes with higher spirits and much more momentum.

Going into the second half 17 points down definitely wasn’t an encouraging prospect, and that fourth and final try served as the final nail in the coffin.

But even though victory seemed decidedly out of reach for those final twenty minutes, I still have to commend the boys for really giving it their all, and even making Talywain work for it a little in the first half.

Another point of praise I’d like bring up were Dowlais’ penalties – or for once, the relative lack thereof.

Dowlais’ penalty count was significantly improved this match, and I’m sure the lack of plays ended by a silly mistake and the relatively small amount of three-points conceded contributed a great deal to the match being as close as it was for so long.

As the season closes in on its final three fixtures, let’s hope for some more of that heart and discipline a week from Wednesday, when Dowlais play Senghennydd away.


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