Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 18 - 23 Ynysddu RFC | 1st Team
Nathan Hughes
1 Try
Kurt Mogford
1 Try
Jake Morgan
2 Conversion
3 Penalty

Match Report
30 November 2023 / Team News

11/11/2023 Dowlais v Ynysddu Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Ynysddu 11/11/2023 Match Report


Dowlais: 18

Ynysddu: 23

A close defeat but still well-played bout for Dowlais this week, at home against Ynysddu.

For its entire duration, the first half proved to be a very closely matched, high energy contest, with both sides’ forwards flying into the breakdowns and plenty of long runs from the backs.

But despite the ferocity of both sides’ attacking efforts, the half would end up being a rather low-scoring one. Even though both sides came charging out of the gates aiming for the opposing try-lines, the first points of the game wouldn’t come until after the first 10 minutes had passed. Said first points would go to Dowlais, with a try touched down by Luke Evans and converted by Connor Murphy to get the home side off to a solid 7-0 lead.

Following those first strikes on the score board, the game would enter another short lull, in points, at least, since both sides continued to slam at each other just as intensely as before.

But even with such power driving both sides ahead when the ball was in their hands, the defences of those without it stopped both the home side and visitors alike from lengthening or shortening the points gap respectively.

But after around 20 minutes had passed, and the first quarter of the match came to a close, Ynysddu would finally start to claw away at some of the gap thanks to a penalty, but one that Dowlais would kick mere minutes later (once again thanks to Connor Murphy) would only lengthen it once more, bringing back the 7-point gap and taking the score to 10-3.

From there, another large chunk of the half would pass relatively uneventfully with neither side making any significant progress in terms of points, up until the final few minutes.

As the half began to draw to a close, Ynysddu’s attacking efforts would at last bear fruit thanks to a converted try, wonderful timing for them, but rather terrible timing for Dowlais, who only moments prior had seemed determined to at least enter the second half with their lead intact, even if they proved unable to extend it.

With Ynysddu past the line, that idea seemed to be up in flames, with no more points gap to speak of, and the score sitting even at 10-10.

Dowlais would manage to climb back up into the lead before the half was done, thanks to another penalty from Connor Murphy, but a score of 13-10 and a gulf of only three points between them and the visitors seemed a very fragile lead compared to what they had before.

Those fears wouldn’t be proven correct right away in the second half, in fact, it took quite a while for much of anything to happen points-wise in the latter forty minutes, but eventually the flimsy lead that they’d managed to escape the first half with by the skin of their teeth would fall, as Ynysddu would score their second converted try of the game just as the match was entering its final quarter.

Although 17-13 was hardly an impossible score gap to overcome, Dowlais’ lack of attacking success since their first try almost an hour prior made the fact that they were behind at all feel like cause for concern, a concern that would only be exacerbated by another Ynysddu penalty kick stretching the boundary just a little further shortly after.

Down 20-13 with the remaining time steadily falling towards the single digits definitely wasn’t an ideal situation to be in, but matters were only made worse by Dowlais picking up two yellow cards in short succession around this time.

Sitting seven points down, with far more time passed than remaining and down to just thirteen men against a side as ferocious in the breakdown as their current opponents, things certainly weren’t looking good for Dowlais on paper.

But despite those far from encouraging odds, the two-men-down Dowlais would manage to bring themselves back into the game in the final act with another well-fought try, pushed over the line and touched down by James Churchill.

Unfortunately though, the following conversion wouldn’t quite follow through, being the only kick missed by the home side all game, stopping Dowlais just short of getting even with the opposition and bringing the score to 20-18.

Hopes were high that the home side would be able to inch ahead with a penalty or drop goal, but sadly, they wouldn’t be the ones to climb those extra three points in the final stages of the game, as Ynysddu would kick yet another penalty, taking the score to 23-18.

But although they were out of range for a drop goal or penalty to put them in the lead, with a points gap of only five, there was still one thing that Dowlais could do to take control of the game in its dying moments.

With their numbers replenished back to fifteen, the boys launched one final assault on the Ynysddu try line. With the ball in hand and a powerful maul in motion, it looked for a second as though Dowlais were about to make a last-minute comeback.

But unfortunately, shortly before the line, the ball got lost in the chaos of the maul and tumbled to the ground, leading to a knock-on, and the end of the match, final score, 23-18 to Ynysddu.

Overall, despite the agonisingly close result and the comeback that never came, Dowlais nonetheless put together a solid performance and more than managed to hold their own against one of the top sides in the league.

Despite the intensity of the match’s breakdowns from start to finish, the boys managed to stay strong, and even if they weren’t quite able to get back ahead after falling behind in the second half, they never stopped putting up a fight and never reached a point where they crumbled entirely.

Lastly, managing to bring themselves back into the game the way they did while two men down is definitely an admirable accomplishment and something that the side should be proud of, even if they weren’t quite able to deal the final blow.

But at the very least, their efforts managed to salvage a losing bonus point from the match, something for the boys to carry with them next week as they take on Blaenavon away.


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