Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 3 - 28 Talywain RFC | 1st Team
Zach Heneghan
1 Try
Ethan Davies
4 Conversion
Lewis Ball
2 Try
Dylan Lewis
1 Try

Match Report
03 February 2024 / Team News

27/01/2024 Dowlais v Taylywain Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Talywain 27/01/2024 Match Report


Dowlais: 3

Talywain: 28

A fairly thorough loss for Dowlais this week, at home against Talywain.

After a previously scheduled away match had been called off several weeks prior, anticipation was high to see how Dowlais would manage against the top side in the league.

To start with at least, the answer was not particularly well, as the visitors scored themselves a rather swift converted try within five minutes of kick-off, putting them at an early and seemingly quite easily earned 7-0 lead.

With the way that certain matches against previous top-league sides like Newbridge had gone in previous years, fears were clearly in the air that Dowlais were about to have a cricket score on their hands, but thankfully, that wouldn’t end up being the case.

In fact, after those turbulent opening minutes, the score board wouldn’t get any further additions for the next thirty minutes.

But that didn’t mean that Dowlais had an easy time for the vast majority of the half. While Talywain didn’t get any more points on the board, such a feat was only possible due to a tireless defence from the home side (as well as more than a few blunders on the vistors’ part).

For around the next twenty minutes, Dowlais remained under near constant pressure from Talywain’s forwards and backs alike, with any attempts to escape their twenty-two only sending them straight back under the pump moments later. But to the boys’ credit, they held out remarkably well.

But even though the lead that they were facing was far more reasonable than it otherwise could have been (and perhaps should have been), they still needed to close that gap to get anywhere, something that their extended ordeal in their own twenty-two wasn’t giving much time or opportunity for.

But as the remaining minutes of the first half began to wind down to the single digits, Dowlais finally managed to get the ball rolling on a promising attempt, making their first solid venture into the Talywain twenty-two all game.

However, despite a promising start, the home side wouldn’t be able to secure themselves the try. But they didn’t leave empty-handed, kicking a penalty, courtesy of Sion Martin, before returning to the halfway, with the score at 7-3.

After their promising strike on the Talywain twenty-two and with part of the score gap closed, things were looking good for a moment, promising enough that Dowlais might have just been able to take the lead.

Unfortunately however, in yet another entry in a long-running pattern, Dowlais’ sturdy defence cracked in the final minutes of the half, not just once, but twice in rapid succession.

Before the half was done, Talywain managed to fly ahead with two more converted tries, ending the half with the score sat at a much more discouraging 21-3.

Although the nearly whiplash-inducing turnaround at the end of the first half had certainly been demoralising, it was clear that Dowlais had no intention of going gently into the night, and had every intention of continuing to fight on.

And to their credit, they certainly did so.

Talywain’s late double-try onslaught didn’t open the gate to any kind of embarrassing thrashing, in fact, the second half would prove to be a rather uneventful one overall.

As they’d done for most of the first half, a large chunk of Dowlais’ time was spent on the defensive, holding back the fury of Talywain’s attack.

Although they certainly had more solid attacking attempts of their own than they did in the first half, none of them would come to anything in the end. In fact, the home side wouldn’t manage to put a single point on the board in the second half, with their lone penalty from the first half standing as their last and only points of the game.

The only points from the second half would come from the only moment in the half where Dowlais’ defence truly faltered, around twenty minutes in, where Talywain would score their fourth and final converted try.

From there, the same song and dance would more or less repeat itself for the final quarter of the match, with Dowlais continuing a valiant defence while not quite managing to put anything on the board themselves.

In the end, the game came to a close with a final score of 28-3, a bonus point victory for Talywain.

Overall, while the final score definitely doesn’t look that good on paper, and the final performance didn’t have many outstanding or wowing moments, I’d still call Dowlais’ performance this week a solid one for what it was.

Although they conceded more than what most people would consider a healthy amount of tries, considering the sheer amount of time that they spent under pressure and how much worse the final score could have been if not for their defensive efforts, it definitely could have been a lot worse.

The only time where it really felt like everything fell apart was the very end of the first half, where two lapses in the Dowlais defence managed to take the score from 7-3 to 21-3 in the span of only a few minutes.

Perhaps if they’d been able to hold it together until half-time and had gone into the second half with a much less daunting score gap of four instead of eighteen, things could have gone a little differently, and one of their attacking attempts could have finally managed to break through.

But against the top side in the league, especially after the result from their bout against the second-placed side last week, I don’t think the boys did too bad.

We’ll have to wait and see how things go against that same second-placed side again this Friday, as Dowlais play Brynmawr at home.


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