Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 38 - 24 Blaenavon RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
02 May 2024 / Team News

27/04/2024 Dowlais v Blaenavon Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Blaenavon 27/04/2024 Match Report


Dowlais: 38

Blaenavon: 24

An excellent win for Dowlais this week for their final home match of the season against Blaenavon.

Coming off of a solid mid-week win and a mixed record against this week’s visitors, hopes were high that Dowlais’ would be able to keep up their late-season momentum and find some redemption for their loss against Blaenavon earlier in the season.

This effort got off to a promising start with Dowlais charging out of the gate swinging and gunning for the Blaenavon try line. After a little bit of back and forth, Dowlais managed to take the first points of the match a little bit before the ten minute mark, with a try touched down by Jack Chambers and converted by Conor Murphy.

Following the subsequent kick-off, things seemed to be going similarly well, and the home side even seemed as though they would be on their way to another promising try effort before the first twenty minutes were up.

But a turnover in the Blaenavon twenty-two, a solid run from their wing and a string of missed tackles soon took the visitors all the way to the Dowlais try line for their first try of the match, also converted, bringing the score to an even 7-7.

Dowlais’ fortune didn’t improve much for the next few minutes. This time, the subsequent kick off had them under the pump, and unlike how the visitors had been a few minutes prior, they found themselves struggling to escape their half.

Some quick hands and swift running from Blaenavon and some dodgy defence from Dowlais brought about yet another converted try for the visitors, putting them in the lead just as the match passed its first quarter.

If things kept up the way they were going, Dowlais would be giving away a bonus point victory before the first half had even concluded. They needed to be the ones to score next, or else their final home match of the season was going to start looking very grim.

Thankfully, conceding their second try in the span of less than ten minutes seemed to rouse the boys back to life and got the attacking juices flowing once again, as Dowlais began to fire back with a counterattack, charging back into the Blaenavon twenty-two in an effort to give the attempt that had been thwarted ten minutes prior another go.

At last, their efforts bore fruit, as they managed to break through for their second converted try of the match, touched down and converted by Conor Murphy, equalising the score.

The game settled back into a fierce back and forth following that exchange, and one that, despite a few promising attempts that fell just short, ultimately wouldn’t end very well for Dowlais, as a long engagement in their twenty-two would eventually lead to a penalty try for the visitors, bringing the score to 21-14 just before half time.

Despite the very unideal way that it had come to an end, Dowlais were far from out of the game. Their second try had proven that they had the guts to strike back and close to score gap, so all they had to do was do it again.

As the first whistle of the second half blew, that effort got off to a flying start, as Dowlais swiftly turned the tables on the visitors and charged back into their twenty-two. Although the valiant effort wouldn’t quite make it behind the line, they nonetheless managed to secure a penalty for their troubles, bringing the score to 21-17 and cutting the score gap just a bit.

But although that effort may not have ended how they ideally would have wanted, it didn’t matter very much, as only five minutes later, at around the 55 minute mark, Dowlais clawed their way back into the visitors’ twenty two and finally drove the ball over for their third converted try, touched down by Kyle Prosser and converted once again by Conor Murphy.

With a slim 24-21 lead established, things would slow down once again for the next fifteen minutes or so. The minutes were filled with a tense dance of passes, tackles and turnovers, as the game rested in a position where it felt as though the tide could turn at any moment.

As the game approached its final 10 minutes, Dowlais were struck with a seemingly ill omen in the form of a yellow card, which would take them down to fourteen men for all but the final couple of minutes of the match.

But although Blaenavon would soon get a penalty out of this exchange, bringing the score even once again to 24-24, they wouldn’t get anything else out of it. In fact, they wouldn’t get another point for the rest of the match.

Because shortly after their final three points, Dowlais would break away from their twenty-two with an excellent run, the final stages of which were helmed by Kyle Prosser. After a sneaky one handed offload to Nathan Pritchard, Dowlais were under the posts and in the lead once again, the score 31-24.

Although their four-try bonus point was now secured, Dowlais weren’t content with leaving it there. Just as the sin bin timer ran out and the squad was replenished back to fifteen men, the boys launched one last assault on the Blaenavon try line in the final minutes of the match.

This effort would also be rewarded, as Dowlais clawed over the line for their final try of the match, touched down by Luke Evans and converted one last time by Conor Murphy.

After a final minute or two spent holding Blaenavon’s final efforts at bay, Dowlais kicked the ball to touch and brought the match to a close and a bonus point victory for them, final score, 38-24.

Overall, this was an excellent performance for Dowlais’ penultimate match of the season. Although they fumbled and faltered a little towards the middle of the first half, they swiftly pulled themselves back together for a fantastic victory.

It had it all, some swift, long-reaching runs; some clever passes and offloads; precise kicking in all the places that mattered; a solid defence and a much improved and reduced penalty count (yellow card and a few silly mistakes here and there not withstanding).

With it all said and done, the boys should be very proud of themselves for this week’s performance.

Let’s hope for an equally excellent finale this Friday for Dowlais’ final match of the season, away against Risca.


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