Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 5 - 13 Brynmawr RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
20 February 2024 / Team News

02/02/2024 Dowlais v Brynmawr Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Brynmawr 02/02/2024 Match Report


Dowlais: 5

Brynmawr: 13

A relatively low-scoring bout with some extraordinary weather for Dowlais this week, with a Friday night match at home against Brynmawr.

On a rainy Friday night Dowlais welcomed one of the league’s top contenders for a home match, with a sliver of nervousness hanging in the air after their 50-3 defeat away at their ground only a few weeks prior.

But despite those fears, the first half would end up being a remarkably uneventful one, ending without a single point on the board.

Dowlais had a good chunk of the overall possession and several chances where they almost managed to break through the Brynmawr lines for a try, but in some way or another, each of them fell short at the last second.

The tide of possession would turn in Brynmawr’s favour in the closing stages of the half, with the visitors launching a fierce attack and clearly hoping to claim the first points of the match just before the half-time whistle blew, but after some equally fierce defending from Dowlais, they too fell short, leaving the half off with an untouched score board of 0-0.

Although they’d put up a good fight over the course of the first half, Dowlais players and supporters alike were careful not to get too comfortable, recalling that forty of Brynmawr’s points from their previous thrashing had only come in the second half. And so, cautiously they went into the next forty minutes.

Now, recounting much of anything about the match begins to become somewhat of a struggle at this point, as seemingly with the sound of the kick-off whistle, a fog blew in over the pitch, along with the rain that had battered it all match, a fog that would only get worse as the half went on.

Consequently, it became quite difficult to see much of anything that was going on between both sides at points, but I’ll still do my best.

Brynmawr’s pressure from the end of the first half certainly carried over into the start of the second, with the visitors’ attack seemingly continuing from right where they’d left off, hounding the Dowlais defence.

Although Dowlais still put up a valiant effort, eventually the pressure overwhelmed them, with Brynmawr scoring a converted try and claiming the first points of the match at around the 50-minute mark.

From there, Brynmawr’s pressure continued, although somewhat less fiercely. Although they kept Dowlais on the back-foot, their next major assault on their try-line would end at around the 65-minute mark, only earning them a penalty, and bringing the score to 10-0.

But just as the score gap was starting to widen a little too much for comfort, Dowlais’ attack finally kicked into high gear and rushed back to the Brynmawr twenty-two. After a gruelling effort in the increasingly unpleasant conditions, they finally managed to break through at around the 70-minute mark, with a try touched down by James Churchill, scoring their first points of the match and bringing the score to 10-5.

Unfortunately however, this try wouldn’t carry much momentum into the final ten minutes, as their attacking efforts quickly died back down.

Brynmawr would take control once again at this point and resume their prior assault, but once again, Dowlais would manage to hold out and prevent them from claiming a last-minute try. However, Brynmawr wouldn’t leave the final moments of the game empty-handed, as they managed to kick one last penalty, bringing the score to its final resting place of 13-5 and sadly robbing Dowlais of their losing bonus point.

Overall, this is a bit of a tricky game to evaluate in the end, due to the severe weather conditions undoubtedly having a hand in the quality of both sides’ performances, but on the whole, I think Dowlais did alright.

Although they lost in the end, they certainly held themselves together a lot better than they did in their last bout against Brynmawr (likely due to a comparative lack of injuries) and showed some great defensive grit amongst some truly unusual conditions.

The main weakness of the match was undoubtedly their failure to score a try in the first half, especially with the amount of possession and number of opportunities that they had to do so. With the way that the score ended up, following through on even one of these attempts could have made a world of difference to the match’s result. The loss of a losing bonus point at the last second was also certainly a disappointment.

We’ll have to hope for a better result (as well as some better weather) two weeks from now after a short Six Nations intermission, when Dowlais play Ynysddu away.


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