Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 17 - 31 Nelson RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
27 January 2024 / Team News

06/01/2024 Dowlais v Nelson Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Nelson 06/01/2024 Match Report


Dowlais: 17

Nelson: 31

An unfortunate result for Dowlais’ first game of the year this week with a loss at home against Nelson.

After a fairly thorough defeat away on the visitors’ turf earlier in the season, Dowlais players and supporters alike hoped for a more favourable outcome to this second bout, but those hopes faced some difficulties almost right away, as they definitely didn’t get off to the best start.

Unlike how many of their recent matches had gone, there was no slow start or extended lull where the score lingered at 0-0 in long anticipation for the first points, as the first strike on the score board came almost right away with a converted try for Nelson.

7-0 down while still in the opening breaths of the game certainly wasn’t a great position to be in, but Dowlais’ early standing wouldn’t get any better yet, as the visitors swiftly followed up with yet another converted try, putting Dowlais at a 14-0 disadvantage while the minutes were still in the single digits.

Thankfully, Nelson’s onslaught would calm down a touch from there, but those wouldn’t be the last points of the game’s opening phase, as Dowlais would finally manage to get some points with a try of their own, driven over at around the ten minute mark, albeit unconverted.

While finally having a presence on the score board was certainly encouraging, a nine-point gulf was still far from a reassuring position. If anyone had been hoping that Dowlais would also get a repeat of Nelson’s near-instantaneous follow-up try, then those hopes wouldn’t be met either, as the game finally slowed for a spell following its third try in ten minutes.

Although Dowlais put up a good fight trying to claw back against the score gap, their subsequent efforts over the next few minutes – and indeed, the rest of the half – would bear no fruit.

Meanwhile, at around the twenty minute mark, Nelson managed to push their lead even further ahead with a third converted try, bringing the score to a somewhat bleak 21-5.

After a very turbulent opening quarter for the score board, things would quiet down greatly from this point onwards for the rest of the half, with both sides engaging in a fairly even and uneventful back-and-forth for the remaining twenty minutes, ending the first half with a score of 21-5.

While it certainly wasn’t the worst position that the boys had ever found themselves in at half-time, the sixteen point gap definitely wasn’t an encouraging one.

But to their credit, the boys certainly gave it their best shot in the second half, swiftly slashing away at some of that gap with an early (albeit unconverted) try from James Howe.

Later on, they’d manage to secure yet another, touched down by Rhys Wilkins and converted by Sion Martin.

These two tries would have done a fine job of getting through most of the sixteen point score gap, if it had remained at that size anyway.

But unfortunately, while Dowlais did manage to outdo Nelson in terms of tries scored and points earned over the course of the latter forty minutes, that didn’t mean that the visitors’ score had remained static, waiting for the home side to overtake them.

Nelson managed to score one final converted try in the second half, which they shortly followed up with the only successful penalty kick of the game.

Although Dowlais’ efforts had managed to erase three quarters of the score gap they’d initially been faced with, these extra ten points put the prospect of them finally taking the lead, far, far out of reach for the time that they had left.

This meant that sadly, despite their best efforts, Dowlais ended the second half almost as far behind as they’d began it, with a final score of 31-17, and a bonus point victory for the visitors.

Overall, while Dowlais managed to put together a solid effort during the second half to take control of the match, ultimately, the three tries that they conceded in the opening quarter, and especially the two that they conceded in the opening minutes, ended up sealing the game’s fate.

While a swift and equally clinical response could have mitigated the damage and left them with a fighting chance, the amount of points that they conceded in such a short span of time and the amount of time that they spent afterwards failing to get any of their own ultimately left them with a gulf too vast to fill with the time that they had left, and a result as equally disappointing as their last bout against Nelson.

Let’s hope that the boys fare better next week as they play Brynmawr away.


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