Ynysddu RFC | 1st Team 24 - 17 Dowlais RFC | 1st Team
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Match Report
28 February 2024 / Team News

17/02/2024 Ynysddu v Dowlais Admiral National League 1 EAST Match Report

Dowlais Vs Ynysddu 17/02/2024 Match Report


Dowlais: 17

Ynysddu: 24

A stinging defeat for Dowlais this week, away at Ynysddu.

After ending up with a relatively narrow defeat against Ynysddu earlier in the season, there was some optimism that Dowlais would manage to take the lead and find some redemption in this rematch, but at first, it seemed uncertain if things were going to go that way, with the home side putting some heavy pressure on their visitors early on.

Ynysddu’s first campaign against the Dowlais try line ended unsuccessfully around the 10-minute mark with only a missed penalty to show for it.

But any reassurance that may have stemmed from this failure didn’t last long, as the home side swiftly followed up their unsuccessful try effort with a much more successful, albeit unconverted one, bringing the score to 5-0.

It’s possible that this missed conversion, combined with their earlier missed penalty, may have given Dowlais some confidence that the home side’s kicking ability wasn’t up to snuff. If that was the case, then it would unfortunately end up being a rather misplaced confidence, as Ynysddu wouldn’t miss another kick for the rest of the game, and said kicks would end up playing an instrumental role in their eventual victory.

With Ynysddu having taken the lead and having found themselves in the position of chasing a score gap once again, Dowlais proceeded to refocus their attacking efforts and soon struck back with renewed vigour against the home side’s defence.

These efforts would award them with their first try of the game, driven over and touched down by Luke Palmer. With the subsequent conversion not quite hitting its mark, this brought the score even to 5-5.

But any reassurance or confidence that could have come from this development was soon erased once again, as almost straight after Dowlais’ first try, Ynysddu would break through with their second. On top of that, they even managed to convert this one, the first successful kick of many, and in hindsight, a sinister sign of what was to come.

Staring down the prospect of having to chip away at Ynysddu’s lead all over again, Dowlais attempted to do the same as before and redouble their attacking efforts to break through with another try.

Unfortunately though, this approach saw far less success the second time around. Dowlais undoubtedly had some good attempts, but each one of them was foiled at some point or another.

To add insult to injury, during these efforts Ynysddu would manage to push just a tad further ahead, thanks to the returning scourge that would ultimately come to sink Dowlais’ victory, penalties. As the half closed in on its final five minutes, the home side would kick the first of these, bringing the score to 15-5.

The visitors would admirably continue to battle on for the rest of the half, desperate to have something to show for all of their efforts at chipping away at the score gap, and would even come painfully close right at the very end, but alas, a knock on right of the try line’s doorstep would foil this effort too, eventually ending the half off at 15-5.

Frustrated and eager to finally get the chance to break ahead, Dowlais continued these efforts in much the same way in the second half, but perhaps in their frustration, they ended up being a touch too eager, as they’d recklessly grant Ynysddu two great chances to widen the score gap even more, thanks to two early penalties that they kicked with great precision, even with the swiftly worsening weather conditions.

With the score now sat at a disheartening 21-5, Dowlais needed to see some success soon if they wanted any chance of pulling ahead, and to their great relief, after a few more attempts, they finally had some good fortune and broke through with their second try at around the 60-minute mark. The try was touched down by Ben Thomas, and to make matters even better, converted by Sion Martin, clawing Dowlais up to a score of 21-12, with only nine points left of the score gap.

But unfortunately, like poetry, Dowlais’ success at closing some of the score gap would soon be soured by them swiftly making a mistake that widened it once again, this time once again coming in the form of another penalty, which Ynysddu successfully kicked and brought the score to 24-12.

But even with that setback, Dowlais didn’t lose hope and would soon answer Ynysddu’s counterattack with a counterattack of their own, with the ball being excellently ran into the home side’s twenty-two by Nathan Pritchard and touched down once again by Ben Thomas. Though unconverted, this third try brought Dowlais within some real striking distance of Ynysddu’s score, 24-17, only seven points to go.

However, at this point, despite all of the momentum that they seemed to be carrying from their previous two tries and the healthy amount of time that they had left, Dowlais’ success came to an end. They still tried their best to close in for the final try that they needed, but time after time for the rest of the match, they were thwarted, either by themselves or by more penalties.

Said penalties may not have given Ynysddu any more points, and the home side may not have scored any more tries of their own, but by then, they didn’t need to, and the home side were able to last out until the end of the match, bringing the game to a painful final score of 24-17.

Overall, this bout can, above all else, be described as a very frustrating loss, because Dowlais had all of the pieces in play that they needed to win.

They clearly had enough attacking power, as evidenced by them scoring three tries to Ynysddu’s two, but that just brings us back to the scourge that lost Dowlais the game in the end, penalties.

Thanks to the penalties after penalties that they conceded, Ynysddu were gifted twelve free points, meaning that even with the greater try count in the end, Dowlais still trailed behind by seven points.

Ynysddu’s final try of the match occurred just after the end of the first quarter, and although they certainly tried to score more, the amount of points that Dowlais gave away like a charity meant that they simply didn’t need to, and were able to survive through the rest of the first half and the entirety of the second off of penalties alone, ultimately leading to a very frustrating defeat.

Let’s hope that Dowlais can finish the job next time after another brief Six Nations intermission, when they play Blaenavon at home.


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