Division 5 South East
Saturday 6th January 2007
Greenwood Park, Ferndale
This was the 'Top of the Table' clash that everyone had been waiting for between the best two teams in Division 5 South East.
There was an air of anticipation and excitement and despite the atrocious weather a Midday pitch inspection confirmed that the game was on. Rhiwbina have been unbeaten this season in the League and having beaten Ferndale once already were determined not to lose out today. Ferndale were also in a great run of form and really fancied their chances of beating us at home where they have been unbeaten all season.
They could not have foreseen the huge following that Rhiwbina brought up with them for the game and which turned Greenwood Park into almost a home game for the Squirrels.
The game got off to a great start for Rhiwbina with an early try for winger Justin Silva after a few minutes following a lightning break by centre Mark 'Maldwyn' Lee. Salty missed a difficult conversion.
Then came the 'Dale fightback. Using the wind they pinned us back near our own line and a driving lineout led to a good forwards try which went unconverted. All square at 5-5 in the first quarter and very tense.
Salty then slotted over a penalty before Silva got his second try of the game rounding off a superb lineout drive from the forwards before crashing over the line with second row Steve Neal in tow.The try went unconverted. The driving lineout proved a problem for Ferndale all afternoon and they conceded umpteen penalties and yellow cards for bringing it down!The Squirrels were 13-5 ahead before Ferndale pegged us back to 13-8 with a penalty before half time.
Rhiwbina had the wind in the second half and began to pile on the pressure in the scrum and lineouts. Despite the conditions we tried to run with the ball and had some promising backs moves to get us back into the Ferndale 22.
The Squirrels pack then destroyed the Ferndale 8 in a series of scrums that led to a try for Captain Gavin Harris after taking one against the head in Ferndale's 22 and pushing them back over their tryline to get the score. This went unconverted.
More Rhiwbina pressure led to a penalty near the posts which Salty slotted over to extend our lead to 21-8 going into the final quarter.
Then up stepped Man of the Match James Huntley to leave his mark on the game. Not only did he crash over the line to get the final unconverted try after another massive scrum and rucking from our pack but he put in a earth shuddering tackle on one of the Ferndale second rows that was probably heard back in Cardiff and propelled him back at least 5 meters. This brought the travelling Rhiwbina hordes jumping to their feet.
Ferndale never let their heads go down and even right to the end were running at Rhiwbina to try and win the game, but Rhiwbina held them out with great tackling even when down to 14 men with an injury to Brinky.
A superb team effort with the whole squad playing their parts on the day.
A special mention to the forwards who were awesome-a magnificent effort in the mud.
Well done to the Ref who despite the conditions and new scrum laws got the fixture played.
A huge thank you to our travelling supporters who turned out in their hundreds to shout us on-the team were amazed at the numbers of fans who followed us up to Ferndale and your attendance really fired them up!
Everyone had a great day and will remember it for a long while. Plenty of 'Yards of Ale' after the game-and no-one missed out on an award!
The unbeaten run extends to 11 out of 11.
Thanks to our opponents for the usual fantastic welcome and hospitality and we hope the rest of the season goes your way.
Ferndale 8-26 Rhiwbina.
'Come on the Squirrels!'