Division 5 South East
Saturday 24th March 2007
This was the final game of the season for the unbeaten Rhiwbina side and although we had been badly hit by injuries and unavailables after Monday nights incredible victory of Div 3 leaders Heol y Cyw in the Silver Ball Cup we were determined to finish as winners.
Such was the strength in depth that despite fielding 3 senior teams today we could still get quality players to step up in what we knew would be a real dogfight up in the Valleys!
The game got off to a poor start as Rhiwbina turned up late due to traffic problems and still had the journey in their legs. Penygraig were up for the game and treated it as their 'Cup Final 'and opened the score with a good try for their big centre after 25 mins.
Rhiwbina then responed with two great tries for Captain Gavin Harris -the first from a lineout drive that eventually split opened the Graig defence and the second just before half time from a back row move after many scrums on the opponents 5 meter line that led to Gav crashing over. Salty got one conversion giving Rhiwbina a 12-5 lead at half time.
The second half was a different affair. Penygraig came out all guns blazing and got an early penalty to make it 12-8. Graig then had us rocking through strong forward play to score under the posts with an easy conversion to make it 12-15.
Rhiwbina looked dead in the water at this stage and with the home side sniffing a major upset it all looked bleak. Then with one minute left on the clock Gavin turned down an easily kickable penalty in front of the posts to level the scores in favour of a quick tap and go and his break led to a match winning try for full back Dave Brockway who's run split open the Penygraig defence and who got in for the try of the game in the corner to steal the win for the Squirrels!
This was a classic case of fortune favouring the brave as Rhiwbina snatched the victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying seconds. It is testament to our side that we won even though our team was severly disrupted through injuries and if we can play that poorly and still get the win things look good for next season. A word of thanks to Penygraig who proved very physical and committed opponents today and who as a team came the closest to beating us all season -all the best for next year!
The fun and games went on long into the night at the Pantmawr where we were made to feel especially welcome-Dave Brockway drank his Brian ELLEND 'Try of the Year' award.
Big thanks to all the players who represented the Firsts this Year-this has been a fantastic season and one to remember and to win all your games has been absolutely incredible-Well done Lads!
Our supporters have been magnificent all year and even managed to find Penygraig's ground today despite the detours and traffic jams-Quality Guys!
Also a special mention for Captain Gavin Harris who has been an outstanding leader this season on and off the field-Well Done Gav-we salute you!
Huge thanks to our Coaches Derek and Nelly who have seen us through our best ever season for nearly 20 years and to Keith and Mike and the Physio teams who have kept the boys playing despite the eyelash injuries and the Committee who support all the teams!
Only the East District Cup and Silver Ball Semi Finals to come now lads!
COME ON THE UNBEATEN SQUIRRELS!!!!
Old Penarthians 2nds v Rhiwbina 2nds
If Rhiwbina 2nds thought they
were going to be in for an easy afternoon it took about 2 mins to change that
view. The first half was hotly contested with Rhiw just about coming out on top.
With Old Pens under pressure in the scrums, and the lineouts
going well the backs had plenty to play with, only last ditch tackles held
Geriant, Rod and Pat time and time again. But far from it being one way traffic
Rhiw ware forced to defend for long periods.
After 20 mins Rhiw had a line out 10m from Old Pens line, a
clean catch by Andy saw the forwards drive the ball over the line for Dan to
score. With more pressure the forwards disrupted a defence line for Dingle to
collect the ball and slip it to Nicky who crashed over to make the half time
Old Pens attacked with purpose and were duly rewarded
when Prop Derek Lane crashed over from 5m. Rhiw showed great resolve and got
back into the game, after some good forward drives and quick ball a fine move
saw Shaggy cross for another try.A Old Pens 5m scrum was put under great
pressure, the fumble at the base allowed Nicky to collect and go over for his
Back again came Old Pens only for a promising attack to be
turned over by Val and Gene. Rhiw passed the ball along the backs in their own
22 for Eugene to collect a inside pass and sprint clear of the defenders with
only the fullback to beat he went around him leaving him in his slip
stream!!Final score Old Pens 7 Rhiwbina 29. A much changed Pens side from the
one beaten 64-0 earlier in the season made Rhiw work for every point.
A good solid performance by Rhiw with all players playing
well but top player had to be Nicky D.