Saturday, 4 May 2013

Swalec Finals Preview

Swalec Bowl 

Wattstown v Fishguard & Goodwick

First up at the home of Welsh rugby tomorrow will see Four South East champions elect, Wattstown, up against Four West’s Fishguard and Goodwick. In a straight up battle, will it be easy for the East side or a case of West is Best?

Wattstown didn’t enter the competition till round 4, having received a bye in the first round and then two walkovers. From then on, they dispatched Llantwit Major, Tycroes and Nantyglo, before narrowly edging out Blaenavon in the semi-finals.

Fishguard also had a bye in the first round but then won out against Pantyffynnon, Pembroke, Aberaeron, Shotton Steel and Pontycymmer, before squeezing past Four East’s Cilfynydd in the last round.

This is a huge occasion for both sides and it may come down to which team handles their nerves better on the day.

Swalec Plate

Rhydyfelin v Heol y Cyw

I thought there would be an all One East final this year but to be truthful, I didn’t think it would feature either of these two sides.

Both of their league matches this year have been excruciatingly close with Rhyd sneaking the one at theirs by a point, while there was nothing to separate the sides at the Cockerels' base.
Heol y Cyw ended Penallta’s defence in the last 16 and had the better of One West title contenders, Cwmllynfell, to make it through to the final.

Rhydyfelin surprised many, including myself, in their semi as they comfortably saw off Cup favourites Ystrad Rhondda.

This will undoubtedly be a great day for both clubs, but there can be only one winner. I think there will only be one score in it but I think Rhydyfelin will just take the victory.

Swalec Cup

Pontypridd v Neath

The showpiece of the day will see two of the most fiercely supported clubs in the Welsh game go head to head, and I’m sure their vociferous followings will make it an atmosphere to remember.
A lot can be made of history and the nostalgia of reminiscing of a bygone era, but in this day and age, you must feel that this match is Ponty’s to lose.

They have eviscerated practically all before them in the league this season and will undoubtedly be driven to right the wrongs of their Cup heartache against the Keys last year. However, if they take the side they have dispatched 64-15 and 36-3 lightly, they could be in for another nasty shock.

Neath, like Ponty, is a club steeped in history and will be waiting to pounce if McIntosh’s men blink. As the old adage goes, league form counts for nothing in the Cup and stranger things have happened in sport. 

Ultimately, I think it will be the Valley Commandos' day but the match may be closer than many people think. 


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