Thursday, 23 April 2015

Ystrad clinch Silver Ball final spot

Maesteg 13 Ystrad Rhondda 25
(at the Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon)

In an oustanding match that saw 80 minutes of first-class action. Ystrad Rhondda survived second-half pressure by Maesteg to go into the Silver Ball final against Penallta that will be played at Aberavon on Saturday, May 23 (2.30pm).
Both clubs must be applauded for the way they played and though Ystrad Rhondda scored 4-1 on tries, the gulf was certainly not that wide.
Powerful right wing Gerwyn Davies was the Ystrad danger-man, but the experience of David Gratton at full back made him clearly the man of the match.
Maesteg also had their runners with Lawrence Howley spraying out the passes and Sam Griffiths running splendidly, first at centre, then at wing, while both scrum halves - Jay Harris and Kieron John - were lively.
Up front Maesteg's young Cameron O'Sullivan is certainly a find, while Scott Hicks started at No 8 and then switched to centre effectively and veteran replacements Rob Hill and Karl Hocking stood out.
Ystrad also had a good, mobile pack with Nathan Hughes and Matthew Llewellyn excelling.
A wonderful try in the seventh minute saw Davies score and though Rhys Truelove missed the conversion and a penalty he did convert Matthew Llewellyn's try for a 12-0 lead.
The wily Gratton scored the third try after only 27 minutes but Maesteg clawed their way back and full back Ed Howley struck two fine penalties before the interval when Ystrad Rhondda led 17-6.
A Truelove penalty opened the second half and amazingly it was an hour before Maesteg scored a try after several near misses.
The experienced Hocking made a run and his wonderful pass opened the way for lock Mark Hillier-Rees to streak away and Ed Howley converted.
It looked as if Maesteg must pull level but win Davies collected on halfway and raced away to just make the corner for the try that settled the Ystrad Rhondda victory.
Ystrad Rhondda - Tries: G Davies 2, M Llewellyn, D Gratton. Con: R Truelove. Pen: R Truelove.
Maesteg - Try: M Hillier-Rees. Con: E Howley. Pens: E Howley 2.


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