Friday, 29 May 2015

Falcons win the Worthington Cup

Abertysswg Falcons gained the Worthington Gwent and District (Cyrus Davies) Cup for the third successive year when they saw off a depleted, but brave, Hafodyrynys side at Glan Yr Afon Park, Blackwood.
The Falcons gave their departing coaches a great send off as both head coach Leigh Meddlicott and his assistant Gareth Richards are both moving onto new ventures to join the coaching set-ups at the under 16 sides of the Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons respectively.
Meddlicott said “This is my last game at Abertysswg and I am proud and thrilled to be part of a journey that has taken us from Division Six to Division Two.”
Despite being two divisions below Abertysswg, it was Hafodyrynys who took an early lead via a penalty from outside half Kris Moses as both sides tried to settle into a rhythm. From a lineout Hafod attacked again and a clever inside switch put full back Rob Smith, one of the small band of players who have scored over 100 league tries,  in for a try converted by Moses for a 10-0 advantage after 18 minutes.
Abertysswg reduced the arrears with a 35 metre penalty from their outside half and captain Jamie Howells, the former Wales Districts cap, before play was held up for several minutes whilst an injured Hafodyrynys forward was treated for injury.
Play switched from end to end but defences held firm before Moses added a long range penalty to increase the Hafod lead, though from the restart Abertysswg earned another penalty slotted by Howells immediately followed by the half time whistle at 13-6.
The Falcons were quickly out of the blocks in the second half and soon wiped out the seven-point interval deficit with a try by Rhys Davies converted by Howells to tie the scores.
Both sides continued to accrue injuries but Hafodyrynys, with only two replacements named, gamely battled on as both Moses and Howells had unsuccessful penalty goal attempts and the sides sparred for an opening before Moses found his range to put his side ahead at 16-13.
Fresh legs in the Aberytsswg ranks then paid dividends as following a scrum the ball was put through several pairs of hands before replacement Joey Buckley crossed for a try converted by Howells to put his side ahead for the first time in the game and a Howells penalty two minutes from time finally broke the resistance of brave Hafodyrynys.
Tina Tew, on behalf of sponsors Molson Coors, presented Howells and his happy Falcons squad with the famous old cup.
Abertysswg – Tries: R Davies, J Buckley. Cons: J Howells 2. Pens: J Howells 3.
Hafodyrynys – Tries: R Smith. Con: K Moses. Pens: K Moses 3.

by Howard Evans


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