“On a sticky pitch it was never going to be full of free flowing rugby” commented head Coach Mike Sheehan “Despite that 7 tries and another solid performance is all that we can ask for”
“Great to see two current Youth players getting a game and making such an impact” added captain Haval Ibrahim. “The future is bright at the Memorial Ground”
On a grey afternoon the early exchanges were fairly even with both sides struggling to settle. The Wanderers, sporting their new kit for the first time this season, came under some pressure and it was Heol-Y-Cyw who struck the first blow with a penalty 0-3. Slowly the home side warmed to their task and after good jackaling by hooker Peter Lloyd the Wanderers mounted their first attack. The visitors defence gave away a penalty and Codey Rees levelled the score at 3-3. Both sides were keen to use the aerial root to mount attacks with no real advantage as the sides continued to find weaknesses in the defences. The Wanderers were forced into an early change when Tom Driver was replaced with Youth team Captain George Ashby, getting his first senior start. Both kickers exchanged penalties to keep the contest level at 6-6 and the Wanderers pack then started to get to grips with the Cockerels. Behind their powerful scrum they started to exert more and more pressure. From a stolen lineout the home side went ahead. Dan Crimmins carried well and when Rees released his backs Lloyd Chalke outpaced the defence to score an unconverted try. At once the shackles seemed to come off the home side and their play became more dominant. A great break downfield by Jake Conway nearly ended in a try for Owen Marshall and from the resulting field position Crimmins once again, as has happened so often this season, forced his way over to extend the lead 16-6. The Wanderers were now clearly on top and the game was firmly camped in the visitor’s 22. The scrum became more and more dominant with penalties being awarded with regular occurrence. Just before the break the Wanderers scored their third try. Once again close quarter driving by the pack furnished the chance and Ryan Davis crashed through the defence to score beside the posts. Rees converted 23-6 at the half time whistle.
The second half followed the pattern of the first with the Wanderers pack lead by Crimmins forcing the defence into more and more desperate measures combatting the onslaught. The Wanderers rang the changes with Morgan Louch, another Youth team player, Ben Parker and Jordan McDonnell both last year’s Youth coming on to join the fray. Soon afterwards Marshall added the bonus point try out wide as the Cockerels ran out of defenders and there followed one of the more bizarre passages of rugby. Owain Thomas and one of the Heol-Y-Cyw backs saw yellow when the defender objected to “Chab’s” use of hair conditioner and then as more and more penalties were awarded against the visitors it became a challenge to keep an eye on how many players Heol-Y-Cyw had on the field. At the height of the chaos they were down to 11 players! Despite that they battled hard to keep the home side at bay. Crimmins added his second try after a lineout drive in the opposition 22 with Rees converting 35-6 and with the scrums now passive whilst one of the cards waited to come back on Ioan Mortimer took advantage to crash through the tiring defence to add the 6th try 40-6. The game trundled into its final passages and all credit to the visitors they never gave up. Breaking downfield they established the first really decent position of the half and after some good interplay they crashed over for a try 40-13. The Wanderers responded with the last say in the game. Once again the forwards powered on with Haval Ibrahim having a little white line fever trundle. Fortunately the ball was recycled and Thomas, back on the field, found himself loitering on the wing to take the pass from Marshall!! (Just to repeat that a scoring pass from Marshall!!!) He crossed out wide for the final try. Rees knocked over the conversion from the touchline, final score 47-13.
Massiv man of the match: Codey Rees
Tries: Dan Crimmins (2) Owain Thomas, Ioan Mortimer, Lloyd Chalke, Ryan Davis, Owen Marshall
Cons: Codey Rees (2)
Pens: Codey Rees (2)