Carmarthen Athletic RFC | 1st Team 23 - 26 St Clears RFC | 1st Team
Matthew Owens
1 Try

Match Report
12 January 2018 / Team News

Away to Carmarthen Athletic 13/01/2018

Terrible weather with persistent rain prior to the kick off took its toll on conditions and left the ground just about fit to play but with areas of standing water beginning to form, there was every chance a mud bath would be the outcome!

Athletic elected to play with the slope advantage and the visitors soon found themselves under pressure, pinned back in their own half. A scrum in front of the posts after seven minutes provided the first real scoring opportunity and smart work from number 9, Scott Maynard, linking with his backs allowed left wing Josh Watson to score in the corner, the scrum half converting for the extras from a wide angle to put Athletic seven points to the good.

The continuing territorial advantage as playing conditions continued to deteriorate, led to a number of kicking opportunities for Maynard and two successful attempts despite the worsening conditions, stretched the lead to 13 points. Between these setbacks Saints also suffered the loss of full back Adam Phillips with a nasty injury from an apparently innocuous challenge, and a hasty reshuffle of positions resulted which clearly did not help matters.

With ten minutes of the first half remaining, things just got worse when Saints hooker, Dafydd Page, felt the referee’s displeasure with a yellow card resulting. The subsequent upheaval in the visitor’s pack clearly affected the set pieces, resulting in a penalty try for the home side with another successful penalty for Maynard shortly afterwards, producing a half  time score of 23 points to nil with the home side comfortably in charge and Saints facing the prospect of a cricket score!

The second half initially continued in much the same vein as the first but gradually, with the rain easing and the advantage of the slope, Saints began to turn things round. Conditions dictated that a forward battle would be the likely decider of the final outcome and so it proved to be although there was no indication of what was follow until with the floodlights on in the gathering gloom a penalty try was awarded to the visitors as Saints began to dominate up front.

Fifteen minutes later with Athletic missing their number 5 to a yellow card, a repeat performance from Saints pack produced another penalty try and with twenty minutes still remaining a dramatic upset was beginning to appear possible.

Five minutes later with Saints now in complete charge but still having to battle against firm resistance, number 8 Mathew Owens bulldozed his way over to reduce the arrears to just 4 points.

It took another fifteen minutes with Athletic desperately trying to resist the Saints pack winning scrum after scrum and occasionally rallying to raise counter attacks before, with virtually the last play, the final scrum was again penalised and the winning penalty try was awarded to record an astonishing come back and a memorable win for Saints at 26 points to 23.