PORTHCAWL 34 pts VARDRE 24
Porthcawl cemented their place at the top of the division and record the double against Vardre outfit at South Road on Saturday and with just two matches left for them, they’ll be looking to win both convincingly to keep Bridgend Sports’ assault on the title at bay.
The home side got off to the best of starts as they notched the first try with barely five minutes gone. With their pack hammering at Vardre from the kick-off, quick ruck ball saw wing Jake Thomas almost getting in at the corner and when the ball was recycled, there was scrum half Connor Rees to snatch a smart touchdown for 5-nil.
Vardre’s recent form has been good and when centre Dai Wigley skipped through the Porthcawl defence to score under the posts for Ross Evans to convert, at 5-7 it was certainly game on.
Centre Gareth Rees was back to his sharp best for Porthcawl and when he produced a smart show and go to split the visitors’ defence, Rees snapped up his second try as his pack set up a great ruck in the same spot as his first score. Josh White’s excellent conversion off the touchline made it 12-7.
With the tempo continuing, the rampaging home pack with No.8 Tom Butcher outstanding, made ground and skipper Richard Hnyda drove hard through the middle from halfway. e The supporting Rees again showed his class to create the space and handed on to co-centre Tom Bluck, who rounded behind the posts for a sound try, goaled by White for 19-7 going into the break, a well-deserved lead.
With Porthcawl’s eight carrying on with their up tempo approach at the start of the second half, it wasn’t long before Butcher profited from another cohesive forward drive, to come up with the ball having touched down for the try and 24-7 and a bonus point. White’s smartly kicked penalty three minutes later from near the right touchline stretched the lead to 27-7 and it seemed that result was well in the bag.
Gareth Rees again had a hand in Porthcawl’s next score as he used his razor sharp cutting edge to make the space for winger Mike Gubb to notch the Seaweeds’ fifth try and at 34-7 Vardre appeared down and out.
However, all the remaining scores in the match fell to the visitors who took advantage of some lax home defence in the final throws of a tiring effort. Excellent full-back Dean Jones pulled back a try for Vardre for 34-12 before his team mate and No. 8 Jon Ford, who had a fine match, set up lock Martin John who ploughed over for a try converted by Jones and suddenly it was 34-19.
When Jones notched his second and unconverted try going into injury time for 34-24, home supporters wondered just how much injury time remained, with just 10 points now the unlikely deficit. However, Porthcawl held firm, with all the hard work having made the target just too much for Vardre.
Tim Lunn and Jack Williams both had sound matches in Porthcawl’s front row along with the workmanlike Anthony Griffiths and their efforts set the platform for Porthcawl’s momentum upfront.
Coach Rhys James will want to keep his players fully focussed on the prize for the remaining matches at Tonmawr and a home match against resurgent Banwen at South Road to end the campaign.
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