05 May 2024 / Club News

Bridgend Athletic RFC 12 Tondu RFC 17

National League Div 1 West Central – Daryl Dyke Memorial fixture

What an atmosphere at the Brewery Field on Saturday April 27th as the Ath battled for a point to stay in Div 1 West Central, while Tondu were looking for a 4 try bonus point to stave off the challenge from Glynneath to be promoted as Champions to the new Championship set up.

Chants of the Ath are going down rang from a well filled stand as Tondu established a 17-5 lead with 10 minutes remaining. Those were replaced by the Ath are staying up as hooker Evan Yardley forced his way over and Evan D’Adamo converted with 8 minutes remaining to reduce the deficit to 12-17. The Ath finished strongest and had a chance with 3 minutes remaining and a 5-metre scrum to win the game, but over exuberance resulted in a relieving Tondu penalty.

The game was also played for the Daryl Dyke Memorial Trophy with a reversal of Tondu’s Jake Lewis lifting the trophy presented by Richard Dyke, as opposed to Ath captain Ben Howe playing his final game before retirement doing the same in the inaugural 2022 fixture at the Brewery Field.

The Ath started strongly and from a 5-metre line out locks Tom Morgan and Ben Cording drove at the Water wheelers line for the supporting Ben Cording to cross and give the Ath a 5-0 lead. This was retained until the final play of the half seeing the referee judge that a deliberate knock on by an Ath player warranted a penalty try and the second Ath yellow card of the match. Tondu leading 7-5 at the break.

Within 5 minutes of the restart the Ath found a third player consigned to the sin bin. This time Tondu made their numerical advantage count, with flanker Iestyn Davies forcing his way over from close range. Tondu were enjoying most of the possession, and desperate for the two tries necessary for a bonus point win, were opting mainly for close range scrums when awarded penalties. The Ath front row of props Wayne Fooks and Matthew Norman and hooker Lee Murphy had stood firm, as did replacement hooker Evan Yardley when introduced. The Ath back row of Ben Howe, Dan Apsee and Cameron Thomas were immense in defence.

Half backs Evan D’Adamo and Oliver Olds played with composure, with centres Tom Jenkins sound in defence and Tom Davies providing a threat in attack kept the Ath in the game. Wings Mike Powell and McKenzie Grey tried hard with limited possession. Full back Jonny Phillips was an attacking threat. The introduction of lock Harrison Morgan lifted the intensity of the forwards taking on the Tondu pack with determined runs.

It was a run out of his own 22 by Grey which saw Phillips run towards the Tondu 22 and chip ahead, Davies tackled the Tondu defender and turnover ball saw Yardley score one of the most vital Ath tries in the past 7 years to provide the point that made the difference between ecstasy and doom and gloom in the Ath clubhouse post match.

Phillips was injured in the move and replaced by Lochie Barron to see out the game.

Thanks for the great support the Ath were given on the day, and to the players bruised but not bowed by a fierce local derby with much at stake for both teams. Also to all match day helpers throughout the club and club photographer John Canon  who has again donated much time and effort with high quality pics from all sections of club  including fixtures, team pics, etc,

Also, thanks to Mr Richard Dyke for again sponsoring this fixture.


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