Gwernyfed 15 Haverford West Ladies 14
This weekend’s wet weather did not detract from the hot reception Haverford West Ladies received from the Green army at Treffeca Rd. In appalling conditions, yet in front of a larger than expected crowd.
The first of Gwernyfed’s three tries came from Megan Snape when she cut a cute line to the try line after 17 phases of insistent accurate attacking play. Outsdie half Jess Owen was relishing front foot ball, supplied by the forwards, quality rucking from Second row Katie Priddle and the ever tenatious Lauren Smith in the loose.
It was hard to understand a brief lapse in concentration that allowed Haverford Wests centre to break free from deep to score under the posts. Normally this would result in nervous times for Gwernyfed. As the weather declined, there was both a collective dominance and collective inability to construct a lead. Hooker Rachel Morgan tuck several against the head, and Katie Robie dominated in the lineout causing the opposition to have a dismal day at the set piece. Momentum was with Gwernyfed and following slick work with a two man overlap, prop Lily Snape opted for a more direct route to the line bundled over by her mother and seasoned prop Rosie Snape and support from flanker Sally Windsor with a final push. Just before half time talisman No.8 Rosie Jones left the pitch unable to continue, after having lead several charges due to an ankle injury.
Gwernyfeds defence this year has been historic at times, so fans where left agog when a simple miss tackle let in the opposition to regain the lead. However it was testament to Centres Lauren Dixon and Del Thomas that whatever else the visitors threw at them in this direction, they made no ground, especially with effervescent back Evie Jones both supporting the defence and countering when the opportunity arose. Gwernyfed rung the changes on came Catlin Alder and Lucy Deacon, to shore up a tiring Pack and lend youth and speed in the breakdown
Del Thomas dotted down, following a carefree pass from replacement and developing scrum half Becky Whitney, to provide the winning try. The last 15 minutes saw Gwernyfed playing the conditions, and with the wind and rain at their backs clever kicking deep into the corners pinned back the opposition, replacement wing Georgia Williams pinned back several counter attacks with hi octane running. Any kick that was returned saw Catlin Pugh link with Wing Megan Compton and attack down the open side, frustrating an ever more desperate visitors, as Haverford West where transformed into a handog ramble of beaten players long before the bitter end. There was utter elation for Gwernyfed at the final whistle, winning by the narrow margin of 15 – 14. Gwernyfed are now on the same points as league leaders Penybanc, but behind on goal difference.