For the season’s finale Brecon travelled to Ystalyfera and secured a 43-12, bonus point win.

Despite the win, Narbeth deservedly topped the table this year with a 61-7 victory over Maesteg Quins.

Brecon first scored in the 18th minute when they put together a clinical move despite being down to 14 men following a yellow card. After winning a scrum on the five-metre line, the seven forwards held, and Logan McIntosh broke from number 8. He linked and looped around his brother, Dion, to take the return pass and feed scum half Carl Blacker. His wide pass to full back Jake Newman created space and Newman timed his pass to wing Ben Griffin perfectly, who stepped inside brilliantly to score. Dion McIntosh hit a superb conversion.

Brecon should have been able to build from there but they immediately surrendered their lead after they failed to clear from the kick-off and gave away a penalty. Ystalyfera went to touch in the corner, drove off the line-out and scored a try which was converted to level the scores.

During most of the remainder of the half Brecon battled with themselves as much as they did with their opponents. They gave away too many penalties and in spite of the fact that they won a lot of ball, particularly through some excellent Geraint Powell line-out work, both with and against the throw, and had a strong scrum, they couldn’t put together a clinical finish.

Ystalyfera held out until the last play of the first half. Wing Geraint Walsh created the position with a lovely run out of defence. Blacker then carried into the tackle and ever-present hooker Dewi Edwards fed Dion McIntosh from the base of the breakdown. McIntosh chipped ahead and captain Jake Crockett gathered and returned a pass to McIntosh who ran in under the posts, making it a simple conversion.

The score gave Brecon a lift and they started the second half brilliantly. Almost from the kick-off they won a scrum on the Ystalyfera 10-metre line. Logan McIntosh again broke and fed Blacker. Dion McIntosh moved the ball behind the flat running Ollie Lewis to wing Walsh who entered midfield. He linked with full back Jake Newman who again drew his man and delivered the scoring pass to Griffin. McIntosh again converted.

Brecon rugby
Ollie Lewis attacks the defence on a dominant day for the visitors (Copyright: Mark Griffin) (.)

Now with a two-score advantage Brecon produced some outstanding team play. The pack laid the foundation with good ball and great carries from Andy Nicholl, Richie Davies, Lewis Smout, Ioan Edwards, Matthew Williams and Ryan Williams. In the centre Ollie Lewis was direct and hard running, Jake Crockett complimented him beautifully with his movement and the back three of Geraint Walsh, Jake Newman, Ben Griffin and replacement Sam Jones made telling contributions.

The fourth try was only a matter of time, coming through Sam Jones and the fifth soon followed, scored by Geraint Walsh.

Sam Jones then collected his second try to score Brecon’s sixth, after a great team effort.

Ystalyfera did hit back after a series of good forward carries and they deservedly scored a try of their own in the left corner. 

But Brecon were not finished as Ben Griffin split the defence to run in his third try of the afternoon. 

Brecon rugby
Matthew Williams picks up the momentum as Brecon continue to pressurise in the closing stages (Copyright: Mark Griffin) (.)

The finish was a fitting tribute to captain Jake Crockett who completed his 200th appearance for Brecon first XV. He first saw action in senior colours as a 19-year-old against Tonyrefail on April 6 2013. During his 200 appearances he has been a prolific try scorer accumulating 144 tries. He also added 34 conversions and 18 penalties to his tally. His most prolific season was the cup final year of 2018/19 when he scored 26 tries.