There was a large turnout of support for both teams in this local derby and Ivor Jones Cup Final clash at Pontypool United’s ground last Wednesday evening,
Crickhowell RFC 20 - Abergavenny Quins 13
Report by Mal Powell
With the trophy at stake, it was no surprise that the event turned out to be a tough encounter, with all players showing 100 per cent commitment to their cause.
It turned out to be a classic example of a game of two halves with Crick outscoring the Quins in the first half with a terrific comeback from the Bailey Park outfit in the second.
Crickhowell took the lead with a penalty early on, which was quickly nullified by one from the Quins shortly afterwards.
The Abergavenny front row presented a sturdy challenge to their opponents, and whilst unable to move them back, the Crick pack did well to hold them. There was some superb work at the breakdowns from both sides and some ferocious tackling in defence.
Lewis Evans at outside-half and his opposite number, Dan Haymond, put in some great kicks in an effort to control the game. Evans slotted over a second penalty a little later, whilst Haymond received a yellow card near the end of the half for a careless tackle.
Crickhowell took advantage of the situation after a successful line-out in the Quins’ 22. Their driving maul was stopped but the ball was then spun wide from Harry Purvis to Harry Summers, who made ground, was brought down but support was quick to hand and wing Osian Jones picked up the ball from the back of the breakdown and dived in low to cross the line. Evans slotted over the near-touchline conversion and the half ended with Crickhowell 13-3 to the good.
Shortly after the second-half got underway, the game was marred by a nasty injury to Quins’ winger Will Williams, who dislocated his ankle and had to be stretchered from the field to hospital. Credit is due to officials from both teams who assisted Will in his predicament.
The wily Osian Jones then snatched an interception and ran clear to score under the posts with Evans again adding the conversion.
From this moment on the Abergavenny team dominated the remainder of he match.
With a more mobile pack and their powerful running centres storming through the middle, they were rewarded with another penalty to reduce their deficit. Almost continuous pressure on the Crick line from Aber, where they were held up on two occasions, eventually led to them powering over. Haymond converted.
With the Quins’ dominance it seemed a certainty that they would score again, but they were unlucky to knock the ball on inches short. Crick cleared their lines but the Quins roared back switching play across the field but hard tackles prevented their way through. A reversed penalty allowed them the opportunity to mount a further attack but again Crick’s forwards kept them out.
The prospect of extra time loomed large but, to the relief of the Crickhowell supporters, the referee blew for time. Osian Jones was presented with the Man of the Match award. Both sides wish Will a speedy recovery from his injury.
With just one league fixture left - away at Pontllanfraith on May 6 - Crickhowell’s promotion to League Four East depends on the outcome of other league games, but will be assured with a bonus point win.
Another victory was in store for the team last Saturday, when they switched sports and played a friendly against Glangwryney at cricket. It was club stalwart Phil Cox who scored the winning run.
On Saturday, May 13 the club is hosting a ‘Crocs & Tots’ festival which will feature a walking rugby tournament and mini-juniors tag rugby. It starts from 11am onwards and there will be a BBQ, bar and music.