Caerphilly failed to turn possession into points at Caerleon last weekend as they enjoyed big periods of territory in the second half, missing no fewer than 7 kicks at goal. They paid the ultimate price for their lack of finishing as the Gwent side made the best of their chances, scoring 3 tries in the final 10 minutes to sink the lacklustre Caerphilly side.
Caerphilly started spritely, an early penalty on 13 minutes was converted by outside half Grant Pritchard after Newport Hsob had drifted offside during a Caerphilly attack.
The Gwent side had their chance to level minutes later, but the kick from centre John Burgess was hooked wide. Another chance went begging by the home side on 25 minutes. A good move through the centres saw the ball into the hands of the winger. With just the try line in front, he managed to spill the ball as he slipped, metres from the line, and the chance went begging.
Caerphilly lost hooker Peter Harrison
to the sin bin on 31 minutes, entering a ruck too aggressively for referee Kerry Minihan, who was excessive in his whistle blowing throughout the fixture. The Caerphilly defence held firm from the resultant lineout catch and drive, forcing the home side to lose the ball for a defensive scrum which was cleared downfield. Chasing well, Caerphilly forced the Newport defence to hold on the floor giving them the opportunity to extend their lead. The kick was scuffed, however, the second miss of a dour first half. The Castletown side did well, however, reduced in numbers, as they kept the home side at bay until the halfway mark.
Caerphilly started the second half with another missed kick at goal. With the restart failing to travel the required distance, the visitors won a scrum on the halfway line. The home side failed to bind at the scrum and Roberts stepped up for a wind assisted attempt at the goal, which had the distance but not the direction. Winning a scrum against the head, deep inside Newport territory, another penalty went begging, followed quickly with another missed chance from the half way line, the ball in line with the posts, just lacking in depth.
The Green and White’s extended their lead on 48 minutes, Roberts finally finding his bearings as Newport again transgressed with Caerphilly on the attack.
Knocking on in midfield from the restart, the Old Boys won a scrum just outside the 22, the reset scrum resulting in the ball passing through the half backs. Full back Mark Bale burst through a tackle as the extra man in the line, crossing over for the game’s first try converted, Burgess converting.
Burgess crossed for the first of his brace, courtesy of another Caerphilly missed tackle, on 62 minutes. Winning a lineout from a penalty for some Caer backchat, the defence held firm. The reset ruck saw the ball spin wide, burgess springing through the tackle to cross just to the right of the posts.
Minutes later another missed opportunity in attack by the visitors saw the old boys right wing flying through missed tackles and deep into Caerphilly territory. The kick ahead landed just under the posts and as the solitude defender came across his attempt to fly hack the ball met with thin air. The bobbling ball was collected by the home side, but the returning defenders just managed to scupper the chance holding the ball up over the line.
The Caerphilly defence finally capitulated in the last 5 minutes as they gave away two tries from errors. The first on 77 minutes resulted in the left wing charging from deep inside his 22 as the visitors gave away advantage during an attacking scrum. Bursting through three tackles Rhys Williams darted the length of the field to score another unconverted try.
The final score was the second of Burgess’s scores. Collecting from the re-start the home side passed to the backs, burgess passing out to the wing before collecting the telling pass at the end of the move giving the home side a bonus point.
To their credit, the Caerphilly side never gave up, and had various chances in injury time for a consolation score. Along with the tone of the match, however, they failed to cross the line despite the possession.
15. Vaughan Thomas
14. Scott Emanuel
13. Nigel Jones
12. Chris Thomas
11. Will Worthington
10. Grant Pritchard
9. Jason Williams
8. Alwyn Thomas
7. Gareth Johns
6. Gareth England
5. Alex Lawrence
4. Craig Smith
3. Johnny Bloor
2. Peter Harrison
1. John Davies
Penalties: Grant Pritchard (13min), Jason Roberts
Sin Bin: Peter Harrison
Newport High School Old Boys Team:
15. Mark Bale
14. Tom Diggle
13. Mike Burke
12. John Burgess
11. Rhys Williams
9. Tom Aviss
8. Lee Blunt (Captain)
7. Joe Carlin
5. Dan O’Neil
4. Alan Norris
2. Jack Williams
1. Metthew Kelly
Tries: Mark Bale (53 min), John Burgess (62&79 min), Rhys Williams (77 min)
Conversions: John Burgess (54 min)