Three penalties from the boot of Bridgend Sports full-back, Josh Davies, was enough to ease the visitors into the 6th round [quarter finals] of the WRU bowl, in a tense and even contest where defences were very much on top and where clear scoring opportunities were at a premium.
Sports had the benefit of a stiff breeze during the first period, full-back Josh Davies putting wide a penalty after seven minutes. The visitors enjoyed all the possession and territory during the first half hour, but had to rely on Dolgellau full-back, Rob Pugh not releasing whilst launching a counter attack for Josh Davies to put them 0-3 ahead after twenty three minutes.
Dolgellau were punished for several high tackles and Josh Davies missed two further penalties for the visitors. Dolgellau’s first foray into Sports territory saw centre Henri Roberts miss a difficult penalty after thirty seven minutes, but only a minute later, made amends as he slotted over a similar penalty to make the score 3-3 at the interval.
Dolgellau sensed that with the benefit of the elements, they could impose themselves better during the second period. However Bridgend played intelligently and controlled the match, their second row Rhys Obbard carried very efficiently and Dolgellau could not gain any foot-hold on proceedings. As a result indiscipline under pressure at the tackle area cost them two penalties, which were gleefully converted by Josh Davies, and the visitors held a 3-9 lead twelve minutes in.
Going into the last quarter, and Dolgellau finally exerting some pressure, second row Marius Jones made sufficient ground that allowed their threequarters some space, and centre Henri Roberts obliged with deft chip over the visiting cover, and the chase was on, with Roberts’ strength managing to touch down despite the illegal efforts of the scrambling defence to haul him down without the ball. Ironically a penalty try would have been an automatic seven pointer, and given the hosts the lead, but Roberts’ own conversion drifted agonisingly wide, leaving the score 8-9.
However a grandstand finish did not materialise as the visitors closed out the last twelve minutes, missing two further penalty attempts, as Dolgellau lost Marius Jones to the sin bin. And so Sports go into the hat for the last eight, leaving Dolgellau to reflect on the fine achievement of reaching this stage of the competition.
Referee : Ceirion Parry [Ynys Mon]
Updated 19:27 - 12 Jan 2019 by Gary Williams