Swansea at home to the South Cardiff Panthers
18th Edition of the Swansea Whaler
The second round of matches saw the Swansea Magpies take on the reigning premiers the Panthers from South Cardiff in the picturesque surrounds of the University pitch in Swansea. With the sun shining and only a slight breeze favouring the city ends all signs pointed towards an epic battle that would not disappoint.
With both sides settling into the season, the Panthers coming off a comprehensive win in the first round and the Magpies battling to a tense draw in Cardiff all were primed for big outing.
Having won the toss the Swansea side took advantage of wind and got off to a great start slamming on a couple of great goals early on. The midfield duel was being commanded by the Swansea on-ball brigade and with Timmy A being elusive up forward the Maggies were able to open up a handy quarter time lead.
However, the Panthers are not reigning premiers for nothing and they were able to work there way back into the game, there two Aussie boys were starting to shine even though Siamak was doing a great job shoring up the backline and with support from Geraint Harvard and young Ethan the Swans were still able to go into the main break with a one goal advantage.
Again the premiership quarter was going to have a great impact on proceedings. The battle was was being won in the middle and with second gamer Hoggy doing well in the ruck with his physical work and bustling runs the Magpies were able to open up a bit of an advantage. However, the South Cardiff midfield started to exert its influence on the game and pegged back the lead. An untimely injury to our young full-back who was having a blinder up to this stage upset the balance of the side, and with a late goal courtesy of a free kicked given away by the subdued and equally frustrated coach. Temperatures were soaring both on and off the field and it finally boiled over in the later stages of the third quarter with a sending off which had a tremendous impact on the game.
The final stanza started fairly evenly with teams trading goals, however, the Panthers started to exert their influence and experience on the game and were able to pull away at the end of the game to record a hard fought but unconvincing 16 point win.
Overall, I must say that the standard of the game was very high with good skills displayed by all. The attack on the ball was a testament to both sides. The game has definitely come a long way since that first game on a windswept Canton paddock.
For the vanquished it was another case of a fourth quarter fade out, having lead all day. We really need to work harder to close out the game. For the second week in a row the game was there to won and what should have been 2 and 0 has turned into a precarious 0-1-1 with a lot of hard work to be done to match the feats of last year. However, boys the ball is still in our court, we can only blame ourselves for the fade outs. We all need to get to training to work on that fitness to run the games out and make sure we do not lose another home game, which was one of our goals at the start of the season to not lose at home.
Best players: Siamak for a great job on a more experienced player at full-back, Geraint good effort for this first game in a few years, Hoggy the second gamer good physicality at the ball and a tremendous job in the ruck.
Unfortunately at this stage Newport can’t field a side, but we will have a practice match at the Uni pitch on Saturday. Be there by half 12 for a 1 o’clock kick-off.