Caernarfon RFC | 1st Team 16 - 14 Bala RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
27 November 2016 / Team News

Caernarfon 16 - Bala 14

This was indeed a match of contrasting fortunes with Caernarfon luckily holding on against an organised and well drilled Bala outfit in the first half but then more than matching their opponents in the second to hold on and secure the points.

The brisk opening was indicative of what was to follow for much of the match with the ball being kept alive, thus seeing play switch from one side of the park to the other constantly.

Bala's first incursion into Cofi territory proved fruitful with good handling and switching of attack creating space for centre Elgan Evans to capitalise as he powered through the cover to score a fine team try. Fullback Rhydian Jones added the conversion to set the Penllyn men on their way.

Caernarfon were however undaunted and almost immediately recorded their first points as Guto Pierce slotted over a penalty after the over eager Bala backs were caught offside. Another effort to bring the Cofis to within a point some five minutes later was scuppered and for much of the remainder of the first half Caernarfon found themselves encamped within their own half and devoid of ball.

Bala were gaining in confidence with the pack dominant at scrum time and forceful back play bringing them ever closer to the Cofi try line. Wing Robin Jones must have thought that he was to record the second Bala try after a thirty metre dash but somehow captain Iolo Hughes came to the Cofi's rescue with a tackle and turn that prevented grounding. A take against the head followed by another driving scrum should have ensured points for Bala but on the third re-setting over eagerness resulted in a boring in call allowing the Cofis to clear their lines.

The Bala pressure was however maintained with a quickly taken penalty being stopped illegally thus reducing the Cofis to fourteen. With the home supporters thinking that their side would do well to remain in contention over the following ten minutes they were pleasantly surprised to see a resurgence with swift counterattacking leading to a change of fortune when courageous captain Iolo Hughes entered the line and somehow amid the double tackle was able to release replacement Robert Farrer who's well timed and angled run took him clear and to the try line. Guto Pierce slotted the conversion to move the Cofis unexpectedly three points clear.

Bala strived to gain parity during the final few minutes of the half with one Ilan Rowlands charge nearly bringing reward only for his brother Arfon to transgress and throw away yet another promising field position.

The second half saw the overall standard of play deteriorate with more set pieces indicative of a higher error count. Caernarfon's forwards were however finding a second wind using a series of drives to keep the Bala rearguard on their toes. Such pressure led to another successful Guto Pierce penalty mid way through the half and wing Dylan Gwyn nearly found a gap by the corner flag. The Cofis were gaining momentum and Bala were not quite as cohesive as before despite the grafting of Robin Owen in the boiler house.

Their one genuine opportunity close to the Cofi line led to a spilt ball being hoofed eighty yards down the touchline by Pierce who minutes later dealt another hammer blow when crossing in midfield led to him extending the Cofi lead to nine points with a well struck fifty metre penalty.

With eighty minutes on the clock Bala finally broke the Cofi resistance when a series of five metre scrums, courtesy of Cofi transgressions, resulted in a penalty try being awarded and with Rhydian Jones's successful conversion the gap closed to two points. It transpired that Bala had plenty of time to seek a winning score, for twelve added minutes were played, however the Cofis were not in the mood to relinquish the spoils after they had persevered so gallantly all afternoon.

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