07 January 2018 / Club News

West Mon 22 Crumlin 21pts

West Mon 22 Crumlin 21pts

Another year and another new team on the West Mon fixture list in what was almost certainly the first encounter at 1st team level against Crumlin.  (we have played Crumlin seconds a few times in the distant past)

With the visitors moving up the league table and with West’s lengthy injury list, a tight close game was expected and so it turned out to be.

From the start the visitors applied all the early pressure resulting in many West Mon mistakes as the home team ignored the game plan which has been successful for the main part of the season.

However  the defence of West was good with some big hits stopping Crumlin in their tracks, especially from wing Jake Wells whilst the marauding back row of Daniel ‘Dukey’ Gibbings, Connor Witcombe, Owain ‘Saheed’ Beard and scrum half Dion Perry were to the fore in hunting down the Crumlin attacks.

However it was no surprise when  the bigger Crumlin side crossed the line for the opening score although the game continued to be error strewn with the visitors taking full advantage of the home side' mistakes.  This was soon followed by another converted try for the away side after a quickly taken tap penalty found the West Mon defence sleeping and at 14 points down after 20 minutes, the home side were facing an uphill battle.

However as the half progressed, West Mon started to come back into the game and with the front row of Ryan Clark, Richard ‘Beppe’ James, Jonny Coleman plus Dafydd Thomas and the re-signed Joe Watkins in the boilerhouse  they started to dominate at scrum time making sure the Crumlin backs had no decent platform to play from.

As a result West Mon were now able to get some field position of their own and really should have capitalised on the many 5 yard scrum opportunities that were presented after indiscretions by the visitors.

It looked like it could be one of those day for West but an excellent wide angled penalty by Craig Buffin just before half time gave the home side some hope that they could still get something out of this game

The 2nd half started with Loosehead Scott Leonard and flanker Patrick Daley coming on to add impact and this they certainly did with Scott's customary runs and Pats big hits.

With West now cutting out some of the errors and playing to the game plan they started to control proceedings with captain Robbie Baldock orchestrating from 10 and centres Luke Royal and Simon Davies running hard.

With the scrum now even more dominant and becoming a weapon, the ball came out to Robbie who gave a short crash ball to Luke who was tackled 5 metres out, but the ball was picked up by supporting wing Alex Willcox to cross for his fifth try of the season, converted by Fullback Craig ‘Buff’ Buffin.

West were now keeping the pressure on and it was now Crumlin who were having to defend constantly, and credit to their fullback for saving at least  2 tries with excellent tackles. However with West exerting so much pressure it was only a matter of time before a try came and it soon did following a quickly taken penalty,  Dion Perry  passed to Dafydd Thomas who was stopped just short of the line.  However Big Jonny Coleman was on hand to pick up and crash over with 4 would be tacklers hanging on, converted again by Buff.

At this point it looked as if West could well run away with the game. However the old adage about a side never being more venerable than after they have scored was never more apt, as slack play from the restart by the home allowed Crumlin to score another converted try after two nice off loads to lead 17-21 with less than 10 minutes remaining.

West were chasing the game again and really attacked hard from the restart forcing errors and to the dismay of the Crumlin pack another scrum.

The home side were now scrummaging with winger Tim Atkinson in the second row and another winger in the re-signed Rhys ‘Cozzie’ Coslett in the backrow, this  made little difference and  resulted in Dukey picked up from the base, stepping two players before crashing over for what would be the winning try. 

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