BURRY Port welcomed Fishguard to the Memorial park on Saturday (Jan 5) in what some supporters were calling a must win game.
Burry Port were on a 5 match losing streak and showing a lack of confidence as a result, but the narrow loss last time out against Loughor away in a game that could have gone anyway seems to have brought a bit of belief back to the squad.
The game started at a frantic pace with Burry Ports Luke Ruddal gathering their own kick at kick off and piling on the pressure on the Loughor tryline, and with quick ruck ball the same player Luke Ruddal darted over for the opening score.
The Blacks definitely had a spring in their step and looked dangerous with ball in hand, a cross field kick looked as if it would bring another score only for winger Tom Davies to just lose control.
This didn’t stop the Blacks and from a driving lineout 10 meters out and the home pack rolling to the try line saw the referee award a penalty try and a yellow card for collapsing the maul.
Burry Continued to apply the pressure and tried hard to make the extra man count and with Youth winger Tom Davies making up for this early mistake finished a fine try. A penalty soon after by outside half Ceiron Thomas stretched the lead further.
Fishguard however were in no mood to roll over, a rare outing into the Burry Port half seen a lovely cross field kick work perfectly for the winger to run in unopposed, this started a period of good play by the visitors and forced Burry Port into some errors and giving penalties away, and with good field position managed to force another try from close range.
Burry Port hit back straight away with a move on half way slicing the defence apart for winger Tom Davies to race in for this second and the Bonus point try.
The game continued to be played at a frantic pace and Burry port were enjoying themselves, another excellent team try was finished off again by Tom Davies who completed his hat-trick and surely left Fishguard with too much to do to get back in the game, the score 32-10.
Last play of the half from the restart saw Fishguard regain possession and managed to put the Blacks under pressure and after a few advantages from the referee Burry Port’s ill discipline resulted in a yellow card.
With Fishguard knowing a penalty wasn’t enough to get back into the game they opted for a scrum and after a few phases a missed tackle allowed them to cross under the posts and give them a lifeline for the 2nd half.
Half time score read 32-17.
The 2nd half was a totally different affair with Burry Port looking to protect their lead by opting for territory rather than possession and resulted in them kicking far too much ball away.
Fishguard seemed to enjoy having the possession and with a some powerful runners in their ranks started causing Burry Port problems, a few loose kicks were capitalised on by the Fishguard back three and it was another fine cross field kick that saw them get a well deserved try.
With the score at 32-22 the game was back in the balance.
Burry Port failed to convert a few chances and the supporters could sense a bit of uncertainty creeping in.
Another yellow card added to the worries of the Blacks and when the visitors scored another try the momentum had most definitely shifted to the away team. The score was now 32-27.
The next score would be vital going into the final 5 minutes. Finally Burry Port stopped kicking the ball away and after a long phase of ball in hand worked their way up field and once in kicking range forced a penalty. Fullback Ben Williams stepped up to put the Blacks a crucial 8 points ahead with only a couple of minutes remaining.
Fishguard had already secured a try bonus point and even though there might not have been enough time to get the two scores needed for victory there was still a losing bonus point up for grabs and to their credit they managed just that. With the referee calling last play Fishguard managed to keep the ball alive and crossed at the death, getting an important score which could prove crucial come the end of season.
Burry Port were just thrilled to get the win and a bonus point victory was the icing on the cake and go into next week with renewed confidence but knowing they will need to produce their 1st half form from Saturday for the full 80 mins to get anything from next weeks game against Pembroke.
Kick off is at 2:30pm at The Memorial Park.
Coach Gareth Gravell was a happy man after the victory, he said: “We played some outstanding rugby in the 1st half and yes we let it slip in the 2nd half but we are a young team who will keep on getting better.
“The average age of the team today was 22 and that includes Ceiron Thomas knocking it up a bit. What is even more pleasing for us as a club is that again as most weeks we have 19/20 players out of the match day squad of 20 who have all played in our Junior section, and 3 of the squad today are current Youth team players.
“Hopefully we will get a good few weeks of training in and go out on Saturday with the belief we can get another home win.”
Final score: Burry Port 35 – 34 Fishguard
Photos: Byron Williams – Report Courtesy of Burry Port RFC