SATURDAY (Nov 10) saw Tycroes entertain Pontyberem at Cae Gelli in WRU National League Division 2 West. Historically this has been a tight encounter and it was no exception this time around.
It was the home side that were first on the scoreboard with fly half Lee Evans converting a penalty after some early pressure. The visitors started taking control of proceedings up front, with some strong forwards work in the scrum. This lead to some vigorous Pontyberem pressure, and after an excellent set piece from the lineout, Pontyberem made progress deep into Tycroes territory. After several episodes of recycling, a pass from skipper Wayne Williams put young lock Mathew Lloyd clear to go over from five yards out.
The home side responded strongly and were again awarded a penalty with fly half Evans slotting over for another three points, making the score 6-5 in Tycroes’ favour.
The first half continued to be a physical affair with both sides not giving an inch. However from some broken play, Tycroes’ backs moved the ball sharply and with some good inter passing, scrum half Aled James crossed over close to the posts. Evans converted, and gave the hosts a 13-5 lead.
With time running out in the first half, Pontyberem’s pack again drove towards the home side’s try-line and were able to keep possession. Shipping the ball to the right, winger Matthew Murphy broke the stubborn defence to cross over for a try. The half-time score was 13-10 to Tycroes.
The second half started in the same vain, with much of the play in the middle third of the field as both teams’ defence proved hard to break down. A successful Mike Sauro penalty levelled the score-line at 13-13.
Pontyberem were now on top and after kicking to the corner, they were able to take control, eventually putting lock Mathew Lloyd in at the corner for his second try. Sauro converted superbly to make it 20-13 to the visitors.
Most of the final 10 to 15 minutes saw the away side pressurising the Tycroes line with repeated scrums, which ultimately saw a blind side move releasing Tomos Lloyd on the right wing. With plenty to do, Lloyd beat two men and dived over to score an excellent try, to also confirm Pontyberem with a bonus point. Sauro converted from the touchline again.
Final score: Tycroes 13-27 Pontyberem
This is Pontyberem’s third consecutive league win and moves them up to fifth in the table, while Tycroes slip down to sixth.