Druids v Cathays Cardiff (Home) 19 Nov 2011

25-22 Win

Druids win thriller

Having won their last three matches, albeit away from home, the latest opposition in a friendly fixture was Cathays of Cardiff. An added ingredient in this match was that the visitors were in a close second spot in their Cardiff league.

From the beginning of the match, Cathays showed how tough it would be for the Druids with determined opposition and strong tackling. In fact the visitors took the lead with a well worked try, from a scrum deep in the Druids 22 metre area.The ball was won and moved quickly on the blind side. Good handling at pace left the Cathays left wing to touch down for an unconverted opening try.

The home side were stung into action and their first score was started by a surging run from number eight Matt Hurst. Outside half Huw Adams, who was a constant threat to the Cathays defence, carried on the move before passing to Second Row Milo Thomas who touched down behind the posts. Captain Dave Brace converted to give the Druids a 7-5 lead.

Milo Thomas repeated the feat after a fine break by Mike Whistance. His run made huge inroads into the Cathays ranks and he threw a pass to Thomas who crossed for another fine supporting try. Brace again converted to increase the lead to 14-5.

Brace increased the lead when he kicked a penalty goal awarded against the visitors for using a hand in the ruck. Cathays were made of sterner stuff and again they shrewdly used the blind side to good effect. Good, swift handling created an opportunity for a Cathays player to touch down wide out. The try was not converted and at half time the Druids lead by 17-10 with the second period in some doubt.

Soon after the restart, Cathays suffered a blow, when as a result of a high block tackle on Mike Whistance, one of their players was yellow carded and dispatched from the pitch for 10 minutes. Brace increased the pain on the visitors by kicking a 40 metre penalty goal.

Far from giving up, Cathays put in some strong running which demanded good, first time tackling which the Druids duly performed. However a mistake between the Druids half backs saw the ball roll over the home side try line and a Cathays flanker dived on the ball for a well taken opportunist try. The successful conversion kick put the visitors were within one score of the Druids at 20-17.

The Druids responded swiftly by scoring a try which was started by a fine touch kick from Huw Adams. From the line out, a good catch from second row Mat Edwards set up a rolling maul which resulted in Hooker Mark Ralph touching down.

Far from feeling defeated, Cathays stormed into the attack and caused the Druids to concede a penalty within 15 metres from their try line. Quickly taken, Cathays moved the ball wide for the left wing to score close to the corner flag. The conversion failed but the scoreline of 25-22 gave hope to Cathays optimism that they could pull it back.

The final whistle blew without further score and a thrilling win for the Druids but Cathays made them work hard for it. Some fine three quarter play backed up by strong forward foraging and tackling. Mike Whistance showed good form as did newcomer Milo Thomas.

Tries: M.Thomas (2), M.Ralph
Conv: D.Brace
Pen: D.Brace (2)

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