Druids v Usk (Away) 28 Jan 2012

20-3 Win

Druids win in Cup

Monmouth Druids temporarily set aside league points as they made the short journey to Usk Rfc to compete in the Pontypool and Newport Cup. The squad was depleted to some extent due to shooting and shopping reasons.

Playing at the Usk Agricultural College was unusual for the Druids and not too frequent for Usk. The home side must have been aware that in the two previous matches this season, they have been soundly beaten by the Druids. Usk fielded a side which included some new players to those who had played in the those matches.

The pitch was on the short side and the playing surface proved to be yielding and energy sapping. From the kick off the Druids were more threatening but they failed to create any real chances. A break by Druids Number Eight Gavin Jones, almost put Scrum Half Matt King in near the posts but it was Usk who should have taken the lead. The visitors were penalised frequently by an over vigilant referee but the Usk Outside Half missed a 20 metre penalty goal.

The Druids replied quite quickly when they took a deserved lead through a penalty gaol. Captain Dave Brace who has been in excellent kicking form this season stepped up and kicked a 25 metre goal.

The Usk scrum was beginning to creak and was a growing weakness in the home ranks. So much so that the Druids scored again to increase their lead. They mounted pressure in scrums close to the Usk try line. Eventually Second Row Andy Howells picked up and dived over the try line close to the posts. Dave Brace converted to make the score 10-0.

Just before the interval, Usk reduced the arrears with a successful penalty goal by their Outside Half.

The second period saw an increase in tension between the sides as Usk tenacity frustrated the Druids efforts.Several scuffles broke out and ‘handbags’ occasionally were the order of play.

For all of the Druids dominance they realised that Usk were within a score of drawing the scores level. Their increased efforts resulted in the decisive try being scored to clinch the match. From a lineout close to their try line Usk won loose possession but Druids Number Eight Gavin Jones gathered the ball and burst over for his third try in three games. Dave Brace converted to make the score 17-3 to the visitors.

Dave Brace added to Usk misery by kicking a forty five metre penalty goal which was still rising as it went between the posts.

A full blooded local derby which other than the result, was a little disappointing for the Druids. It was not pretty but put them into the next round of the Cup. Andy Howells, Scot Mcgowan and strong running full back Huw Adams were outstanding for the Druids but Usk can be praised for making it difficult for them.

Try: A.Howells, Gavin Jones
Conv: D.Brace (2)
Pen: D.Brace (2)

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