Druids v Gwernyfed (Home) 03 Apr 2012

21-0 Win

Cup Semi Final Victory for Druids
The Sports Ground was the venue for the Ivor Jones Cup Semi Final between hosts, Monmouth Druids and Gwernyfed. Added spice in this encounter was the fact that Gwernyfed were the last side to defeat the Druids on 10th December ’11. A fine run of victories since that 11-0 reverse but the Druids were determined to readdress this defeat and progress into the final.

The longish journey from near Talgarth for Gwernyfed was possibly still in the players legs as the Druids dominated the early exchanges. An opportunity to take the lead was spurned by the home side as they missed a kickable penalty goal and following a surging run from Number 8 Nick Phillips, a dropped pass prevented a score.

This was short lived as Centre and Captain Dave Brace put 3 points on the scoreboard to open proceedings. Another score was inevitable and again it was Nick Phillips who set it up. Picking up from a 5 metre scrum, he was held up just short of the Gwernyfed try line but slipped a pass to Scrum Half Matt King who touched down for an unconverted try.

Just before the interval a player from each side was Yellow carded for different technical offences. It was not a dirty game but the referee was very watchful and unforgiving of any indiscretion.

The second period began much as the first with Gwernyfed mainly on defence not helped by some poor catching from Druids high kicks. A charged down visitors kick almost resulted in a second Druids try but the ever vigilant referee disallowed a touch down.

The Druids controlled the line outs through Andy Howells and Milo Thomas but in the scrums they were less dominant as the referee found disfavour with some of their play. Both sides used the driving maul and the home side rucked effectively,
The ever reliable Dave Brace increased the Druids lead to 14 points when he kicked two 25 metre penalty goals due to the visitors indiscretions. This was added to by the second and final Druids try.

Once more a Nick Phillips drive was held up just short of the line and Andy Howells backed up to catch and drive over the Gwernyfed line for Dave Brace to convert. A 21-0 victory which was thoroughly deserved, which was ground out.
The last 10 minutes, saw the Druids relax a little and only superb defence kept out the visitors. Threequarters and forwards combined to tackle and drive back Gwernyfed attacks.

The basis of the win was the performance of the pack, whilst the backs had quieter games due to slow and miss passing . Full Back Huw Adams had some stirring runs which deserved more.
Now for the final.

Tries: M.King, A.Howells
Conv: D.Brace
Pen: D.Brace(3)

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