Druids v Abercarn (Away) 16 Feb 2013

24-31 Loss

Druids just fall short

The latest challenge for Monmouth Druids was an away fixture at Abercarn. In living memory at the Monmouth club no one can remember if the clubs have met at this level in the past. This friendly fixture was a break from league matches which have more significance.

The visitors travelled with a side which suffered by late withdrawals and injuries but full of optimism. Abercarn took the lead after only a few minutes when they scored an unconverted try from a tap penalty in the Druids 22 metre area.

Druids wing Sam Skipp almost drew the scores level but he just failed to breach the home defence. The visitors were soon on the scoreboard though through a penalty goal kicked by Outside Half Greg Wilding. Abercarn responded by scoring two tries within a few minutes. The first from broken play and quick passing, the second from a break from their speedy Centre from within his own 22 metre area. Only one successful conversion but Abercarn had opened a scoring gap to 17-3.

Visitors front rower Rob Job had some determined runs but with no success and the halftime whistle blew with Abercarn leading by 17-3.

On the restart the Druids scored a well worked try following a line out deep in Abercarn territory. Number Eight Matt Heath drove strongly through 2 or 3 defenders to touch down for Greg Wilding to convert and reduce the deficit to 17-10.
Druids full back Mattie Morgan denied Abercarn a try when he tackled a home player with the line at his mercy. The visitors were having the better of the territory and their forwards were driving the Abercarn pack back in the rolling mauls. It was from a defensive position that Abercarn stretched their lead. The Number 12 broke the Druids defensive line and race away to touch down between the posts. The successful conversion gave the home side a 24-10 lead.

The Druids were next to score and Matt Heath was again influential. Picking up from a 5 metre scrum he committed the defence but when held he passed to Sam Skipp who powered over for Greg Wilding to convert.

A tap penalty was again the undoing of the Druids as Abercarn took the opportunity to increase their lead. This try was improved with a conversion to give the home side a 31-17 lead. As the time was running out, the visitors had the last word. From broken play, good passing enabled Scrum Half Tom Cratchley to score a good try which Gregg Wilding converted.

So despite this 31-24 defeat the Druids can have some satisfaction. A weakened side showed real determination and contributed in an eight try thriller. Matt Heath tried hard and Centres Skipp and Gibson ran strongly.

Tries: M.Heath, S.Skipp, T.Cratchley
Conv: G.Wilding (3)
Pen: G.Wilding

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