Druids v Garndiffaith (Away) 24 Apr 2013

23-13 Win

Druids gain Revenge

The journey to Garndiffaith RFC gave the Druids time to consider the defeat they suffered earlier in the season at the hands of their opponents. The deficit then was only three points but to win on the Garndiffaith ground was a big ask.

On a cold dry day the pitch was quite firm and the home side made the best start. A penalty to them awarded for a Druids offence was duly punished to give Garndiffaith a 3-0 lead. This was followed by a try in which the ball was moved wide for the home winger to touch down in the corner. Garndiffaith took full advantage by kicking the conversion to give a ten point lead.

There was some niggle in the game and a few off the ball incidents but the young referee kept good control of the match. The Druids got on the scoreboard when the home side Outside half hoisted a high kick which was safely gathered by Druids wing Hugh Davis. He chipped ahead but was impeded on his follow up by Garndiffath and the referee awarded the visitors a penalty. Captain Dave Brace kicked the goal to reduce the home side lead to 10-3.

Garndiffaith was guilty of back chat to the official but the Druids concentrated on playing the game. So much so that the visitors reduced the arrears still further. Dave Brace from open play, cut back through the forwards to cross near the corner flag for a try which was not improved.

Just before the half time the Druids took the lead through Scrum half Tom Cratchley. From a penalty awarded in the Garndiffaith 22 metre area, he dummied and darted over the try line for a great effort. Brace converted to give the Druids a 15-10 lead at the break.

Monmouth will have reflected on a half where they ruled the line outs through Jack Howells and Andy Howells. At the Scrums the Druids more than held their own.

The second half started with the Druids trying to run the ball from within their 22 metre area but Garndiffaith tackling prevented any real progress.

An exchange of penalty goals made the score 18-13 in favour of the visitors but generally the Druids kept the pressure on Garndiffaith. The home side had some good rumbles from scrum and lineout but good solid Druids tackling held their line intact. Outside half Rhys Ricketts with some short darting runs also kept Garndiffaith at bay.

Then within minutes of the final whistle Druids wing Mike Whistance made the game safe for the visitors. Frome open play he ran hard to touch down in the corner for an unconverted try.

A great triumph from a side that has showed spirit all season. All players displayed real determination and the will to win. As a result the Druids leapfrogged over Garndiffaith in the league table.

Message from Bracey ...
That was one of the best games of our season without doubt! Everyone got stuck into the bigger side and after going 10 nil down and getting abuse from their team and their spectators, most teams would have folded!

They haven't met the Druids though, the team who play for each other, that never ever give up no matter what and fight to the end for each other!

I know I say this a lot but I am genuinely proud to play with all you guys, the team spirit is immense as are the attitudes!

Tries: R.Ricketts, T.Cratchley, M.Whistance
Conv: D.Brace
Pen: D.Brace (2)

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