Druids v Garndiffaith (Home) 05 Oct 2013

32-29 Win

Thrilling finish for Druids

Monmouth Druid’s friendly fixture against Garndiffaith proved to be an outstanding match only won in the final minutes of this tense encounter. Both sides contributed to make the contest a match to remember.

The Druids, on their own ground, were the better side in the first quarter of the game. Dominating possession, they mounted several attacks, none of which resulted in a score. Poor passing and handling wasted the possession the forwards hard earned efforts.

Garndiffaith scored a try against the run of play to give them a five point lead they could have hardly expected. A kick ahead was not cleared by the home side and Garndiffaith took full advantage of hesitation in the home defence by scoring an opportunist try which was improved by their scrum half Luke Jones-more of him later.

After 20 minutes the Druids were facing a surprising seven point deficit. They hit back with a well taken try following a scrum 10 metres from the visitors try line. The ball was transferred to left wing Jaime Tyler who ran strongly and dived over near the corner flag.
In a rare Garndiffaith attack the home side were penalised for handling at a ruck and Luke Jones kicked the penalty and give the visitors a 10-5 lead.

Monmouth Druids scored their second try from a similar position to the sides’ first effort. Again Jamie Tyler squeezed over near the corner after beating his opponent. Once more the conversion failed but the Druids were now on level terms.

A series of penalty goals from both sides moved the scores along with the visitors keeping a narrow lead.

Garndiffaith firstly retook the lead with two successful penalty goals through the unerring boot of Luke Jones. The Druids reduced the arrears again with a penalty goal of their own by Centre Dave Brace. A break by scrum half Gareth Morgan caused the visitors to transgress at a ruck and Brace took full advantage to score to move the scoreboard to 16-13 against Monmouth.

Referee Bill Hunt was busy try to keep some order to the game which was loose but entertaining. Luke Jones kicked another penalty goal as Garndiffaith edged further ahead. Then a fine try by the Druids brought the scores closer. Full Back Huw Adams, who had a fine match, burst into the line leaving defenders in his wake. Up in support was prop Tom Green who fed wing Callam Conner who steamed over the Garndiffaith try line.

The visitors were far from finished and Luke Jones, backing up his forwards, dived over the Druids line, duly converted and to rub salt in the wound, kicked a penalty goal to move the scoreboard to 29-18 in favour of Garndiffaith.An unassailable lead?

Druids Captain Nick Phillips, asked for a big effort and the home team stepped up the pace. From a maul close to the visitors line Flanker Dave Morgan drove hard and forced himself over the try line with serious determination. Dave Brace converted to narrow the deficit to 25-29.

With full time approaching, the Druids missed a penalty goal but kept pressure on the Garndiffaith defence. A scrum five was driven by the Druids pack and the visitors slowly but surely were pushed backwards and collapsed. The referee awarded a penalty try which was converted by Dave Brace to make the final score 32-29 to the Druids.

A fine victory, watched by a crowd which was swelled by spectators who would normally watch the first team but with no fixture available, they will have enjoyed the experience. A number of Dads and former players will have watched with pleasure the whole match.

For the Druids, Full Back Huw Adams had an outstanding match with strong running and determination. Flanker Dan Anstey is improving with every game and there’s more to come for Monmouth. Man of the match was undoubtedly Garndiffaith scrum half Luke Jones. His pace and elusiveness made him a dangerous runner and he controlled the visitors attacks.

Tries: J.Tyler(2), C.Connor, D.Morgan, penalty
Conv: D.Brace (2)
Pen: D.Brace

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