Druids v Crickhowell (Away) 25 Apr 2014

22-15 Win

Druids win District Cup

The Druids faced Crickhowell in the final of the Pontypool District Rugby Union at Pontypool United RFC ground. Crickhowell, the holders, had won the Cup on five occasions since 1990 whilst the Druids were in the final for the third time and won the Cup two years ago.

The Druids arrived at the venue to find their opponents warming up and practising their moves.

The pitch looked very soft and players were expected to have some difficulty in finding their footing. Both sides made mistakes in the early stages and Crickhowell missed the opportunity to take the lead with a unsuccessful penalty goal. It was the Druids pack which first caught the eye at the scrum where they quickly put Crickhowell on the back foot.

Early Crickhowell pressure was repulsed and the Druids got the score board moving. From a tap penalty, Scrum Half Gareth Morgan quickly set off on a weaving run. His pace caught the Crickhowell defence sleeping and he scuttled over for an unconverted try.

Despite missing a penalty goal attempt, the Druids extended their lead through a try through their dominant forwards. A rolling maul was set up at a line out and Second Row Chris ‘Fez’ Davies squeezed over the Crickhowell line for OutsideHalf Matt King to improve.

The Druids pack had the upper hand but it was the backs which created and scored the next try to further the lead. Catching a high kick, Druids Full Back Huw Adams put in a typical strong burst which took him over the halfway line into the opposition half. He off loaded to Wing Sam Skipp and he fed Gareth Morgan whose pace took him behind the posts for a cracking try. Again Matt King converted to make the lead 19-0 at half time.

If the sizable crowd thought the game was over, Crickhowell and the Referee had other ideas. Crickhowell scored two tries, both from rolling mauls. To make matters worse the referee Steve Collier awarded four yellow cards against the Druids for technical offences. At one time the Druids had only thirteen players and they were forced to defend furiously. The match was hard but never dirty but Mr Collier saw differently.

Matt King kicked a long range penalty goal to increase the Druids lead to 22-10. Crickhowell were still not done and wing Darryl Reynolds touched down in the left hand corner after a tap penalty.
So a 22-15 victory which showed both sides of the Druids skills and determination. In the first half it was the forwards scrumaging and the backs running and passing which stood out. In the second period it was their defensive skills, determination and courage.

Milo Thomas won a good deal of turn over ball and Flanker Gareth Morgan was everywhere. Behind the scrum, Scrum Half Gareth Morgan ran and kicked out of hand well. The kicking of Matt King was important to the score line. Every player was a hero.

Tries: G.Morgan (2), C.Davies
Conv: M.King (2)
Pen: M.King

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