Neath were defeated at the Gnoll on Saturday by newly-promoted Ebbw Vale. The result was disappointing for the home team supporters, but there were some crumbs of comfort in the way the Neath backs played when they had some quality possession.
Neath started much the stronger team, as Ryan Evans and Marc Jones put some big hits into the Ebbw Vale side, allowing Leon Ward to find the gap taking Neath to the 22. Neath continued their domination in attack, pressing Ebbw Vale back as Dafydd Howell’s gained possession on the touch line only inches from the try line. Neath then got the first points on the board as Ebbw Vale were penalised for coming in at the side, as Nigel Owens awarded a penalty to Neath allowing Luke Price to kick the points, 3-0.
Neath looked promising once more as Jamie Davies broke on the 10m, making the hard yards taking Neath far into Ebbw Vales half. But Ebbw Vale forced the hosts into touch.
Neath now hungry to add points to the board as Ryan Evans found another gap, bursting through the Ebbw defence, sidestepping his opponents to dive over the line. The conversion was successful, 10-0.
Minutes later, Luke price found the gap within the Ebbw defence once more, crossing the line scoring Neaths second and final try. The conversion was unsuccessful, 15-0.
It was then Ebbw Vale’s turn to build momentum, managing to overlap the Neath defence allowing full back, Dan Haymond to get past the Welsh All Black defence, conversion successful. 15-7
Continued Ebbw pressure, meant the Neath defence took some superb tackles as Alex Humfrey, Marc Jones and Rhodri Cole fought to gain possession but Ebbw Vale open side flanker, Ronnie Kynes found a gap scoring their second try. The conversion is unsuccessful, keeping Ebbw Vale at bay, 15-12.
Neath provided some promising phases of play as Rhodri broke out from the scrum, storming up the pitch, but a long pass from Ryan Evans over to Dafydd on the outside is knocked on in the process leading to half time at the Gnoll, 15-12.
Ebbw Vale scored the first points in the second half as they were awarded a penalty as the ball edges over the posts, bringing the score to an even playing field, 15-15. Soon after, Neath were awarded a penalty allowing them to pull ahead once more as Luke Price kicked the points, 18-15.
Ebbw Vale now applying the pressure in Neaths 22 are awarded a penalty try from a driving maul that the Neath forwards can’t get to grips with. The conversion successful, 18-22.
Ebbw Vale now on a roll, manage a last minute try from Ronnie Kynes, providing Ebbw witht the bonus point, conversion successful bringing the game to a close, 18-29.
Lee Beach commented on their performance against Ebbw Vale and what it was like to be back at the Gnoll
“It was very good to be back at Neath, it was like I hadn’t been away but a shame about the result.We gave them a few things as well, they made a lot of mistakes and we kept them in the game. If we had kept to our structure and what we had planned, they would not be in the game. We knew what to expect from Ebbw Vale and we played into their hands.
It is great to be back at the Gnoll, I have alot of history at the club and it’s close to my heart and that’s why I’m back. We will work on our weaknesses in our game. We cant go on losing like this, we have to get back to winning ways like we used to.”
Man of the match chosen by Neath Supports Club went to the young Osprey, Luke Price.
|20/09/2014||2:30 pm||Principality Premiership||2014/15|