31 December 2017 / Team News

Nantyffyllon 13 v 10 Maesteg Celtic

Maesteg Celtic travelled to play Nantyffyllon on Maesteg Welfare Park for a top of the table clash. Conditions were very heavy as a result of recent weather so open rugby on the small pitch was difficult. Nanty decided to play a kicking game from the offset and attempted to contain Celtic to their own half but Celtic back three Sam Mines, Kristian Jenkins and Scott James were solid in defence. Celtic front five of Sean Lambert, Ashley Poole, Lloyd Griffiths, Alex Jones and Mark Hillier-Rees soon got on top and drove their opponents back at every opportunity. Nanty pack responded by dropping the Celtic lines out before they could get started and using quick channel one ball at the scrums.

Celtic centres Nathan Healy and Lee Arthur tried to run the ball at Nanty but great tackling by their opposite numbers stopped them in their tracks. Great defensive work was done by back rowers Peter Kehoe, Jonathan Davies and Captain Oliver Petty and most of the play was contained between the 22s.

Celtic opened the scoring on the half hour when Man of the Match second row Alex Jones took the ball in the line out on half way and the pack drove him to the 22. Nanty collapsed the scrum but the referee played advantage so scrum half Leon Evans moved the ball right. Nanty defended well but the ball was moved back left for flanker Jonathan Davies to break the defence and put Captain Oliver Petty over in the corner. Mathew Harris converted.

Nanty responded immediately and their forwards took the ball into the Celtic 22. The ball was given to their backs and an excellent entry into the line at pace by their full back beat the Celtic defence and allowed their wing to touch down in the corner. Outside half Nigel Jones converted. The half ended when Nanty collapsed a driving maul and Mathew Harris kicked the Penalty.

Nanty took control in the second half as a result of frequent high kicks from scrum half Kieran John and good positional kicking from outside half Nigel Jones. The Celtic defence held strong but were forced to concede penalties at the ruck and Nigel Jones kicked 2 to put Nanty ahead. With time running out Celtic made one last great effort and took play to the Nanty line. They were unable to take advantage of this position because Nanty had a front row player yellow carded and opted for passive scrums!

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