14 January 2018 / Team News

Maesteg Celtic 20 v 42 Nelson

Maesteg Celtic’s excellent cup run came to an end when they faced 1st Division East Central Nelson RFC in the fourth round. The visitors arrived with a heavy pack and quick threequarters. Celtic front five of Sean Lambert, Ashley Poole, Damien Phillips, Oliver Petty and Alex Jones contained their opposite numbers well and the back row of Callum Bowen, Mark Hillier-Rees and Jonathan Davies tackled well. Unfortunately Celtics handling was not up to their usual high standard and Nelson capitalised on their errors.

Nelson opened the scoring early with a penalty kick from a ruck offence. A few minutes later they counter attacked from a poor kick and good interplay took the ball to the Celtic line where their wing was put clear to score. A dropped ball in the Celtic 22 was gathered and quick interpassing gave Nelson their second try. Celtic managed to gain possession in the Nelson half from the kick off and good interplay took the ball into the 22. Nelson were caught offside and centre Mathew Harris kicked the penalty. The Celtic pack began to establish some dominance and a forward drive allowed number eight Jonathan Davies to break and pass to outside half Luke Richards. He then switched play to second row Alex Jones who put fullback Scott James clear to score.

Soon after a bad pass by Celtic was picked up by the Nelson Full back who put his wing clear to score. Celtic responded when Luke Richards kicked a penalty to the corner and Mark Hillier-Rees won the lineout and was driven over the line for flanker Callum Bowen to touch down. Harris converted. The half ended when the Nelson outside half kicked a penalty from 40 metres.

The second half continued as before. Celtic failed to make the kickoff safe and Nelson scored. They scored again when they gathered a relieving kick and ran it back for a try. Their final try came when their centre entered the line at pace and ran deep into the Celtic 22 before putting his wing over. Celtic continued to compete and substitute number eight Ryan Jones had possession in the Nelson 22 and deftly floated a cross kick for Mathew Harris to touch down in the corner. Ryan was awarded Man of the Match. “And so ends the cup dream”. Up to Builth Wells in the league next.

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