Caerphilly progressed to the 5th round of the National Bowl competition last weekend, for the first time in 10 years with a hard fought 8 points to 5 win at the Recreational Ground, their 2nd victory this season over league leaders Oakdale.
In a slippery affair, the rain that had been forcast overnight arrived just before kick off, producing conditions that were not conducive to running rugby and made handling as difficult as handling a bar of soap in the bath, leading to a plethora of knock on’s exceeding the count of 20.
Caerphilly had the best of the first half, spending the first 25 minutes in the Oakdale half, but failed to register a single point as the conditions worsened, the home defence and handling putting pay to several chances. The best of these came in the first quarter as the home side lost one of their props on 6 minutes following a late tackle on full back Tom Candy. With the Oakdale pack reduced to 7 men Caerphilly got a good shove and pushed the home side of their own ball to set up the backs, the wet ball just slipping from the centres hands within inches of the line.
Oakdale came back well in the last quarter of the first half, spending quality time attacking the visitors line, but again handling proving their downfall as several chances went begging. The best chance of the half came to Oakdale as they caught a Caerphilly clearance just inside their own half. Spinning the ball wide the full back came into the line and raced down the wing only to be caught yards short of the line with a try saving tackle from Candy. 0-0 at half time.
The second half started as the first with Caerphilly on the attack. During one of these attacks, and 10 minutes into the half Caerphilly lost winger Will Worthington as he chased a try opportunity, pulling up lame just short of the line to be replaced by Dewi Jones. 5 minutes later Caerphilly were given their first chance at points as the home side were found offside during another Caerphilly attack, and outside half Matthew Hurley made no mistake in converting for 3 points.
The game turned on 70 minutes as the visitors broke from deep, Hurley launching the ball ahead. Winger Dewi Jones went chasing down the kick, in hope, and as the Oakdale full back attempted to collect the bouncing ball he slipped in the mud, missing the ball, and Jones was on hand to touch down over the line, giving the side an important 8-0 lead, and more importantly a 2 score cushion.
This spurned the home side into action and they got their reward with a try on 75 minutes following a quick penalty as the visitors strayed offside after illegally winning the ball from an attempted catch and drive. The resultant quickly taken penalty resulted in the try relatively unopposed, setting up a tense finish.
Try as the home side may the conditions were against them, playing up the hill, and with a bar of soap, as 3 opportunities went begging, the ball spilt in contact. 7 minutes into injury time the final whistle was blown for a resounding result for the Casltetown side and a place in the final 16.
Next weekend sees the side resume their league calendar with a mouth watering tie against Newport HSOB, in search of a continuity, and keeping pressure at the top of the league. Kick off 2:30pm. The youth also resume their league fixture as they travel to Tredegar.
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