Congratulations to Amman Utd on their Victory at The Principality Stadium, lifting the National Bowl in a close run game. Despite the hype over former Wales winger Caerphilly traded blow for blow with Amman in a game that could have gone either way.Despite scoring 4 tries apiece the penalty count for West Walian side proved the difference between the sides in the victory, outside half Matthew Hurley achieving 100% record with his attempts at goal against 3 conversion misses from opposition kicker, scrum half Joel Foster.
It was Amman who got the scoring underway on 10 minutes, capitalising on a mistake from the Green and White's in midfield to set the stage for Williams to open their try count, Foster adding the simple conversion. Caerphilly wouldn't let the side get away however and centre Chris Thomas powered his way over the line on 15 minutes with Hurley adding the conversion to level the scores.
Hurley was again on hand following a run from full back Tom Candy through the heart of the Amman defence, converting his own try with 20 minutes on the clock. Foster added the first of his 7 penalties on 26 minutes as the Caerphilly defence were caught offside during an attack before full back Gavin Lewis went over after 35 minutes.
The try of the match came on the stroke of half time as winger Gareth Dare collected the ball on half way to power his way through a multitude of defenders all the way to the try line proving an unstoppable force, Hurley adding the conversion.
The saying, "You are never more vulnerable than when you've just scored" reigned true. Caerphilly failed to deal with the restarts all match, and with just enough time in the first half Amman again tool advantage, Sean Cadell going over in the corner. Despite the appearance that the second rower had a hand and knee over the lien before grounding the ball, the fourth official, controversially awarded the try leaving Caerphilly with a slender 21-20 advantage at the break, both sides trading points.
The second half proved as exciting. another penalty from Foster gave Amman a point advantage on 47 minutes, Hurley cancelling it out on 51 minutes before the scrum half added another on the 59th minute mark however some enforced changes, captain Gareth England leaving the field and a complete change of front row disrupted the Cheesemen slightly and Foster extended the lead to 5 points with penalties on the 60th and 65th minute.
Breaking from deep, the Caerphilly side patiently made their way upfield, beaten several occasions with the sharp shrill of the whistle before their play eventually put stalwart centre Matthew Nuthall over for a well worked try, Hurley adding the conversion, giving the castletown side a slender 2 point advantage.
A yellow card on replacement flanker Josh Williams proved as controversial as the 2nd try, the second row appearing to have safely turned over ball, only to be penalised. This proved crucial and Amman capitalised by adding another penalty driving a nail in the coffin with a 76th minute converted try from Foster, breaking Caerphilly hearts, securing the title.
A message from club president Rhys Ryland
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen
What a great advert for rugby our team has produced for Welsh Rugby this afternoon, despite losing 40 : 31 to Amman United who we have to congratulate!
We have to be hugely proud of the performance of all our players, coaches and supporters for the way they have performed today, they were a fantastic advert for our Club!
At the end of the day one side has to lose and one to win. We can still walk away with a smile on our faces as every one today gave their all from Norman Phillips presenting the shirts to the players performing on the pitch and the supporters coming in their droves from all aver the world.
Thank you all you were fantastic the Club could not ask more.
Sad we lost yes, though other challenges now lie in front of us. The Club, committee, juniors, coaches, players and supporters have put in a huge effort to support the image of the organisation today, let's keep moving forward and not regret it for to long, Keep smiling.
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