Caerphilly RFC | 1st Team 20 - 22 Hartridge RFC | 1st Team
Matthew Nuthall
Try 1
Matthew James Hurley
Conversion 2
Penalty 2
Try 1

Match Report
25 April 2017 / Team News

Sunk at the Last

Caerphilly suffered their 2nd defeat of the season against a well drilled Hartridge team in the sun at the Constructaquote Stadium last weekend. Having lead for most of the game an 82nd minute try sunk the title chasing Green Army against the Newport side heading the league.

It was the Newport that exerted the early pressure. A mistake from the kick off ensured that Caerphilly ensured a 15 minute barrage from the Newport Side as they lay siege on the try line. The defence held firm until the 15th minute, Hartridge going over the line from a lineout on the 5mtr line for a converted try.

Once the home side had found their pace, however, they spent the next quarter attacking the Hartridge line. A series of penalties gave outside half Matthew Hurley the opportunity for a penalty on 25 minutes, narrowing the gap. The side came close 3 minutes later, Hurley placing a deep kick for Lewys Willacott to chase, the bounce evading the Hartridge full back, but also bouncing just out of the reach of the chasing wing.

Another kick for the corner gave the home side another opportunity on 33 minutes as lineout ball was passed through the backs where centre Matthew Nuthall was on hand to find the space in the defence vacated by a Hartridge centre following a yellow card for persistent infringing, to cross the line and gain the lead with a converted try.

Another penalty kick for territory saw a lineout on the 22, following the first of many stoppages as referee Peter Mortimer was forced to clear Hartridge supporters from the field. Ball from the top found its way back to Matthew Hurley on the 10, and the season’s prolific burst through to score under the posts for a converted try to finish the first half 17-7 in the lead.

With the visitors still reduced to 14 men, Captain Hurley decided against an easy penalty 3 minutes into the second half, opting for a kick into the corner. The home side overthrew the ball and lost possession. Taking play up to the half way line the visiting side worked a move that saw the left wing run from the half way to cross in the corner and narrow the gap to 5 points.

Despite applying persistent pressure, the home side failed to ground the ball over the line on several occasions. Hurley wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice and accepted a shot at goal on 55 minutes increasing the lead by 20-ut following another number of sideline disturbances, some mistakes from the home side gave the visitors game time which they used to attack the Caerphilly line, well. Another try from Hartridge on 69 minutes set up a tense finish.

Playing with new found vigour the Newport side went in search of the winner. After reaching 80 minutes, the home side appeared to have control of the ball deep in the visitors half, however a Nuthall clearance downfield was somewhat skewed giving the visitors full back the opportunity the chance to run the ball left. Following a ruck on the half way line their centre cleared through the ruck to sprint down the touch line giving the visitors a 2 point lead, sparking a visiting pitch invasion.

Following the clearing of the field Caerphilly restarted the game. Referee Mortimer missed a deliberate knock into touch and a certain kickable penalty for the home team, straight from the restart, Caerphilly forced to accept a lineout instead. Moving the ball from left to right play was halted just short of the line before spoiling the ball back to the centre. Reaching the hands of Tom Candy, the full Back took the direct route to the line only to have the ball knocked out of his hands on the 10mtr line, the knock on signalling the end of the game, 4 points and a bonus to the visitors with the home side gaining only a single point leaving them 12 points adrift of the leaders but with 3 additional games in hand.

Next week Caerphilly welcome Fleur de Lys to the Constructaquote Stadium, kick off 2:30pm, before they travel to Oakdale midweek, Wednesday 3rd May following the Bank Holiday.


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