Fixture

Caerphilly RFC | 1st Team 22 - 34 Oakdale RFC | 1st Team
William Andrew Worthington
Try 3
Simon Skinner
Conversion 2
Penalty 1
Cerrig Thomas Wilson
1 Try
Christopher Davies
1 Try
Simon Veall
3 Conversion
1 Penalty
1 Try
Elliott Jayne
1 Try
Scott Evans
1 Try

Match Report
24 January 2016 / Team News

The Dale Squeeze The Cheese To Stay Unbeaten

Looking back, it was a pretty big deal when this week’s opponents decided not to come back to our clubhouse after we inflicted their first defeat of their season (in their third game) back in September. Maybe it was the realisation of how far they had actually tumbled down the leagues that they thought our small village hovel was not a place for their big town presence instead jumping straight back in their cars and heading back down the valley.

What they have come to realise is that Division Three East ‘A’ is no easy division with them having incurred a further five losses and only registering the same amount of wins in their first ten games. It was therefore quite amusing to hear one of their supporters comment yesterday that they could not understand how the WRU could let teams play on Blackwood Stars pitch up at Libanus Fields due to its condition and it undulating surface. Get real, this is where you are now get on with it.

That being said that is what their squad certainly did yesterday in one of the more memorable games we will see this season. Oakdale were back to nearly full strength apart from Greg and Luke who were recovering from last week’s sexploits, Pony who was on a hen weekend and Morgan Wilson who was still revelling in the fact that I called him Cerrig’s better looking brother last week and was too delirious to make the side.

It didn’t take long for the first points of the day to be put up on da’philly’s very impressive scoreboard but it went to the home side and not the Dale. In fact it was from the kick off that Dai Fortune collected the ball and went looking for contact. That contact actually lost him the ball and when the Philly backs went into motion they came up against a spirited Luke Yates. So spirited that he refused to let the player go when he tackled him and conceded the penalty. The penalty was good and the home side went into a 3-0 lead.

On seven minutes Caerphilly had another chance at points after Oakdale were penalised for not releasing in the tackle area (again). Thankfully the penalty effort was a poor one and went way wide.

It took all of 13 minutes for the Referee to award the first scrum of the game and what a scrum it was. Oakdale mustered a good team effort and pushed the home side off their own ball but the play broke down after a knock on. This though was to be a focal point of the Dale’s strategy for the rest of the game as from the next scrum Oakdale got their first chance of points when the Philly scrum capitulated and Simon Veall stroked over the three points to bring the game level.

Oakdale conceded a free kick on 23 minutes when Brett Turner kicked on but wasn’t five metres from the player who called a mark when he tackled him. The home side decided to put in an up and under and it was left to Dai Fortune to gather possession. Dai steadied himself well but when the ball came to him it bounced off that belly of his and bounced on the ground straight into a Philly player’s hands. He was already at full pelt and drew Luke Yates before passing to a supporting attacker who was able to run in under the posts for a converted try. Everyone looked at Dai and tutted and the home side went into a 10-3 lead.

One minute before the half hour Oakdale were scrapping well and managed to get turn over ball at the ruck. The ball was flung out to their backs who had Cerrig Wilson loitering in midfield. With his hands on the ball and space to express himself he thought he would take the opportunity to show Veall just how to throw a miss pass. As everyone shouted ‘NO’ the ball sailed through the air straight into one of the home side’s backs and he had 60 metres and a clear view of the line to run all the way in, again under the posts. Everyone looked at Fortune again and tutted but the Dale fell further behind at 17-3.

Straight from the kick off Caerphilly gathered and took the ball into a ruck. They recycled quickly but with the introduction of Cripper Davies for Brett who hurt his ickle arm, the Dale backs weren’t in the positions they were supposed to be in and there were some good hands and a deft last pass to put the Philly in once again in the corner. There were 30 minutes gone and the Dale were staring down the barrel of their first defeat of the season at 22-3 down.

Four minutes before half time the Dale got themselves back into the game with some concerted pressure on the home side’s line. When the forwards weren’t able to breach the defence the ball was flung out to Josh Thomas who threw a long one out to Pretty Boy Jayne on the wing. He flummoxed the defence by running straight into Yates and the home side shouted for obstruction. Unfortunately, none of their players were even remotely near the ball and the Ref waved play on. Elliot then had the relatively easy task of handing off one defender and crossing the line. Veall missed the conversion and the Dale closed the gap with the last score of the half to make it 22-8.

Caerphilly were determined to pile more pressure on their visitors and with one minute left on the clock put their winger free and he darted to the line. Fortunately for the Dale left winger Matthew ‘Trev’ Davies was covering and he put his body right on the line and stopped the young lad in his tracks. Oakdale got back in numbers and managed to push the home side out to get a defending line out. They managed the play well and the Ref blew for half time.


HALF TIME – CAERPHILLY RFC 22 v 8 OAKDALE RFC


It didn’t take much to fire up the coaches for their half time team talk and Roly gave his charges both barrels as Oakdale certainly were not their usual selves in the first 40 minutes. That talk obviously made an immediate impression on the players as they came out for the second 40 all guns blazing.

That fight back though started from close to their own goal line as the Dale conceded a penalty from another Dai Fortune knock on (all Tut loudly). Philly kicked to the corner but kick did not find touch but found Veall who sent Luke Yates in action from close to his own goal area. Yates made some good yards before being taken down on his own 10 metre line. The ball was recycled and Super Gavin Hipkiss took it on for some more yards before passing to Josh. Josh was held up and he passed to Cripper who went outside one player and handed off another before being able to go in for the Dale’s second try of the day all the way from their own line. Veall missed the conversion but the Dale were right back in the game at 22-13.

Six minutes later the Dale were really back in the game when some good pressurising of the line found no way through and a loose boot saw the ball hacked away by the home side but was well gathered by Elliot Jayne. He ran it back into the corner and the home side conceded a line out. The ball was plucked off the top by Cerrig and when he hit the floor he popped to the steamrolling juggernaut they call Scott ‘Roly’ Evans who boshed himself over the line for a try out wide. Veal stroked over a lovely conversion and it was definitely game on with the score at 22-20.

Oakdale supporters were then dealt an agonising 20 minutes where everything Oakdale threw at their hosts didn’t materialise into points and that new found optimism at the start of the second half ebbed away. Slowly and slowly that first defeat of the season was looking more like a reality as each second ticked away.

With the dying minutes ticking on Oakdale nearly found themselves further behind but for a last gasp try saving tackle put in by Jayne and with a turnaround of sixty seconds Oakdale found themselves with a scrum on the Philly five metre line and memories of that home game back in September came flooding back where we successfully kept them out to record the win. Could it be a role reversal this time? The Dale’s scrum was solid and it was Fortune who picked up and ran for the line. As fast his legs could go his hands were not in tune with his other appendages and he dropped the ball inches from the line. The resulting Philly scrum was pushed off the ball and Fortune went again. For a second he looked like he was going to run straight into the post but he was tackled over the line and couldn’t get the ball down. Everyone thought he wouldn’t try it for a third time but he did, just like Dai but this time he took more of a flat line. With all Philly eyes on Fortune they didn’t see Veall barnstorming up on a straight line and Fortune did the right thing and popped the ball to his number 10 who crashed over with three players on his back. Veall converted his own try and for the first time in the game and with only 120 seconds on the clock the Dale went into the lead for the first time at 27-22.

With all the injuries that were incurred in the second 40 there were still some playing left to do and the home side looked a tired bunch but still they dragged themselves up for one last shot. They pressured the Dale but play was too spread out and the Philly found it hard to break through the Oakdale defence. When play broke down the Dale regathered possession and a kick into the corner was chased well and possession again was the away side’s. Both Josh and Sam Dixon had a go at the line but both were held up just short. Trev gathered at the base of the breakdown and passed it out to that midfield loiterer, Cerrig Wilson who gave the try away in the first half. Everyone put their hands to the sides of their heads in anticipation of giving away more points but Cegs sidestepped one, sidestepped another and sidestepped a third to dive over the line for another Oakdale score to crush the home side’s hope of getting themselves back into the game. People ran onto the field from everywhere just like when Ronnie Radford scored his goal for Hereford against Newcastle United back in the 1971 Fa Cup Third Round tie, it was a most joyous occasion. Veall struck a good conversion and Oakdale capped a quite remarkable comeback of 31 points without replay to record their eighth successive league victory against a dejected home side.


FULL TIME – CAERPHILLY RFC 22 v 34 OAKDALE RFC


To be honest, things looked decidedly dodgy after 30 minutes. Being 19 points down is not a head start you want to give a side especially when playing away from home. But I don’t think anyone ever thought that we weren’t going to get the win. Caerphilly didn’t help themselves by falling off the pace in the second 40 and Roly marshalled his team excellently and instilled that belief required to get them over the line. There were some sterling performance all around the park. Luke was a dangerous runner yet again, Mark Dowden put in some massive hits and Trev stepped up to the plate at 9 when Brett went off and looked very accomplished in the hot seat. A good day, a very, very good day. No! a very special memorable great spanking brilliant bloody day.

 

COST OF ENTRY TO THE GROUND – £3.00 - If you had asked me to make a guess I would have said £3.00 and that is exactly what they charged. Fair play though we had a choice of stands to sit in and a pitch side cafeteria if we wanted refreshing.

QUALITY OF MATCHDAY PROGRAMME – Very good but I do have some comments to make. Why use the first six pages of the programme for Team Manager notes and a description of each junior side? Surely you want to sell some advertising space. I did though enjoy the Chairman’s address where he welcomed the players, supporters and committee of Abercarn!!! Stir it up why don’t you!

QUALITY OF AFTERMATCH MEAL – OOOooohhh! Contentious! Curry and rice it was. Good job the old uns didn’t come back. We tried this curry on them before and they said it was too fragrant. It was though a decent after match meal, pity their players couldn’t compare it with ours. What didn’t help was paying £3.30 for a pint of Carling to wash it down. LIBERTY!!!!

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