04 September 2018 / Team News


Caerau Ely RFC 19 St Albans RFC 21

(Thanks to 'Club Member' for MATCH SPONSORSHIP)

After two good wins in a satisfying pre-season, St Albans were really put to the test when the 'League Computer, drew them away to local friends and rivals, Caerau, Ely RFC..  After winning the East Central Division 3 C title last season the Buns were expecting bigger challenges - in a very competitive league.  Caerau did not disappoint but, in a well contested game, the Buns showed great character to gain a narrow victory.

Trelai Park looked a picture, the weather was set fair and the first local derby of many attracted a healthy crowd.  The game was all about momentum which swang back and for throughout the game and either side could have emerged as winners.

It was the Buns who hit the ground running with attack after attack in the opening quarter, but with the home defence holding firm.  Eventually pressure told and flanker Gareth Whitehouse raced in for the first try, converted by Ellis Jones.  A penalty from Jones moved the Buns out to a 10-0 lead and the away team were looking good.

Caerau might have been surprised but it was they that spent the next quarter of the first half and the early part of the Second Half in control.  The big Home Pack got into its stride, moved their team up the pitch and allowed their backs to test their Buns' counterparts.  The Buns defended well but eventually Careau pressure would pay and the home side narrowed the gap to 7-10 before half-time.

With the wind seeming to be behind them, Caerau went straight onto the attack at the beginning of the Second Half and pressure told when their forwards crashed over to set up a 12-10 lead.  To St Albans' credit, they dug in and with Josh Burnell, Ian Griffiths and Max Hart to the fore took the game to Caerau to set up a penalty chance - knocked over by Jones to take St Albans back into the lerad at 13-12.

Typical of the game, it was Caerau who now were on the front foot and their winger crashed over wide out, conversion added, to move the home team 19-13 ahead.  Two quick yellow cards for technical offerences - as the Buns defended their line - seemed to be the clincher for Caerau - but the Buns' hung tough, defended intelligently and 'held out' until they were back to full strength.

 With 14 minutes to go and up to full strength, the Buns regained the momentum, aided by another technical yellow for Caerau.  Like Owain Smith before him, scrum half, Iwan Saunders organised his troops and a handling move saw wing, Keiron James cross out wide.  19-18 to Caerau with 9 minutes to go.

Caerau were always dangerous but it was largely the Buns on the front foot towards the end of the game.  Eventually Caerau transgressed and Jones cooly slotted the central penalty from 40 plus yards.

A good, well contested game, with little between the two teams,well reffed by young Joseff Rees. that the Buns just about deserved to win.  An eye opener to St Albans on the standard of teams that they will face in the their new league.

Big thanks to Caerau - and all the best for the remainder of the season.

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