29 January 2019 / Club News

U11'S match report 27th Jan 2019


With a threadbare squad and amidst a barrage of the elements, Machen Under 11s put in a brave performance against a strong Bargoed team on Sunday morning. Machen’s nine available starters were supplemented by a handful of guests in the pink and white of Pontypridd, to ensure the full complement of 12 players took to the pitch. In a highly competitive first half, Machen were more than a match for the hosts and a largely even contest seemed to be developing. An early Bargoed try received a quick response as Tom Broughton crossed the line after a charging run through the hosts’ defensive line. A foot in touch had denied Broughton a try by the closest of margins just moments earlier so Machen’s first score felt like a well-deserved reward for some competitive rucking in the early stages of the game. However as the half progressed, some powerful runners in the Bargoed team started to find gaps in the Machen line and crossed twice in quick succession to put their team into a 3-1 lead.

Machen soon regrouped and were quickly back in touch. A blistering run by Ryley Fussell, picking up the ball in his own half before showing a clean pair of heels to three Bargoed players, ended with a score in the corner. Moments later, after some great work up front by a couple of the Ponty loanees, a pass from Patrick Taylor unleashed Thomas Broughton for another trademark stampede for the line – touching down to draw the scores level. Following an eventful opening to the game, handling errors, turnover ball and indiscipline started to creep in to Machen’s game as the half petered out slightly with no further scores. But with Lelunn Champion and Jacob Vaughan in particular showing some impressive defensive resilience in the swirling wind, the Machen team made their tackles and held firm to keep the scores level at 3-3 by the interval.

After the break the wearying legs of the Machen players started to show. But as rain became hail and hail became snow, bravery and determination was still evident throughout the team - with not one player throwing in the towel. Bargoed proved increasingly tough opponents as the second half progressed and their forceful rucking was a good example for the Machen players to learn from when they return to training next week. In the last 15 minutes the hosts were able to secure attacking ball consistently well enough to score five well-taken tries and eventually finish up 8-3 winners. That is not to say that Machen were without attacking opportunities in the second half. But for one or two unlucky handling errors and momentary lapses in concentration the score could have been closer, and the Machen team can take plenty of positives from their performance. When the final whistle blew every player could deservedly feel proud of their effort and resilience and will no doubt have gained valuable experience as they continue to develop as a team during the rest of the season.

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