WRU Bowl round 1
Cardigan 14 Furnace 16
A late penalty from Furnace scrum half Dan Rees clinched a narrow victory for the visitors but Cardigan will look back ruefully at their inability to score enough points in the first half with such a huge wind advantage.
The hosts started very brightly aided by the strong wind blowing from posts to posts and they were in the ascendency early doors with their scrum much improved following some midweek guidance from former coach Colin Horscroft.
However they did not kick with any intelligence and time and again the ball was hoofed far too long down field and on to the adjoining football field and the frustration amongst the coaching ranks was plain to see. This filtered through to the players and an abundance of mistakes followed but Cardigan eventually calmed down and ran in for a fine try.
Blind side flanker and skipper Tom Taylor made the initial burst and fly half Llyr Jones finished the move off with a smart dummy to touch down under the posts for a try converted by Iwan John.
Furnace, who were making their first ever visit to the King George field hit back with a gimme of a try when a speculative kick was allowed to bounce near the touchline and from the ensuing play the visitors pounced for a five pointer to make the score 7-5. Cardigan hit back with the best try of the game when left winger Mike Richards was put away with a fine pass from full back John and he scampered over. Jones then converted superbly from the touchline to double the lead for his team and this should have been a launch pad to further first half points.
However this was not to be as Cardigan handed out another early Christmas present to the visitors with a charge down try by Dafydd Green to make it 14-10 and midway through the second half Furnace increased their lead when scrum half Rees added his second penalty to put his team within a point of the opposition.
The home team came back strongly with full back John in particular making several fine breaks but the lack of quality in the Cardigan passing saw these moves break down and this was to cost them in the end as Rees kicked his third penalty of the game to put his team in front for the first time in the game and a lead which remained intact at the final whistle despite a late rally from the hosts.
A disappointing afternoon for the home side as they probably did enough to win but the improvements made in the set piece will have been welcome. The recent introduction of the likes of Dan Evans and Rob Conolly have added some much needed beef to the pack and if the Cardi’s can settle into a simple game plan, there should be improvements if the coaches are prepared to be patient and more importantly realistic.