Brecon 23 Newcastle Emlyn 17
Plate holders Brecon marched on to the latter stages of the competition after they edged out Newcastle Emlyn by just six points and it was a well deserved victory with the red and whites not at their best.
Home outside half Dean Gunter opened the scoring with a penalty goal but it was his half back partner Scott Gibson who got the opening try with a fine individual effort. From a ruck some thirty metres out Gibson sprinted around a ruck to score in the corner for a try he converted.
At this stage it was all Brecon with Gunter taking every opportunity to spread the ball and release his speedy three quarter line and it was a credit to the Emlyn defence that they did not concede any more points.
As the match approached the half hour mark the visitors came more into the game and started to put together a series of rucks with the likes of second row Osian Davies and back rowers Brynmor Jones and Elliot Rees carrying effectively.
Emlyn were also starting to dominate at scrum time through their powerful front row of Emrys Davies, Alex Williams, and Dexter Thomas and they crossed for a try when centre Andrew Owens forced his way over and this was converted by Leonard just on half time.
The second half began badly for the red and whites when they were turned over at the breakdown and Gunter moved the ball along his back line for full back Jake Crockett to cross for a try which Gunter converted. Both sides ran the ball at every opportunity but finding defences difficult to breach and the best opportunities for the visitors seemed to be when the forwards carried close to the ruck. Time and again second row Osian Davies took the game to the opposition with some powerful carries and replacement prop Lewys Jonathan had one powerful run which almost led to a try
However Emlyn continued to make mistakes and Brecon were quick to counter attack with loose head prop Richie Davies to the fore with some powerful running. Gunter extended Brecon’s lead with a penalty kick some thirteen minutes into the half and the visitors were fortunate that he missed with another couple of kicks at goal.
Half way through Leonard reduced the deficit with a penalty kick but the hosts replied almost immediately with another Gunter kick.
With time running out west Walians threw everything at the home defence and a mazy run by Leonard almost broke through for a try, Elliot Rees and Brynmor Jones were halted short of the line and another potential opportunity was wasted when from a line out five metres from the Brecon line yet another Emlyn throw went over the top allowing the home team to clear their line. The visitors though kept pushing hard and they were finally rewarded when prop Emrys Davies forced his way over for a try converted by Leonard to narrow the gap to six points. Unfortunately this proved to be the last play of the game and the final whistle was blown as soon as the conversion went over the bar.
Newcastle Emlyn return to league action this weekend when they entertain Gorseinon.
Pics courtesy of Brecon RFC