Swalec Bowl – Fifth Round
Ystradgynlais 17 Mold 11
Thirty volunteers were called into action on Saturday morning to ensure the Ystrad pitch was playable for the visit of Mold in the fifth round of the Swalec Bowl, and it was effort well-spent from the hosts point of view.
Ystrad began the stronger, playing into a cross wind, but the Mold defence was up to the task despite going down to 14 men after consistent infringement at the break down.
It took the home side until the 20th minute to make the breakthrough when Bowdy Davies went over in the corner. The conversion, kicked into the wind, unsurprisingly missed its target.
Mold to their credit hit back immediately with an easy penalty.
Davies was rewarded immediately from the kick-off after a magnificent chase to put Ystrad back on the front foot.
The Blues continued to pressurise and dominate territorially, and it wasn’t long before Davies again got on the scoresheet after chasing a neat chip from veteran scrum-half Leighton Campbell.
The flying winger outpaced his opposite number to ground the ball. Again the conditions conspired to ensure the conversion was missed.
Ystrad took their foot off the gas and were immediately punished as the visitors claimed another three points.
Worse was to follow when Mold turned over the ball and attacked down the blind to claim the lead.
The visitors almost extended their advantage only to a miss a penalty just before the interval.
Some strong words at the break saw the Blues come flying out of the blocks to dominate territory and earn themselves a series of long-range penalties, but five attempts from three different kickers were squandered.
With time running out, the home side’s frustrations grew and dropped passes and silly penalties allowed the visitors to clear their lines.
The decisive try finally came thanks to an attack down the wing and a great pass from Emyr Lawrence found Kylum Austin who finished beautifully.
Man of the match Davies kicked the extra two points to the relief of the supporters.
The score came with six minutes of normal time remaining, but with the official adding an extra ten minutes injury time the hosts had their backs to the wall.
Mold produced wave after wave of attacks, but Ystradgynlais defended with their lives to cling on to the win and secure a place in Tuesday’s Swalec Bowl quarter-final draw.
Ystradgynlais now find themselves in the last eight of two national competitions for the first time in club history.