Conditions were almost ideal for rugby. A firm flat ground under a blue sky with only a light breeze to effect play.
The visitors started the match powerful. Clearly the firm pitch allowed Pwllheli's backs to get into the game more than of late. Four minutes in fly half Kalim Kelemete was on hand to support second row Pancho Campos' inside pass to score under the posts. The conversion was duly added by wing Osian Parry ones. It was evident that Abergele's eight were competitive but Pwllheli found gaps where the home team's defence was too narrow. Nine minutes into the game Robin Hughes' Jones playing at centre chose a wonderful line of attack thirty metres out and he crossed the try line unscathed. Parry Jones added the kick.
Abergele had a period of possession from the restart but Pwllheli's structured defence kept them at Bay. Pwllheli latched on to a loose dropped pass after seventeen minutes and it was Klemete's pace which beat the despairing cover to touch down wide out. Parry Jones added an excellent wide angled conversion. From the kick off Abergele were awarded a penalty but their long range kick at goal drifted wide. There was parity in the set pieces but Pwllheli increasingly began to dominate the loose. It was from a quick ruck that scrum half and captain Nick Butterworth found a gap in the Gele defence to crash over to earn his team a try bonus point. Parry Jones slotted his fourth conversion.
It became apparent that Abergele lacked nothing in endeavour and commitment but Pwllheli's angles of running to add to their pace and technique saw them pull away from their hosts. Young centre Gareth Lloyd Williams was the next to score for the Lleyn side.His pack won quick ball on the right. Butterworth passed to Kelemete and his pop pass put Lloyd Williams clear.Jones kicked his fifth conversion.
Pwllheli's hardworking pack then got some reward for their graft. Prop forward Alwyn Trenholme was at the end of a driving maul to touch down for his side's sixth try. He was followed three minutes later by Pwllheli's number eight Tom Parry whose pace split the defence from forty metres out. Both tries were successfully converted by Osian Parry Jones. On the stroke of half time fly half Kelemte again crossed for try number eight which Parry Jones duly slotted.
Half time Abergele 0 Pwllheli 56.
Despite Abergele's efforts they were rocked by a further two tries in the opening four minutes of the second period. Butterworth scored his second after two minutes and he was followed two minutes later by his half back partner Kalim Kelemete. Osian Parry Jones duly notched two more successful conversions. The Pwllheli coaches now decided to make changes.Owain Williams replaced centre Gareth Lloyd Williams and they brought on Bleddyn Davies and Butterworth moved to full back to cover injured player Danial Glyn. When Tom Parry scored his brace and his side's eleventh try, again converted by Parry Jones, he was taken off and replaced by James Mortimer.Hooker Kevin Morris was replaced by Ioan Jones. These early changes gave the players some quality game time.
There was no let up in the pace of the match and in the space of eight minutes tries by Kelemete,replacement Owain Williams and Robin Hughes Jones together with Parry Jones' three conversions took Pwllheli's lead to ninety eight points to nil. Gallant Abergele heads did not go down but they were unable to stop the onslaught. It was second row Pancho Campos who brought up the century for Pwllheli after thirty minutes. Again Parry Jones was successful with the conversion. On thirty three minutes Butterworth got his hat-trick and Parry Jones kicked his sixteenth conversion. The last score of the match came from substitute scrum half Bleddyn Davies. Parry Jones missed the conversion.
The referee Amanda Lattuca had a good match. It must be noted also that although Abergele were well beaten they never resorted to any foul play or late hits and this is very much to their credit.
The Abergele match will be remembered with mixed emotions. Primarily of course the seventeen unanswered tries and the remarkable feat by Osian Parry Jones of kicking sixteen successful conversions. Tinged with this is the respect all present felt for all involved at Abergele RFC and their efforts both on and off the pitch. Clwb Rygbi Pwllheli wish them well.
On Saturday Pwllheli host Mold RFC at Bodegroes in yet another key league match. Kick off is at 2.30. The match day sponsor is Pwllheli Travel. Our thanks go to them for their loyal support. Kick off is at 2.30. Pwllheli Youths are also at home in a league and Cup double header against Ruthin.
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