ON Sunday (Jan 13) Burry Port Ladies welcomed league rivals Bonymaen to the Memorial Park, a fixture which always produces some outstanding rugby, and this one was no different.
After a very lengthy warm-up and some motivational words from skipper Catrina Bowen in the changing rooms the Lady Blacks took to the field with nothing but determination which was clear to see on their faces.
The early exchanges of the fixture saw the Blacks spend a lot of time in the Bonymaen half with some exciting line breaks and fierce carries.
All of this led to the opening try of the match as the home sides full back Eleri Williams dived over out wide after the Burry Port backs were quick to spot a lot of space. Scrum half Keely Evans added the extras with a fantastic effort from close to the touch line.
The rest of the half was a true battle in midfield with both sides testing each other fully in loose play as well as at scrums and lineouts.
Bonymaen almost scored themselves towards the end of the half but were halted thanks to some fine defensive work by the Lady Blacks who held a Bonymaen player up over the line in her effort to score.
Both teams welcomed the half time whistle in what was an enthralling first half with the score being 7 – 0 to the home side.
Bonymaen Ladies came out in the second half determined to get their first score of the game and didn’t take too long to do so, which was converted to take the score to 7 – 7.
In the next 10 minutes Bonymaen scored a further two tries which were both unconverted to take the score to 7 – 17.
There was whispers amongst the crowd that the game was about to turn in to a drubbing for the Lady Blacks, but this was not the case as they knew that they had enough in their ranks to pull the game back.
Around 5 minutes later, captain Catrina Bowen led by example as she took the game by the scruff of the neck when an outstanding run from just inside the Bonymaen half, weaving her way through defenders saw her score a fantastic solo effort out wide with the conversion going wide, to take the score to 12 – 17.
About ten minutes before the end of the game, the blacks took full advantage of a Bonymaen knock on and put the ball through the hands beautifully, drawing defenders and creating space for others with scrum half Keely Evans sliding in out wide to level up the scores at 17 – 17. Once again the conversion went just wide.
With the scores level, both teams threw everything at each other knowing that the next score would surely snatch a victory.
Both teams came close on a few occasions but both defensive units remained solid, that was until the lady blacks took a quick tap penalty and once again showed some fantastic passing skills which saw Lady Blacks substitute winger Rhyanne O’Hara score right in the corner with around 3 minutes left to play, with the conversion falling short to take the score to 22 – 17 to the home side.
The last few minutes of the game saw Bonymaen throw everything they had left at the Lady Blacks as they made some hard yards up field until a penalty was awarded against them for holding on to the ball on the floor.
The referee called last play and Keely Evans smashed the ball into the crowd and the celebrations began both on and off the field by the players and supporters.
This was an absolute thriller of a fixture and many were heard saying it was one of the best games of rugby they have watched in a long time. There were massive battles at scrum time, lineouts, the breakdown and in defence and both teams were a credit to their clubs.
Lady Blacks Coach Gareth Gravell said: “I’m extremely proud of the girls and the effort they put in was outstanding. It was fantastic to see some of the hard work from the training field paying off.”