Treorchy 32 - 24 Rhydyfelin
Report by Jay Bayford
Treorchy team manager Gareth Wilcox admitted his side’s Worthington’s Mid District Cup triumph over Rhydyfelin was the best send-off he could have asked for.
Wilcox is due to step down from his role this summer and lifting the cup was the best possible farewell.
“It’s a really good way to finish as team manager,” said a delighted Wilcox.
“This is my last game and what a send-off from the boys. I couldn’t ask for a better one.
“They are a big strong side and play in the league above us, but the boys fronted up well and I think they tired in the second half and we took advantage of that with the pace of our forwards and backs.
“I thought the second-half performance was outstanding.”
The first half was largely dominated by the power of Rhydyfelin and they took the lead inside 10 minutes. Ross Lucas intercepted the ball, but his pass inwards was blocked. However, the bounce of the ball allowed Lucas to kick the ball towards the try line. The centre wasn’t able to reach the whitewash because of an infringement by Lloyd Williams, who was shown a yellow card. Garyn Lucas had picked up the loose ball to touch down but the referee awarded a penalty try.
Treorchy hit back immediately with a penalty from skipper Jordan Lloyd, but it was the Village who continued to dominate proceedings.
Lewis James added to their lead after a superb driving maul while another powerful maul led to a third try from Dai Gratton as Treorchy struggled to match Rhydyfelin's physical power.
But Wilcox told his players to “stick at it” and they were rewarded early in the second half. A flowing passing move ended with full-back Jacob Lloyd going over to haul Treorchy back into the game. Jordan Lloyd’s left-footed curling conversion attempt just missed the target, but the try revitalised the Zebras. They found an extra yard of pace and went over minutes later. Williams chased down a clearance and managed to block the kick. The ball bounced in his favour and he raced over the whitewash with Jordan Lloyd converting.
The belief was flowing back through the One East Central outfit and they managed to make the most of their momentum as Peter Hutchings crashed over to put them ahead for the first time. Jordan Lloyd added the extras. The Zebras then galloped even further ahead thanks to another swing of Jordan Lloyd’s left boot.
Treorchy saw out the game comfortably before Garyn Daniel added a try in the final minutes. Jordan Lloyd was once again on target with the conversion.
Jordan Rees did manage to grab a consolation try right at the death for the Village, but the night already belonged to Treorchy.
“We believe in the last 20 minutes of our games, we know we are fit, we know we are strong, we know we have pace and we told the boys to stick to that and it’ll come through in the end and it did,” added Wilcox.
Treorchy captain Jordan Lloyd was presented with the trophy by Colin Smith, account manager for Molson Coors.
Treorchy: Tries: Jacob Lloyd, Lloyd Williams, Peter Hutchings, Garyn Daniel; Cons: Jordan Lloyd (3); Pens: Jordan Lloyd (2).
Rhydyfelin: Tries: Pen Try, L James, D Gratton, J Rees; Con: D Gratton.