Rugby union: James sinks washed-up Treorchy

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It Was another unhappy ending for Treorchy against Bridgend as they finally got a cup tie going against their Brewery Field rivals at the third time of asking. In the first half of the season, they were due to host Bridgend in the European Conference. The heavens opened and that game was washed out.

Last Sunday, this fixture was to be the live television match from the Swalec seventh round. Again the rain fell and, along with some persuasive talking from Bridgend, caused a postponement. The referee, Nigel Whitehouse, thought that the boggy Treorchy Oval was just about playable, but instead listened to the protestations of the Bridgend skipper, Ian Greenslade, misinterpreted the rules and allowed the game to be put off for a week.

Treorchy claim that decision cost them pounds 12,000 in television and commercial revenue and will seek compensation from the Welsh Rugby Union. Perhaps the Treorchy fans who turned up for the rematch will also ask for their money back after watching their team throw away a great opportunity to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

All went well for Treorchy in a terrific opening half-hour in which they made light of playing into a strong wind. Even when Bridgend went ahead through a Matthew Lewis penalty in the seventh minute, there was no panic in the home ranks.

Instead their terrier-like pack snatched the lead as the No 8 Scott Eggar drove over for a try which David Evans converted. Evans followed up with two penalties to stretch the home advantage to 10 points and it looked as though Treorchy would make Bridgend pay for not playing last Sunday.

But a fateful seven minutes around the interval put paid to home hopes of a quarter-final tie against Ebbw Vale as they conceded two tries to the Welsh international Dafyd James.

A strong break by the flanker Jason Forster paved the way for the first five minutes before half-time, and some quick handling two minutes after the break, allied to his own fine turn of speed, brought James his second.

Lewis kicked a penalty just before half-time, added two more in the second half, and there was no way back for Treorchy.

Treorchy: D Lloyd; R Wintle, S Davies (R Sheppard, 67), P Jones, R Morgan; D Evans, C Hammans (W Booth, 75); A Dibble, A Thomas (L Jones, 67), M Powell (A Matthews 22-37), S Evans, A Freeman (J Cicero, 67), K Jones, S Eggar, G Owen (capt).

Bridgend: C Bradshaw; P Jones, G Thomas, D James, R Boobyer; M Lewis, K Ellis; D Francis, I Greenslade (capt), D Joseph, E Williams, C Vogl, J Burnell (C Mitchuluk, 67), C Stephens, J Forster.

Referee: D Bevan (Clydach).