Caerphilly 37-21 Newport HSOB
Saturday April 8, Constructaquote Stadium
Despite the distraction of the National Bowl Final, Caerphilly still have a thriving league campaign with which to keep an eye on.
Facing a resurgent Newport HSOB side, the Castlemen acquitted themselves well with a fractious bonus-point victory, maintaining third place Division 3 East A.
It took 25 minutes before there was a score on the board as Connor Kawulock went over. Winning turnover ball in the 22, the centre collected the ball before laying off full-back Tom Candy. Screaming down the wing, Candy cut inside before releasing Chris Thomas, who himself provided an inch perfect pass to Kawulock. Matthew Hurley added the extras.
The Old Boys struck back with a try just minutes later, as winger Emmier James ran across the defence without being picked up to score out wide. Outside-half and captain Nile Martin adding the difficult conversion.
Hurley slotted a penalty shortly after the half-hour, and three minutes later, Caerphilly scored again.
Turning over lineout ball, the Castlemen attacked down the right hand side. Hurley found second-rower Will Oliver coming at pace to puncture the visitors’ defence and touch down under the posts. Hurley’s simple conversion made it 17-7 at half-time.
The hosts furthered their lead after the interval, with No.8 Josh Hayward breaking free at a ruck to dance over, before Newport hit back through a driving maul. Second-rower Rhys Cook was the last up with the ball, and Martin added the extras.
The to-and-fro battle continued, with Caerphilly replying immediately from the restart.
Winning the ball in the centre, hooker Gareth Odgen laid a pass into the hands of centre Will Worthington to spin around the defence into the corner.
Despite the rising score line, Newport refused to lie down, and mounted a series of attacks which resulted in a 70th minute score for centre Mike Burk. Martin converted well, setting up a tense end to the match with just six points in it at 27-21.
However, the hosts’ strength shone through, as both Hurley and Candy scored unconverted tries to secure the victory.
• Match report and photography by Mark Tamplin of Caerphilly RFC.