18 year old Declan Thomas kicked the winning penalty with the last action of the match as Resolven beat Ystradgynlais 21-18 in the Swansea Valley. Resolvens fixture secretary Alan Langdon told us ‘personally we made hard work of it. We left a few tries out there in the opening ten minutes and it was our errors, stupid passes and some determined defence which stopped us from getting away early’.
The closeness of the game was credit to Ystradgynlais who were rumoured to be struggling for a squad but it will also bring back a lot of memories from last season where the side were regularly in games, only to lose them late-on.
For Resolven, the future looks very bright. The youth team continually go from strength to strength and the first team enjoy a number of youth players coming in and out. There was high praise for Declan Thomas, tipped as a ‘one to watch’ in Welsh rugby and he held his nerve to claim the victory after the home side were deemed to bring down a driving Resolven mall.
Getting an away win from the first time of asking is always a good sign for a club and Resolven have a great chance of promotion this season having slipped away in the middle of last season. ‘The league is what the boys want, to get back into division one’ Alan says, ‘a cup run to the Principality would be great but the league is what is most important’.
Two of the relegated clubs started the campaign off facing each other in Aberavon Quins and Maesteg Celtic and it was the home side from by the sea who seem to have licked their wounds in the Summer better. Aberavon Quins coming out 33-15 winners. The result tells us nothing about how they compare with the rest of the league but we will no-doubt learn this in coming weeks.
Newly promoted Bridgend Sport will be disappointed with their opening defeat to Pencoed 21-13 in front of their home support. The Bridgend side will need to pick up points from home games like this if they are to avoid a drop straight back to Division Three A. ‘Sport scored at will at times last season but were unable to break down the Pencoed defence often enough.
There was no points on offer for fellow promoted Pyle in their opening home match, showing an early indication that the quality at this level may be considerably higher than the league below (although this is very, very early days). Builth Wells, who themselves had a good season last may be eyeing promotion, eventually winning 22-12 at Pyle.
Porthcawl again look like they could be challenging at the top this season after an away win at newcomers Heol Y Cyw. Newcomers Heol Y Cyw coming away with a losing bonus point as Portcawl run out 18-11 winners.
Seven Sisters and Morriston played out a 30-22 game, the Dulais Valley side coming out winners in front of their home support. Both sides finished mid-table last season but are very ambitious rugby clubs.