2005/2006 Principality Premiership
Maesteg 17 v 36 Cardiff
05 April 2006 - The Old Parish Ground, Maesteg

Match Report

Maesteg 17 Cardiff 36

The Blue & Blacks knew that they were on to a winner long before the Old Parish's PA announcer, in an act of desparate pettiness, informed his regular listeners that a try had been converted "by Lee Thomas of Cardiff Blues".

In all truth the dye had long since been cast as the Blue & Blacks led 13-3 at half-time, thanks to a catch and drive try by Michael Leaman and the first eight of Thomas' eventual 16 points from the boot. Though Maesteg had scored first through a Stuart Morris penalty goal, Cardiff's expansive play was already threatening better things to come.

Home skipper Ian Boobyer had also been sin-binned on the half-hour for killing the ball as Cardiff also showed promising signs of out-muscling the home side up front as well. But it was genuine pace that finally put daylight between the sides shortly after half-time. Nick Gill gratefully accepted turnover ball and raced 60 metres past two of Maesteg's Dad's Army, John Devereux and Boobyer, for the second try and there was more to come.

Maesteg stayed in touch with a Grant Epton try as the wing helped in a maul but it was a straw in the wind. Kevin Ellis, about to celebrate his 42nd birthday and so influential in Maesteg's win at the Arms Park before Christmas, was having a nightmare game and was replaced in the 63rd minute. At that point Cardiff led 24-10 and soon Richard Davies scored a brilliant individual try after racing on to a Gareth Gravell pass from a stray Maesteg lineout throw.

Five minutes later Chris Anderson and Leaman again made valuable incisions before the ball was spun out for Neil Coles to claim the fourth try. A late try for Maesteg by Morris did little to alter the impression that the evening had been a triumph for youth and a commitment to player development. As one wag said, it was not so much a case of winning in the Old Parish as at an Old People's Home.