Dolgellau came back fighting and there followed a long period when the ball was passed backwards and forwards between the two teams, with neither making much headway. Dolgellau then managed to fight their way into the Bala 22 when they scored through their impressive forwards out wide.
Bala's young forwards put up some impressive defensive work against their more experienced counterparts, and the backs looked dangerous whenever they had ball in hand with Ceri Redman, Rhian Gwawr and Lowri Jones breaching Dolgellau's defensive line, but were unable to find support to continue the momentum. The midfield defence of Ceri Redman and Mari Wyn were quick to cut down Dolgellau's attacking options in midfield, and the forwards battled to secure clean ball for scrum half Lliwen Roberts to release the backs.
Bala's second try came from a quickly taken penalty by captain Jones who spun it out to Ceri Redman who then rounded three Dolgellau defenders before diving for the line. An excellent individual try from the young centre.
However, soon after Dolgellau worked their way down the field, the backs and forwards combining well and they scored a near identical try to their first through no 8 Louise Akers, who impressed all match. 10-10 at half time.
The second half started with a period of sustained pressure by Dolgellau in Bala's 22 with scrum after scrum tiring the girls. The front row of sisters Mari and Meinir Ellis, and Grisial Ifan worked tirelessly against the experienced Dolgellau forwards and good work at the base of the scrum by Rhian Gwawr, Lliwen Roberts and Llinos Gwanas ensured that all Dolgellau's efforts came to nothing. However, a quickly taken penalty and some fancy footwork by centre Elen Evans saw Dolgellau just sneak in the corner, but the try went unconverted. A well deserved try for their efforts.
Unfortunately, after a rib injury to hooker Grisial Ifan, uncontested scrums were in order towards the end of the second half, and with the clock ticking, Bala knew that they had to score quickly. In the dying moments of the game, the backs once again spun the ball out to winger Aranwen Griffiths, on her debut for the club, who then offloaded to Ceri Redman on the loop but Ceri was taken into touch just outside Dolgellau's 22. A knock on from the resulting line out saw a scrum awarded to Bala and Rhian Gwawr picked up from the base and powered her way through Dolgellau's defensive line to score just to the left of the posts. The responsibility for the match wining conversion fell on the shoulders of 16 year old Ceri Redman, and in the swirling wind, she slotted the conversion neatly, giving Bala their first win on the season.
A great and gutsy performance by Bala against well drilled and experienced opposition, but their determination and passion shined through particularly in defence when they refused to buckle under pressure, with newcomer Aranwen Griffiths, second rows Eirian Roberts and Llio Jones and ever present flanker Sian Jones battling for the ball and putting in some crunching tackles. Dolgellau put in an equally committed performance, and were just pipped to the post. The rematch will be an interesting game! Ceri Redman was named woman of the match for Bala after a comprehensive performance at inside centre, and Lou Akers was named woman of the match for Dolgellau.
1.Meinir Ellis,2.Grisial Ifan, 3.Mari Ellis, 4. Llio Jones, 5. Eirian Roberts, 6. Rhian Gwawr, 7. Sian Jones, 8.Llinos Gwanas, 9. Lliwen Roberts,10 Lowri Jones, 11. Aranwen Griffiths, 12. Ceri Redman, 13.Mari Wyn, 14. Sioned Evans, 15. Nia Davies
Bala take on Chester on the 30th October 2005 at Maes Gwyniad and will hope to build on this encouraging performance. The team are also looking for new members and training takes place every Tuesday at Maes Gwyniad at 7.00