Gales, the calm and then a storm which might have sent Noah running for the ark, were the setting for Gogledd Cymru’s 28-8 first home victory last night.
Parc Eirias was a venue fitting of a prospective semi-professional side, as Billy Evans Mayor of Llandudno welcomed both teams.
Liverpool University fielded a strong side which included Ospreys academy's Geraint Whittaker and Mold’s Alex Green in their line up.
Playing with the wind, this was a game that the Gog’s had to win, but any suggestion that it was going to be a rout were dispelled when Whittaker scored a try out wide, after five minutes, to give the students a 5 nil lead.
With instructions this year to be particularly vigilant in preventing “killing of the ball” at the ruck, repeated infringements by the students, the keen eye of referee Mark Wilcox and the precision kicking of centre Rhodri Carlton-Jones meant that the Gogs were soon ahead by 9-5.
Carlton-Jones struck again half way through the first half, stepping outside his opposite number to touch down 10 metres in. He added an excellent conversion to make it 16-5.
The wind dropped and the University struck an excellent long range penalty bring the score to 16-8, before Gogs young centre Steffan Morgan slipped a pass to wing Iwan Edwards, who, running from deep scored in the corner. It was 21-8 at the break.
In the second half, conditions deteriorated, the University showed a physical presence and at times the Gog’s players showed what a toll playing club games on a Saturday and training 3 times a week, takes on their bodies. They looked tired. At times they were almost invisible as the rain hissed onto the covered stand at Parc Eirias.
The Gogs were now comfortably ahead but their performance continued to frustrate coach Jon Aby, who felt that there was insufficient aggression and skillful superiority in the contact area.
In the second half , a kick into space by 10, Kelvin Morris, chased by Edwyn Roberts, forced an attacking lineout on the students 5 metre line. From here second row Trystan Rowlands went over for the only try of the second half. Carlton-Jones converted to bring his own tally up to 18 points and the final score to 28-8.
After a year without a win, this is the third win for the Gogs this season. Winning games requires a different starting mentality; that of superiority, dominance and invincibility. The Gogs are new to this experience and at times this showed in the game last night. Bala’s tight head Tom Hughes excelled in the scrum and young Llion Trefor continued to impress in the second row. Team: M. Parry, I. Edwards, R. Carlton-Jones, S. Morgan (40: S. McDonagh), E. Roberts, K. Morris, C.Williams (sub60: R. Hughes), W. Bown (Capt), R. Edwards (sub60: J. Salt), E. Roberts (sub60: A. Williams), T. Rowlands, Ll. Trefor, T. Hughes (sub60: A. Jones), A Baston (sub 60: L. Gill), E. Davies.