EDGING towards the close of the season, Bala’s home fixture against Division One North leaders Nant Conwy was a much anticipated match between two previous North Wales Cup holders, with both teams expecting a physical, hard-fought game, but it was the visitors who came through for a 36-13 away win.
With a swirling wind and intermittent bright sunshine, Nant found themselves with a significant weight disadvantage and playing into the sun in the first half.
After just six minutes, Bala were awarded a penalty, which number 10 Rhydian Jones placed between the goal posts.
Nant, however, were also awarded a penalty kick within just a couple of minutes, and Delwyn Jones evened the scores.
With both teams trying to play to their strengths, it was Bala who seemed more in control for much of the first half, with Nant giving away several unforced errors.
Nant, as always, defended exceptionally well, however, and Carwyn Davies was there to take a quick ball from the scrum, dancing neatly around two Bala players to touch down for a well-executed try, which Jones converted to make it 10-3.
Shortly afterwards Owain Aled successfully slotted Bala’s second penalty to reduce the deficit, but as the first half was drawing to a close, some fast-paced ball-handling between Nant’s Geth Vaughan, Carwyn Ellis and Jack Moriarty resulted in a fantastic try, converted by Jones, for a 17-6 interval lead for the visiting side.
In the opening minutes of the second half Nant scored again when Gaz Davies crossed over for an unconverted try.
The Nant pack, despite their weight disadvantage, showed their blistering pace as they got deeper into the second half, with Sion Pringle and Cai Jones adding two additional converted tries.
Bala, however, had the final say of the afternoon when they breached Nant’s defence with a try by flanker Ilan Rowlands, with Owain Aled adding the extras.