Replacement Max George went over in the last minute to snatch a dramatic WRU National Plate Final victory for Penallta on try count against 14-man Ystalyfera at the Principality Stadium. It was Penallta’s second win in the competition following up on their 2012 success while also helped erase the memory of their crushing defeat to Bedlinog in last year’s final, which they lost with the last kick of the match.
It was a mammoth effort from Ystalyfera, who were forced to play much of the contest a man short after flanker Jesse Patton was shown a red card for a headbutt on 22 minutes. But, when full-back Steffan Castle landed his second penalty with seven minutes to play to put Ystalyfera 16-11 up, they were in dreamland – before being cruelly denied.
“We know what it’s like to lose in the last minute so we feel for Ystalyfera,” said Penallta head coach Matthew Tucker.
Meanwhile Ystalyfera player-coach Gareth James said: “I’m proud of the boys, but gutted because we’ve lost in the last minute.
“But we’ve got to hold our heads up high. We were massive underdogs and I feel we came out of that well today, especially going down to 14 men so early in the game, with a real good performance and we take that with us and we’ll grow from that.”
“But I’m proud of the boys because they gave their all. When you go down to 14 men it’s always going to be tough but if anything it pulled us together and we gave them a good game right to the bitter end.”