Wales Deaf reclaimed the ‘Broadstreet Cup’ this afternoon with a hard fought and absorbing victory against England Deaf in the first of two tests at Cardiff Arms Park.
On a bitterly cold afternoon, Wales Deaf scored four tries to one as they ran out winners by 29 points to 11.
England opened the scoring with a penalty after 16 minutes by outside half Henry Peuble, who had an outstanding game dictating play for the visitors. Wales were soon level at 3 – 3 with a penalty from in front of the posts by centre Celyn Ashton.
Both sides enjoyed periods of possession and pressure in each other’s half without being able to penetrate defences. England reclaimed the lead on 21 minutes with another straightforward penalty for outside half Henry Peuble.
The turning point of the first half came on 37 minutes following intense pressure by the Wales forwards inside the England 22.
After a number of direct drives close to the visitors’ posts, scrum half Sam Gallagher crashed over to put Wales into the lead by 8 points to 6. Centre Celyn Ashton kicked the conversion to give Wales a 10 – 6 advantage at half time.
Following the break, Wales carried on where they left off at the end of the first half and with the wind at their backs, extended their lead on 48 minutes with a well taken try by number 8 Ken Dowding who crashed over to the left of the posts. Celyn Ashton kicked the conversion to give Wales a cushion of 17 points to 6.
Wales were quickly on the back foot though when they were reduced to 13 players with two players sent to the sin-bin midway through the half.
Seeking to take full advantage of their numerical advantage, England applied pressure through their powerful forwards. They were rewarded on 65 minutes with a well taken try by winger Luke Nielson. The conversion slid past the post to reduce Wales’ lead by 17 points to 11.
With England in the ascendancy, a tense closing 10 minutes was anticipated. Wales, however were soon back to full strength with players returning from their time in the sin-bin.
On 73 minutes, Caerleon prop Rob Mills put the game beyond doubt with a try converted by Celyn Ashton before new cap Ben Fulton pounced on a kick ahead to touch down for a try in the corner as the clock turned red.
The second test will be played in Manchester on Saturday 13 April.
Image courtesy of Spencer Love Photography