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NOTES AND COMMENTS. BRIDGEXD. Considering the strain of the Christmas season—tlu- playing of iiiatc-lics on Christmas Day and Boxing Day against such teams as Llanelly and Neath. the eating of iiwligcs- tibles, which even athletes fail to resist at Christmas, and absentees oil holiday bent, to mention nothing elsi'—Bridgend turned out a strong team to meet Penarth, the only ab- sentee who mattered very much being Clem Lewis. Penarth were without more of their regulary players—including L. M. Dkye—but appeared to have filled the gaps with. very good substitutes. A strong crass wind interfered considerably with play, particularly with kicking, but a biting ooid which kept the •layers, tempera- tures down and their spirits up, and a ground crusted by the frost, contributed to make the game fast right to the finish. Judging from the record's of the club." this year, the chances were all against Bridgend for a win—and the unexpected did not hap- pen. The defeat by two tries, one of them rather accidental in. character, was, however, nothing to be ashamed of at the hands of a team of the status of the visitors. Territorially there was very little between the two sides. The Bridgend forwards were quite a match for the visiting pack, and were chiefly responsible for keeping Penarth fre- quently on, the defensive. Of the back divi- sion not so much can be said. In no depart- ment were they as good as the seasiders, save perhaps at outside half, where Sid Thomas was playing a. nv.ieh better game than tistial. At inside li:i-vf Burnell was but a poor sub- stitute for Lewis, and could: be given points by more than one other half in the town. Of course it is due to him to .-emember lie was playing against a .smart man; in little Gent, who is up to .all the "tricks of the trade. Burnett was so bad at back that, after letting Penarth. get a soft try. he was substituted by Grows. Of the quartette it is difficult to say much, except- that they were quit*- mediocre, doing very little badly and very little well. Hat- thews, Griffiths and Palmer were all fair, and the first named was strong in defensive work, but they have ail played1 better games. A mistake waa. 1 think, made in. putting Mat- thews at centre and Griffith.s on: th(, wing. The skipper always does better work for his side on the outside, while Griffiths is, H any- thing, a better cent,re than wing. To sum up, the match was a replica of more than half the ganes played on Quarelia Ground this year. We had as much of the game, but we could not score" was the re- mark of one spectator on leaving the ground. That remark just summarises many games this year. "We could not score." Why:" The truth is that the backs—chiefly the threequarters lack quickness in judgment, cleanness, and finish. Through not judging quickly enough, sometimes through colleagues I not following up smartly enough, a man has often to kick—to touch, in the open, any- where—in order to save himself from being tackled with the ball or losing it. Lack of I facility in talcing passes on the run is often noticed, a. ball be in" frequently knocked on or lost when delivered clean into the hands. Through want of finish many grand efforts have broken down and tries been lost. An example of one phase of this was seen on Sat- urday, when Griffiths smartly intercepted a pass and, beating two men, nearly reached the line, only to be beaten as the cup was touching the lip. More often the breakdown is through faulty passing. Bridgend must certainly do something to 1 redeem its failures. ft is quite depressing to pass the half-time in the season without a win. worth recording. The threequarters could immensely improve their play by train- ing. Of course, any amount of practice on the training ground will not enable a man in possession of the ball to beat another without it. That relies on judgment, artfulness, tactics—call it what you will—on the field of piny. lint- it will give a man facility in handling the ball, whether in nassing or re- ceiving, while runn.ing at full pelt. And this, in turn, makes a olaver so much more at ease that he is better -able to "best" his opponent in tactics. It is in combined play that the Bridgend quartette fails more than in lack of individual cleverness. The forwards, too. might give more sup- port to the hacks in the matter of following up. Many a time has W. Taylor helped his 1141CICS to try through following up when otl. r. o: the pack have been standing '.at ease. And no-one will say that Taylor shirked Is duties in purely forward work in order to i e-xrve him.velf for more showy play. A splendid example of this following up was given, by HI ck on Saturday, though his efforts did not result in anything substantial. I can only express the hope that, in the in- terests of Bridgend football, a stalwart effort will be made in the second half of the year to redeem seme of the failures of the first half. BONYPENT. _.+-






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