Just some photos 'n' stuff
I think you made the right choice. The lower one, although it has an interesting match shape, doesn't have the match coming right from the corner which I like so much about the first one. That bisecting diagonal composition really works well for me, and the timing on getting that match head black, but still fully shaped, looks fabulous! Well done.
Great shots and I like #1's symmetry. Well captured.
I agree on the choice as the bottom one does have a part with no detail. Too bad though as there is some really nice little drifts of smoke coming up within the flame. I wish you would have attempted that shot several times as I think it would have been the most interesting one. the top one is well done, but I do think the top one could use a lot more negative space, including the end of the flame and or either that or crop in really tight so all we focus on is only on the crunchy bits.