Mountain Ash RFC | Youth Team 17 - 7 Cardiff Met RFC | Youth Team

Match Report
21 January 2019 / Team News

The Young Firm: Blues Youth Premier Division Champions 2018/19

Mountain Ash Youth welcomed Cardiff Metropolitan Youth to The Rec on Saturday, which has seen the demise of many fancied teams over the years.

Cardiff Met were a team full of 3rd year players, all academy standard, and unbeaten since October, and arrived with a set of cameras to film the game. When they were setting up, one wag commented that “the last time cameras were in Mountain Ash, it was for crimewatch!”

Anyway back to the game. The weather was a typical valleys January day – damp, dark and unwelcoming. The Young Firm were massive underdogs, three places below the Met’s in the table, but only a few points behind. The mission was simple – beat the Met’s and and then hope that Cowbridge Youth beat St Peter’s Youth, which was a game being played at the same time in Cardiff. If that happened, the Young Firm would be Blues Premiership champions for the first time in their history. Simple, right?

The game kicked off, and as expected the Met’s started to dominate play, but the ferocious defending of the Young Firm unsettled the Cardiff team and Mount started turning the ball over. From one of these, the Mount forwards drove into the Met’s half and a ruck formed. Scrum half Morgan Cartwright kicked deep into the Met’s half, the ball rolling over the try line for Rhys “Potchy” Williams to score in the corner to make it 5-0 to the Young Firm.

Although the Met’s were having the better of the game, it was the Young Firm that were unlucky not to score another try under the posts. The Young Firm were not to be denied.

After a kick into the Met’s 22 was knocked on, Mount were awarded a scrum 15 metres out. The ball spilled out on the open side. Livewire scrum half and captain Morgan Cartwright was first on it and feigned to break to the open side. He went blind, took on the blindside flanker and wing, chipped through, followed up at speed, and finished off a lovely piece of skill by scoring in the corner to make it 10-0.

The Mount team were “on fire”, with the pack in top gear. Big gains were made by forwards Owen Jenkins and Mitchell Barnard, backed up by Ewan Rees, Ethan James and Kieran Coomer, Mount’s man-mountain of a prop, and as half time arrived, the Young Firm were dominating play.

The Met’s knew that they had to to do better if they were to win the game and keep their chances of the League trophy alive. The start of the second half saw them up their game and drive straight into the Mount 22, but the Young Firm defence was committed and won a turnover, and then a penalty. Taking the Met’s by surprise, scrum half Cartwright tapped and went quickly, with all the Met forwards unable to touch him otherwise a yellow card might have been shown.

He beat a couple of defenders, and when tackled, off-loaded superbly to centre Jarrad Cushion who broke two tackles and then showed his pace to run the length of the field with no one in the Met’s team able to catch him and touch down for a great try under posts. Cartwright converted to make it 17-0 to Mount, with the Met’s in a state of shock at to what was happening to them and their unbeaten record.

The rest of the game was an arm wrestle, with the Mount forwards and threequarters tackling like men possessed as they sensed their chance of winning the League was in sight. Connor Tedstone, Ethan James, Keiran Coomer, Mason Jones, Ewan Rees, Owen Jenkins, Mitchell Barnard and Ryan Jenkins – who was playing with a damaged hamstring – were incredible, and backs Ethan Conway, Jamie Long, Cushion, Mason Cooper, “Potchy” Williams, and Jak Thomas, simply immense.

Five players also came on during the second half and tackled their hearts out – Cam Samuels at outside half and second row Owen Pullman came on for last 25 minutes, and they were joined by Callum Lewis, Garrin Williams and Darren Howe. A special mention must be made of Ryan Jenkins, who played the first half and really should not have, but nothing was going to stop him playing.

The Met’s had not gone unbeaten since October for nothing, and, like a wounded animal, they fought and fought, and eventually they broke through and scored to make it 17-7. Five minutes later the game was over and the Mount players were celebrating a great win against a quality side.

BUT, the result from Cardiff was unknown. With the Mount squad in a huddle, mobile phone text messages were sent to find out the score of the Cowbridge v St Peter’s Youth game. After what seemed like an age, the score came through – St Peter’s Youth 14 Cowbridge Youth 15, and boy, did the team celebrate.

Back in the clubhouse, the Man of the Match was chosen, and although it could have gone to many players in this great performance, it was awarded to forward Ewan Rees for his energy and tackle count.

A one point win it might have been for Cowbridge, but it confirmed the the Young Firm were Blues Premier division Champions for the first time ever. How good does that sound: Mountain Ash RFC Youth, Blues Youth Premiership Champions 2018/19. Well done lads.

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