Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 26 - 34 Llanharan RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
10 April 2017 / Team News

Lacklustre 20 Minutes Costs Old Firm

After having the better of the first half of this game and leading 14-7, a charge down just before half time which resulted in a converted try, followed by a lifeless first quarter in the second half in which time Llanharan scored another 17 points, sealed the Old Firm’s fate in this last home game of the season. It was Mount’s third consecutive loss at home and all the more disappointing because for three quarters of the game, they were either the equal of, or had the better of the visitors, with each side scoring four tries.

After starting the game by taking play to Llanharan, the first try came after 10 minutes when centre Alex Hughes made an outside break in midfield and then rounded the full back to score a good try in the corner, well converted by outside half Declan Conway for a 7-0 lead. The pressure continued on the visitors, No.8 Kriss Sanders, second row David Richards and prop James Cowdry, all contributing to attacks. A poor pass in midfield after 17 minutes was knocked on and from a scrum in the Mount half, the visitors set up their first real attack of the game which ended with prop Matthew Phillips taking the ball at pace near the line to drive over for a try which was converted by outside half Scott Jones to level the score at 7-7. The Old Firm recovered the ball from the restart and with some good handling took play up to the Llanharan line, but frustratingly, the visitors were let off the hook with a penalty award. A scrum on the Llanharan 22 after 25 minutes saw the ball moved wide where full back Jack Roberts put in a well-placed grubber kick which Llanharan had to minor after quick following up from the Mount backs. From the 5 metre scrum, the Mount forwards made a couple of drives towards the line which ended with hooker Jack James scoring under the posts, Conway converting to make it 14-7. On the half hour, another midfield break by centre Hughes - who caused Llanharan problems throughout the game - and a break by wing Sean Williams were not capitalised on. With just three minutes to half time, a scrum midway in the Mount half saw a kick downfield charged down, centre Chris Poole picking the ball up to score in the corner and outside half Jones converting with a fine kick from near the touchline to make it 14-14 at half time.

In contrast to the way they started the first half, the Old Firm were lifeless for the first 15 minutes of the second, which the visitors took full advantage of. A scrum on halfway saw a break through midfield and after a pass hit a Mount player’s head and rebounded into a Llanharan player’s hands, flanker John Dawe touched down under the posts for Jones to convert and put the visitors in front for the first time in the game, 21-14. A penalty made it 24-14 and then another turnover at the breakdown near halfway saw Llanharan move the ball wide but a fine tackle saved a dangerous situation. A couple of 5 metre scrums eventually saw flanker Kieron Martin drive over for a try near the posts, which Jones converted to make it 31-14 after 53 minutes. The Old Firm picked up in the final quarter and had the better of the game. After second row David Richards looked to have been driven over from a lineout drive, centre Jack Bruford, who was making his first appearance of the season, drove hard for the line, and after the ball was recycled and moved, flanker Luke Brittain went through a gap to score midway out to reduce the arrears to 19-31. A penalty conceded at the restart was converted by Jones to increase the lead to 34-19, and then a final attack by Mount led to hard working flanker Brittain driving over for his second and the Old Firm’s fourth try, to secure a bonus point. Conway converted to make it 34-26 and bring the season’s home games to an end.

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