Ystrad Rhondda RFC | 1st Team 29 - 23 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team
Alex Webber
Conversion 2
Penalty 1
Adam Lewis
Try 1
Cole Swanack
Try 1
Nathan Hughes
Try 1

Match Report
03 September 2017 / Team News

Old Firm Lose Close Game

Once the dust had settled on this game, the Old Firm might well have reflected on scoring opportunities missed and Ystrad taking advantage of the few chances they had during a competitive and entertaining game. Mount got off to a good start, strong drives by forwards Matthew Dixon and James Cowdry taking play to just 5 metres out where a Mount scrum resulted in scrum half Tom Owens going through a gap on the blindside to score the first try of the season for a 5-0 lead after just 5 minutes play. Although playing up the slope, Ystrad had the better of the game for the next 15 minutes or so, and after the Mount defence had shown plenty of resolve to repulse all attempts to break through, a neat chip over the top of the Mount backs from a scrum on the Mount 22, saw Ystrad’s centre first to the ball to get an equalising try. Mount full back Will Holley’s 47 metre penalty was just wide, but minutes later he made no mistake from 45 metres to put the Old Firm 8-5 in front after 27 minutes. A penalty midway in the Mount half, which should have given the Old Firm a lineout in the Ystrad half, was kicked dead, with the result Ystrad were awarded a scrum from which they gained a penalty to level the score at 8-8 after 30 minutes. A turnover on halfway by Ystrad saw the ball moved to attacking danger man, wing Alex Webber, who got away down the wing and passed inside, the referee awarding a 7 point penalty try for an early tackle by a Mount defender. The Old Firm gave the perfect response from the restart and after taking the 22 metre lineout and driving into midfield, replacement backrow forward Jarrod Morgan got away through the middle of a ruck and handed on to No.8 and captain, Kriss Sanders, who was pulled down inches from the Ystrad line. Quick ball was thrown wide to full back Holley, who got over from 10 metres out for an unconverted try, which reduced Ystrad’s lead to 15-13 at half time.

Although playing up the slope in the second half, the Old Firm had as much of the play as Ystrad. A kick up to the home 22 looked as if it had gone into touch but the home wing recovered the ball and got away down the touchline to take play up to the Mount 22, where a penalty was kicked to 5 metres out. A catch and drive at the lineout led to a converted try, which put Ystrad 22-13 up after 50 minutes. Play was open with both sides probing for gaps and testing each other’s defence close-in and wide out. A break by centre Alex Hughes was kicked on rather than passed, and then a Mount lineout on the Ystrad 22 was lost as the Old Firm let the home team off the hook. Some strong drives by the Mount forwards took play up to the Ystrad 22 where a well-placed crossfield kick by scrum half Owens was latched onto by wing Jack Roberts who was tackled into touch. A well placed high kick from the resulting lineout and pressure from the home wing saw the ball spilled into Ystrad hands for the home wing to get away and pass inside for the home side to run in under the posts against the run of play. The conversion put Ystrad 29-13 up after an hour. Mount’s fitness, spirit and belief served them well in the final quarter and they hit back after 73 minutes with a converted try after the ball was moved across the backline to wing Jack Roberts who made ground up to the Ystrad 22 and chipped over the covering defence. Flanker Kieron Davies was quickly up to get hold of the loose ball and jinked pass a couple of defenders to dive over for Mount’s third try of the afternoon, which Holley converted to make it 29-20 to Ystrad. The Old Firm sensed there was still something to get out of the game and once again took play into the Ystrad half, where a kick on by flanker Davies went dead and then a 38 metre penalty was missed. Ystrad wing Webber got away after a clearance was partially charged down but gave a poor pass. The Old Firm turned down a 30 metre penalty kick at goal to kick to the corner, looking for two bonus points, and after a long passage of play in the Ystrad 22, where the ball was moved to both sides of the field and forward drives attempted, a penalty conceded was coolly converted by Holley from 25 metres with the last kick of the game to give Mount a bonus point.

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