Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 47 - 38 Welsh Academicals | Senior Team

Match Report
06 May 2018 / Team News

Old Firm & Accies Serve Up Feast Of Running Rugby In 90th Season Celebration Game

Although this was the Old Firm’s second game in less than 48 hours, they gave it their all in this 90th year celebration game of the Welsh Academicals’ formation in Mountain Ash in 1927. With the Accies also giving their all, both sets of supporters were given a fitting game for such an anniversary and an excellent end to the season, and all on a hot, sunny day at Duffryn Pennar Park, the home of Mountain Ash RFC. In total, thirteen tries were scored in a competitive match, well controlled by Mr Kelvin Shorte of Cardiff, with the lead changing hands throughout. And there was also an International player on view - 42 times capped Italian International scrum half, Paul Griffen, played for Mountain Ash and showed that even at 43 years of age, he still has a lot to offer, playing a full part.

The Old Firm went ahead after just 6 minutes when prop James Cowdry and full back Jack Roberts handed on to wing Sam Akintioye who took play to 5 metres out where quick ruck ball was moved into midfield where a strong run by flanker Jarrod Morgan saw him break through the Accies defence and score near the posts. Roberts converted to make it 7-0. The Academicals were moving the ball across the full width of the pitch and showing some nice handling skills. Centre Gabriel Davies (University of West England) run in for their first try which outside half Harry Morgan-Grant (University of Gloucestershire) converted to make it 7-7. Another Accies attack took play up to the Mount line where some tremendous tackling by the Old Firm kept the visitors out. A lineout taken by No.8 and captain Kriss Sanders on the Accies 22 was driven on and had the visitors in all sorts of trouble, second row Christian Jones eventually touching down and Roberts kicking a superb conversion from the touchline to put Mount back in front 14-7. Some nice handling out wide by the Accies took play to metres out from the Mount line where the attack was stopped with some excellent defence, but the loose ball was retrieved by the Accies and moved into midfield where centre Gabriel Davies scored his second try, which went unconverted, to make it 14-12 to the Old Firm after 27 minutes play. A lineout on the Accies 22 metre line saw the visitors once again stand off a catch and drive, Mount taking play up to 5 metres out but a knock on saw the ball cleared. The Accies moved the ball wide to put their wing away and although he was tackled, a nice slip pass to full back Craig Lewis (Cardiff Metropolitan University) saw him score to put his team 17-14 in front. Mount prop forward Lee Butts did some good ripping in midfield to take the ball off an Accies player but a penalty to the visitors at the resulting ruck saw the Mount defence caught knapping when it was taken quickly. The ball was quickly transferred into midfield on the Mount 22 metre line and a side step and a 15 metre sprint by Accies outside half Harry Morgan-Grant saw him score a try under the posts and convert it to extend his side’s lead to 24-14 at half time.

The Old Firm started the second half on the attack. A strong run by second row Jarrod Parfitt made ground and that was followed by a blindside break by International scrum half Paul Griffen who showed a turn of pace to take play from a scrum on the Mount 22 metre line to the Accies’ 10 metre line. After pirouetting, he passed to flanker Jordan Coxley who was quickly up in support and took the ball on, foxing the defence with a dummy pass, and then outpacing the chasing defenders to touch down in the corner to end a 75 metre attack. Full back Jack Roberts kicked another superb conversion from the touchline to reduce the Accies’ lead to 24-21 after 46 minutes of play. A chip into space by Griffen behind the Accies defence saw wing Will Holley quickly up to pressurise the defence but the Accies dealt with it well and cleared the ball. A penalty to Mount was kicked to the corner and from a lineout catch, a feint one way by the Mount forwards saw second row Adam Parry drive over on the opposite side with Roberts striking the ball beautifully from wide out to convert and put the Old Firm back in front, 28-24. Mount continued in attacking vein and from the restart, second row Jarrod Parfitt emerged from the middle of a ruck to sprint upfield, dummying like a threequarter, to take play to the Accies 10 metre line where he linked with prop James Cowdry who took the move on. Quick ruck ball was taken on by strong running flanker Jarrod Morgan who broke through but was tackled 15 metres out by a desperate Accies defence. From the resulting scrum, a number of drives saw play taken up to the visitors’ line where prop Cowdry scored near the posts, Roberts converting to make it 35-24 to Mount. The Accies put the ball through the hands and from an attack wide out took play to 5 metres out where second row Andrew Le-Baigue (Cardiff Metropolitan University) scored, outside half Morgan-Grant converting to reduce Mount’s lead to 35-31 on the hour. Mount wing Will Holley almost latched on to a chip into space from the Mount 22 but a foot in touch stopped the attack. In the 67th minute, the Accies worked an overlap on the Mount 22 to put one of their second row’s away but a try saving tackle by hooker Liam Attwell 10 metres out saved a certain try. A penalty award to the visitors at the breakdown was taken quickly with a penalty try being awarded which put the Accies 38-35 in front with a Mount player also being yellow carded. If there’s one thing this Mount team has shown all season it’s spirit and once again it shone through in the final 10 minutes. A pick up and run to the blindside by No.8 Kriss Sanders put scrum half Ross Davies in space. His chip through the Accies defence saw wing Sam Akintioye quickly up to kick on and touch down to put the 14 men of the Old Firm 40-38 in front with 10 minutes left to play. A catch by prop Dean O’Brien from the restart saw the ball moved wide to wing Holley who made ground to take play into the Accies half. The game was up for grabs with both attacking and going all out for victory. Some nice handling by the visitors saw them take play up to 15 metres out from the Mount line but great defence by the Old Firm saw them win a penalty and clear the ball to halfway where a scrum was given. No.8 Sanders and scrum half Ross Davies combined to give to wing Holley who came into midfield, shrugged off a couple of tackles and managed to hold off a defender on a 20 metre run to the line to score a try in the corner in the 81st minute, which flanker David Richards converted with a superb strike from the touchline, to make the score 47-38 and bring down the curtain on Mount’s last home fixture in the club’s 142nd season.

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