Gilfach Goch RFC | 1st Team 13 - 6 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
20 January 2019 / Team News

Mount Lose Uneventful Game

This was an arm-wrestle of a game, hard fought, with virtually no open play and both defences ruling the roost for the most part. Gilfach had the edge up front in the scrums and lineout until the last 15 minutes when Mount brought on fresh legs that made inroads into the home defence, which had to defend their line in the final minutes. However, as had happened throughout the game, little errors and knock-ons, and an inconsistent lineout let Gilfach off the hook and they won their first home game of the season.

The home side played with the slope in the first half and after withstanding pressure in the opening minutes, Mount moved the ball in loose play just 10 metres out from their own line and found space to attack. Centre Will Holley made a half break and handed on to outside half Liam Jones who sprinted away up to near the Gilfach 22 where he tried to kick ahead, the ball rebounding from a defender and being kicked on by a Mount attacker, but a Gilfach player just about beat Mount flanker David Richards to the touch down over the try line. It looked promising for Mount, but that was virtually the end of open play throughout the first half.

After 15 minutes, Gilfach were awarded a penalty due to the Mount defence not being 10 metres back from a lineout and went 3-0 up from the 25 metre penalty. Five minutes later, the Old Firm were level when outside half Jones struck the ball nicely to convert a penalty from 38 metres.

Gilfach’s best chance in open play came on the half hour mark when they took the ball through several phases in the Mount 22 and created an overlap 15 metres out. A try saving tackle by a Mount defender kept them from scoring but a deliberate knock-on saw a yellow card issued, reducing the Old Firm to 14 for 10 minutes. Gilfach opted for a 5 metre scrum and after two scrums and two penalties, the referee awarded a 7 point penalty try which put the home team 10-3 up after 33 minutes.

Just before half time, Mount were awarded a penalty, and for the second time, outside half Jones kicked it, this time from 40 metres, to reduce Gilfach’s lead to 10-6 at half time, which gave real hope for the second half.

After a low-key start by the Old Firm to the second half, a break out of defence in the Mount 22 by outside half Jones saw him get away down the touchline and kick long up to the Gilfach 22. Quick following up by the Old Firm resulted in the home side giving away a penalty, but the kick at goal after just 54 minutes play was turned down and the ball kicked to the corner. Although play was eventually taken to 5 metres out, a knock-on – one of several during the match – stopped the attack in a promising position and allowed Gilfach to clear.

Little mistakes were costing the Old Firm possession and after Gilfach took play into the Mount 22, a maul that looked to have been held up by the Old Firm was left to go by the referee with the result that several Gilfach backs joined it just 10 metres out and drove it on. After it collapsed, the home team were awarded a penalty, which was under the posts, which was kicked to extend the home lead to 13-6 after 65 minutes.

Fresh legs were introduced in the Mount pack and from a well-placed drop-out by outside half Jones, the Old Firm won the ball and started an attack which saw forwards Cowdry, Dixon and Geraint Lock take play to 10 metres out with some strong, driving runs. It led to Mount getting a penalty which was kicked to the corner, but frustratingly, a knock-on once again allowed the home side to clear.

Another attack by Mount on the Gilfach 22 after 70 minutes was blown up due to a forward pass in midfield, which once again gave Gilfach a chance to clear and take play upfield.

A bullocking run by a home forward on the Mount 22 looked to have a try written all over it but valiant defence by wing Rhys Davies and full back Cory Roberts somehow kept him out, with the Old Firm awarded the scrum from a knock-on.

With time running out, flanker David Richards and centre Hughes combined and play was taken to 10 metres out. From a scrum to Mount, the tiring Gilfach pack held firm and after the ball was moved, it was knocked on. The home side secured the ball from the resulting scrum, and when the ball was booted dead, the referee called time for Gilfach to register a first home win and the Old Firm to fail to score a try in a match for the first time this season.

Bridgend Athletic visit Duffryn Pennar Park this Saturday, 26 January. They will certainly be after a win to move away from the relegation zone, and the Old Firm need a win to stay well out of it, get yesterday's defeat out of their system, and get back to playing the rugby they know they can and challenge for a top four spot. Kick off is 2:30pm.

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