Porth Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 20 - 19 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
24 March 2019 / Team News

Mount Denied at the Death

With 5 minutes of this game left and the Old Firm 19-15 up and in the Porth 22, the omens were looking good for a Mount win. But, a Porth clearance kick which failed to make touch and which the Mount defence did not catch turned into a kick up to the Mount 22 behind the defence after a Porth player got to the ball first and hoofed it on. Full back Declan Conway had the ball covered but a needless obstruction of a home player resulted in a yellow card that reduced the Old Firm to 14 and changed the situation dramatically.

Porth kicked to touch and edged up to the Mount 22, but another careless penalty at a ruck allowed the home team to kick to within 10 metres of the Mount line. The Old Firm defended with great determination, not giving an inch and scrummaged as well as they had all afternoon at two 15 metre scrums.

With the game going into injury time, it seemed that every time Mount competed at the breakdown, they were penalised. After five successive penalties to Porth and numerous attempts to drive over, a home front row player attempted yet another and although two or three Mount defenders got hold of him as they collapsed over the line, the referee awarded a contentious try in the 5th minute of injury time, with time being called after the conversion was missed. It was a cruel end for the Old Firm after fighting back from 12-3 down in the first half when Porth had first use of the breeze and the slope.

Mount went into the lead after just 3 minutes when wing Will Holley – who kicked superbly all afternoon and finished with a 100% record – slotted over a 25 metre penalty to make it


Both sides were very positive in their approach to this important game. Mount were moving the ball using forwards and backs and also tried a few chips over the defence while Porth also looked to exploit any space. Young second row Daniel Phillips made a crucial tackle near the touchline near halfway after the home centre got away.

The Old Firm had to reorganise their front row after 15 minutes when prop Bleddyn Lock hobbled off, with hooker Jack James moving to prop and second row Jarrad Parfitt taking over at hooker, but the new front row held their own for the most part.

A loose ball from a scrum on the Mount 10 metre line saw the home team first to it. The ball was moved wide quickly and with the Mount defence caught out of position, an overlap saw Porth finish off by scoring the first try of the match in the corner, with a well-judged conversion making it 7-3 after 16 minutes play.

The home team were kicking long, using the slope to pin the Old Firm back. From the restart, a superb kick took play to 5 metres out from the Mount line. Although the Old Firm had the throw-in, it was Porth who won the lineout, and after two penalty awards were kicked to touch, the ball was moved to the narrow side for a Porth player to score in the corner to make it 12-3 after 22 minutes.

Things were not looking good for Mount but they regrouped and had the better of the rest of the half, taking play up to and into the Porth 22 with some nice handling on times. Holley kicked another good penalty from wide out from 25 metres to reduce the arrears to 12-6, and then a quickly taken penalty by Mount saw a loose ball from a ruck picked up by Porth and an attack started which would have ended in a try but for a try saving tackle 15 metres out by full back Declan Conway on a home second row.

After Mount outside half Morgan James was obstructed after a chip over the top of the defence on the Porth 22, Holley kicked another fine penalty from near the 5 metre line to make it 12-9 at half time.

The Old Firm were first on the attack in the second half. Wing Rhys Davies got away down the touchline and after the home backs were caught offside, Holley kicked the simplest of penalties from 10 metres out in front of the posts, to make it 12-12 after 42 minutes.

Pressure in the Mount 22 by the home team saw them regain the lead with a straight 20 metre penalty after 51 minutes.

On the hour, wing Holley made a half break in midfield in the Porth half after the Old Firm had moved the ball wide. Centre Kieron Davies linked with wing Rhys Davies who almost broke free of the Porth defence but was brought down in the home 22. The Mount forwards were quickly there and took the ball on. From a 5 metre lineout, the Old Firm were unlucky not to be awarded a try, but from the penalty award, which was kicked to touch, an excellent throw-in by hooker Jack James, well-taken by second row Daniel Phillips, was driven on to a metre or so out, and a snipe to the side of the maul by scrum half Ross Davies saw him stretch over to touch down for a vital try, Holley converting with a beauty from midway out to put Mount 19-15 in front.

A superb 60 metre clearance from the restart by Holley took Mount back down to the Porth 22 after 66 minutes but the Porth lineout secured the ball and cleared. The home side were looking to get the try that would put them back in front but they were getting little change out of the Mount defence right across the field, with play being in the middle of the field. Then came the last five minutes and a change in the game that no one could have predicted.

Although a defeat, the Mount team did well to cope with an early change in the front row and recover from 12-3 down after the first quarter. Outside half Morgan James showed some nice touches and got the backline going, flanker Jordan Coxley was in the action, Jack James did well at prop, Jarrad Parfitt at hooker, and replacement tighthead Geraint Lock, playing his 199th 1st XV game, stiffened the scrum when he came on. Scrum half Ross Davies was his usual competitive self, Will Holley kicked 14 points and finished the game with a 100% record, backrow forwards Chris Edmunds and Kriss Sanders were hard workers, and Rhys Davies and Declan Conway had their moments.

The bonus point gained from the defeat leaves Mount in 7th place on 39 points from 17 games played. There are still 25 points to play for from the 5 remaining games, the first of which is against Cambrian Welfare at Duffryn Pennar Park this Saturday. Results did not go the way either of the other clubs around Mount in the fight to avoid the third relegation spot. There is all to play for, starting this Saturday. Come on Old Firm, play like you know you can.

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