Crymych RFC | Youth Team 23 - 26 Mountain Ash RFC | Youth Team
Dean James
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Gethin Davies
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Harri Williams
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Jac Davies
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Match Report
12 May 2019 / Team News

Young Firm Win Superb Game To Be Crowned Welsh League Champions

What a great game of rugby this was in the final of the Champions Cup in Aberavon which was a credit to both clubs and a great advert for Youth rugby in Wales.

From the first minute to the last, it was hard fought, scrupulously clean, well refereed, fast, and covered every blade of grass from touchline to touchline and try line to try line on the majestic looking Talbot Athletic Ground pitch. And at the end of a cut and thrust game, Mountain Ash Youth, the Blues champions, once again showed their will to win and fitness to come out on top 26-23 and be crowned the League Champions of Wales.

By the time the final whistle was sounded, the Mount team had given their all, straining every sinew and covering every blade of grass in attack and defence, and finished the stronger in the last 10 minutes of this enthralling game during which the lead changed hands on half a dozen occasions.

Throughout the game, Crymych moved the ball wide and played at pace, and showed why they were finalists. They went in front with an unconverted try after just 8 minutes when their full back came into the line from a 15 metre scrum and passed inside for an easy looking score to make it 5-0.

Mount hit back within minutes when their first attack of the game saw the ball moved into midfield where centre Jamie Long cut back inside and got away from the cover defence, dummy the full back and run in under the posts for an excellent individual try which captain Morgan Cartwright converted to put Mount 7-5 up.

Crymych hit back 5 minutes later when they moved the ball to both sides of the wide pitch, their athletic, powerful winger scoring in the corner to put them 10-7 in front after 17 minutes play.

The game had long passages of play throughout, with the full width of the pitch being used. Crymych were monopolising possession, with their ball retention excellent, but the Mount defence was not giving anything away.

Crymych’s powerful wing almost got away again from 15 metres out, but an excellent tackle by the Mount right wing saved a certain try. However, a penalty award just 15 metres out saw the Scarlets champions extend their lead to 13-7 after 30 minutes.

A long kick downfield into the Crymych 22 and quick following up saw Mount awarded a penalty which was kicked to 5 metres out. Second row Mitchell Barnard won the lineout and the ball moved into midfield where centres Jamie Long and Jarrad Cushion exchanged passes and gave to outside half Ethan Conway who cut through from 10 metres out to score under the posts. Cartwright converted to put Mount into a 14-13 lead, which was how it stood at half time and was a good return for the Young Firm considering the small amount of ball they had during the first half.

The second half opened with both sides attacking at every opportunity. After a Mount attack broke down, Crymych hit back and looked to have breached the Mount defence but some great scramble defence 10 metres out kept them out. Eventually, a penalty award kicked to the corner was finished off with a drive over near the posts by a Crymych forward. The conversion put the Scarlets team back in front, 20-14, after 49 minutes play.

No supporter of either team could take their eyes off the play as the play went from one end to the other. A long pass in midfield by Crymych was nearly intercepted by Cushion, and then a Crymych player almost got away on halfway but put a foot in touch.

The game was being played at a breathtaking pace. A break by Cushion near halfway saw him almost get away from the defence but a try saving tackle 15 metres out stopped him. Quick ruck ball was moved wide, and from a well-judged pass from outside half Ethan Conway, athletic No.8 Ryan Jenkins took it at pace and raced through the Crymych defence without a hand laid on him to score near the posts. Cartwright converted to put Mount back in front 21-20 after 54 minutes.

Crymych took advantage of some sloppy play at the restart by Mount and took play to 15 metres out, but some excellent work on the floor by the Mount pack, which competed for every ball throughout, secured a penalty.

After a high kick up to the Mount 22 was well dealt with by the defence, a pass inside went straight to a Crymych player who had 20 metres to go to the line but superb scramble defence again by the Young Firm forced him into touch 5 metres out. Rather than settle things down, the Young Firm took a quick throw-in and moved the ball to centre Jamie Long who broke away and nearly left the Crymych defence for dead but was tackled on the Crymych 10 metre line. It was lung busting, entertaining stuff, and worthy of a champions final.

The game was any side’s. A knock-on at a Mount scrum followed by a comment to the referee saw Crymych awarded a 30 metre penalty which they kicked to regain the lead, 23-21, after 63 minutes.

The game was coming to a crescendo with the Champions trophy on the line.

The Young Firm upped the ante and some patient play combined with some good handling and drives by the forwards took play from halfway into the Crymych 22. A pick up from a ruck was turned into a driving maul, and from 15 metres out, the Mount forwards drove over wide out for a vital try, with No.8 forward Jenkins emerging from underneath the bodies with the ball to claim his second try of the game. Although the conversion missed, it put the Young Firm back in front, 26-23.

The action was far from over. The restart was well taken and play was taken up to halfway where outside half Conway put in a well-placed long kick to pin Crymych back. The referee initially gave a 22 drop-out, but on the advice of a touchjudge, Mount were awarded a 5 metre scrum. Adventurously, the Young Firm moved the ball wide, but a wayward pass saw Crymych get a penalty at the breakdown and clear.

The game was in its last five minutes. A crossfield kick by the Scarlets champion aimed at their wing was well taken by on the Mount 10 metre line by full back Jak Thomas who gave a lovely pass to wing Callum Lewis, who was on his outside. He showed great pace to burn down the touchline, setting the Mount support alight as he left the Crymych defence behind him, but an excellent cover tackle just 5 metres out by a covering defender saw him put a foot in touch as he dived in to touch down.

Although the Scarlets champions cleared the ball and took play to the Mount 10 metre line, second row Mitchell Barnard won a Crymych throw and when captain Morgan Cartwright booted the ball into touch, time was called, leaving Mountain Ash Youth the winners of a terrific game, which gave them the prestigious Welsh Champion of Champions trophy to add to their Blues Premier division title. What a great achievement.

The season is not over though. This Saturday, 18 May, at Ystrad Mynach 4G pitch, the Young Firm will try to make it a hat-trick of wins to finish the season in style when they play Merthyr in the Blues North Cup final, kick off 2:30pm. Let’s all get behind this young team in their effort to win a unique treble.

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