St Josephs RFC | 1st Team 14 - 22 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team
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Match Report
08 September 2019 / Team News

Mount Off To Winning Start

Mountain Ash RFC started its 144th season with a Division 1 East Central win away to St Joseph’s, with the Old Firm going straight on the attack after reclaiming the ball from the kick off.

After 9 minutes play, outside half Liam Jones converted a 20 metre penalty to put Mount 3-0 up, and then full back Jarrod Cushion followed this up with a counter attack which broke the St Jo’s defensive line.

Flanker Daniel Phillips was prominent in the lineout and from a catch on halfway, the Mount pack had the home forwards in all sorts of trouble with a drive up to the St Jo’s 22. The penalty award was kicked to touch and after the ball was moved to both sides of the pitch, another penalty was given but the kick at goal drifted just wide from 25 metres.

Mount put their best handling move of the game together after 30 minutes when the ball was moved across the backline to put flanker Phillips away down the touchline. He took play up to near the St Jo’s 22 and passed inside to centre Kieron Davies. Full back Jarrad Cushion took it on to 5 metres out, but somehow the St Jo’s defence won a penalty at the ruck and the ball was cleared.

The home team had hardly been in the Mount half, but some nice handling put their wing get away and it was only an excellent tackle by full back Ethan Conway that stopped him in his tracks just before half time.

A kick up to the Mount 10 metre line was caught by scrum half Morgan Cartwright who started a counter attack, putting full back Cushion away. Second row Jarrad Parfitt was up in support, and from the ruck ball 15 metres out, Cartwright made a half break on the blindside to take play to 5 metres out from the home line. After the home side infringed at a ruck under the posts, the referee issued a yellow card and awarded a penalty. The Mount pack applied the pressure and after another penalty was awarded from a drive at the first scrum, the referee run under the posts to award a penalty try from the second and also yellow carded a St Joseph’s player for a comment. It took Mount’s lead up to 10-0 and signalled the end of the first half.

Just five minutes into the second half, a lineout take and drive by the Mount pack on the St Jo’s 22, and then pressure on the line, saw the ball moved to outside half Liam Jones who showed good vision to fire out a long pass to full back Cushion, who was unmarked and strolled over from a couple of metres out to touch down for Mount’s second try, Jones converting to make it 17-0.

The hosts regrouped, and on the hour they got their first score of the game when pressure in the Mount 22 resulted in a try midway out, well converted to make it 17-7.

Mount responded and had a good chance to get a third try after prop Tom Harper slipped a pass after a half break in midfield, but a chip through when the St Jo’s defence was stretched let the home side off the hook.

Another chance presented itself when No.8 Kriss Sanders picked up quickly from a scrum in the Mount half and put wing Rhys Davies away, but he sliced his chip over the last line of defence in the St Jo’s half.

In the 68th minute, a turnover to Mount just outside the St Jo’s 22 was taken on by second row Mitchell Barnard. The ball was moved into midfield where flanker Daniel Phillips was just scragged down 5 metres out after breaking through one tackle. The Old Firm were awarded a 5 metre scrum from which scrum half Cartwright fed centre Alex Hughes who brushed aside a would-be tackler and touched down in the corner for the Old Firm’s third try of the afternoon to make the score 22-7.

St Joseph’s responded, and after pressure in the Mount 22, a try from close-in was converted to make it 22-14 after 75 minutes. Although this was the end of the scoring, the final minutes were still competitive, with the Old Firm missing a 25 metre penalty and the hosts probing for gaps across the field but the Mount defence well organised and determined.

It was an encouraging start for the Old Firm, with the team looking as if it has the potential to get better. This Saturday, 14 September, Mount welcome Treorchy to Duffryn Pennar Park for the first Division 1 East Central game of the season. All support welcome.

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