Mountain Ash RFC | Youth Team 27 - 15 Pontypridd RFC | Youth Team

Match Report
09 February 2019 / Team News

Young Firm Score 5 Tries In Blues Cup Win

Mountain Ash Youth and Pontypridd Youth had already played each other at Sardis Road earlier this season in a Blues Premier division fixture, with the Young Firm coming out on top 41-40. A close game was therefore expected in the return game, this time in Mountain Ash in the Blues Premiership Trophy.

It was all Pontypridd in the first 15 minutes of this Blues Premiership Trophy match at Caedrawnant. Although Mount defended well during this time, intense pressure by Ponty in the Mount 22 resulted in a simple 15 metre penalty and then an unconverted try from a catch and drive at a 5 metre lineout, which put the visitors 8-0 up.

A long kick out of defence by Pontypridd was caught by centre Jarrod Cushion on the Mount 10 metre line. With a side-step and a burst of pace, he beat the oncoming defence and sprinted away into the visitors’ 22 where he slipped a lovely pass to outside half Ethan Conway, who was on his shoulder, and he finished off a superb attack – Mount’s first of the afternoon – by running in under the posts for the Young Firm’s first try. Although the conversion hit an upright and bounced out, it made the score 8-5 and got Mount right back into the game.

The score brought the Young Firm to life, and from their own 22 metre line, scrum half and captain Morgan Cartwright and outside half Conway put centre Cushion away. He burned down the touchline, leaving all before him, and chipped over the top of the Ponty defence. Although the visitors saved the day by touching down behind their own try line, it gave Mount a 5 metre scrum, and from pressure on the Ponty line, No.8 Owen Jenkins – who made several strong runs during the game – drove over for the Young Firm’s second try in quick time, which made it 10-8 to Mount.

The Mount team had truly come to life and were asking questions of the Ponty defence across the field. Scrum half Cartwright was unlucky not to be awarded a try when he went through a gap from a lineout in the Ponty 22. The Young Firm were not to be denied though from the resulting 5 metre scrum, and after a pick up by No.8 Jenkins, second row Mitchell Barnard scored the Young Firm’s third try of the half to make it 15-8 after 33 minutes.

From the restart, the ball was moved into midfield where Mount had an overlap. Centre Jamie Long broke through at pace and went on a weaving run, turning the Ponty defenders inside out, only being stopped close to the visitors’ line. It was impressive and effective play by Mount and it brought the half to a close.

At the start of the second half, Pontypridd once again started off the stronger team, but throughout the game, the Mount defence was terrific, shutting down space and always backing each other up.

From a quick penalty taken by the Young Firm on halfway, quick ruck ball was given to scrum half Cartwright on the 22 and his grubber kick through the defence to the corner flag was beautifully judged and centre Jarrod Cushion showed his pace to beat the defence and the covering full back to touch down for Mount’s fourth try of the match, which put the Young Firm well and truly in the driving seat at 20-8 up.

Another well-judged diagonal kick by Cartwright once again had the Ponty defence stretched and the ball was touched down just before Cushion got to it. Mount were not to be denied and from a scrum on the Ponty 22, some nice slip passes between the forwards was finished off by second row Ethan James who scored the Young Firm’s fifth try of the afternoon, which Cushion converted to put the Young Firm 27-8 up after an hour of play.

To be fair to the visitors, they kept going and after a sustained period of pressure in the Mount 22, they got their second try of the game after 65 minutes, which was converted to make it 27-15.

It turned out to the last score of an entertaining game which gave the Young Firm the “double” over Pontypridd this season. It also showed the capability this Mount side has in attack and their determination and organisation in defence.

The Young Firm are the Blues Premier division champions for this season, 2018/19, but they should not settle for that only. They should aim their sights higher. There are two competitions to end the season. The first is the Blues Premiership Trophy, and the second a play-off between the league champions. The Mount squad and coaches should give both these their best shot. Only once in a while you get a chance of achieving something like this. Don’t give it up easily, gents, go for it.

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