Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 35 - 10 Abercynon RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
12 September 2021 / Team News

Bonus Point For Mount In Local Derby Win

Fifteen points from the boot of outside half Callum Hall and four tries scored, which included a brace by wing Morgan James, secured a bonus point victory for the Old Firm at Duffryn Pennar Park against old rivals Abercynon in the WRU Plate competition.

On a beautiful day, with Duffryn Pennar Park in great condition, Mount made an error-strewn start, conceding 5 penalties in the first 10 minutes, which eventually led to a 3-0 lead for the visitors from a well-struck penalty by full back Kieron Symon from near the touchline.

It was nearly 15 minutes on the clock before Mount put their first attack together to take play into the ‘cynon 22 where a penalty award was converted by outside half Hall to level the scores.

Minutes later, from a ruck in the ‘cynon half, the ball was moved wide where an overlap saw centre Cushion get away, draw a defender and give a perfect pass to wing Morgan James who run 15 metres down the touchline and dived over near the corner for a well-taken try to make it 8-3 after 18 minutes.

Mount were in the ascendency and getting stronger, and taking play once again into the ‘cynon half, a penalty 40 metres out, 10 metres in from the touchline, was well-struck by Hall to give the Old Firm an 11-3 lead after 22 minutes.

Pressure by scrum half Ross Davies at an Abercynon scrum on the ‘cynon 22, and then a strong run by Mount No.8 Jordan Burke took play to metres out and almost brought a second try but the referee judged the ball was held up and a drop out to ‘cynon resulted.

A penalty to Abercynon on their 22 missed touch in the Mount half and bounced over the dead-ball line, which gave the Old Firm a scrum back. Several more drives by the Mount forwards took play up to the ‘cynon line and from another penalty award, Hall gave Mount a 14-3 lead at half time.

The Old Firm had a much better start to the second half and were straight on the attack. A well-placed kick by Hall gave Mount a lineout in the ‘cynon 22. Several drives by the Mount forwards took play to metres out where tighthead Kieran Coomer went over the ‘cynon line but the referee judged the ball was held up and ordered a drop-out from the goal line. A 30 metre penalty, in midfield, was also missed, and although Mount were well on top, they had no extra points to show for their pressure.

The Mount forwards to a man worked hard all afternoon, with props James Cowdry, Bleddyn Lock and Kieran Coomer, hooker Jarrad Parfitt, second row Mitchell Barnard and backrow forwards Jordan Burke and Daniel Phillips, putting in strong runs at different times during the game.

At last, after 55 minutes, more pressure near the ‘cynon line saw hooker and captain Jarrad Parfitt take the ball, and after it looked like he had been tackled, he pirouetted out of the grasp of the tackler and touched down under the posts. Hall converted to put Mount 21-3 up.

To be fair to Abercynon, they fought back and took play into the Mount half, showing good ball retention and looking for gaps in and around the Old Firm’s 22, and after 5 minutes of pressure, the ball was moved to the narrow side where full back Symon scored a try their efforts deserved in the corner. A superb conversion from the touchline gave his side hope at 21-10 down after an hour’s play.

The Old Firm’s lack of game time over the last month looked as if it might catch with them, but determined defence repelled more ‘cynon attacks even though the Old Firm were playing with 14 after wing Morgan James was yellow carded.

A trademark two handed lineout catch by flanker Dai Richards near halfway was shot out by scrum half replacement Morgan Cartwright to Hall who linked with centre Jamie Long. He cut inside, shrugging off a tackler and broke away, and with only the full back to beat, he gave a try-scoring pass to Jarrod Cushion, who was on his shoulder, for the centre to race in for Mount’s third try of the game to finish off a good attack to great applause. Hall converted to make it 28-10 after 70 minutes.

The Old Firm saved the best till last. A 50 metre gain by outside half Hall from his own 22 to the ‘cynon 22 gave Mount a lineout. After the ball was secured, a superbly placed and weighted chip over the maul by scrum half Cartwright saw wing Morgan James tear down the touchline past the covering ‘cynon full back to dive on the ball in-goal to score a superb try – the Old Firm’s 4th of the game which gained a bonus point – to set the crowd alight. Hall put the icing on the cake with a beauty of a conversion from the touchline right between the sticks to complete the scoring and end a good day for Mountain Ash RFC – one which saw good support for the game played, a family atmosphere at Duffryn Pennar Park, mini rugby played prior to kick off, the opening of the new hospitality suite at Duffryn Pennar Park called The Tom Pullman Suite, and news filtering through from mid Wales that the Youth had beaten Gwernyfed Youth 19-7 in the Cardiff Rugby Challenge Cup.

Although a bonus point win, the Old Firm are still 2nd in the Plate table and cannot rest on their laurels as local rivals Aberdare, who visit Duffyn Pennar Park next Saturday, 18 September, will be determined to make amends for their home loss to Mount in early August. Kick off is 2:30pm.

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