St Peters RFC | 1st Team 31 - 27 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
07 May 2023 / Team News

Old Firm Give It Their All

The Old Firm, playing their second Division 1 East Central game in four days against one of the top two in the division, gave a valiant performance away to second placed St Peter’s, just being edged out. The whole matchday squad gave their all in a brave display on an artificial pitch after the game was switched on Saturday morning to university fields in Rumney.

The game did not get off to a good start for Mount with a dropped pass back on the Mount 22 giving St Peter’s a scrum from which they took play up to the Old Firm’s line and eventually scored. The conversion made it 7-0 after just 4 minutes play.

Outside half Declan Conway slotted over a 25 metre penalty from Mount’s first foray into the St Peter’s half to make it 7-3. Scrum half Ross Davies made a superb 45 metre clearance after excellent defence by Mount from further pressure by the hosts.

A penalty to the Old Firm on halfway was kicked to 5 metres out from a superbly placed kick by Conway, and from a lineout take by second row Mitchell Barnard, prop Cory Bunney slipped a pass to hooker Kieran Coomer for him to drive over for Mount’s first try of the afternoon. Conway converted to put the Old Firm 10-7 up after 20 minutes.

A long kick into the St Peter’s half and quick following up by the Old Firm put pressure on the home team, but it was not close enough as the St Peter’s wing got away on the outside and kicked upfield where it was partly secured by a Mount defender. The hosts were quickly in to turn the ball over and a pass later they scored their second try, again near the posts. It was converted to put them back in front 14-10 after 26 minutes.

The Mount lineout was inconsistent which helped the hosts. A penalty from the Mount 22 line by St Peter’s was converted to increase the lead to 17-10 after half hour.

Just before half time, the Old Firm moved the ball on the St Peter’s 22 where wing Cole Nash came into the line and did well to take a pass and put Robins away to 15 metres out.

The second half got off to a better start for the Old Firm with a penalty at a scrum 25 metres out in the opening minutes, Conway having no problem kicking it to reduce the lead to 17-13.

Pressure from St Peter’s in the Mount 22 saw them go further in front from a catch and drive at a 5 metre lineout, with the conversion making it 24-13 after 48 minutes play.

The Old Firm put together their best attack of the match in response. Full back Jarrod Cushion and second row Cameron Davies combined to start it on halfway, with at least a dozen phases and even more catches and passes taking play to just 5 metres out from the home line. A 5 metre lineout to St Peter’s was won by the hosts but heavy pressure by Mount resulted in the clearance kick to touch charged down by livewire Youth captain and flanker, Brandon Thomas, who dropped on the ball to get a deserved try on his 1st XV debut and put Mount right back into the game. Full back Cushion hit a beauty of a conversion over from the touchline to reduce the home lead to 24-20.

The Old Firm’s defence throughout the game was excellent with all players fully committed. Alternatively, whenever they had the opportunity they took the game to St Peter’s.

Pressure in the Mount 22 saw a penalty award to St Peter’s 5 metres out. It was quickly taken and although young flanker Thomas stopped the player scoring, a penalty try was awarded and he was yellow carded.

At 31-20, the hosts may have thought the game was theirs, but they were wrong. The Old Firm attacked and took the ball through a number of phases up to the St Peter’s line where it was moved to the narrow side for wing Cole Nash to dive over in the corner to the great delight of the Mount team and support. Once again – and this time from the “wrong” side of the pitch – Cushion judged the wind expertly to strike a magnificent conversion through the posts to make it “game on” at 31-27 to St Peter’s with time almost up.

A last attack from Mount took play to the home 22, but the hosts won a penalty at the breakdown to clear their lines and see out the final couple of minutes.

Although a narrow defeat for the Old Firm, the whole Mount squad can hold their heads high after the effort they put in.

There are four League games to play and 20 points available. The Old Firm should go for it and try to finish the season in style. They’re capable of doing it and it will be a fitting end to a season where they have been, on their day, as good as any other team in the division.

The first of those games is this Wednesday, 10 May, when Mount travel to Rhiwbina, kick off is 7:00pm.

This Saturday, 13 May, Rhiwbina make the return visit to Duffryn Pennar Park, kick off is 2:30pm.

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