Cambrian Welfare RFC | 1st Team 26 - 25 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
22 April 2024 / Team News

Old Firm Just Edged Out

Twenty five points, which included three tries, was enough to have won this game, but the Old Firm were just edged out as Cambrian replied for the second time this season with four tries of their own and twenty six points to win one of the most exciting games of the season, and also clinch the Division 1 East Central championship. The game was hard-fought and competitive throughout and provided both sets of supporters with plenty of excitement as each thought at different times of the game they were on their way to winning it. In the middle of all this was the referee who had a good game overall given the competitiveness and intensity of the match.

Mount got off to a good start with pressure at the first scrum and a 35 metre penalty from outside half Callum Hall after just 3 minutes. A charged down Cambrian clearance minutes later resulted in a penalty to Mount in the home 22, but instead of taking the points on offer, it was taken quickly, but to no avail.

A quickly taken penalty by Cambrian on halfway saw them take play into the Mount 22 where they were awarded a penalty 15 metres out, which they kicked to make it 3-3 after 9 minutes.

A fracas after 20 minutes saw the referee take action once order was restored, sending off Cambrian’s scrum half and captain, Julian Huntley, and yellow carding Mount flanker Daniel Phillips. A penalty to the Old Firm was also awarded which was kicked into the Cambrian 22. A catch by flanker David Richards and a drive on by the Mount forwards followed by several drives for the try line were held by Cambrian with the home team eventually being awarded a penalty for holding the ball on the floor.

Cambrian went in front after half hour when they moved the ball to both sides of the pitch on the Mount 22 and then gave it to a charging forward who went right through the Mount defence to score near the posts. The conversion made it 10-3 to the hosts.

A loose ball was hacked on by Cambrian into the Mount 22 and it took a skilful bit of play by centre Cole Nash who secured the ball under great pressure.

A high tackle in the early minutes of the second half saw Cambrian kick a 25 metre penalty to go further in front, 13-3.

The Old Firm hit back straight away. After being awarded a penalty from the restart, outside half Hall pinned Cambrian into the corner, and from the lineout take by second row Mitchell Barnard, No.8 Jordan Burke came round the front on the peel to drive over to the great delight of the Mount support. The try went unconverted but it brought Mount back into the game at 13-8 down.

The Old Firm’s comeback was short lived as a dropped ball in the Mount 22 saw the home team set up another attack which was finished off with a try in the corner by their wing to make it 18-8 after 50 minutes.

The response from Mount was immediate and the best bit of open play the Old Firm played in the game. The ball came back to outside half Hall in open play. He cut inside a defender on the Cambrian 10 metre line, sprinted away and beat another man on the 22 with a lovely bit of footwork, linking with full back Jayden Pugh who gave to wing Liam Jones who scored wide out to the great excitement of the Mount support. There was even more noise after Hall kicked a beauty of a high and mighty conversion through the sticks to bring Mount back to 18-15 down.

The Mount scrum was on top as Cambrian creaked and went backwards. Hall fired the penalty into touch in the Cambrian 22, and from more pressure a high tackle by the home team was penalised, Hall kicking the 25 metre penalty to make it all level at 18-18 after an hour’s play.

The Mount forwards secured the ball from the restart but it was kicked long and high instead of into touch. A catch by the Cambrian full back, a run across field and a pass to a fellow back saw him cut through the Mount midfield defence to take play into the Old Firm’s 22 where some desperate defence ended in a penalty to the home team and scrum half Ross Davies yellow carded. The penalty was converted to put Cambrian back in front 21-18 after 63 minutes.

With ten minutes to play, a break by Hall taken on by wing Morgan James saw the Old Firm move the ball wide to hooker Kieran Coomer in the Cambrian 22. He chose not to use the overlap. Play came back across the field and was taken on by the forwards up to the Cambrian line where second row Mitchell Barnard was awarded the touch down. Another superb conversion from the same spot by Hall to great applause gave Mount a buffer of four points as they lead 25-21.

But, in a rerun of the restart after the last Cambrian score, the Mount forwards secured the ball, Hall kicked high and long up to the Cambrian 10 metre line, the full back caught it and run to the open side, passing it, and then another pass saw the home wing get away down the touchline. Although he was stopped, a penalty to Cambrian was kicked to touch 5 metres out from the Mount line. A catch and drive was held by the Old Firm pack, and then some desperate, committed defence across the field by Mount kept the home team out. But the home team were not to be denied and after recycling the ball across the field, an overlap was worked for the home wing to score midway out in the 75th minute to scenes of great jubilation among the home support. The home kicker held his nerve to slot over the conversion to put his side 26-25 in front.

Back came the Old Firm, and from a scrum on the Cambrian 22, the ball popped out after pressure from Mount eight, scrum half Ross Davies getting away to take play to 15 metres out. The ball came back from the ruck and was given out, but Cambrian were quickly in at a breakdown to win a penalty. It was kicked to halfway, Cambrian securing the lineout and kicking the ball into touch to bring a pulsating game to an end.

The Old Firm play their last game of the season this Saturday, 27 April. Rhydyfelin are the visitors to Duffryn Pennar Park for a Division 1 East Central game, kick off 2:30pm.

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