Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 41 - 12 Porth Harlequins RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
08 April 2024 / Team News

Win Gains Mount Promotion

This Division 1 East Central win for Mount secured promotion to the Championship East for next season and also secured a bonus point for the Old Firm as they vie with Aberdare and Cambrian to win the division.

The first half was all-action from the start. With less than a minute played, a Porth backrow forward was yellow carded for something the referee saw in loose play, which puzzled most of the crowd. Outside half Jayden Pugh smoothly stroked the penalty over from 40 metres to make it 3-0 to Mount.

Porth had the first chance of the game in the opening minutes when a dropped ball in midfield by Mount saw a Porth player latch on to it and sprint away, but he was caught as the Old Firm defence reacted quickly.

A scrum to Mount on the Porth 10 metre line was moved to the narrow side by scrum half Ross Davies. Full back Callum Hall sidestepped a defender, drew the last line of defence and gave a scoring pass to wing Morgan James who run round to the posts for the first try of the afternoon after 5 minutes. Outside half Jayden Pugh converted to make it 10-0.

Another interception by Porth looked far more serious this time round, but full back Hall eat the ground up and made a fine smoother tackle 10 metres out to save a certain try.

Mount had use of the wind first half, but were looking to attack with ball in hand. Hooker Kieran Coomer and full back Hall combined to give to wing Iestyn Robins, who chipped on. A good chance was lost as a Mount player was a bit too eager chasing the ball and was penalised for being offside.

Porth worked their way up to the Mount 22 metre line. They failed to take the ball cleanly at a lineout and prop James Cowdry – playing his 302nd game for Mount – cleaned the loose ball up. From a ruck, scrum half Davies fed second row Daniel Phillips who powered through two would-be tacklers to break through the Porth backline just outside the Mount 22. He showed great power, athleticism and pace to get away, beat another defender, then the full back, and sprint away from 25 metres to dive in under the posts for a spectacular try to the delight of the home support and score one of the best individual tries seen for many a season. Pugh converted to make it 17-0 after 13 minutes.

With 20 minutes played, centre Jarrod Cushion showed good vision to see plenty of space downfield and kick long after a Porth attack broke down just outside the Mount 22, but he was just beaten to the ball by the Porth full back 5 metres out from the visitors’ try line.

Mount prop Bleddyn Lock was quickly into a ruck to rip the ball off a Porth player. A kick into space in the Porth 22 saw scrum half Davies and full back Hall in hot pursuit. The third try for Mount came with nearly half hour played when the ball went loose in the Porth 22. A mishit kick by a Porth player went sideways to wing Morgan James, who beat a player and scored in the corner to make it 22-0.

With the half coming to an end, a penalty by Porth was kicked to 5 metres out, and after a number of drives to score, they were eventually given the touch down to make it 22-5 at half time.

Porth had use of the wind in the second half. From a scrum on Mount 22, props Lock and Cowdry were part of a movement that should have set wing Morgan James free, but a forward pass stopped it.

Although Mount second row Jarrad Parfitt was yellow carded in the 58th minute, it didn’t stop the Old Firm scoring a fine try which covered 75 metres. A penalty to Mount from a scrum on the Old Firm’s 22 line was quickly taken by scrum half Davies. He handed on to flanker David Richards who passed to full back Hall when he was tackled on halfway. He looked as if he would score but a covering defender cut him off, but a pass to Cushion on his outside saw the centre finish off the attack from 10 metres out with a sprint and dive into the corner to make it 27-5.

Porth were far from finished and hit back with pressure near the Mount line which led to the referee awarding a penalty try which made it 27-12 after 66 minutes. The visitors kept going and it was only a desperate tackle that stopped a Porth attack metres out, and then an attempted drive over was judged as held up.

With just two minutes left, a high kick out of defence by Mount into space bounced wickedly backwards over a Porth defender and straight into the hands of full back Hall who sprinted away without anyone in front of him to score Mount’s fifth try of the game. Pugh’s conversion made it 34-12, the win confirming promotion to the Championship East for next season and taking the Old Firm to the top of the table with three games to play.

Mount, Cambrian Welfare and Aberdare can all top the division at the end of the season. Mount sit top on 69 points, Cambrian have 67 points, and Aberdare 64. This Saturday, 13 April, 1st will play 3rd at the Michael Sobell Sports Centre, when the Old Firm play Aberdare. Kick off is 2:30pm. It is a big game for both clubs. Come on the Old Firm!


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