Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 12 - 8 Brynmawr RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
21 December 2023 / Team News

Mount Into Division 1 Cup ¼ Final

Four superbly struck penalties, great defence and desire won this game for the Old Firm in front of a passionate home crowd at Duffryn Pennar Park. The game was hard-fought and competitive throughout with most of the play being between both packs with little space created by both teams.

Mount played against the wind in the first half but had early pressure in the Brynmawr half and had a chance to go ahead after just 8 minutes but outside half Jayden Pugh’s penalty in the blustery wind shaved the post.

Just 4 minutes later, another penalty to Mount 35 metres out but on an angle was converted with a sweet strike by full Callum Hall to make it 3-0.

Pressure in the Mount 22 by Brynmawr was met by a committed Old Firm defence which fought for every ball and tackled everything that moved. Twice, from dropped passes, the Old Firm had chances to use an overlap but did not do so.

Brynmawr were awarded a 35 metre penalty after a tackle was deemed high, the ball rebounding off a post and Mount clearing.

Most of the play was in the Mount half and eventually after 27 minutes the visitors drew level with a 30 metre penalty. More pressure by the visitors saw a penalty kicked to 10 metres out and then a number of drives which took play under the Mount posts where the referee judged the ball had been held up.

With time virtually up in the first half, a speculative high kick by Brynmawr which should have been caught near halfway was let to bounce, the visitors winning the ball back and making a 50/22 kick to take play to 5 metres out from the Mount line. After winning the lineout, the ball was moved one way and then the other, centre Cole Nash making a superb try-saving low tackle but also infringing and then being yellow carded. The penalty was kicked to the corner for another 5 metre lineout, this time the visitors catching and driving over in the corner for a try to lead 8-3 at half time.

The second half opened with a lovely bit of play by Mount full back Callum Hall as he let the ball bounce into the Old Firm’s 22 and then fired a magnificently placed howitzer of a kick into the Brynmawr 22 to take play to 5 metres out to the excitement of the Mount support.

Two poor lineouts from the Old Firm saw them lose their own throw-in, but pressure at the breakdown brought a penalty which Hall fired over from 42 metres out, 10 metres in from the touchline with another superb strike to reduce the visitors’ lead to 8-6 after 44 minutes.

Youth prop Tommy Hunt came on and made his debut at this point and he was part of the Mount pack which competed like tigers for everything.

Poor play yet again at the restart by Mount saw the ball turned over and Brynmawr work an overlap near the touchline. Although it was stopped 5 metres out, the tackle was deemed high and a penalty awarded. The ball was kicked to touch and from a catch and drive attempt, the Mount pack were quickly in, with the referee judging the ball had been held up.

Another well-struck penalty from Hall, this time from 37 metres after 50 minutes, rebounded off an upright, with the Mount following-up too slow to pressurise the Brynmawr defence.

No.8 Cameron Davies put in a crunching tackle in midfield as the Old Firm gave as good as they got.

A Brynmawr forward was yellow carded after collapsing a Mount forward drive from a lineout take on the visitors’ 10 metre line. Hall made no mistake with the 35 metre penalty hit high over the posts to put Mount 9-8 up after 56 minutes. The strength of the wind was shown when a Brynmawr attempt at goal shortly after from 35 metres out swung wide.

The visitors were looking for a score to go in front and worked an overlap down the touchline but a superb low tackle took the Brynmawr wing to ground.

With 78 minutes played, pressure at a lineout by Mount hooker Kieran Coomer and flanker Dai Richards saw play go into the Brynmawr 22 where a turnover saw the Old Firm take play to 10 metres out, the referee awarding the Old Firm a penalty. Hall again struck it beautifully between the posts to delight the Mount support and increase the Old Firm’s lead to 12-8.

The restart was again not taken and from the knock-on the visitors made their last efforts to clinch the game. A diagonal kick over the Mount backline to the wing saw play go to 5 metres out where the visitors were awarded a penalty. They elected for a scrum but although creaking at various times during the game, the Mount eight showed great determination to dig in and stay solid. The front row of Tommy Hunt, Harvey Roberts and Kieran Coomer, who are all under 20 years of age, were terrific and it gave the visitors little option but to move it. There was no way through in midfield and with the last throw of the dice, another crossfield kick, although covered by the Mount wing, was just too long and bounced into touch whereupon referee Caudle called time to the great excitement and delight of the home support.

Well done to all the Mount team on being the first ones this season to beat Brynmawr and progress to the ¼ finals. Their reward is a home game against Division 1 East club Senghenydd on Saturday 20 January at Duffryn Pennar Park, kick off 2:30pm. Don’t miss it!

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