Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 23 - 8 Treorchy RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
16 May 2022 / Team News

Mount Win Championship With Perfect Record

This victory for the Old Firm against previously unbeaten Treorchy put the icing on the cake of an excellent season for Mountain Ash RFC as a whole at Duffryn Pennar Park and confirmed them as Division 1 East Central champions. Two days earlier, the club’s 2nd XV had won the final of the Rhondda and East Glamorgan Union’s Mel Davies Cup with a 31-20 victory over Ynysybwl 2nd XV, the Youth XV won the Cardiff Rugby North division prior to Xmas and are currently top of the Cardiff Rugby Championship, Youth flanker Kenzie Jenkins was capped was Wales Under 18s, and the Mini and Junior Sections have had success as well.

It was a lovely, sunny day at Duffryn Pennar Park, both sides forming a guard of honour to welcome Mount backrow forward Kriss Sanders onto the field. He had been a great servant to the Old Firm over 15 seasons and was playing his 319th and last 1st XV game as he was retiring after the game.

The first quarter was an even, tight affair with both sides feeling each other out. Mount full back Jarrod Cushion’s 50/22 kick in the opening minutes gave Mount a lineout in the Treorchy 22 but the visitors cleared and took play upfield where they were met by an Old Firm defence which was well organised and committed – as it was all game – with prop James Cowdry putting in a crunching tackle in the Mount 22.

Outside half Callum Hall, full back Cushion and wing Morgan James combined to start an attack from the Mount 22 but it was Treorchy who got the first points of the afternoon with a 35 metre penalty after 14 minutes to make it 3-0.

The Old Firm responded immediately. Flanker Kriss Sanders was first onto the loose ball from the restart and a penalty award to Mount was kicked by outside half Hall from 25 metres to make it 3-3.

A penalty on the Mount 22 was launched 65 metres downfield by Hall with an exceptional kick to give the Old Firm a 5 metre lineout, where a another penalty award midway out was nicely struck by Hall to put the Old Firm 6-3 up after 29 minutes play.

Mount’s best attack of the half came shortly after when scrum half Ross Davies was quickly onto a loose ball on halfway. Second row Daniel Phillips got away and shrugged off one tackler to make ground, passing to fellow second row Mitchell Barnard who handed on to Cushion on the Treorchy 22. He sprinted for the line but was tackled 10 metres out where the visitors’ defence was quickly in to win a penalty and clear the danger.

It was much better by Mount and minutes later, from a Treorchy attack which broke down just inside the Old Firm’s half, left wing Declan Conway got hold of the loose ball and broke through to great excitement and sprinted 50 metres to score the first try of the game midway out. Hall converted to make it 13-3 after 33 minutes.

Treorchy responded with a sustained attack in the Mount 22 but were met by a well organised and committed Old Firm defence right across the field, with the forwards competing for every inch of territory, and they got their reward with a penalty which cleared the ball.

With half time approaching, the Old Firm took play up to the Treorchy 22 where flanker David Richards delivered the ball from a lineout. A back move involving centres Alex Hughes and Jamie Long put full back Cushion away in Treorchy 22, and although a desperate tackle by a defender felled him 5 metres out, he got up to dive over, but the referee judged he had been tackled, disallowed the try, and awarded Treorchy a penalty.

A drop goal attempt by outside half Hall early in the second half was just off target. Things got tougher for the Old Firm when second row Daniel Phillips was yellow carded for kicking the ball at a ruck. The penalty was kicked to 15 metres out from the Mount line where the visitors won a lineout and moved the ball wide. A long pass in midfield was superbly intercepted by full back Cushion who raced away on an 80 metre unopposed run to the delight of the Mount support to touch down under the posts. Hall converted to take the lead up to 20-3 after 50 minutes.

Second row Mitchell Barnard was quickly into a ruck to get a penalty for Mount as the Old Firm pack continued competing for everything. No.8 Jordan Burke was a real workhorse all game, making ground with some strong runs, prop James Cowdry was his usual self in the thick of the action in attack and defence, flanker David Richards won good lineout ball.

Treorchy’s defence did well to keep the Old Firm out from a sustained attack in which Mount were on the Treorchy line but couldn’t get over.

The visitors survived and took play back down into the Mount half where they took play up to the Mount line, and after strong defence again by the Old Firm, a neat side step by the scrum half saw him get over wide out for an unconverted try after 64 minutes, which made it 20-8.

Good work by Mount No.8 Burke cleared some untidy ball up at a scrum in the Treorchy half. A penalty to the Old Firm 43 metres out after 74 minutes was once again nicely struck by outside half Callum Hall to take the Mount lead up to 23-8.

The game was far from over and continued being full-on until the final whistle blew, with Treorchy taking play up to the Mount line twice, but being held up. It typified the spirit in the Mount team all afternoon and it confirmed the Old Firm’s 10th win from 10 games played in Division 1 East Central, and the championship.

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