Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 13 - 11 Rhydyfelin RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
23 April 2023 / Team News

Mount Win Pulsating Game

Mount and Rhydyfelin have had some tremendous games over the years and this game added to the list. It was hard-fought from the first minute and entertaining for spectators with both sides giving their all.

The Old Firm were well on top territorially in the first quarter, and had several bouts of pressure in the Rhydyfelin 22. After Mount moved the ball across the backs, with the visitors stretched, it looked as if centre Alex Hughes, on an arcing run, might break the deadlock, but an excellent tackle stopped him 10 metres out.

A crossfield kick by Mount outside half Callum Hall which skidded off the surface was well held by a Mount player who dived over in the corner, but the touchjudge flagged for a foot in touch.

It wasn’t long before the Old Firm got the score they had been threatening when outside half Hall jinked past one defender 15 metres out and passed to hooker Kieran Coomer who run in for the opening score. Hall converted nicely from midway out to put Mount 7-0 up after 15 minutes.

Rhydyfelin got their first points on the board after pressure in the Mount 22 when centre David Gratton converted a 15 metre penalty to make it 7-3 in the 23rd minute. The visitors were getting back into the game and had another chance in the Mount 22 but the pass was dropped.

Outside half Hall put over a 25 metre penalty to take Mount’s lead up to 10-3 in the 40th minute, and then in injury time, Rhydyfelin had their best chance after a penalty was kicked to the corner for a 5 metre lineout. But a tremendous drive by the Mount forwards drove them back when they caught the ball.

The second half started with great excitement when a dropped catch on halfway from outside half Hall’s up-and-under was seized upon by Mount wing Morgan James, who was quickly up. He had plenty of space to run in and made ground to great excitement, but his long pass to a man in space was dropped.

A break by Mount centre Steve Brittain and a kick took play up to 5 metres out from the Rhydyfelin line to keep the pressure on. The visitors cleared their line with a penalty and set up an attack which resulted in a penalty in front of the posts near the 22 metre line. Gratton had no problem slotting it over to make it 10-6 after 47 minutes.

A penalty just inside the Mount half after 50 minutes was made 10 metres shorter by backchat by the visitors, Hall striking the ball beautifully between the posts from 42 metres to restore the Old Firm’s seven point lead and make it 13-6.

Although the wind did not seem to be that strong, both teams had the territorial advantage when playing to the same end. It was Rhydyfelin who had a long bout of pressure in the Mount 22 and close to the try line, but tremendous defence by the Old Firm right across the field somehow held them out. On times they looked bound to score but the Mount defence fought like terriers for every inch of ground.

On the hour, Mount flanker David Richards was yellow carded, but even after three tap penalties close to the line and a man extra, they could not break through. From a knock-on by Rhydyfelin, Mount gave the ball to centre Alex Hughes from a 5 metre scrum, with the plan being to make ground and then clear the ball. He did more than that, powering through several players and getting away with virtually no Rhydyfelin player in front of him. When he was up to the Mount 10 metre line his kick ahead went across field where wing Morgan James got the ball near halfway and raced away, passing to full back Robins who was tackled 10 metres out to great excitement.

Scrum half Ross Davies broke through from a lineout to take play up to the Rhydyfelin 22. The visitors worked their way downfield and after Mount had won the ball back, a charged down kick was coolly dealt with by Robins.

More tremendous defence from Mount again repelled the visitors’ attacks but scrum half Davies was yellow carded.

A kick from a penalty by Rhydyfelin for a 5 metre lineout in the last minute again saw them unable to get over as attack after attack was repelled. With the game in the 85th minute, the ball was thrown wide to Gratton just metres out, and although he was tackled he stretched to score a try 5 metres in from touch. The result depended on the kick, which went just wide, leaving the Old Firm winners of a pulsating game.

Well done to the Mount team on not giving an inch without a fight. With 35 points still to play for, it is this attitude that will serve the Old Firm well in the run-in.

This Saturday, 29 April, Mount are away to Cambrian Welfare in another Division 1 East Central game, kick off 2:30pm.

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