Glynneath RFC | 1st Team 16 - 15 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team
Dylan Francis
Penalty 3

Match Report
03 March 2024 / Team News

Gut-Wrenching Defeat for Old Firm

Although there were no stoppages of any length in this game, the addition of 9 minutes injury time baffled supporters and proved crucial in the outcome of this game, with Glynneath’s outside half kicking a 35 metre penalty in the 89th minute with the last act of the match to win it for his side.

The Old Firm had first use of what wind there was, and after the kick off was taken by the Mount forwards, outside half Callum Hall launched an up-and-under which stood up when it landed for fast following-up centre Jamie Long to run onto it and get as far as the Glynneath full back who tackled him.

After 10 minutes, a lineout take by the Glynneath forwards was moved into midfield. From the ruck, the scrum half broke through the close-in Mount defence and tried to chip flanker Dai Richards, but he charged the ball down, picked it up and started running diagonally out of the Mount 22. But he slipped, and after Glynneath were quickly in, they were awarded a 15 metre penalty in front of the posts, which was kicked for a 3-0 lead.

The lead was increased to 6-0 with another penalty in the Mount 22 in front of the posts after 16 minutes.

Mount were never able to put any sustained play together in the first quarter, but in the 23rd minute, a first real attack by the Old Firm saw centre Long make a break to take play into the Glynneath 22, where a penalty was awarded and the Glynneath scrum half yellow carded. Outside half Hall kicked the straight 25 metre penalty to make it 6-3.

At last, the Old Firm gave the ball some width with wing Morgan James breaking through with only the full back to beat. Intelligently, he kicked over him and sped through, diving on the ball, which was 5 metres out from the Glynneath line, and gathered it with a great piece of skill to set up a ruck. The ball was recycled and with men spare on the far side of the field, twice drives were made to get over for the touchdown. At the third time of asking, the ball was moved through a couple of pairs of hands to centre Jamie Long who scored wide out. Hall converted with a superb conversion to make it 10-6 to Mount after 31 minutes.

Wing Morgan James was again in the action a minute or so later, joining the line and creating an overlap. He gave a nice pass to right wing Cole Nash who raced away 40 metres out down the touchline and also kicked ahead. Glynneath managed to secure the ball and kick to touch 30 metres out. As quick as a flash, Nash got hold of the ball on the touchline and threw it in, the ball being quickly transferred across field to Cushion on the other side of the field against a Glynneath defence struggling to cover. He run and jinked from 10 metres out, scoring in the corner and finishing off a smart bit of play started by Nash. The conversion failed, but Mount were 15-6 up and back in the game. Just before half time, a 47 metre penalty by Hall was just wide.

Most of the play in the first quarter of the second half was in the Mount half of the field. Glynneath were trying to drive through Mount with forwards either coming onto pop-up passes or picking-up and driving, but some good tackling by the Old Firm kept them out. After 49 minutes, a crunching tackle by scrum half and captain Ross Davies in the Mount 22 was penalised by the referee and a yellow card issued for a so-called high tackle. Glynneath kicked to the corner, but they could not get over from the lineout.

A run by Cushion and then a strong driving run by prop Bleddyn Lock made ground up to halfway. The ball was moved across the backline, but a dropped ball saw Glynneath pick up and start an attack which had the Mount defence scrambling, Cushion making a crucial, try saving tackle just 15 metres out.

With 63 minutes played, another bout of Glynneath pressure 5 metres out from the Mount line saw the ball come out of a maul, Mount hooker Kieran Coomer trying to intercept the pass from the Glynneath scrum half. The ball was knocked on. After the referee and touchjudge spoke, the referee surprisingly awarded a penalty try, which reduced Mount’s lead to 15-13, and issued a yellow card.

With 67 minutes played, flanker Dai Richards took a vital catch from a Glynneath throw-in to a lineout 5 metres from the Mount line as the Old Firm defence refused to budge with 14 men.

With 75 minutes played, Glynneath moved the ball across their threequarters but what looked like a superb cover tackle by prop James Cowdry, who wrapped his arms around the player’s chest and brought him down, was again judged as high and a penalty awarded which was hit well wide from 38 metres out.

Glynneath were getting nowhere on halfway as the Mount defence was well organised, but another penalty award for a so-called high tackle took the play back into the Old Firm’s 22 in the 82nd minute.

A low crunching tackle by centre Jamie Long stopped a Glynneath attack in its tracks 15 metres out, with Mount being awarded a penalty in the 88th minute, which Hall kicked to touch 35 metres out.

Surprisingly, the Mount forwards decided to throw to the tail of the lineout, with the result the throw was not straight. A strong drive by Glynneath at the scrum saw it swivel and a penalty awarded to Glynneath with 89 minutes gone. It was converted, the referee blowing up as soon as the flags were raised.

A gutting defeat for the Old Firm. As Welsh International forward Alyn Wyn Jones said about a similar defeat in a big game, “you don’t have time to dwell because there’s always another game coming up, so you get on with that.” And that is what the Mount squad have got to do. One defeat cannot ruin a good season. They are top of the League table and in with a chance of winning the division. There is still all to play for, starting this Saturday when they play Abercynon away in a Division 1 East Central game, kick off 2:30pm.

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