Mountain Ash RFC | 2nd Team 20 - 19 Abercynon RFC | 2nd Team

Match Report
29 April 2022 / Team News

2nds Into Cup Final With Win Over Local Rivals

Abercynon had more of the ball than Mount in the Rhondda and East Glamorgan’s Mel Davies Cup semi-final game played at Duffryn Pennar Park and kept it very well throughout, but they were met by a strong effort by the Old Firm in defence. Mount were not helped by giving away far too many penalties throughout the game which gave ‘cynon easy field positions.

Both sides tried to move the ball in the opening 10 minutes. A catch and drive by the Mount forwards from just outside the ‘cynon 22 was stopped on the Abercynon line. Further pressure from a penalty and then a scrum to Mount ended with scrum half Morgan Cartwright forcing his way over near the posts for the first try of the night, which he converted to make it 7-0.

Mount then conceded four or five penalties which led to ‘cynon taking play to 5 metres out from the home line. For the most part, the Mount defence was strong and cleared several attacks, but after ‘cynon drove for the Mount line and were held up, a discussion between the touch judge and the referee saw a penalty try being awarded, which drew the score level at 7-7 after 28 minutes.

Mount kept on conceding penalties which gave ‘cynon easy territory. Skilful play by wing Steve Brittain on halfway saw him take a high kick, beat a couple of tacklers and slip a pass to put the Mount wing away. A chip over the resulting maul into space by scrum half Cartwright just rolled into touch on the ‘cynon line as a Mount player chased it.

With a couple of minutes to half time, a 15 metre penalty to Mount was kicked by Cartwright to give his side a 10-7 lead at half time.

A high drop-out to the second half was caught by a Mount forward and after play was taken on, a penalty award to Mount was once again converted by Cartwright from 30 metres out to extend the lead to 13-7.

Abercynon were looking to move the ball, as they did all game. Their full back came into the line on an arching run to take play into the Mount 22, but an excellent tackle by Youth full back Iestyn Robins stopped him in his tracks.

A high kick by outside half Declan Conway caused confusion in the Abercynon defence and after the ball was left to bounce, Mount prop Kieran Coomer was the first to it and run in from 20 metres for Mount’s second try. Conway converted with a well-judged kick to take the lead up to 20-7 after 47 minutes.

Abercynon responded with several attacks which were stopped by knock-ons in and around the Mount 22, with the Old Firm showing great determination in defence.

What looked like a minor disagreement among the forwards on the hour saw two Mount players yellow-carded. Although down to 13, the Mount defence was still comfortable for the most part, but in the 70th minute, ‘cynon broke through after moving the ball wide and scored in the corner, the conversion missing, to reduce Mount’s lead to 20-12.

Some nice play by scrum half Cartwright saw him catch a kick in the Mount half, beat an oncoming player and then chip over the top of ‘cynon players to take play up to the visitors’ 22.

A lineout take by Abercynon and some good catching and passing saw them finish off a fine 75 metre move with a try wide out which outside half Dean Gunter converted to make it 20-19 after 75 minutes.

Try as they did, ‘cynon could not get back into the Mount half to go for another score, which left Mount to play Ynysybwl 2nd XV in the final on a date still to be decided.

This Saturday, 30 April, Mountain Ash Youth are the only club team playing. They welcome Machen Youth to Duffryn Pennar Park, kick off is 2:30pm.

Next Thursday, 5 May, Mountain Ash 1st XV will play Ystrad Rhondda 1st XV in the semi-final of the Coors Mid District Cup in Abercynon, kick off is 7:30pm. Mount’s last Division 1 East Central game will be played against Treorchy at Duffryn Pennar Park on Saturday 14 May, kick off 2:30pm.

The season is ending with Mountain Ash 1st, 2nd and Youth teams all in with a chance of honours. The 1st XV is top of Division 1 East Central and need to beat Treorchy; they are also in the semi-final of the Mid District Cup where they play Ystrad Rhondda. The Athletic/2nd XV is in the final of the Rhondda and East Glamorgan Mel Davies Cup where they play Ynysybwl on a date yet to be decided, and the Youth are at the top of their division with two games to play. If they are not played – and it seems unlikely they will be because the opposition don’t want to do so – then their fate will depend on other clubs being able to play, which doesn’t seem right.

Each team is close to success, but being close is not enough, they must show that extra dimension to come out on top, and two of those are giving away less penalties and being more consistent in the scrum. The ability is there, but each game needs 80+ minutes of concentration and commitment.

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