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10 March 2019 / Club News

Merthyr 34 Ebbw Vale 26

TERI GEE DOUBLE SETS UP BONUS POINT WIN FOR THE IRONMEN.

MERTHYR 34 EBBW VALE 26

After last weeks shock away defeat at Swansea it was important that the league leaders bounced back in this local derby against an in-form Ebbw Vale side. The evening rain made the ball slippery at the start of the game with both sides finding it hard to handle. The visitors were first on the attack and applied early pressure on the Merthyr defense, which held firm until the 10 minute when visiting outside half Rhys Jones got them on the scoreboard with a neat drop goal from 35 meters. However, this seemed to wake up the home side and with their first attack a fine sweeping move in mid-field found centre Teri Gee in space, who raced away clear to score under the posts, full back Matthew Jarvis converted, and Merthyr had taken a 7-3 lead. As the game began to settle in to a arm wrestle with both sides canceling each other out scoring chances were hard to find. Rhys Jones closed the gap for the visitors with the first of his 3 penalties after an offside in midfield. A few minutes later this was canceled out by Matthew Jarvis has he was successful with a 35-meter penalty to draw the scores 10-6. A penalty just over the halfway line was slotted into touch by Jarvis pinning the Steelmen deep inside their 25. From the lineout won by skipper Locke the ball was moved wide and found Gee in space once again and he showed a clean pair of heels as he raced in for his second try, Jarvis converted to extend the lead 17-6. Merthyr was then guilty of silly penalties which let the visitors back into the game with Jones slotting over 2, one resulting home back row forward Jake Thomas spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin. Down to 14 men, the visitors took full advantage of the extra man and soon took the lead, from a catch and drive lineout 25 meters out which saw second row Kristian Parker crash over for a try, Jones converted to give the visitors a 17-19 lead. However, with the last play of the first half Jarvis, restored Merthyr’s lead with his second penalty after a high tackle from the visitors. Leading by just one point 20-19 the first score of the second half was important to both sides, and it came to the home side when a lineout inside the Ebbw Vale 25 was driven forward by the home pack, and when the drive was deliberately  collapsed MATCH referee Dan Jones awarded a penalty try and issued a yellow card reducing the visitors to 14 men. This changed the complex of the game as the home forwards took the game to the visitors, driving them off their own ball and when a scrum collapsed 30 meters out, Ebbw Vale was reduced to 13 men. Merthyr soon took full advantage with the penalty being kicked into touch deep inside the Ebbw Vale 25. From the lineout drive the home forwards drove Ebbw Vale back over their line with number 8 Phil Rees claiming the try, Jarvis converted, and Merthyr had stretched the lead 34-19. However credit to Ebbw Vale they never gave up looking for any points from the game and it came with the last play of the game, with the forwards driving close to the Merthyr line and second row Asley Sweet crashing over for the score, Jones converted but it came too late as the referee blew for full time with ironmen running out winners 34-26 and the visitors losing out on a bonus point. This was an important win for the Ironmen over fellow title contenders Ebbw Vale and gives them a 2-point lead at the top of the table. For Merthyr the return of captain Craig Locke made a big difference to the way the forwards played and behind the scrum full back Jarvis showed his skill with the boot finishing with 12 points, but the star of the back line was center Teri Gee who has just returned from injury and showed why he his so important to the Merthyr attack. Merthyr takes a rest this week, before a WRU Cup game against title contenders Pontypridd at Home.  

MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS,14 J BAKER,13 T GEE, 12 A PINCHES,11 T JAMES, 10 G DAVIES,9 R DOWNES, 1 J HOWE,2 R WILLIAMS,3 J REES, 4 B MURPHY,5 C LOCKE©, 6 H BARNES,7 J THOMAS,8 P REES. 16 M DWYER,17 C PHILLIPS,18 L JONES,19 A MURPHY,20 J DAVIES,21 J JAMES,22 R POWELL, 23 A THOMAS. Scorers, T GEE 2T, P REES 1T, Pen Try, M Jarvis 2 pens,3 cons,

Referee. Dan Jones (Bristol).  

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