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06 January 2019 / Club News

ABERAVON 10 MERTHYR 15

IRONMEN CAST A SPELL OVER THR WIZARDS OF ABERAVON.

ABERAVON 10 MERTHYR 15(Talbot Athletic ground Friday 4th January 19)

The ironmen began the defence of their WRU National Cup crown with a gritty and hard-fought victory over the wizards of Aberavon.  The Current WRU Cup holders were made to fight, to earn this Win over Aberavon, who had previously defeated the ironmen early in the season in a league match on their home ground (14-22), and started as favorites with home advantage. Merthyr started the more positive side as they took the game to the Wizards looking for any early score and it nearly came after the forwards had drove up field and a swift passing movement deep inside Aberavon 25 saw wingman Lewis Williams finding a gap in the home defence and a try-scoring pass to full back Matthew Jarvis was knocked forward and the chance had gone. After weathering the early storm Aberavon began to settle with good ground being won from captain Joe-Tomalin-Reeves to set up some good ball for the dangerous Aberavon Backs. Aberavon had the first chance to open the scoring after Merthyr were penalise for a high tackle deep inside their own half. Outside half Liam Popham seeing his kick hit the cross bar and bounce out. Errors were being made by both sides as the game began to settle into a dog fight with both sides evenly matched. Merthyr took the lead on the half hour mark when Aberavon were caught off side at a ruck and Merthyr full back and ex Wizard Matthew Jarvis making no mistake with the penalty to nose the ironmen ahead. Back came the home side with their backs looking more dangerous with ball in hand and some fine runs from both Frank Jones and Stef Andrews kept the pressure on the ironmen. The pressure soon told as Merthyr gave away a penalty for another high tackle and this time Popham made no mistake to draw the sides level 3-3. Just before half time a break out of defence saw both Phil Rees and Paddy McBride make good ground on the blind side and when a deliberate knock on stopped the move, home scrum half Iwan Tremblett was yellow carded by Match Referee Gareth John. As the second half began Merthyr took full advantage of the extra man and it was ex Wizard Jay Baker that found a gap in the home defense and when the ball was moved out wide a clever chip kick ahead from Lewis Williams, saw him gather up is kick to touch down for the opening try of the game, Jarvis converted and the Ironmen had got their noses in front 3-10. Back came Aberavon and some good drives from second row Ben Davies, and back row man Andrew Waite kept the pressure on Merthyr. A kick ahead from Aberavon, was gathered by Baker, and he showed his skills as he jinked his way up field and an inside pass to Mathew Jarvis saw him race away to score wide out, his kick going wide, but the ironmen had stretched their lead 3-15. The game then took a twist with 10 minutes remaining as the advantage swung in the Wizards favor with Referee John yellow carding firstly Phil Rees and then shortly after a second yellow to full back Matthew Jarvis. Reduced to 13 men, Aberavon pushed forward, pick up and driving close to the Merthyr line, but the Merthyr defense head tight. A scrum close to the Merthyr line saw replacement scrum half Jacob Flynn snipe and crash over for the try, Popham converted and it was game on at 10-15 with 5 minutes remaining. Credit to the ironmen they kept their nerve as they carried and retained possession. With Jarvis sin-binned outside half Powell had the chance to make the game safe for the ironmen when a simple penalty went wide, and the pressure was still on with still a little injury time left, but the ironmen kept possession to run out winner 10-15. This was a classic Cup tie that could have gone either way, but credit to the cup holders they dug deep especially in the last 10minues, to go into the second-round draw. For Merthyr the forwards matched the Aberavon 8, but Merthyr had a match winner in ex-Wizard Jay Baker, the creator of both tries. Merthyr now turn to a league fixture this weekend when they face the Scarlets of Llanelli at home kick off 2:30pm.  

MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS,14 L WILLIMAS, 13 A THOMAS, 12 A PINCHES,11 J BAKER,10 G DAVIES,9 J JAMES,1 N TREVETT,2 R WILLIAMS,3 L JONES,4 P MCBRIDE,5 C LOCKE©, 6 H BARNES,7 J THOMAS,8 P REES, 16 M DWYER,17 J HOWE,18 R JAMES,19 O DAVIES,20 S EVANS,21 A HOSKINS,22 R POWELL, 23 H DAVIES.

SCORERS, L WILLIAMS 1T, M JARVIS 1T, 1P, 1C,  

Referee, Gareth John(Monmouth).   

 

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