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27 January 2019 / Club News

Last Gasp try wins it for the Ironmen

IRONMEN SNATCH VICTORY WITH LAST PLAY OF THE GAME.

MERTHYR 10 EBBW VALE 9 (Wru Cup 2ndRound Saturday 26th January 19).

 The ironmen left until the last play of the game to snatch victory from the steel men of Ebbw Vale, in this pulsating WRU cup tie at a wet and windy Wern, and both sides should be congratulated for the way they battled the poor weather conditions with very heavy rain and wind for most of the game. Merthyr started the more positive side as they adopted the conditions a little better than the visitors and took an early lead when the visitors were penalized for an infringement at a ruck and up stepped full-back Matthew Jarvis to slot over the penalty to give Merthyr a 3-0 lead. The game then settled into a forward’s battle with both sides going hard to gain any ground in the rainy conditions.  Ebbw Vale battle hard to look for a score with wave after wave of attacks, but the home defense held firm. However, the visitors did level the scores when outside half Rhys Jones dropped back from a ruck to drop a goal from around 45 meters to level the scores at 3-3. As the conditions got worse both sides were guilty of drop passes and knock on’s as they tried to hold on to the greasy ball. There was no sign of any tries as half time approached but the visitors did manage to get their noses in front as Merthyr were penalized at a maul and outside half Rhys Jones made no mistake with the penalty to give the steel men a 3-6 halftime lead. Merthyr came out for the second half with a bang with captain Craig Locke and fellow second row Paddy MacBride well supported by number 8 Phil Rees gaining valuable ground but once again any danger was cleared as the home forwards spilled the ball allowing Ebbw Vale to clear the lines. Ebbw Vale began to play the conditions a little better as they kicked for territory looking for the home side to make any mistakes. Merthyr, however, took the more preferred approach as they tried to keep the ball in hand, but once again they were guilty of spilling the ball. A fine Chip ahead from outside half Gareth Davies to try and split the Ebbw Vale defense was deemed offside and Ebbw Vale kicked deep into the Merthyr 25. Ebbw Vale won the lineout, but the referee awarded a penalty for pulling it down. Up stepped Jones, who made no mistake to extend Ebbw Vales lead 3-9 as the game approached the last quarter. The next score was vital to both sides as they looked to seal the win, full back Jarvis had the chance to close the gap, but his kick from just inside the Ebbw Vale half just went wide. Then came the dramatic ending as the game was well into stoppage time as Merthyr applied pressure at the set piece deep inside the Ebbw Vale 25 as they drove towards the Ebbw Vale line the scrum was collapsed and Referee issued a Yellow Card to replacement hooker Joe Franchi reducing them to 7 men in the scrum. With what was the last play of the game, Merthyr opted for the scrum and once again drove the Steelman backward towards their own line and when the scrum collapsed again referee Elgan Williams ran under the posts and awarded a penalty try which saw the home side and current cup holders  progress into the quarterfinals for the 3rd year running. Merthyr will take the win but know they barely deserved it as Ebbw Vale played the conditions more wisely and will feel very unlucky that they did not progress into the next round.  

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

Scorers, Penalty try, M Jarvis 1penalty.

Referee, Elgan Williams (Cardiff).            

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