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07 May 2017 / Club News

MERTHYR 35 EBBW VALE 26

BONUS POINT WIN FOR THE IRONMEN OVER THE STEELMEN

EBBW VALE 26 MERTHYR 35

Merthyr defeated Ebbw Vale for the 5th time this season as they ran out 26-35 winners to win tier 1 of the Principality Premiership league table and set up a semi-final home game this Saturday against Welsh cup holders RGC 1404 for the chance to win the premiership title. Ebbw Vale looked the most threating side in the early stages as they attacked Merthyr from the kick off with outside half Josh Lewis dictating play with his kicking but it was Merthyr that opened the scoring when a pass in mid field by Dai Langdon was intercepted by Merthyr Full back Martyn Thomas who sprinted 80 meters to score the opening try, outside half Dean Gunter converting to give Merthyr a 0-7 lead. Back came Ebbw Vale with several drives from skipper Hudd and Kynes which set up a scrum close to the Merthyr line which saw number 8 Jonathan Davies crash over to close the score 5-7. As Merthyr began to settle scrum half Justin James looked very dangerous at the base of the scrum with his snipping runs and it was not long before they scored their second try when good forward play from Osian Davies and Nick White set up a ruck near the Ebbw Vale line and after several carries from Captain Craig Locke, prop Nathan Travett back rowman Tom Daley crashed over for the try, Gunter converted and Merthyr had extended their lead 5-14. Just before half time Ebbw Vale were awarded a penalty which they turned down and kicked for touch close to the Merthyr line. After several drives the Merthyr defence held Ebbw Vale out but they were awarded a scrum after being held up over the line. After several attempts for a push over referee Newman lost patients with the Merthyr pack and awarded a penalty try for deliberately wheeling the scrum, Lewis converted and Ebbw had close the gap 12-14. As the second half began Merthyr had the slight advantage of the wind and took full advantage with outside half Dean Gunter kicking two successful penalties to edge Merthyr further in front 12-20. A fine lineout win from young second row Ben Murphy on the half way line set back row man Osian Davies on a fine run and has he brushed off several tacklers he found scrum half James up in support who raced in for Merthyr’s third try, Gunter converted and Merthyr had extended their lead 12-27. To their credit Ebbw Vale although trailing kept moving the ball around and this was rewarded when hooker Joe Franchi crashed over after several drives from the Ebbw Vale pack, Langdon converted to close the gap 19-27. Gunter kicked his third penalty of the game to extend the Merthyr lead 19-30. Merthyr then sealed the bonus point win when a fine break in mid field by replacement hooker Rhys Williams found young replacement winger Adam Hoskins in space wide out and he showed his speed and pace as he raced in for Merthyr’s 4th try and bonus point. With time, almost up Ebbw Vale threw everything into attack and this was once again rewarded when back rowman Ronny Kynes broke away from several tackles to score a consolation try, Langdon converted as the referee blew for full time and Merthyr had run out worthy wins 35-26. Merthyr had made several changes for this game and the pleasing aspect of the win was the performances of several of the younger players. For Merthyr, the pack well led by skipper Craig Locke and supported by Nick White, Tom Daley and Osian Davies laid the foundation for the win. Behind the scrum scum half Justin James looked sharp and his partner Dean Gunter was also impressive with his running and kicking. After winning the league by 6 points Merthyr now face Welsh cup holders RGC 1404 this Saturday at home in the Premiership semi-final play-off with the winners to play Aberavon or Bedwas in the final.    

MERTHYR: 15 M THOMAS, 14 O HOWE, 13 D BISHOP, 12 A PINCERS, 11 R CARTER, 10 D GUNTER, 9 J JAMES, 1 N TRAVETT, 2 C TARRANT, 3 R JAMES, 4 B MURPHY, 5 C LOCKE, 6 N WHITE, 7 O DAVIES, 8 T DALEY, 16 J HOWE, 17 R WILLIAMS, 18 B WARREN, 19 P REES, 20 B SIER, 21 R DOWNES, 22 M JARVIS, 23 A HOSKINS.

SCORERS: T DALEY 1T, A HOSKINS 1T, J JAMES 1T, M THOMAS, D GUNTER 3 CONS, 3 PENS

REFEREE: G NEWMAN(CARDIFF) 

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