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18 February 2018 / Club News

Merthyr 30 Pontypridd 21

IRONMEN FIERY WIN OVER VALLEY RIVALS PONTYPRIDD:

MERTHYR 30 PONTYPRIDD 21

Merthyr extended their lead at the top of the Principality Premiership league after a hard-fought win over their valley rivals Pontypridd. Merthyr started off the more positive side and took an early lead when Ponty, were penalised at the set piece, with Full back Matthew Jarvis making no mistake with the kick right in front of the posts. Both sides were giving no quarter in this third local derby of the season, and tempers boiled over after 15 minutes when following a mass fight on the half way line referee Ben Whitehouse after speaking to his touch judge, yellow carded Merthyr captain Craig Locke, but red carded Ponty prop Corey Domachowski. However, it was Ponty that struck next when they recycled a kick up field and their dangerous backs ran back at the Merthyr defence and full back Dale Stuckey raced over in the corner, outside half Ceri Sweeny converting from the touch line to give Ponty a 3-7 lead. From the restart Ponty were penalised and the normally reliable Jarvis’s kick going wide of the posts. Merthyr began to win good possession at the lineout though Ben Sier, and Nick white, and when it was only time before Merthyr made the extra man pay as they spread the ball inside the Ponty 25 to send right wing Richard Carter over to take the lead back 8-7. Merthyr gradually began to take control in the set piece with the front row of Nathan Trevett, Rhys Williams, and Joe Rees putting their opposite numbers under pressure. Merthyr further extended their lead a couple of minutes before half time when wing man Alex Howman took an inside pass from outside half Gareth Davies to catch the Ponty defence off guard to race in, Jarvis converted to bring the half time score 15-7. Ponty came out the second half all guns blazing as they took the game to Merthyr and were denied a try when second row Chris Dicomidis race over for what looked like a good try only to be denied for a forward pass. Merthyr took full advantage of the let off as centre Josh Martin broke up field and his well place kick ahead was gathered by left wing Howman who scooped up the ball to race in for his second try, Jarvis converted to give Merthyr breathing space at 22-7. Full credit to Ponty they never gave in and after sustained pressure with both Sweeny and number 8 Lawrence going close it was replacement back row man Morgan Sieniawski who scored in the corner, with Sweeny converting once again from the touch line to reduce the score 22-14. As the game reach the last quarter the next score was important and after soaking up the pressure the ironmen drove down field and were rewarded with a penalty 30 meters out. They drilled the kick deep towards the Ponty try line. From the lineout, the Merthyr pack drove Ponty back over their line for prop Nathan Trevett to emerged with the ball, Jarvis’ kick hitting the posts, but Merthyr had stretched their lead to 27-14, and gain the all-important bonus point. Back came Ponty once again as they strung several good phases together with Sweeny looking dangerous with ball in hand and this paid off when he set up centre Geraint Walsh to score just wide of the posts, Sweeny converted to reduce the score 27-21. Any thoughts of a fight back were quickly wiped away as from the restart Ponty were penalised and Jarvis made no mistake with the kick to seal a 30-21 hard fought win over Pontypridd who must be credited for their second half fight back with 14 men. This was a hard-fought local derby, between two evenly balanced sides, which had everything in it for the neutral, sending’s off’s, seven cracking tries and a cracking game of rugby, worthy of Premiership rugby.  Merthyr have opened a six-point lead at the top of the premiership table but know there is still a long way to go to retain the premiership crown. Merthyr now travel this Sunday to Ebbw Vale for a 2:30pm kick off, due to the Dragons playing at Ebbw Vale on Friday night and the Ireland v Wales game on Saturday.                  

MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS, 14 R CARTER, 13 J MARTIN, 12 A PINCHES, 11 A HOWMAN, 10 G DAVIES, 9 J JAMES, 1 N TREVETT, 2 R WILLIAMS, 3 J REES, 4 B SIER, 5 C LOCKE(C) 6 N WHITE, 7 E SIGGERY, 8 P REES. 16 L JONES, 17 R WILKES, 18 S POCKSKI , 19 J DAVIES, 20 L EVANS, 21 A HOSKINS, 22 R POWELL, 23 M TROWBRIDGE.

SCORERS, A HOWMAN 2T, N TREVETT 1T, R CARTER 1T, M JARVIS 2CONS, 2 PENS.

REFEREE: BEN WHITEHOUSE(SWANSEA).

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