MERTHYR COMPLETE DOUBLE OVER VALLEY RIVALS PONTYPRIDD
MERTHYR 17 PONTYPRIDD 3
Merthyr completed the double over valley rivals Pontypridd and sees them leapfrog them into top spot in Tier 1 of the premiership. In front of the biggest crowd of the season it was important for the ironmen to bounce back after last week’s last gasp defeat in the WRU cup. Both sides took a while to get into the game but it was Merthyr that looked the more likely to open the scoring and they should have after 10 minutes when a cross kick form outside half Matthew Jarvis was collected by wing man Kyle Evans and as he side stepped the cover a try looked certain only for him to stumble with the line at his mercy, Ponty getting back to clear the danger. However, it was Ponty that took an early lead when Wales under 20s outside half Ben Jones slotted over a 35-meter penalty to make amends for his early miss, following an infringement at the scrum. Merthyr hit straight back when a fine run and kick chase from full back Owen Howe saw scum half Dane Blacker tug at his jersey resulting him being shown a yellow card, Matthew Jarvis making no mistake with the penalty to draw the game level 3-3. With Ponty down to 14 men Merthyr piled on the pressure as they looked for a score but good Ponty defense keeping them out. However just before half time Merthyr got the all-important score when number 8 Phil Rees charged at the Ponty defence and when the ball was recycled scrum half Justin James whipped the ball away to Jarvis who found a gap in the Ponty defense to send wing man Evans over, Jarvis converted and Merthyr went in at half time with a 10-3 lead. As the second half began it was Ponty that took the game to Merthyr and came close with good runs from Hemi Barns, and Dafi Davies. Things got worse for Ponty as they were reduced to 14 men once again when prop Mitch Auger was yellow carded for a high tackle. Merthyr turned down the penalty kick at goal and opted for the catch and drive from the lineout which was stolen by Pontypridd to clear the danger. Merthyr were then awarded another penalty after Ponty had collapsed a scum and this time Jarvis opted for a kick at goal that just went wide. Ponty then began to throw the ball around looking for that all important score to get back into the game, with wing man, Lewis L Williams going close after a fine touch line run. Then Hooker Liam Belcher went close after a storming run inside the Merthyr 25, but good home defense from Tom Daley, Phil Rees and replacement Nick White keeping him out. A mix up inside the Ponty half when a pass to Centre Bradley Coombes was knocked on saw referee Simon Rees play advantage with Merthyr Centre Teri Gee scoping up the pass to race in clear for the all-important try, Jarvis converted and Merthyr had extended their lead 17-3. To their credit Ponty came straight back at Merthyr with 10minutes remaining and when back row man Tom Daley was yellow carded for Merthyr for a high tackle they threw everything at Merthyr, with some runs from replacement outside half Calum Hall and Wing man Williams came close to a score but once again it was good home defense that kept them out. This was an important win for the ironmen as they chase a top four finish in tier 1. For Merthyr Captain Locke led by example once again with some fine drives, and back row men Daley, Rees and Siggery tackled their hearts out. Behind the scum, scum half Justin James looked sharp with some fine jinking runs, with Jarvis controlling matters with his kicking skills, but the star for Merthyr was wing man Kyle Evans who showed his pace as he caused Ponty problems all afternoon with his try and several other opportunities. With 3 games remaining this puts Merthyr in pole position at the top of the table by 1 point with Pontypridd, Bedwas and Ebbw Vale the chasing pack. Merthyr entertain Carmarthen Quins at home this Saturday 2: 30pm kick off, followed by a home game against Aberavon, and an away game at Ebbw Vale, to complete their 7 games.
MERTHYR: 15 O HOWE, 14 K EVANS, 13 T GEE, 12 A PINCERS, 11 R CARTER, 10 M JARVIS, 9 J JAMES, 1 N TREVETT, 2 R WILLIAMS, 3 L JONES, 4 L REED, 5 C LOCKE, 6 T DALEY, 7 E SIGGERY, 8 P REES, 16 J HOWE, 17 R JAMES, 18 M DWYER, 19 B MURPHY, 20 N WHITE, 21 R DOWNES, 22 D GUNTER, 23 D BISHOP.
SCORERS: K EVANS 1T, T GEE 1T, M JARVIS, 1P, 2C.
REFEREE: S REES(EBBW VALE)
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