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HARD FOUGHT VICTORY FOR THE IRONMEN OVER THE STEELMEN.
EBBW VALE 17 MERTHYR 19(Friday 3/1/2020)
The ironmen completed their first double of the season over the steelmen of Ebbw Vale in a hard-fought game at Eugene Cross in heavy ground conditions on Friday night a game at times they could have lost but ground out the victory. Ex Ebbw Vale outside half Rhys Jones opened the scoring for the ironmen with a well struck drop goal to give Merthyr a 0-3 early lead. Ebbw Vale then got onto the scoreboard when Merthyr had given away three penalties in a row deep inside their own 25. The last penalty which referee Ben Whitehouse after consultation with the TMO awarded a penalty try and yellow carded full back Matthew Jarvis who was deemed to have deliberately knock the ball on when Ebbw had an overlap. Leading 7-3 gave the home side renewed confidence as they pressured Merthyr into silly errors. Outside half Jones drew Merthyr with in 1 point of the home side has he converted a penalty from 35meters. However home full back Dan Haymond stretched Ebbw Vales lead when he converted a penalty in front of the posts after Merthyr were caught offside. As the first half drew to a close, Merthyr put some good phases together with number 8 Phil Rees, and scrum Half Justin James linking well together carrying ball deep inside the Ebbw Vale 22 and when the ball was sped wide flanker Jake Thomas was on hand to crash over in the corner, full back Matthew Jarvis converting from the touch line to edge Merthyr in front 10-13. From the restart Ebbw Vale gave away a penalty just on the halfway line and Jarvis converted with the help of the cross bar to give Merthyr a 10-16 halftime lead. Ebbw came out the second half with the slope in their favor and should have drawn level but the premiership top point Scorer Haymond missed with two easy penalties letting the ironmen off the hook. Ebbw Vale had look to have score their second try when captain Ashley Sweet rounded off a great forward handling move, but the match TMO stepped in and the try was disallowed. Jarvis then gave Merthyr some breathing space with his second penalty of the night when Ebbw Vale were adjudged offside in front of their posts to stretch the lead 10-19. Ebbw then threw everything at Merthyr looking for the all important score and it came from a lineout deep inside the Merthyr 22 with hooker Will Griffiths powered his way over from an off load from his back row forward, Haymond made no mistake with the conversion to close the gap to 2 points at 17-19. The home side then threw everything at Merthyr looking for the all-important score, outside half Lewis Williams missed with a drop goal from 22 meters out with time almost up. With the game deep into injury time Merthyr gave away a penalty from the last play of the game just inside the halfway line, but the penalty attempt by Williams fell well short and the ironmen had held on to notch their third win in a row. Merthyr rode their luck at times and Ebbw Vale can feel a little unlucky they didn’t get the win, but credit to the Ironmen they dug deep for the win in very heavy playing conditions. For the ironmen young prop Rhys Lewis held his own against two old heads in the front row, and number 8 Phil Rees carried the ball well all evening. Behind the scrum Rhys Jones dictated play with his touch kicking and full back Jarvis was accurate with his goal kicking.
MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS,14 S JONES,13 A THOMAS,12 A PINCHES,11 H MILLARD,10 R JONES,9 J JAMES,1 C PHILLIPS,2 R WILLIAMS,3 R LEWIS,4 B MURPHY,5 J DOWN,6 T DALEY,7 J THOMAS,8 P REES©, 16 S EVANS,17 A LUXTON,18 L OWEN,19 C LOCKE,20 J PERKINS,21 A HOSKINS,22 R DAVIES,23 H THOMPSON.
SCORERS, J THOMAS, 1T, R Jones 1p, 1 D/G, M Jarvis 1c, 2pens.
Referee. Ben Whitehouse(wru).