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IRONMENS FIGHTBACK FALLS SHORT
BRIDGEND RAVENS 17 MERTHYR 12(Saturday 12th October 19)
Merthyr fought back in the second half after being 17-0 down at half time, but it was a little too late as the home side’s defense held firm. It was a disjointed performance from the Premiership champions as they lost their way at both the lineout and set piece in an all-round poor performance. It all started so well for the ironmen as in the opening 10 minutes they piled the pressure on the home side but couldn’t find a way to the try line and were punished when a drop pass on the halfway line was kicked on by wingman Tyler Williams who beat the Merthyr defense to open the scoring for the Ravens, Ex Ironman full back Owen Howe converted to give the ravens a 7-0 lead. Merthyr was guilty of wasting good possession with drop passes and knock on’s. The Ravens extended their lead when Merthyr gave a penalty way at the set-piece 30 meters out, with Howe slotting over the 3points. Leading 10-0 gave the home side confidence and with Merthyr struggling at the lineout for clean ball and also the scrum not functioning as normal, the Ravens stretched the lead when flanker Ben-Mayers-Davies broke away from a ruck 10 meters out to score under the posts, Howe converted to give the home side a 17-0 lead. The ironmen’s usually sound set-piece backfired as the Ravens stole three lineouts, shunted their way to three scrum penalties as they went in with a 17-0 halftime lead. Merthyr came out for the second half and made several replacements to try and turn over the 17-0-point lead. Full back Matthew Jarvis gave the ironmen hope when he broke away from the home defense 20 meters out to score wideout, the conversion going wide. This gave the ironmen hope as they piled the pressure on the Ravens, but their defense held rock solid. As time began to run out the ironmen threw everything at the home side and finally, an outside break from Josh Martin found wingman Ashley Norton in space who raced in for the score, Rhys Jones converted and Merthyr had closed the gap to one score, 17-12. With time almost up Merthyr was awarded a string of penalties deep inside the Ravens half and after several catch and drives at the lineout which came to nothing, they were awarded another penalty 10 meters out, and opted for the scum, but were penalized and the Ravens had held out for a well-deserved win. This was the ironmen’s second away defeat of the season and probably their worse performance for several seasons’s as for some reason the lineout and set-piece failed to function as it normally does, and with the visit of unbeaten “The Wizards” of Aberavon this weekend they must re-group to turn things around if they are to defend the premiership title.
Merthyr: 15 M Jarvis,14 A Norton,13 A Thomas, 12 A Pinches,11 C Czekaj, 10 G Davies, 9 A Hoskins, 1 N Trevett,2 R Williams,3 R Thomas, 4 H Barnes,5 B Murphy, 6 T Daley, 7 J Perkins,8 T Daley, 16 J Howe, 17 J Gilding,18 S Evans,19 A Murphy,20 J Down,21 R Downes,22 R Jones,23 J Martin.
Scorers, M Jarvis 1t, A Norton 1t, R Jones 1c.
Referee Elgan Williams (Cardiff).