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LAST MINUTE TRY WINS IT FOR LLANELLI
MERTHYR 20 LLANELLI 22(Saturday 7th December 19)
A last minute try from Llanelli and conversion stole victory form the ironmen in a free flowing second half, and home supporters will be wondering how they had lost the game. The visitors had taken an early lead when a clever cross kick from outside half Ioan Hughes was snapped up by wingman Ryan Davies who raced over in the corner unchallenged. However, this was shorted lived as from the restart Merthyr drew level when they regather the kick off and spun the ball wide and a fine finishing from wingman Sam Jones Drew the sides level 5-5 however a touch line conversion from Matthew Jarvis gave the ironmen a 7-5 lead. Both sides made handling errors as the game settled down and a fine break from the base of the scrum from James Soanes split the Llanelli defense and his pass was taken by center Harley Thomson who slipped with the line at his mercy. As Merthyr pressured Llanelli they gave away a penalty 30 meters out which Jarvis made no mistake with. As the second half began it was all pressure from Merthyr as they looked for an early score, but after several line-out catch and drives failed, Jarvis extended the Merthyr lead with another 30-meter penalty to give Merthyr a 13-5 lead. Merthyr were then guilty of sloppy play when a loose pass in mid- field was intercepted by Ioan Nicholas who ran in from 50 meters to the line with Nicholas also converting from in front of the posts, and Llanelli had closed the gap to 1 point 13-12. Then came the best move of the game, and it came from Merthyr, with back rowman Tom Daley playing a great one two with center Arron Pinches and racing away under the posts, once again Jarvis converted and Merthyr were now two scores ahead with 10 minutes to go. Hughes then had a chance to close the gap with a long-range penalty which just fell short, however he made amends a few minutes later with an easier kick to close the gap to 20-15. With time running out Llanelli threw everything at Merthyr and after a poor Refereeing and touch judge decision Llanelli were awarded a penalty which they kicked for the corner. From the line-out they drove at Merthyr and after constant pressure replacement prop Gareth Havard drove over the line to tie the scores 20-20. Replacement Iwan Temblett kept his nerve to add the points that gave the visitors a 20-22 lead. With time almost up Merthyr drove up the pitch looking for any score but spilled the ball and Llanelli had snatched a late dramatic win over the ironmen. It was a game that Merthyr should have won especially after leading by 8 points with 10 minutes to go, but credit to Llanelli they never gave up which earned them the dramatic victory. It was a disappointing result for Merthyr but in the forwards back rowman Tom Daley was excellent all afternoon and behind the scrum James Soanes looked very sharp. With two defeats in consecutive games the Ironmen must regroup as they travel to league leaders Cardiff on Saturday who are unbeaten this season, and then welcome Carmarthen Quins and RGC1404 over the Christmas period.
MERTHYR, 15 M Jarvis,14 A Norton,13 H Thomson,12 A Pinches,11 S Jones,10 R Jones, 9 J Soanes,1 R Thomas,2 R Williams,3 R Thomas,4 C Locke©, 5 J Down,6 H Barnes, 7 T Daley,8 P Rees, 16 S Evans,17 J Gilding,18 C Phillips, 19 A Murphy,20 J Perkins,21 A Hoskins,22 G Davies,23 A Thomas. Scorers, S Jones 1t, T Daley 1t, M Jarvis 2C,2Pens.
Referee, G Newman (Abergavenny).