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IRONMEN MADE TO FIGHT FOR QUARTER FINAL PLACE.
MERTHYR 24 BEDWAS 17(Saturday 9th November19)
Merthyr where made to fight right up to the final whistle in this 2nd round spec-savers wru cup game against championship side Bedwas. After early pressure Merthyr took the lead in the opening 5minutes of the game when second row James Down won clean lineout possession inside the Bedwas 25 and the Merthyr forwards drove Bedwas backwards with prop forward Ryan Bob Thomas crashing over for the opening score, full back Josh Martin converted from the touch line, for a 7-0 lead. As the game began to settle it was the visitors that drew level on 10minutes when a rolling maul inside the Merthyr 25 was deliberately pulled down by second row Hemi Barnes which he was yellow carded for and referee Deacy awarding a penalty try to draw the scores level 7-7. Merthyr struggled to settle at the set scrum with Bedwas denying them clean possession, and the home side making silly errors. However full back Martin kicked a 35-meter penalty to restore the lead when Bedwas were caught offside. Then just before halftime Bedwas outside half Dion McIntosh, son of Merthyr coach Dale McIntosh kicked a 50-meter penalty from just inside the halfway line to draw scorers 10-10 at half time. The second half was quite like the first with both sides making silly errors in attacking positions. An opportunist try, by Merthyr back rowman Morgan Kneath proved to be the turning point of this hard-fought cup tie. A scrum on the halfway line was disrupted by the Merthyr pack which saw the flanker pick up the loose ball and race away 50 meters to touch down under the posts, Martin converted to give the ironmen back the lead 17-10. Merthyr then began to pressure the Bedwas side into mistakes and the pressure told when a lineout inside the visitors 25 was deliberately brought down, with referee Deacy awarding his second penalty try of the afternoon and the ironmen had stretched their lead 24-10. Credit to the visitors they never gave in and with 10 minutes remaining second row Gareth Allen charged over from short range to score, McIntosh converted to close the gap 24-17. It was a very nervous last 10 minutes for last season’s runners up, but they had done enough to seal a hard-fought test from Bedwas. For the ironmen second row Down won plenty of lineout possession and back row man Kneath impressed with some good tackling, outside half Gareth Davies controlled the game for the ironmen with his kicking and Martin impressed with his goal kicking. Mention also to young prop Rhys Lewis making his debut and wingman Liam Lloyd also making his debut.
MERTHYR.15 J MARTIN,14 L LLOYD,13 H THOMSON,12 A THOMAS,11 S JONES,10 G DAVIES,9 R DOWNES,1 R THOMAS,2 R WILLIAMS(C), 3 R THOMAS,4 H BARNES,5 J DOWN,6 T DALEY, 7 M KNEATH,8 A MURPHY, 16 S EVANS,17 R LEWIS,18 C PHILLIPS,19 J PERKINS,20 P REES, 21 A HOSKINS,22 R JONES,23 M JARVIS.
Scorers, R (bob) THOMAS 1T, M KNEATH1T, PEN TRY, J MARTIN, 2C,1PEN.
REFEREE: RICHARD DEACY(WRU).