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JONES BRACE SEALS VICTORY FOR THE IRONMEN
MERTHYR 39 PONTYPRIDD 199(Saturday 14th September 19 WRU Spec-savers cup)
The ironmen moved into the 2nd round of the WRU Spec-savers cup and stay on course for a possible third successive final as they won the local derby over follow premiership side Pontypridd in bright sunshine at the wern. However, it was the visitors that got on the scoresheet first following a fine piece of work from wingman Dale Stuckey as he sped down the left-hand touchline chased after his kick ahead to win the touchdown and give the visitors a 0-5 lead, Jones going wide with the kick. Merthyr soon hit back with pressure from the home forwards and it was home second Row Damian Welch who stole a Pontypridd line out close to their own line to crash over to tie the scores 5-5. Merthyr kept the pressure on the visitors with breaks form captain Phil Rees and back row man Jack Perkins and it was not long before they took the lead when Rees split the Pontypridd defense to find scrum half Justin James on hand to take the pass and sprint away for the try. There was no let-up for the visitors as the ironmen began to take control and some fine back play resulted in full-back Matthew dancing his way over from 25 meters out after a fine pass from wingman Ashley Norton, outside half Rhys Jones adding the extras to give the ironmen a 17-5 halftime lead. New wingman Sam Jones extended the lead for the home side as he scored the first of his two second-half tries as he took a pass from Jarvis who had joined the line to send him over from 30 meters out. Ponty were struggling with the pace and strength of the home side and were guilty of giving away several penalties one of which outside half Jones converted from the halfway line to give Merthyr a 25-5 lead. It was Jones then that scored his second try following a fine break from center Arron Pinches as he fed Jones who chipped ahead and won the race for the touchdown, Jones converted, and the ironmen were in total command 32-10. A lack of concentration in the home defense saw Stuckey score his second try as he charged down a Matthew Jarvis clearance kick, replacement Diggy Bird converted to bring the scores 32-12. However, the home side were not finished as they kicked a penalty deep into touch to pin Ponty back inside the 25. From the lineout the home forwards drove Ponty back over their own line with hooker Rhys Williams claiming the sixth try, Jarvis converted. Ponty didn’t give in and crossed for a consolation try deep into injury time when some good forward play was finished off by replacement hooker Matthew Huish crashing over, with Bird converting to bring the final score 39-19. This, in the end, was a comfortable win for the ironmen and the coaches will be pleased with the performance but know there is still a long way to go in this seasons campaign in both the Premiership League and cup run. For Merthyr, they were well led by number 8 Phil Rees who captained the side in the absence of captain Craig Locke also for the home side both second rows Welch and Barnes won good clean lineout ball. Behind the scrum, James looked very lively all afternoon, and Merthyr has found a fine finisher in wingman Sam Jones. Next week the ironmen are back in league action with a home game and another local derby against the Steelman of Ebbw Vale.
Merthyr. 15 M Jarvis,14 A Norton,13 A Thomas, 12 A Pinches,11 S Jones,10 R Davies,9 J James,1 C Phillips,2 R Williams,3 J Gilding,4 H Barnes,5 D Welch,6 J Thomas,7 J Perkins, 8 P Rees©. 16 J Howe,17 S Evans,18 R Thomas,19 A Murphy,20 T Daley,21 A Hoskins,22 G Davies,23 J Martin.
Scorers, S Jones 2t, R Williams 1t, M Jarvis 1t, J James 1t, D Welch 1t, R Jones 2c 1p M Jarvis 1c. Referee Elgan Williams (Cardiff).