Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 27 - 26 Glamorgan Wanderers RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
21 October 2018 / Team News

Old Firm Show It’s Never Over Till It’s Over

One of the most dramatic finishes to a game for many a year saw the Old Firm clinch a famous victory with a try from a 55 metre attack in the 5th minute of injury time amid jubilant scenes at Duffryn Pennar Park. It was the culmination of a strong last 15 minutes by Mount as they came back from 26-10 down to score three tries, one of which was converted from the touchline, to beat a Wanderers team which was struggling to keep up with the pace of the game in the last 10 minutes.

The game was played in beautiful, sunny weather, and it was the Cardiff side which had a couple of good chances early on, with a chip through the Mount backline into space in the home 22 by outside half Luke Fish leaving the home defence for dead but the kick on was too far and the ball went dead. Shortly after, quickly recycled ball in midfield saw an overlap on the Mount 22 but the Wanderers couldn’t make the most of another good scoring chance. The Wanderers went in front after 10 minutes when a loose ball from a Mount lineout throw was moved wide, full back James Loxton scoring an unconverted try to put the visitors 5-0 up. Both sides exchanged penalties for the Wanderers to lead 8-3 after 15 minutes. Play was even up until just before half time when a 35 metre penalty by outside half Luke Fish gave the Wanderers a 11-3 lead.

Mount had the worst possible start to the second half when centre Alex Hughes was yellow carded for infringing, Fish converting the penalty from 25 metres to extend the Wanderers’ lead to 14-3. The Old Firm hit back quickly. From a lineout take by second row Adam Parry on the visitors’ 22 metre line, the Mount pack took play up to 5 metres out with several drives, centre David Richards eventually scoring the Old Firm’s first try of the afternoon. Outside half Jack Roberts converted to reduce the deficit to 14-10. The numbers on each side were levelled up from the restart when a Wanderers prop forward was yellow carded for a shoulder barge, the visitors surprisingly having to resort to passive scrums due to a lack of front row cover on the bench. Mount outside half Roberts kicked up to the visitors’ 22 line but turnovers for both sides led to a long passage of play which went back and fore between the 22s before Wanderers pacey left wing Will Adams-Jones was put into space on halfway and brushed aside two home tacklers to score an unconverted try in the corner to put the visitors 19-10 after 48 minutes. As the game approached the hour mark, scrum half Ross Davies made a half break from a passive 5 metre scrum. After the ball was recycled and fired out to the blindside, an interception by a Wanderers back set him racing away. Although he was tackled, a well-judged kick ahead over the Mount line saw right wing Max Cunnington win the race for the touchdown to claim the Wanderers’ third try, which Fish converted to take the visitors’ lead up to 26-10. There was no let-up by Mount and 5 minutes later, pressure near the visitors’ line saw hooker Josh Davies drive over in the corner for Mount’s second try, outside half Roberts converting quite superbly from the touchline to make it 26-17 with 15 minutes plus injury time to go. The Old Firm continued battling away and a midfield break by centre Richards saw him cut through the Wanderers defence into space and chip over the defence into the 22. Although cleared, the ball did not reach touch and another attack was started by flanker Jarrod Morgan and No.8 Kriss Sanders. Centre Hughes broke through to take play up to the Wanderers 10 metre line as Mount continued to ask plenty of questions about the Wanderers’ defence. A crunching tackle by centre Richards on his opposite number saw a knock-on and a Mount scrum from which a penalty award was kicked into the visitors’ 22. A lineout take and then a break by scrum half Davies took play to 5 metres out as the Wanderers defended desperately – too desperately as a player was yellow carded with the game entering the 80th minute. The visitors were feeling the pace and a penalty 5 metres out was tapped rather than kicked to the corner and from Mount pressure on the line, flanker and the Old Firm’s Man of the Match, Jordan Coxley, scored a crucial try, which went unconverted, to give Mount a fighting chance at 26-22 down after 81 minutes play. From the restart, the ball was moved infield and from a half break by centre Richards, the Wanderers turned the ball over. But it squirted out of the side of a ruck near the touchline, and amid growing excitement, Mount forward Daniel Phillips was quickly on it to tear away up the touchline with the Wanderers defence sparse. He showed great composure to set the ball up nicely when tackled for scrum half Ross Davies to move it wide into midfield where the Old Firm had an overlap. Desperate defence by the visitors held up Mount a couple of metres out, but there was no respite as the ball was moved back across the field quickly, and with a two man overlap, centre Hughes run through an outnumbered defence to score the winning try which was received with a huge roar and scenes of great jubilation to secure one of the most dramatic victories for the Old Firm at Duffryn Pennar Park.

Mount took a leaf out of the All Blacks book and played full-on until the referee called time, and it paid off. If the Old Firm can continue doing this in each game, they will always have a chance of winning. The bonus point win was the third this season and takes Mount up to 2nd place in the Division 1 East Central table, just one point behind first placed Rhiwbina. There is no dominant team in the division and it seems it is wide open with all to play for. The Old Firm should not rest on their laurels though as they know there are certain facets of play they can improve, and need to, if they are to sustain their challenge. Next Saturday, 27 October, Skewen visit Duffryn Pennar Park in the 2nd Round of the SWALEC Plate, kick off is 2:30pm.

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