DIVISION ONE EAST CENTRAL
MOUNTAIN ASH ......... 23 TREORCHY .................. 28
SO near yet so far for the Old Firm as title favourites Treorchy just about squeezed home in this compelling Division 1 East Central game at Duffryn Pennar Park which turned out to be a contest between the razor sharp ability of the Treorchy backline, which scored three tries from long range attacks, and the Mount forwards, who had the Treorchy eight in all sorts of trouble at scrum and with the driving maul, which laid the basis for the Old Firm’s rousing comeback from 15-0 and 20-8 down, to level the score at 20-20 amid great excitement with 10 minutes left, when it was any side’s game.
Treorchy had first use of the wind but it was the Old Firm who were first on the attack with a couple of driving mauls which took play up to near the visitors’ 22. After the ball was moved to the blindside, an interception by Will Griffiths saw the Treorchy second row run 70 metres to score the first try of the day after just 3 minutes play, outside half Jordan Lloyd converting to put the visitors 7-0 up. The Mount forwards recovered the ball from the restart and were awarded a penalty on the Treorchy 22, but the penalty was misjudged and kicked dead, which let Treorchy off the hook. Offside in midfield from a ruck just outside the Mount 22 gave Treorchy outside half Lloyd a relatively easy 3 points to extend his side’s lead to 10-0. A lineout take by Mount Number 8 and Captain Kriss Sanders, who led from the front throughout the game, was cleared to halfway, but not into touch. The ball was quickly moved across field to full back Jacob Lloyd, who found himself in space and showed his attacking prowess by beating a defender and then sprinting into the corner for a well taken unconverted try to make it 15-0 after 20 minutes. Although behind, the Mount pack had given the Treorchy eight plenty to think about by making good ground with driving mauls and disrupting the visitors’ scrum at every put-in. A lineout take by Number 8 Sanders on the Treorchy 10 metre line was driven on which had the visitors’ eight in all sorts of trouble. A penalty to the Old Firm 15 metres out was kicked to touch where a catch and drive saw second row Adam Parry claim his first try for Mount to make it 15-5 after 25 minutes. A penalty conceded at the restart looked likely to give Treorchy an immediate response but the 30 metre penalty by Lloyd rebounded off a post. The penalty count was well in favour of the visitors but a penalty to Mount in the Treorchy half should have led to a good position in the Treorchy 22, but ill-discipline by a home forward saw the penalty reversed. The Mount front row of Geraint Lock, Liam Attwell and James Cowdry had the Treorchy scrum back pedalling at an increasing rate of knots as half time approached.
An interception by centre David Richards in the opening minutes of the second half took play up to the Treorchy 22, where the ball was moved to strong running prop Cowdry who handed on to full back Will Holley who got to 5 metres out. An offside offence saw Holley kick the resulting penalty from 25 metres out to make it 15-8. Young backrow forwards Jordan Coxley and Jarrod Morgan were having impressive games and secured a turnover which was cleared to halfway where wing Sean Williams was quickly up to put pressure on razor sharp full back Jacob Lloyd, who escaped his grasp to take play into the Mount 22 where he threw a long pass out to wing Curtis Hughes, who run 15 metres for an unconverted try against the run of play, to take Treorchy’s lead up to 20-8 after 45 minutes. The visitors attacked again out wide from the restart but a forward pass stopped a gilt-edged scoring chance. After some excellent work by the Mount pack had secured a turnover 5 metres out and then and a penalty, a comment by a Mount forward saw the penalty reversed, but once again the visitors were met with stiff resistance which earned Mount a penalty to clear the danger. The Old Firm pack was competing for every ball and pressure in the Treorchy 22 led to a 5 metre lineout, but referee Evans gave the visitors some respite with a harsh penalty for a technical offence. Mount’s chance of a score seemed to have gone, but an interception in midfield 35 metres out by centre Alex Hughes was handed on to fellow centre Richards who sprinted 25 metres for a try near the corner which Holley converted with a fine kick to reduce Treorchy’s lead to 20-15 after 63 minutes. The game was in the balance and coming to a crescendo with no quarter given or asked right across the park. After Holley kicked a penalty up to the Treorchy 22, a 15 metre driving maul saw great excitement among the home support when prop Cowdry was driven over to make it 20-20 after 69 minutes, the conversion by Holley going just wide. Although Mount took play once again up to the Treorchy 22, they opted to move the ball wide rather than keeping it tight which would probably have been a better option. Play became frantic with both sides giving everything and in the 79th minute the visitors were awarded a penalty on the Mount 22 metre line in front of the posts, which outside half Lloyd converted to put his side 23-20 up. The action still wasn’t finished and from the restart, Treorchy moved the ball into midfield where a blatant obstruction on Mount centre David Richards was missed by referee Evans and resulted in a breakout by a Treorchy centre which saw play taken into the Mount 22 where Holley managed make a try saving tackle, but second row Griffiths was first to pick up the loose ball and score in the corner to make it 28-20 after 83 minutes. Unbowed and still up for the fight, the Old Firm took play into the Treorchy 22 where pressure resulted in a 25 metre penalty, which full back Holley coolly converted to claim a bonus point and end one of the most exciting League matches seen for years between these two age-old rivals.
This Saturday, the Old Firm travel to St Joseph’s for a League game, the 2nds play at home to Dowlais, and the Youth play at Caedrawnant against St Peter’s in the Blues League. All games kick off at 2:30pm.