Ironmen show their mettle
PRINCIPALITY PREMIERSHIP EAST
MERTHYR .................... 27 CARDIFF ...................... 23
TWO second-half tries from right wing Kyle Evans sealed victory for the Ironmen after they fought back from a 7-16 at halftime, to run out winners 27-23.
Merthyr attacked straight from the kick-off and kept Cardiff pinned inside their own 22 for in the opening 10 minutes and only good defence kept the Ironmen from an opening score.
The game was very high tempo with both sides throwing the ball around looking for the opening score. Cardiff eventually took the lead when Merthyr gave away a penalty 30 meters out and Cardiff outside half Gareth Thompson made no mistake to give the visitors a 0-3 lead.
Merthyr won good lineout ball form both Ben Murphy and Craig Locke but Cardiff’s defence held strong. Cardiff’s young prop Rhys Carre put in some fine runs and was very unlucky not to have extended the visitors’ lead with a fine run up the touchline only to be tackled short of the try line. Merthyr were reduced to 14 men when back row man Osian Davies was yellow carded and Cardiff soon took advantage of the extra man when Carre carried well and when the ball was recycled full back Dan Fish showed his pace as he raced up the touchline to score the opening try, Thompson converted and Cardiff led 0-10.
Merthyr began to settle to the pace of the game and some charges in midfield from centre Arron Pinches began to cause Cardiff problems in defence. Merthyr got on the score board after a fine drive from Ed Siggery, and Nick White inside the Cardiff 22 set the Merthyr backs and a fine long pass from outside half Gareth Davies found left wing Kristian Phillips in space and he raced clear to score, full back Matthew Jarvis converted to bring the half-time score 7-10.
Things got worse for the Ironmen early in the second half when replacement outside half Ben Thomas made no mistake with two well-struck penalties to extend the visi-
tors’ lead 7-16. Merthyr needed a score to get back into the game and when they were awarded a penalty 30 meters out they turned down the three points and kicked deep into touch. From the lineout won by Osian Davies the Merthyr forwards drove towards the Cardiff line and when the ball was recycled after several drives a swift passing movement from the home backs found right wing Kyle Evans in space and he raced in for the first of his two tries, Jarvis converted and it was game on at 14-16.
This gave Merthyr new heart as they began to put several good phases together with captain Locke leading the way, well supported by Matthew Dwyer, and Joe Rees and this was rewarded when a ruck was set up just inside the Cardiff half and when the ball reached right wing Kyle Evans he showed great skill to jink and weave his way over for a great solo try to give the Ironmen the lead for the first time, Jarvis converted and Merthyr now led 21-16.
Merthyr began to pile the pressure on Cardiff and this was rewarded when Cardiff gave away a penalty inside their own half, and this time Merthyr took the three points from the boot of Jarvis to give them some breathing space 24-16.
Replacement No 8 Phil Rees made a great 35-meter run up the touchline and looked as if he would score only to be tackled short of the line and Cardiff scrambled the ball away. Jarvis then made the game safe for the Ironmen when he kicked his second penalty of the afternoon when Cardiff handled on the floor and Merthyr were now two scores clear. However, Cardiff kept on fighting looking for a losing bonus point and this was rewarded when deep into injury-time replacement prop James Greenfield barged his way over close to the Merthyr line, Thomas converted, but it was too late for the visitors as the whistle went for fulltime and the Ironmen had won a hard-fought victory 27-23.
In a pulsating game credit to both sides who passed the ball round at every opportunity. For the Ironmen, the forwards once again worked hard all afternoon well led by skipper Locke, and supported by Nick White, Osian Davies, and Ed Siggery. Behind the scrum outside half Gareth Davies controlled the game for the Ironmen with his clever passing and kicking. Centre Pinches looked dangerous with his charges up field. Winger Phillips looked dangerous with ball in hand, but Merthyr had the match winner in right wing Kyle Evans, and once again full back Jarvis was accurate with the boot.
The win moves Merthyr up into second place in the East table, four points behind leaders Pontypridd, who they meet in a weeks’ time.
This weekend Merthyr travel to the Bridge Field, Bedwas, to play third place Bedwas, a side that they lost to earlier in the season, kick-off 1.30pm due to the Wales international.
Try scorer Kyle Evans