Iron­men show their met­tle

PRIN­CI­PAL­ITY PREMIER­SHIP EAST

Cynon Valley - - SPORT08 -

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.

Matthew Jarvis

Try scorer Kyle Evans

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