Merthyr RFC | 1st Team 33 - 23 Bargoed RFC | 1st Team
Rhys Downes
Try 2
Alexander Howman
Try 1
Craig John Locke
Try 1
Joshua Martin
Try 1
Matthew Rhys Jarvis
Conversion 4
Lewis Ricky Bowden
1 Try
James Locke
1 Try
Calum Jones
2 Conversion
3 Penalty

Match Report
23 December 2017 / Team News

Merthyr 33 Bargoed 23

Bottom side Bargoed gave top of the league Merthyr an almighty scare with a battling performance at the Wern.  Only a mistake by the Bulls at a line out five metres from their own line, finally put some distance between the two sides with the Ironmen scoring a try with the last move of the game to give them a bonus point win and denying Bargoed what would have been a valuable losing bonus point.

Only the most optimistic of Bargoed supporters would have expected to get anything from this game yet for long periods of the first half Bargoed were dominant. They took the lead after 11 minutes with a well struck Calum Jones penalty and were in seventh heaven when hooker Lewys Liippiett and number eight Ieuan Jones combined before centre Lewis Bowden crashed over for a try on 15 minutes, Jones converted and the Bulls were 0-10 ahead.
Two minutes later Merthyr hit back with their first foray into the Bargoed twenty two, winger Howden going over with Jarvis converting but Jones kicked another penalty to make it 7-13 as the game reached the end of the first quarter.
Merthyr's second visit to the Bulls' twenty brought another try - this time from scrum half Rhys Downes to edge the home side ahead at 14-13 with Jarvis' conversion. But again Bargoed pegged them back with another Jones penalty.
The Bulls had held their own in the tight but as the half wore on there were signs that the home pack were getting the upper hand and a driving maul from a lineout secured the home side's third try to see the lead change hands again at 19-16 with two minutes of the half left. However, there was still time for more - referee Ian Davies was playing advantage for a ruck infringement in front of the Merthyr posts and a second advantage for a high tackle out on the wing. Bargoed threw everything at it and James Locke came in on a fine angle to cross near the posts to give the Bulls a deserved 19-23 lead at the break.
Merthyr's pack turned the screw in the second half denying Bargoed any decent possession and becoming stronger at the set piece but it took until the 55th minute for Rhys Downes to score his second and put Merthyr ahead by 26-23. For the remainder of the half Bargoed defended resolutely and although the scoring opportunities dried up it looked as if a losing bonus point might be all they could get from the game. Finally, Merthyr had a penalty and put the ball to the Bargoed 5 metre line. The throw-in was crooked and Bargoed had the choice of line out or scrum. The lineout was called, but the throw to the back of the line inexplicably went long and Merthyr centre Josh Martin ran in for a simple try converted by Jarvis to make it 33-23 and the referee blew for the end of the game.
The second half of the season sees the two east-west leagues combine and Bargoed travel to the Gnoll next week to take on Neath.

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