18 March 2018 / Club News

Markham advance to third straight Cyrus Davies Cup Final after clinical win over rivals Hollybush

With just a mile between the two villages, this is always an encounter with an added edge. However there was a clear difference in class as the Village ran out 40-0 winners on a chilly night in Oakdale.

Hollybush began the game the better side, with Markham taking a few minutes to adjust at the start of the game. The Hollybush forwards ran great lines, and broke through into the 22, however Markham counter rucked and got the crucial turn over before clearing their lines. In contrast, Markham capatalised on their first opportunity. Man of the Match Gareth Price who was instrumental on the night, broke through the Holly defence with a fast straight run, the ball was moved out wide against a retreating defence and Dewi Carpenter cruised over for his first try of the night, the conversion was added for a 7-0 lead.

It was a physical game, and both sides put in some crunching hits giving it their all in a cup semi-final, Markham were just that little bit sharper in crucial areas of the field. After a penalty at the scrum, Gareth Price upped the tempo going quickly before passing to Stefan Evans who powered over for another great try. Hollybush now had a limit mistakes to have any chance of a comeback, and as they tried to get out of their half a turnover was costly, as Dewi Carpenter kicked the ball through once, and then again before pouncing on the ball over the try line – a great individual effort and opportunistic score. Markham’s confidence was at a high and following a powerful carry from The Old Warrior, Gareth Price put in a cheeky chip behind Hollybush’ rush defence, Carpenter had too much pace for defenders and he collected the ball to complete a superb hat trick. The score 28-0 to Markham at half time, with a long way for Hollybush to come back.

To their credit, Hollybush had a much better 2nd half, with lots of possession and great work from their forwards. Markham’s discipline was nowhere near the level of the first half, gifting Hollybush territory however the difference between the two sides on the night was execution and when Hollybush got a sniff of the try line, they ever turned the ball over or were penalised. Markham added another try when Gareth Price tried another kick in behind the defence, the ball this time was collected by Lewis Benjamin who increased the lead 33-0, the conversion was added 35-0. Hollybush enjoyed a lot of possession and time in Markham’s 22 but however their set piece let them down with a penalty at scrum time close to Markham’s try line. Markham then turned field position as they camped themselves in Hollybush’ 22, the pressure was too much for Holly as scrum half David Davies sniped over the try line to complete an emphatic win for Markham and send them through to their third straight Cyrus Davies Cup Final.

Man of the Match: Gareth Price

Tries: Dewi Carpenter (3), David Davies, Lewis Benjamin, Stefan Evans

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