09 September 2017 / Club News

Markham secure two wins a row after attritional local derby

Markham looked for revenge following a defeat in the Cyrus Davies Cup Final at the end of last season, however the most important thing was to get the win. The away side began the game well carrying hard through their well organised pack, and getting deep into Markham’s 22, the home side defended very well with great discipline early on, and two crucial interceptions from Kris Meredith took the pressure off the home side. When the Village finally secured ball, they attacked with a similar approach to the away side, taking the ball up through the middle and building through the phases, Aberbargoed failed to show the same discipline as they conceded a penalty which was kicked over by Gareth Price – glancing off the post on the way through to give Markham a 3-0 lead.

Markham continued to play a very tactical and smart game, kicking the ball deep into Aberbargoed’s half forcing them to come back from deep. The away side were made to regret not taking their opportunity to score a try after having lots of time in Markham’s 22, Gavin Price collected a poor kick and ran at pace back at the defensive line, they began to move the ball wider, and Gareth Price cleverly busted through a hole up the middle in the defence, the Old Warrior took a lovely offload and dived under the posts as Markham scored a crucial try to move into a 10-0 lead, Morgan who  would also have a monster game in defence, spoiling the away sides ball on many occasions was also man of the match.

The rest of the half was full of tough hits, and some very direct running. Markham’s indiscipline was allowing Aberbargoed to get back into the game, as they looked to control the game with a catch and drive game from the line out, Markham continued to thwart any attacking play with excellent choke tackling for the second week in a row. Aberbargoed did eventually get on the scoreboard before half time, a superb kick from close to half way reduced the deficit to 10-3 with the half time whistle blown not long after.

The opening period of the second half was scrappy and tough, as both sides tried to get into their rhythm, both sides continued to give penalties away, and Aberbargoed reduced Markham’s lead to just 10-6 with the game finely poised heading in the final half hour of the game, the home side dominated the next ten minutes of the game – and they restored their seven point lead after Aberbargoed gave away a penalty under a lot of pressure in their 22, Markham continued to have a lot of territory in Aberbargoed’s 22 but the away side defended very well, Gareth Price tried to extend the lead out to ten points but dragged a drop goal wide twice in five minutes. The away side escaped their half and suddenly they had more energy heading into the final ten minutes, they attacked deep in Markham’s half with a powerful driving maul from the line out, after being held out for five minutes they finally crashed over the line in the left corner for a try, and a conversion to come to tie the game, however the conversion was wide as Markham still led 13-11 heading into a nervy last ten minutes of the game.

With time winding down, Aberbargoed continued to attack hard but Markham defended well and fronted up to the away sides physical pack, there was more good situational play from Markham, who kicked the ball down the field and kept Aberbargoed away from their half and forced them to try and break their defence from deep. Markham’s pack who had a very strong game continued to hold them back, Aberbargoed spread the ball wide but another strong tackle followed by a pack of Markham players held the ball up and forced turnover ball, the referee blew the whistle for a scrum and then the whistle for full time, as Captain Gavin Price shouted in delight as his team secured two league wins a row. Markham return to league action on the 23rd of September, but next week The Village begin their Swalec Bowl fixture against Tref-Y-Clawdd RFC, the Village last played the Mid Wales side back in November 2013 when they beat them away 24-3 in a league fixture. 

Final Score: Markham 13-11 Aberbargoed 

Try Scorers: Simon Morgan



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