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05 November 2017 / Club News

Markham suffer first league defeat of season after Rhymney strike late

Top of the table Markham faced Rhymney who had a up and down start to the season (2 wins, 3 losses), no one would have expected the final outcome, after what was an ugly, fiery encounter. Markham were up against another strong pack for the second week in a row, and Rhymney had powerful carries early on, but they also showed some width to keep the defence honest. Markham, when trying to escape their half, faced pressure at the breakdown, and Rhymney secured a penalty for holding on, the ball was slotted through the post to give the home side a 3-0 lead.

Markham needed to respond, and they did through Kris Meredith – Markham’s best player a week ago, he started well again, he went on his familiar angled run breaking through tackles, before popping the ball to Lewis Hughes who ran a superb supporting line for the Village’ first try, giving them a 7-3 lead. Markham put more pressure on the home side, but indiscipline was costing both sides valuable field position. However a good Markham break, followed by cynical slowing down of the play allowed Markham to extend their lead to 10-3. Markham continued to attack well towards the end of first half, with Dewi Carpenter and Kris Meredith finding gaps in the defence. The Village were awarded a penalty under the posts, but showed confidence when opting for a scrum instead with the home side down to 14 men, a decision which would prove costly, with Rhymney able to clear lines after Markham failed to execute before the half time whistle came.

Rhymney came out in the second half, playing aggressive rugby rumbling on with some excellent carries from their second rows, they were awarded a penalty just inside Markham’s half, which was struck well and reduced the lead to just four points. The home side began to play a tactical kicking game, but the accuracy of the kicks was poor and as Markham gathered the ball under little pressure, they spread the ball wide on to Dewi Carpenter who drew defenders in before passing to Lewis Hughes who grabbed a brace of tries with a simple run to the try line, a very well worked try to give Markham command once again, with a lead of 6-15.

The away side now needed to show composure in the last 25 minutes to secure a very hard fought win, but their discipline let them down on numerous occasions, Rhymney who also had poor discipline throughout the game, suddenly tightened up and changed their game plan, they attacked hard and broke several tackles to get into Markham territory, the Village put up a great fight on their try line, and Rhymney struggled to break them down, however a quick tap penalty was taken by Rhymney and the player dived over under the posts, with the momentum very much with the home side and supporters, the lead now 13-15 to Markham.

Rhymney desperate to get the ball back, were now conceding their own penalties allowing Markham to enter their 22, again the away side chose not to try for three points, and decided to keep Rhymney pinned in their 22, Markham gave the ball wide but never had enough clear space to get a try, Rhymney were able to clear from their half. The home side secured ball from a line out, and began breaking through Markham’s defence with some poor tackling, Rhymney’s scorer of their first try bagged himself a brace when he darted from the ruck through a huge gap and sprinted away to score under the posts, leaving the away side in complete shock with very little time remaining. After Markham had so much possession in the second half, it was the home side who now took the lead,

 

 

Markham continued to threaten but more handling errors cost them of a chance to score a game tying try. There was one final wave of attack down the left side, on the last play with a brilliant break from Dewi Carpenter, Markham recycled the ball initially, but with the ball just outside of Rhymney’s 22, Markham were penalised for diving in at the side, the ball was booted off as Rhymney celebrated a shock win, but their ability to stay in the game and be clinical when the chances came got them the win.

The Village slip to third in the League 3 East B table, but can respond immediately as they face unbeaten league leaders Deri next Saturday.

 

Final Score: Rhymney 20-15 Markham

Try scorers: Lewis Hughes (2) 

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