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06 May 2018 / Club News

Markham improve from Deri performance but miss chance to beat New Tredegar in thrilling game

Deri 47-0 Markham 

A year ago, this fixture decided the winner of League 3 East C with Deri ultimately winning 27-13. Markham were looking for pride after three consecutive defeats, ending their promotion hopes. Deri were looking to secure a win heading towards another league title, and they started much sharper than the Village, Markham fell off tackles and allowed Deri to bully their way through the middle before grounding the ball over the try line, the conversion was added to give Deri a 7-0 lead. Markham gathered the ball and forced penalties from Deri however they were unable to capatalise with three consecutive steals at the line out.

Deri looked supremely confident with ball in hand and their next two tries came after creating a simple overlap on the outside, their execution was clearly the difference between the two sides. Markham continued to fight hard and put in a great effort, but Deri simply had too much form and tempo as their scrum half sniped through a huge hole in defence giving Deri a bonus point try and a commanding 28-0 lead at half time.

The second half was much more positive for the Village, looking more threatening with the ball and upping their intensity forcing several mistakes from the Deri backs as the game came to a slight standstill. Markham got into the corners of Deri’s half, but more excellent work from Deri’s second row strangling any ball and gave no chance of any momentum for the Village. There was one great opportunity when Gavin Price intercepted ball before putting Lewis Hughes away, Hughes went for the corner before a great covering tackle knocked him into touch. This would prove to be Markham’s best opportunity.

After putting a huge defensive display for most of the second half, Deri switched on the gas again in the last ten minutes and added another three tries, which was slightly harsh on the Village. The first coming straight off the back of a scrum, the second try another well executed overlap and the third a nice piece of skill with a crossfield kick collected and scored with the last play of the game. A bad day at the office but a valuable lesson, showing the level needed to win League 3 East B which Markham will definitely have their chance of doing next season.

Full time: Deri 47-0 Markham

New Tredegar 30-29 Markham 

The Village were looking for a much-needed win following four consecutive defeats, they faced a New Tredegar side who troubled Markham in the first half in the return fixture before the Village found the strength to put them away in the second half. This was an enthralling encounter with both sides giving 200% on a very hot Saturday afternoon.

The home side looked very strong early on as Markham defence continued to drop off tackles, and New Tredegar’s big ball carriers put them inside Markham 22. The home side got on the board coming off the scrum on the five-metre line, with the number eight crashing over for a try. Markham’s defence continued to look all at sea as the home side punched their way in the 22 again, the Village looked relieved when the home side took the post option after conceding a penalty, New Tredegar stretched their lead to 10-0.

Markham needed to respond and respond quickly. They did just that with an amazing ten-minute period of dazzling rugby, the catch and drive worked well from the line out tying players in before an excellent switch of play and deadly accurate pass from Ieuan Hale put captain Gavin Price way for a superb score putting the Village back in the game. Markham were attacking at will, Hale running the show with a pass out to Hughes to sprinted away before a great offload to Dewi Carpenter who stepped away to give Markham the lead after the conversion, 14-10. Markham were finding success down the wing, Luke Hughes broke tackles before almost scoring in the corner but he was just in touch. However after regaining the ball in the 22, Markham continued to attack wide – a very risky pass from Gavin Price was almost intercepted by New Tredegar. Instead it was knocked on straight into the hands of Dewi Carpenter who walked over to score Markham’s third try, the conversion was added and Markham had a commanding lead of 10-21 with around ten minutes before half time.

Then came another huge momentum swing as New Tredegar gathered the ball from the restart, the Village hadn’t switched back on after taking the lead and New Tredegar’s 12 broke through four tackles for a great solo effort and put the home side in touching distance at 17-21. New Tredegar kept attacking at pace, and it paid off right on the stroke of half time – another quick break put the home side in good position. The ball was quickly recycled, and New Tredegar had numbers wide to execute a great flowing move, more importantly taking a one point lead at half time 22-21.

The second half was a much tighter affair as both sides traded blows back and for, both teams missed clear chances. All the momentum was with the away side in the opening moments of the second half, with Lewis Hughes coming very close in the corner before being bundled into touch, Markham then missed another good chance to score failing to execute an overlap, they did however add a penalty through Iwen Edwards for a 22-24 lead. Markham’s missed chances came back to bite them as New Tredegar restored their one-point lead with another penalty. After putting so much effort in attack, Markham again switched off in defence and with less than ten minutes to go the home side delivered a big blow as they carried the ball hard into Markham’s 22 before the delivering the ball wide for a superb try. The crucial conversion was missed, and Markham still had a chance to steal the game with a converted try.

Markham’s attacks were coming to nothing, being held on the half way line. That is, until Dewi Carpenter took the game into his own hands running at an angle around the defence before sprinting down the wing, before stepping inside, stepping outside, fending off the last defender and falling over the try line for what probably is Markham’s try of the season. It set up a vital conversion which was agonisingly pushed inches wide to the left, New Tredegar holding on to a one-point lead. Markham kept coming with only a few minutes to go and were trying side to side to get the crucial break. They camped themselves inside the 22, and when Iwen Edwards busted his way over the try line it looked they had got the winning try, the referee however called for a knock on to deny Markham. There was incredible tension amongst the players and supporters, and New Tredegar made the mistake of booting the ball out thinking they had won the game, when there was still time on the referee’s watch. Markham gathered ball and hit up with several phases, unable to breach a suddenly solid home defence, in desperation a loose pass wide right gave the Markham winger no chance of securing clean ball and after a knock on the home team celebrated a win in a thoroughly entertaining game for the neutral. It was a difficult defeat to take for the Village, who deserved five points from the game. The positives to take were that Markham played at a much higher level than previous weeks and Dewi Carpenter looks back in magical form.

Full time: New Tredegar 30-29 Markham

Try scorers: Dewi Carpenter (3), Gavin Price

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