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09 September 2018 / Club News

Markham hold off Stars comeback to open season with a win

After postponing last week’s game, the Village returned to take on local rivals Blackwood Stars in windy, tricky conditions. The Village were looking to get off to a solid start in their second season in League 3 East B after finishing very respectable 4th in 2017/18.

 

The Village started the game very well breaking through Stars tackles with ease, the Stars discipline also cost them as Markham took a 3-0 lead through the boot of Iwen Edwards. Markham extended their lead shortly after a superb break from Keir Ennis down the left side, he passed to new captain Luke Hughes who finished in the corner for a great team score. The Village deservedly eight points in front. The home side controlled the game however the Stars were giving a lifeline, following a poor kick the Stars player put a lovely chip in behind and was too quick for everyone else as he pounced on the ball for a clever try, a tricky conversion was added with the Stars now trailing by just a point.

 

The score seemed to motivate the away side, and the defence put in a huge hit on Captain Luke Hughes, however Markham kept their composure and following another busting run by Ennis the home side had a penalty kick, Edwards cooly slotted it over to build a four point lead. The Stars fought back and had an attacking scrum in the Markham half, however substitute Clark Morgan had other ideas and pounced on the scrum half to force a knock on and the ball was cleared away. The momentum swung back in the home sides favour, a quick tap was taking from a penalty and Man of the Match Ennis went on another fast powerful run before offloading to Dewi Carpenter who finished a brilliant try, the conversion was added and Markham took a decent 18-7 lead into the half time break.

 

Following half time Markham kept up the pressure and looked to be getting into rhythm in their backs and forwards with excellent interplay. A superb offload from Clark Morgan put Dewi Carpenter in space, he chipped forward before using great footballing ability, collecting the ball and sliding over for Markham’s third try and best try of the match so far. Fans demanded the bonus point try, but they would not have expected a change in momentum, that's exactly what happened as the away side controlled the final 25-30 minutes of the game, Markham suddenly turning into a very ill-disciplined team and gifting the Stars field position time and time again, the Stars spent at least five minutes on the Markham line as the home side fought for their lives - the referee however lost patience and give the Stars a penalty try to set up a tense finale. The Village were starved of possession and the Stars with the easy platform of a passive scrum took advantage, as their No.10 crashed over for their third try, 23-21 to the Village with six minutes remaining. Fortunately the Village played in the right areas until the dying moments where the Stars got possession back and entered the Markham half, the Village found one last ounce of energy with a clever choke tackle, before the Stars were stripped of the ball and Markham kicked the ball off to enormous roars from the players in what was a very hard fought win in the end.

 

Man of the Match: Keir Ennis

Try Scorers: Dewi Carpenter (2), Luke Hughes

Conversions: Iwen Edwards 1 from 3

Penalties: Iwen Edwards 2 from 2

 

Next up: The Village take on Rogerstone RFC in the first round of the Swalec Bowl at home on the 15th of September! 2.30pm kick off.

 

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