30 September 2017 / Club News

Hand of Jordan wins epic for the Village

In a crucial game in the league season, 3rd placed Markham faced 1st placed Hafodrynys with both sides separated by just a single point after both teams won their opening three fixtures. The first half was dominated by Hafodrynys, with some powerful carriers through the forwards forcing their way into Markham’s 22 on several occasions. Markham held their ground well with some ferocious defence and excellent tackling, particularly from Zac Duggan, Hafodrynys needed to take some points for all their pressure and they went into the lead, 3-0 after kicking a simple penalty in front of the posts. Markham were unable to get much ball, and were forced kick a lot to the away side who continued to squeeze Markham. Markham again held out the away side on their try line for many phases, but Markham were facing a scrum the away side looking to capitalise.

The away sides impressive number eight picked the ball from the back of the scrum, and powered his way over a much-deserved try, after some heroic defending from the Village. The conversion was added as Hafodrynys had full control of the game, Markham’s only genuine chance in the first half came when Dewi Carpenter hacked the ball forward, and sprinted after it, when attempting to control the ball on the line knocked the ball on, it would have been an important score after the Village had very little ball in the first half. The half time whistle came with Markham needing to change their tactics to have any chance of victory.

The away side continued to pressure early in the second half, and Markham had to defend again and again, they done extremely well to turn the ball over and Gareth Price finally had a chance to break out and went on a superb run, Hafodrynys then gave away a penalty with a deliberate knock on as Markham got their first points of the afternoon with a Gareth Price penalty to make the score 10-3. Defence wins games, and this was the case today as the next period of the game would define the outcome, Markham repelled the away side on their try line for more than twenty phases including some incredible low ankle tackles from man of the match Luke Hughes, Jordan Watkins came on to replace an injured Gareth Price and turned the game on its head. After turning the ball over Jordan Watkins ran across the defence before putting Kris Meredith on the outside, he then drew in defenders before an exquisite offload to captain Gavin Price who ran in for Markham’s first try of the game, an incredible example of turning dogged defence into an devastating attack. Jordan Watkins’ conversion came just short as Hafodrynys kept a two-point lead, it set up an exciting final period of the game.

Markham suddenly played with much more freedom, with Hafodrynys tiring from putting so much effort into breaking the Markham defensive line. Time continued to run down, and Markham found themselves back in Hafodrynys, after good initial defence from the away side, the Village remained patient and recycled the ball, the ball was passed wide to Jordan Watkins who’s dazzling cameo was capped off with an incredible dummy which stunned the Hafodrynys defence before taking a strong tackle, but used his strength and will to carry the defender and extend the ball in one hand over the line and touch down for an incredible try, sending the Markham supporters into a frenzy and all the Markham players swarmed Watkins after his brilliant try, he then kept his composure to kick a brilliant conversion to extend Markham’s lead to 15-10. Markham had to defend out the last few minutes to secure an epic win, Hafodrynys regained the ball and attacked down the left side line however the fatigue kicked in with more handling errors costing them a chance of gaining any momentum. The away side tried one more time to attack, but again were pushed back by the outstanding Markham pack, who secured the win after forcing another error.

An epic encounter with two very good sides giving 110% to win the game, Markham’s young star Jordan Watkins amazing cameo and the Village’s try line defence puts the Village level on points with Deri at the top of League 3 East B. Markham’s winning run continues and they can look forward to a cup game against rivals Blackwood Stars in the Swalec Bowl next Saturday.


Try Scorers: Gavin Price, Jordan Watkins

Man of the Match: Luke Hughes

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