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06 May 2017 / Club News

The Village fight hard but come up short against powerful Deri side

Both teams have been chomping at the bit this week for this game, with the winner crowned champions of League 3 East C. The two sides had been on excellent form this year with Markham not losing a league game since the start of the season, and Deri’s only loss came against Markham in the reverse fixture in a very good game.

A superb crowd gathered before the kick off with excellent support for both sides, and many neutral fans looking forward to this crucial encounter. The home side began well putting Markham under pressure with fierce tackling, Markham were able to weather the storm for the first five minutes and there was a very tense feel to the game, there was superb competition at the breakdown with both sides showing incredible discipline and holding their ground. A crucial factor was Markham’s lineout which was disrupted time after time, as Markham could not get any clean ball. Deri’s tactic which worked well in the opening quarter of the game was continuous powerful carries from the forwards, they kept making ground and powered over the line and they managed to get the ball down for the first try of the game, a good conversion was added to give Deri a 7-0 lead.

Markham responded well after Stefan Evans jumped well and secured the ball of the kick off, Deri were penalised on the back foot. Anthony John struck the ball well to get Markham on the board with the score now 7-3. The wind was playing havoc and a very good kick forward from Deri landed and bounced awkwardly in Markham’s 22, after a knock on Deri secured the ball and pounced on the mistake with three quick passes out wide for an opportunistic try and a real hammer blow to the Village. The home side continued to dominate in the trenches with their excellent back row setting themselves up in the back line and carrying hard getting over the gain line, they kicked a penalty in front of the posts to add to their lead at 15-3. The Village threatened with a few good bursting runs from Kris Meredith and Gareth Price but Deri’s defence regrouped well and Markham could not get any width on the ball to create an overlap. The half time whistle blew and the Village needed to up their intensity to have any chance in the second half.

The Village looked sharper at the start the second half, putting more pressure on Deri with some crunching hits. Deri were penalised for offside, and Anthony John slotted it over to reduce the deficit at 15-6. The game began to get more open with players from both sides out on their feet, a clever kick forward in Markham’s 22 caught the team off guard and the Deri player showed great awareness to dive on the ball as extended their lead to two converted tries. The Village continued to show heart and carried the ball hard through Jason Jones. The Village moved the ball wider and moved into Deri’s 22, again the lack of space was evident and Deri managed to turn the ball over, from the knock on they moved the ball out wide and their winger was sent free into open field and sprinted the whole way before unnecessarily showboating before putting the ball down, the players and fans roared as the Broncos took a 27-6 lead and there was a long way back for The Village.

With Deri’s defence coming up hard and shutting down any gaps, Gareth Price tried a little chip forward for the Village it worked superbly as Dewi Carpenter gathered the ball, he was caught but gave a superb offload to Lewis Benjamin ran in for the try to give the Village hope with plenty of time remaining, the conversion was added to reduce Deri’s lead to 27-13. Markham seemed to gain confidence and began to find gaps in the defence as they would enter Deri’s 22 again, however they could not put the final move together as a forward pass cost them a chance. The Village continued to tackle hard and show incredible fight, but Deri remained smart and kept the ball with more good carrying. The final whistle blew and the Deri fans, coaches and players let out a huge roar as they celebrated winning the league.

The Village can learn a lot from this loss, and who would have thought we would get back to back promotions, it’s been another outstanding season there’s been ups and downs all here. We’ve seen some absolutely exhilarating rugby which will most certainly continue next season, as we look forward to a new challenge in League 3 East B. Markham RFC is an integral part of the village, and we’ve seen that with amazing support through all the games this season. The Village will look to respond quickly and put in a good performance in their last fixture of the league season away to Forgeside next Wednesday. There will be silverware up for grabs on the 20th May with the Village looking to repeat their Cyrus Davies Cup win of last year against local rivals Aberbargoed, it took a perfect performance from the best side in the league to stop us winning back to back league titles, we can certainly take heart from that.

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