08 April 2018 / Club News

Markham suffer defeat to relentless league leaders Blaina

This was a big fixture in the context of the season, with Blaina and Markham both fighting for promotion at the top of the table. The away side started the game well, disrupting the breakdown and a clever kick down the left almost saw a try scoring opportunity for Dewi Carpenter. As Blaina looked to attack from their own half, a floated ball was pounced on by Dewi Carpenter who raced away to give Markham the lead, the conversion was added for a 7-0. The lead didn’t last for long however, as Blaina’s dangerous back line pulled Markham side to side – the ball was moved quickly through the hands before a superb dummy saw the Blaina player breakthrough for a great score, the conversion was added to tie the game at 7-7. Markham responded well with a dominant set piece, forcing Blaina to concede penalties, Gareth Price struck the ball well to give Markham a three-point lead of 7-10.

After failing to secure ball from the restart, Blaina were in for their second try after superb pass from their 10 put the centre through the hole for a try, Blaina led 14-10 after the conversion. Blaina played with a lot of confidence throwing the ball out wide, and poor tackling in midfield put Markham under more pressure, they added a penalty to extend their lead to 17-10. Markham continued to show flashes in attack, with some great running from Gareth Price and Luke Hughes and a beautifully struck penalty kept Markham in touch trailing just 17-13. This was wiped out almost immediately after Blaina restored their seven-point lead with a simple kick, the away side would have been happy trailing by just seven after a lot of pressure in the first half. However, the first five minutes either side of half time proved to be crucial in the result, Markham tried desperately to hold the home side out before half time, but they were cut apart again with a sharp move, the conversion was added before the half time whistle blew with Blaina leading 27-13.

Blaina kept the same intensity at the start of the second half, Markham continued to fall off tackles. The home side disrupted the line out, before attacking the retreating defence, the ball was moved wide before their number 13 picked a hole to score another try, the away side facing a long way back at 34-13. Blaina were now playing at a ferocious pace against a dispirited Markham side, and the quickly recycled ball was killing the away side, it looked all too easy as Blaina scored yet another try with a few simple passes out wide, Blaina now leading 39-13 with the win seemingly secured. Then came Markham’s brightest spell of the match, dominating possession and scoring two excellent tries, the first came with Blaina reduced to 14 men – Markham went to the corner and forced their way over with an excellent catch and drive finished off by Gareth Price, reducing the lead to 18-39. Markham’s confidence picked up and they were attacking at will with another great break from Luke Hughes, they showed great composure before a superb offload put Ieuan Hale over for a great try in the corner, the conversion was narrowly missed with Blaina now leading 39-23, there was plenty of time for Markham to get something out of the game.

Markham continued to show great spirit, but after a knock on a counter attack from Blaina almost saw them extend their lead, Markham’s desperate defence forcing a mistake. Markham’s scrum had gone well through the game, but it was dominated at the worst possible time before the ball spilled out the back and was pounced on by Blaina right on the try line – a score which secured the win for Blaina and made sure Markham had no hope of coming back. The conversion was added to give Blaina a 46-23 lead. Blaina continued to keep a high intensity thriving off any Markham mistakes, they added two more tries – the first coming off another mistake at the line out breaking through before a superb offload put Blaina straight through. Blaina hit the 60-point mark after a break out wide, before the referee blew the final whistle. A harsh result for the Village but Blaina played at an intensity which Markham could simply not deal with, Markham will have time to reflect on this loss before the return fixture between the two sides in two weeks where Blaina will come in confident mood, the Village will look for revenge as there is still plenty to play for in the league season.

Final Score: Blaina 60-23 Markham

Try Scorers: Dewi Carpenter, Ieuan Hale, Gareth Price 


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