Merthyr Tydfil 33 Whitehaven 5
14th March 2008, 20:00
SECOND ROUND FOR THE CUP I MERTHYR V WHITEHAVEN
Owing to the state of the ground at Merthyr this match was brought off at the Aberdare Athletic Ground. This was the second round for the Northern Union Cup, in the first, round of which competition Merthyr beat Beverley on the latter's ground with ease. The turf today was in a greasy condition, and the teams fielded before a good crowd of spectators, most of whom, of course, hailed from Merthyr. Teams: -
Merthyr: Back, Paddison; three-quarter backs. Smith, Cowmeadow, Thomas, and James; haJf-baoks, Rees Rees and Harrison; forwards, Dai Jones, D. B. Davies, D. Thomas, Beavan, and Millar.
Whitehaven: Back. Fitzsimmons; three- quarter backs. J. Travoskar, G. Fisher, W. Denver, and J. Smith; half-backs, J. Smailwood and M. Westmore; forwards, J. Kelly, J. O'Neill, J. Bean, P. Bracer, and two others. Referee, Mr. Turner (Worthington).
Merthyr kicked off, and, Rees misfielding, Whitehaven made a burst into Merthyr territory. Ponty Thomas broke away tor Merthyr, but lost the ball, and, from a cross-kick by Syd James, Whitehaven were on the trot, and only just failed to score.
From a breakaway by Ponty Thomas, Dai Jones got the ball, and, fielding to D. Thomas, the latter transferred in the nick of time to Syd James, who scored in the corner. Dai Jones failed wih the kick. Play continued in the Whitehaven quarters. and ultimately Rees Rees got away, and after some neat passing amongst the Merthyr backs, Cowmeadow scored. The place-kick was unsuccessful. Fielding a hugh punt from one oi the Whitehaven men, Paddison beat man after man. He gave to Smith, who. after a fine run, put on another try, but the place-kick again failed. Merthyr were clearly having the better of matters. From a cross-kick from W. Thomas, the left wing lost a good chance by over-running the ball. Paddison made a fine save by fearlessly dropping on the ball from a forward rush by White- haven. Merthyr were soon attacking again, thanks to a fine dribble by D. B. Davies. An off-side by Merthyr nullified matters. White- haven once more invaded Merthyr territory, and looked dangerous. Paddison, however, brought relief. Harrison got away nicely, and gave to Ponty Thomas, but the latter's pass was intercepted by the Whitehaven full-back. For a long time play waged in midfield, and Whitehaven were now doing much better than in the earlier stages of the game. They relied mainly on forward rushes. Harrison got away, and, rounding his opponents, nicely gave to Smith, who took the ball beautifully, and raced in with Merthyr's fourth try. The plate-kick was again a failure. From a free-kick given against Merthyr, Whitehaven missed an easy chance through a bad kick by one of their forwards. Rees Rees got the ball, and a splendid bout of passing ensues which was spoiled by Ponty Thomas’s pass to Sid Thomas going wrong. Merthyr were now pressing, and had many chances, but the final touches were generally weak. Smith got over in a fairly easy position, but the place-kick failed.
Half-time score:- G. T. Pts.
Merthyr…………. 0 5 15
Whitehaven…….0 0 0
Though Merthyr had held a commanding lead at half-time, the game had not been so one-sided as to make it uninteresting. Whitehaven restarted, but Merthyr was soon on the aggressive again, and after a splendid round of passing only just missed a score. Whitehaven then made another of their own forward rushes, and Merthyr only saved on the line. Whitehaven were pressing hotly, and had hard lines on several occasions. Eventually their efforts were rewarded by Fisher getting over. Fitzsimmons added the extra points. Merthyr, after attacking for a few minutes, were again forced to defend and some exciting play took place near their line. A free was awarded to Whitehaven, but Fitzsimmons missed. Once more Merthyr attacked, and from a pass by his centre Syd James scored a magnificent try, the best of the match so far. The place kick again failed. Several fine bouts of passing, were made by the Merthyr threes, but the attack broke down at the last moment. "Ponty" Thomas broke through on his own, and immediately afterwards Rees Rees beat the opposing forwards very easily, and scored behind the pests. Syd. James this time landed a goal. James got over again and converted. Merthyr were now all over their opponents. In the last minute D. B. Davies scored, Syd. James converting.
Notwithstanding the final difference between the scores, the gamp proved quite interesting. Several fine bouts of play were shown by Merthyr, the passing of whose backs was really fine, although the state of the ground made accurate handling a matter of extreme difficulty. Whitehaven, though beaten, fought gamely to the end, and their score was generously applauded. As a combination, they were weak, and relied mainly on individual efforts and for- ward rushes. Naturally, Fitzsimmons had plenty to do and he did it well.
Merthyr easily beat their lighter opponents, and Rees Rees fairly had a day out. The crowd was evidently delighted. Rees Rees being a great favourite. Paddison at back played a champion game.
Summed up, the game was a very fine one and calculated to do a great deal of good to Northern Unionism at Aberdare.
Half-time score:- G. T. Pts.
Merthyr…………. 3 9 33
Whitehaven…….1 1 5