Thursday, 16 May 2013

RGC handed title as Merthyr survive

RGC 1404 claimed the One East title last night without a try being scored, as their rivals Ystrad Rhondda suffered a shock 38-19 home loss to Merthyr.

In a match with huge ramifications at both ends of the table, both Ystrad and Merthyr went into the clash knowing anything less than victory would spell an end to their dreams.
The Ironmen, who were fighting for their very survival, knew a win would save their Division One status and send Mountain Ash down instead of them, while an Ystrad victory would have seen RGC needing to beat Rhydyfelin on Saturday  for the title.
With both sets of players and a raucous crowd at the ready, the battle commenced but there was only one winner on the day. Merthyr, fighting for their Division One lives, threw everything at the hosts and outscored them six tries to three.
Speedster Alan Howard was talismanic for the Ironmen on the wing as he powered his way to a hat-trick, while Matthew Trowbridge, Jack Thomas and Steve Lang also crossed. Lang added five penalties and a conversion.
For Ystrad, it is a case of so near yet so far: at times they were imperious this season but their nail in the coffin was their loss at Penallta last week. The runners' up tries came courtesy of Dai Gratton, Liam Davies and Jay Harris, while Rhys Truelove slotted two conversions.
For the North Walians, their match on Saturday against Rhydyfelin will be a celebratory occasion and Chris Horsman’s men can look forward to testing themselves in the Championship next season.


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