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Principality Premiership Round-Up: Merthyr win inter-region derby at CAP

13th February 2018

Principality Premiership action continued last weekend, as all three of the region's clubs looked to build momentum following last week's victories. Cardiff played host to Merthyr in an inter-regional derby, while Pontypridd faced a tough trip to Eugene Park to take on Ebbw Vale.

Cardiff 20 Merthyr 25

League leaders, Merthyr, continued their winning ways in an entertaining encounter at the Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

The Ironmen looked to take control of the game from the off, using their trademark power in the pack to assert their dominance, and the tactic paid dividends as they opened the scoring.

The visitors opted to kick to the corner from a penalty, and Craig Locke was on hand to touch down from the base of the resulting drive.

Matthew Jarvis converted, before James Dixon converted a penalty to get the scoreboard ticking for the hosts.

However, the visitors bounced back to extend their lead as a Kyle Evans break released hooker Rhys James through for a try. Jarvis was off-target with the conversion, but he would soon add a further three points from the boot with a penalty.

James crossed for his second try - and Merthyr’s third - before the interval, as another strong driving line-out caused problems for the Blue and Blacks’ defence.

Jarvis’ conversion made it 22-3 to the visitors as the teams went in for half time.

Steve Law’s side would bounce back in the second half as Adam Jones crossed the whitewash following an impressive break by James Beal. 

Merthyr seemed destined to seal a bonus point with a period of sustained pressure on the Cardiff defence. However, Llywarch ap Myrddin was on hand to intercept at a crucial point, and the full back had enough pace to run the length of the field for Cardiff’s third try. 

In the final play of the game, Gareth Thompson added a long range penalty to seal a losing bonus point for the hosts.

Ebbw Vale 19 Pontypridd 5

Ebbw Vale opened the scoring at Eugene Park through the boot of Dragons outside half, Dorian Jones.

However, it was the visitors who went over for the game’s first try as Ceri Sweeney showed a touch of class to release lock Chris Dicomidis through for a score. 

The lead would switch again as Jones added two further penalties to give his side a 9-5 lead at half time.

The visitors were reduced to 14 men early in the second half, as Corey Domachowski was sent to the sin bin following an infringement in the scrum. 

While Ponty pressed hard for their second try of the afternoon, Ebbw Vale struck against the run of play as a Dale Stuckey chip bounced favourably into the hands of centre James Lewis, who raced clear to touch down.

Jones made no mistakes with the conversion and added another penalty with 65 minutes on the clock to seal the win.

Merthyr head straight into another inter-regional derby this week, as they host Pontypridd at The Wern.

Meanwhile, Cardiff travel to Church Bank to take on Llandovery.