Bargoed vs Merthyr
Bargoed racked up ten tries in their biggest win of the season scoring a remarkable seventy points in a dazzling display of running rugby with wing Lewis Protheroe bagging a personal tally of four tries.
However it was Merthyr who took the lead within 30 seconds as Bargoed were caught offside and outside half Stephen Lang put over a penalty from 40 metres.
Protheroe scored the first of his four after five minutes. Leigh Meades tapped a quick penalty and scrum half Mike Roberts and centre James Pizey combined to put the winger over in the corner. Outside half Matthew Hurley converted well from the touchline. Lang hit back with a drop goal to keep Merthyr in touch at 7-6.
Gareth Dare finished off a fine move to put Bargoed 12-6 up before Hurley added a penalty. The third try came with just twenty two minutes on the clock. Hurley put in a long flat pass and young centre Luke Smalley joined in with some crisp handling before Protheroe squeezed in at the corner flag. Hurley’s conversion drifted wide and again Lang chipped away with a penalty to make it 22-9.
Bargoed piled on the pressure and referee Gwyn Morris thought long and hard about getting out the yellow card as Merthyr killed the ball under their posts. In the end only a penalty was awarded and Hurley put it over. Lang added two of his own to close the gap to 25-15 as the half drew to a close. However, there was still time for Bargoed to score their fourth and pick up the bonus point - Hurley again wrong footing the defence with a clever pass to full back Andrew MacLaughlan, who still had quite a bit to do to score and the whistle went with the home side comfortable at 30-15.
The Blues started the second half where they left off and were on the scoreboard again within a minute. This time Luke Smalley, having a fine game in the centre finishing off a sparkling move with an excellent jinking sidestepping try under the posts.
Two minutes later, Gareth Dare fielded a long kick and countered finding Protheroe coming infield at a fine angle for his hat-trick. Hurley added the extras to make it 44-15.
Merthyr didn’t help themselves when outside half Lang got sent to the sidelines for a shoulder charge on replacement hooker Luke Harwood. Bargoed took full advantage running in two more tries from Protheroe for his fourth and moments later chasing a long Hurley kick, the winger could easily have had a fifth but he sportingly eased off allowing replacement full back Josh Prosser to claim a touchdown. Hurley converting the latter to bring the score to 56-15 with ten minutes left. There was still time for more as prop John Lavender bullocked over from 15 metres and a tap and go penalty by centre James Pizey, by then playing at scrum half, putting Hurley over in the corner for the young outside half to cap a fine afternoon with a personal total of twenty five points.
However, the final word went to Merthyr with a lung bursting siege of the Bargoed line with scrum half Darryl Edwards going over and Lang adding the conversion. Final score 70-22
Scorers for the record:
Tries: Protheroe (4); MacLaughlan; Dare; Smalley; Hurley; Prosser; Lavender
Cons: Hurley (7)
Pens: Hurley (2)
Pens: Lang (4)