Mountain Ash v Treorchy Programme notes.(Taken from original fixture dated 19/12/09.)
Good afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen and welcome to Parc Dyffryn Pennar for this SWALEC League Division 2 East fixture and after quite a few years absence we would like to extend a warm welcome back to Mountain Ash the players,officials and supporters of Treorchy RFC and our match referee who is Mr. Kevin Brooks of Birchgrove , Swansea.Today's match sponsors are MOUNTAIN ASH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB VICE PATRONS, this being their second such venture of the season after sponsoring our opening league home fixture against Penallta back in September.The Vice Patrons have been an integral part of the Old Firm for a number of seasons now with their ranks around the seventy mark and their continued financial support, along with all our sponsors is very much appreciated.Any potential new members should not hesitate to contact John Griffiths at the club , he will gladly pass on details and be more than pleased to hear from you.This particular fixture has an impressive history, dating back as far as the late 1800's. In our more recent history, both The Old Firm and The Zebra's were the trailblazers for the Mid-District RU with the introduction of the Heineken National Leagues, being the flagbearers of Valley rugby and enjoying a great deal of success, with Treorchy going on to compete the highest level and clashes between the two sides were always eagerly anticipated attracting huge crowds to The Oval in the Rhondda and to the Rec here in the Cynon Valley where many tumultuous contests took place. Both clubs have fallen somewhat from those heady days and now find themselves in the very competitive Division 2 East which tests the mettle of each team on a weekly basis.The Zebras's are certainly making a good fist of it however, topping the table at the halfway stage after gaining promotion by winning Division 3 South East last season.The club was formed in 1886/87, their colours being Black & White.They play on The Oval with their clubhouse sited nearby at Regent Street. Club captain is Jamie Summers, Team Manager Howard Lazaurus with back's coach being Richard Davies.Treorchy's Head Coach will need no introduction whatsoever to followers of Mountain Ash - Meirion Daniels enjoyed a number of seasons with the Black & Ambers both as a talented flanker, where he was joined by a number of former Zebra's, Brandon Cook, Andrew Jones (Lefty) and Martin Rowe and latterly as forwards coach with The Old Firm. We congratulate Meirion on his success and wish him all the best for the future, excluding this and the final game of the season of course! Last Saturday, they easily disposed of their hosts in the second round of the SWALEC Plate, Maesteg Quins being put to the sword by 55 points to 7.We currently trail the league leaders by 10 points making this afternoon's clash a must win fixture for the Old Firm if we have aspirations to be in the promotion mix during the next few months.Saturday's home defeat at the hands of Llantwit Fardre saw us exit this seasons SWALEC Plate competition in disappointing circumstances. The game was a stop start affair, not helped by an inconsistant and lenient performance from referee Williams and consequently there were very few moments of quality to wake the crowd from it's slumbers.The visitors won the game minutes from the end with a long range penalty from full back Kotyla, that being the only score of the match. But just as it looked as if our injury jinx had abated, no fewer than four of our players who took part in that match had to recieve hospital treatment. First to go after about five minutes was outside half Owen Roberts with a fractured collar bone, followed by captain Craig Evans with a shoulder ligament injury. His replacement Paul Lloyd lasted a further ten minutes before being substituted due to a cut head, these three changes in the first quarter did little for Mount's chances as several players were forced to finish the match out of position.So once again our playing resources will be stretched to the limit with scrum half Meirion Thomas once again ruled out after sustaining a shoulder injury in the Llantwit game,although Dean O'Brien did come through his first game of the season for the Athletic last Saturday unscathed, both Adrian Owen and James Cowdry remain inactive,it was however encouraging to see Youth team captain Thomas Withers make his first team debut for the club as a replacement against Llantwit Fardre, maybe the club should invest in a quality excorcist to perform a bit of mumbo jumbo around the Mount, interested parties please step forward, holy water supplied! On the subject of holy water,the Officers and Management Committee of Mountain Ash RFC are pleased to announce a decrease in the bar prices of beer, lager and cider until further notice. As from today, you will be able to buy your favourite tipple for 5p less! The Committee remains extremely grateful for the continued support shown by the members of this Club and are fully committed to rewarding that loyalty. The Committee have borne this heavily in mind whilst making its decision and will continue to strive to make the Club as attractive as it can be in any way possible. Next Saturday, Llantwit Fardre return for a Boxing Day league fixture with a 2-30 kick off here at Parc Dyffryn Pennar.Tomorrow afternoon one of South Wales' top bands 'TheThornz' will be strutting their stuff down the club, there's free admission so get in early as a big crowd is expected. A full itinery of Christmas and New Years fixtures and entertainment can be seen on the posters in the club, check them out as there is plenty going on with MARFC over the festive period.Congratulations to the two winners who shared £3,120 on last weeks club lottery ' Lucky 4'. Today the prize reverts to £1,500 - tickets available at the usual outlets.Best of luck to the Old Firm today and to all our teams that take to the field this weekend. Finally on behalf of the Players, Officers & Management Committeee of MARFC, a happy and prosporous Christmas & New Year to you all.