At a well-attended Wednesday evening game, this encounter had all the hallmarks of a classic cup game, as a last-gasp Will Bevan try saw Crickhowell beat Monmouth to reach the final of the Ivor Jones Cup.
Monmouth 2nds 16 - Crickhowell 23
Report by Mal Powell
Both sides gave their all, running rugby was the order of the day and the lead changed hands several times to make it a real thriller.
Crickhowell took an early lead after Lewis Evans slotted over a penalty awarded for offside. Monmouth had the opportunity to level the scores shortly afterwards but were unlucky in their attempt.
Monmouth then had a period where they dominated possession and were rewarded with another penalty which this time was successful. The score at the interval was 3-3.
After the break Crickhowell took the lead again after an elusive run from Harry Summers following a break by Evans, who then added the conversion.
Both sides put in tremendous defensive efforts and Crickhowell did well to counter the larger Monmouth pack. It was their power, however, that led to them forcing their driving maul over the line but, unluckily for them, the ball was adjudged to have been knocked on.
Shortly afterwards, the home side were awarded another penalty after handling in the ruck and reduced the deficit to 6-10.
Monmouth then took the lead after securing the ball at the line-out and some slick handling across the line saw them cross the whitewash and add the conversion.
After driving the play upfield, Crickhowell were rewarded with another penalty at the breakdown which Lewis Evans kicked high and gained the points by the narrowest of margins. He gained another not long afterwards but, not be outdone, it was then Monmouth’s turn to take the play to their visitors and another successful kick drew the scores level at 16-16.
With time running out and the prospect of extra-time looming, in the dying moments, a searing break by Tom Young was halted but not before he passed the ball to Will Bevan, up in close support, who cut inside and raced through the gap to score the winning try, which was once again ably converted by Evans.
Crickhowell will now face Abergavenny Quins in the final at Pontypool United’s ground (Conway Road, Pontypool, NP4 6HL) on Wednesday, April 26 with a 7pm kick-off.