WITH a vigorous start and the added benefit of a tail wind, Monmouth were quick to put visitors New Tredegar under pressure at the weekend and within four minutes wing Matt Tabb had put them six points ahead from centre of the field penalties.

Almost immediately centre Andrew Davies had turned the screw again with a sharp break but his lobbed pass was intercepted, and from a defensive position New Tredegar broke in return right up-field, to be impeded temporarily by the back-tracking Tabb. The visitor's support capitalised on the disrupted defence to take the lead 6-7.

The lead was extended to four points with a penalty for offside from 30 metres, but Monmouth reacted with a run from near the half-way line by flanker Mike Griffiths, and from the ruck that resulted from his cutting in towards the posts, the ball was worked out to the right.

Captain and No.8 Sam Harding dived in at the corner and Tabb converted from the touch-line to re-establish the lead.

With their tails up, full-back Huw Adams broke through juggling the ball as he went. Jake Meredith took the ball on but was stopped on the line.

New Tredegar recovered their ascendancy when a kick out of defence was charged down, and despite it being recovered, Monmouth shipped a bad ball along the line only for a visitor to cut through a gap between two defending forwards to score near the posts.

The kick ensured the lead became theirs at 13-17 and all this within the first quarter.

Griffiths again proved combative running the ball back at his opponents, but again he cut back inside, ignoring an overlap on his right only on this occasion to have the ball turned over.

When it was recovered, quick hands and a long pass to Tabb on the left brought another try which he managed to dab down in the process of being tackled.

In a game marked by its to and fro nature the New Tredegar rejoinder caught Monmouth in possession behind their own line, and the resultant scrum saw one of their players saunter through a gap alongside to again take the lead 20-24 with the kick.

By the half-time whistle the ball had been lost on the line, a further penalty had been awarded and Monmouth gained a yellow card for clearing out an obstruction.

The time to regain breath and take stock allowed the visitors to retain their focus because first Monmouth missed what could have been an expensive tackle and then from defence Monmouth kicked aimlessly and high for the visitors to gather and use their overlap on the left to move further ahead to 20-29 and only two minutes into the half.

Monmouth responded well with Lane first gaining ground from his break and then fellow centre Davies setting up a move which Harding was able to complete near the sticks.

Only two points adrift now and Adams made yet another run which was halted. Second Row Jonno Sparey was able to dive over taking two defenders with him to take the lead again 32-29. The wind proved too tricky for Tabb this time.

Flanker Ollie Gray kept Monmouth on the front foot again with a tackle and a pick-up of the ball but soon he was side-lined with a knee injury. Not to be out done Monmouth made substitutes with first wing Adam Roberts showing willingness and imagination, close to the ground player Stacey Edwards shoring up the front row and then flanker Gareth Morgan taking up where Gray had left off.

Play was frantic now as fly-half Ricketts was late tackled resulting in a yellow card and a penalty kick that hit the post; Davies made another deep break but was halted by an offside decision andTabb was on hand to kick another penalty for a 35-29 lead.

The visitors were not yet done with three minutes of ordinary time to play. A deep kick to wing Jake Meredith was run back but when he held on they kicked the penalty for a touch on the left which was tapped back to no one, allowing the visitors to score again but failing to convert, bringing the final score to 35-34.