Pontypridd secured turnovers of possession to generate some early momentum, applying pressure but with no points reward.
It was Bridgend who drew first blood as outside half Dai Flanagan stroked over a penalty with thirteen minutes gone, but Ponty then responding with another phase of attacking play, striving hard to up the tempo of the game. Their efforts finally paid off as Simon Humberstone launched a well judged cross kick inviting winger Matthew Nuthall to gather and cross for a try.
Pontypridd were enjoying by far the greater share of possession and territory, but unable to drive home their advantage in a contest that lacked a vital spark going into its second quarter. A penalty converted by outside half Humberstone increased the visitors’ advantage as Bridgend continued to infringe, with centre Jamie Murphy dispatched to the sin bin.
Rounding off a dominant first half performance, Ponty launched a passing move along the back line, winger Chris Clayton cutting back inside to claim a try which Humberstone converted to give his team a creditable interval lead of 3pts to 15.
As both Ponty props were forced off with injury, the second half commenced with passive scrums, and being a far more evenly balanced contest. Bridgend seemed revitalised and launched a counter attack at pace from an interception with Ponty scrambling back in defence to prevent a score. Maintaining field position, the home side settled for three points from a Dai Flanagan penalty kicked with fifty-four minutes gone.
It was Bridgend who were now taking the initiative, time and again pressing towards their opponents’ twenty-two with the Ponty defence grafting hard to stem the flow of attacks. Pressure finally told as Flanagan chipped through for winger Kristian Phillips to claim a crucial try which Flanagan then converted.
A tense climax to the game was in prospect, but Pontypridd driving into home territory, keeping the ball tight to play down the clock. Deep into injury time, and still with errors being committed and turnovers secured by both sides, Bridgend set up a field position, and gained a favourable penalty decision for Dai Flanagan to launch the ball between the posts to seal a dramatic one point victory.
15.Gareth Wyatt. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Dafydd Lockyer (Gavin Dacey). 12.Gary Williams. 11.Matthew Nuthall. 10.Simon Humberstone (Dean Gunter). 9.Rhys Downes.
1.Stuart Williams (Chris Phillips). 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford (Darran Harris). 4.Jordan Sieniawski (Owen Sheppeard). 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 7.Wayne O’Connor (Calum Thomas). 8.Dan Godfrey.
|Bridgend (3) 16||Pontypridd (15) 15|
|Try: Phillips (74)||Tries: Nuthall (15); Clayton (38)|
|Con: Flanagan (74)||Con: Humberstone (38)|
|Pens: Flanagan (13,54,80+7)||Pen: Humberstone (33)|
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