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Emma Rogers & Sarah Cryer

Cardiff vs Pontypridd

The Ponty faithful travelled en mass for this New Years Day encounter.

With both teams evenly matched up front, the first half saw a fantastic forward battle with the Ponty pack having the upper hand.

The backs, hungry to make the most of possession, saw the Cardiff defence hold out, but won a penalty for Cardiff collapsing the scrum.

With good ball allowing the backs to play, a great run by Stuckey resulted in a penalty for Cardiff not rolling away after the tackle, which was kicked by Ben Jones and put Ponty on the scoreboard first within 9 minutes making the score Cardiff 0 – Ponty 3.

Great pressure by Alex Webber who followed up a high ball, saw Cardiff fumble and another penalty chance goal chance for Ponty that wasn’t executed by Ben Jones.

The forward battle continued with Cardiff making the most of Ponty’s mistakes saw Tom James make a powerful surge up the touchline. Ponty’s defense stood firm and the pressure saw a forward pass by Cardiff’s Ben Thomas.

The forwards dug deep and with Cardiff collapsing the scrum, a line out kick to Ponty with the difficult attempt missed by Ben Jones.

At 19 mins,  Ponty conceded a penalty making it all square at 3 – 3.

With both teams equally matched,  Cardiff conceded a penalty for an offence at the ruck which was unfortunately out of range for Ben Jones.

Cardiff collapsed the scrum and a great line kick by Ben Jones resulted in a lineout win and a superb push over try by the pack with Chris Dicomidis touching down putting Ponty 8 -3 up in the first half.

Just before half time, with Alex Knott through for a certain try which was not to be, saw Cardiff score from an interception try, with Gareth Thompson touching down under the posts. This sees the turning point of the game for Ponty.

Half Time Cardiff 10 – Ponty 8

The second half saw Cardiff build on their lead with a penalty against Ponty for holding on. With their tails now up, the Cardiff backs executed their set piece with winger Tom Gatt scoring in the corner. The conversion from Gareth Thompson took the score to 20 points to 8.

With Ponty backs showing flare and determination, a great phase saw Alex Knott break away and score a try which was converted by Ben Jones.

With the score at 20 points to 15, both teams played expansive rugby, but it was Cardiff who were next on the score sheet with replacement Lewis Jones getting on the score sheet for Cardiff. The conversion took it to 27-15

The Ponty bench provided fresh legs and with Cardiff also making changes, both teams sustained pressure which inevitably forced errors. With Cardiff now dominant, a Cardiff scrum saw possession to Rhys Carre for a try which was converted. The score now 34-15

Ponty pressure and determination almost saw a push over try but Cardiff held out.

Credit to both teams for a great battle, and a superb turnout by Ponty’s supporters the 16th man as always helping raise the roof at CAP.  It seems the support wasn’t enough to see a win for Ponty against Cardiff who secure themselves a bonus point from their win.

Final Score  34-15

1 Ian George, 2 Liam Belcher, 3 Keiron Assiratti, 4 Shay Smallman, 5 Chris Dicomidis, 6 Rhod jones, 7 Rhys Shellard, 8 Alun Lawrence, 9 Dane Blacker, 10 Ben jones, 11 Cam Lewis, 12 Daf Lockyer (c), 13 Alex Knott, 14 Alex Webber, 15 Dale Stuckey
16 Huw Owens, 17 Geraint Clarke, 18 Gareth Smith, 19 Sean Moore, 20 Sion Edwards, 21 Dai Francis, 22 Gab Davies, 23 Diggy  Bird