Errors were made by both teams as the game got underway in bitterly cold conditions. Ponty were struggling to achieve a line out platform, conceding ground, and eventually points as Simon Daniels drilled over a penalty for the home team. The Valleys team were given an early opportunity to draw level, but outside half Richard Langmead’s penalty attempt rebounding off a post. Some barging runs from Strong and Martenko gave Ponty impetus to advance, following up with a strong scrummage , but all the good work then undone by handling errors.
At last laying claim to a good share of possession, Ponty set up a fine midfield break by centre Dafydd Lockyer, and with home lock Euros Evans then sin binned for infringing. A huge amount of pressure from the visitors however went unrewarded. Ponty conceded the ball in contact, allowing the Quins to set off on a snap counter offensive up the flank, rounded off with a try for scrum half Ricky Richards. Now into the second quarter of the game, Ponty were still struggling to get to grips with the conditions or with their own game plan.
The home team once more enjoyed a period of dominance, drilling kicks down the tram lines for territorial advantage. Ponty in turn took a couple of quick tap penalties in an attempt to up the tempo of the game, with forwards Scott Roberts and Chris Martenko leading their charges upfield. Setting up an effective line out platform, Ponty continued to advance towards the home line, only for Quins centre Darren Simpson to latch on to a loose pass and cruise away the length of the field for an opportunist try, which was converted by Daniels. Ponty were now chasing the game, but still spilling ball and unable to threaten. Any attempts by Ponty to drive forwards, with lock Chris Martenko again leading the line, were blocked by a stubborn home defence, and Carmarthen reaching the interval with a lead of 15 pts to 0 to their credit.
Ponty still looked ineffective in their efforts to attack as the second period commenced, conceding ground and giving away penalties. A break by Dafydd Lockyer injected some impetus into the visitors’ play, fellow centre Paul Matthews running clear for what looked to be a certain score, but hauled down short of the line. To rub salt into the Ponty wounds, their prop Stuart Williams was sin binned for taking out an opponent off the ball. A double substitution saw Morgan Stoddart and Gavin Dacey coming on in place of Richard Langmead and Darren Berry as Ponty once more set out to attack, with Dafydd Lockyer breaching the home midfield defence. A weaving run from Morgan Stoddart almost produced the goods for Ponty, but the full back tackled into touch just short.
The visitors continued to pound into the home twenty-two, but despite a phase of intense pressure, were unable to break the deadlock. As Quins prop Mark O’Kelly was sin binned for infringing, Ponty finally accepted the chance to put points on the board through a Jason Pocock penalty from in front of the posts. With Ryan Harford on as temporary replacement for Ben Rose to compete the scrums, Ponty were driven back into their own twenty-two, the home team shipping the ball out wide, creating an overlap for winger Mike Davies to cross for a try, a wide angle conversion to follow from Simon Davies.
The contest was already all but a lost cause for Ponty, who still went all out for attack, but looking very limited in their capabilities. With Chris Dicomidis on for Chris Martenko, Ponty were once more guilty of conceding turnovers and yielding ground. Another interception allowed home centre Darren Simpson to cut free for a try, which was again converted by Daniels. In a vain attempt to salvage some comfort from an inept display, Ponty made advances to the home line, and were finally rewarded with a penalty try which Jason Pocock converted. Frustrations boiled over into a fracas amongst the forwards, with Ponty once more conceding ground, and seeing home outside half Simon Daniels slotting over a snap drop goal.
Further late substitutions saw Tom Dickens coming on for Gareth Jones, Wayne O’Connor for Ben Rose and Ian Poley for Scott Roberts as Ponty looked to attack going into injury time. A late foray was rewarded as hard working centre Dafydd Lockyer crossed for a try in the corner, but all too little and far too late to make any difference to the outcome of a disappointing afternoon for the Valleys team, going down to defeat by 32 pts to 15.
15.Jason Pocock 14.Chris Clayton 13.Paul Matthews 12.Dafydd Lockyer 11.Darren Berry (Gavin Dacey) 10.Richard Langmead (Morgan Stoddart) 9.Gareth Jones (Tom Dickens)
1.Stuart Williams (Ryan Harford) 2.Leighton Davies 3.Scott Roberts (Ian Poley) 4.Chris Martenko (Chris Dicomidis)5.Grant Harrington 6.Lee Evans 7.Ben Rose(Ryan Harford temp / Wayne O’Connor) 8.Nathan Strong - cpt