It was a case of déjà vu for Pontypridd, as for the second year in a row a last minute penalty sealed the win for the home side. Last year it was James Stephenson who stole the win, in this game it was replacement Daniel Evans who slotted over from 40m.
It started well for Pontypridd, a Simon Humberstone penalty just after a minute opening the score. With the home side struggling in the line outs, it was against the general run of play when Carmarthen scored the opening try after thirteen minutes through No 8 Craig Everett, converted by Chris Banfield. But three minutes later Humberstone put over his second penalty following a yellow card for Quins centre Alex Pickersgill, for holding Dafydd Lockyer back. Unfortunately, Ponty could not take advantage of the extra player, and it was the Quins who scored through a Banfield penalty after sixteen minutes.
It was Ponty that were making the clean breaks, with Dafydd Lockyer, and Chris Dicomidis leading the way, but unfortunately these were not converted into points. On the half hour mark a break by Dafydd Lockyer on his own 22 was taken on by co- centre Gavin Dacey. It was thought that the move had broken down, but the ball was kicked ahead by Adam Thomas who followed up to touch down in the corner for an unconverted try. It was the home side that took a six point advantage into half time, a quick tap penalty on half way by scrum half Ricky Richards was taken on by Haydn Pugh and it was Richards who was on hand to cross near the posts for a try converted by Banfield.
The second half was dominated by Pontypridd, looking to break their away day hoodoo, applying the pressure on the home side, and continuing their dominance in the set piece. The home side’s lead was cut to three points with Humberstone’s third penalty after fourty seven minutes. Ponty took the lead for the third time after a period of sustained pressure led by Pat Palmer and Dan Godfrey on the Quins try line as Matthew Nuthall score his tenth try of the season after fifty one minutes. Humberstone missed the difficult conversion wide out on the left. Quins went down to fourteen players again when flanker James Davies was shown a yellow card by referee Wayne Davies. Humberstone missed the penalty from long distance.
With seven minutes to go, Ponty’s advantage was extended when Adam Thomas scored his second try, with Humberstone putting Ponty into a nine point lead. But the home side hit back almost immediately, with literally their first foray into Ponty’s 22, some poor tackling allowing wing Jason Harries to score near the posts for Daniel Evans to convert.
And as per last season, there was a late, late ending to the game, when a controversial penalty gave the Quins a chance to win the game which Evans duly took. Despite a frantic finish, it was not to be for Pontypridd, as their run of defeats at the Quins continues for at least another year.
15.Adam Thomas 14. Lewis I Williams (rep Gareth Wyatt - 77mins) 13.Gavin Dacey 12.Dafydd Lockyer 11.Matthew Nuthall 10.Simon Humberstone 9.Andrew Jenkins (rep Lewis Jones - 46 mins)
1.Ken Knaggs (rep Ryan Harford - 44mins) 2.Huw Dowden (rep Darran Harris - 76 mins) 3.Pat Palmer 4.Craig Locke (rep Jake Thomas - 44 mins) 5.Ryan Savage 6.Chris Dicomidis (Capt) 7.Tom Hetherington 8.Dan Godfrey (rep Owen Sheppeard - 64 mins)
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