Cross Keys applied the early pressure and were duly rewarded as Jason Williams slotted over a penalty following a lineout infringement. The visitors responded gamely with a drive upfield allowing Jason Pocock to fire over a penalty in reply, tallying the scores at three points apiece. The game was evenly balanced, but lacking any real impetus as the Keys followed a tactic of kicking for position, with Ponty attempting to run back at their opponents, and eventually rewarded as Pocock converted another penalty.
With Cross Keys intent on slowing the game down by fair means or foul, Ponty’s frustrations boiled over as Nathan Strong threw a punch in anger, the number 8 red carded for his indiscretions. Ponty continued to press forward, trying to put width to their play, but all too often thwarted by their opponents’ spoiling tactics, and going into the interval leading by a narrow margin of just 3 pts to 6.
Again it was the Keys who got off to the better start in the second period, their forward drives earning a penalty opportunity which Williams converted. Ponty’s response was to run back at their opponents, with full back Jason Pocock leading the line, and then stepping up to hoist over another penalty, reclaiming the lead for his team. An intense period of Keys pressure followed, with fourteen man Pontypridd defending against a series of scrummages on their own line. A concerted shunt by the home pack allowed scrum half Gareth Betts to claim a vital touchdown, which went unconverted.
Undaunted, Ponty again responded by attempting to attack with centre Dafydd Lockyer and Jason Pocock punching holes in the gain line. A huge amount of pressure however went unrewarded as two penalties and a drop goal attempt drifted wide of the posts. With Ponty going all out for a late winning score, the Keys broke upfield with a kick and rush along the greasy surface, centre Gareth Turner diving over to score a crucial try, converted by Jason Williams. A spirited display by a Pontypridd team down to fourteen men for most of the game, eventually came to nothing, going down to defeat by 18 pts to 9.