On Sunday 13th November Pontypridd Under 12's took on neighbours Llantwit Fardre and went down to defeat by 12pts to 7.
This was a difficult fixture for Pontypridd with the previous four games having been cancelled, and a young Ponty side having not played for almost five weeks. Ponty were now due to face a team that forms the nucleus of the Pontypridd district team. However, despite facing more than a dozen district players they were not outclassed, on the contrary they were probably the better team on the day and were unfortunate to lose.
In an exhilarating game of top class rugby, Llantwit sneaked a hard fought victory against a greatly improved Pontypridd. Fielding a dozen district players, this revamped Llantwit team showed what a top quality side they have become. The first half was a war of attrition between the forwards and an awesome display of pressure rugby by both sets of backs. But it was Pontypridd who were the dominant side in the first half and broke the deadlock with a dynamic try from captain and outside half Joel Raikes, who then converted his own try. Outstanding for Pontypridd in the first half were prop Will Thomas and winger Garin Rossiter. Unfortunately Will was taken ill during the half and had to leave the field, he was greatly missed up front thereafter. Garin was inspirational in attack with his traight running along with confident play and was deserving of the man of the match accolade.
Half time score 7-0 to Pontypridd.
The second half saw an impressive debut for Pontypridd's new winger Geraint Jones. Throughout the half a resurgent Llantwit showed great commitment from their forwards and an impressive rush defence by their backs, that Pontypridd struggled with at times. It was Llantwit's forward pressure that gained a try for Daniel Walls that was converted by Rhys Hughes to leave the score at 7 - 7. This set up a pressure cooker of a game with both teams cancelling each other out in every department. Outstanding for Pontypridd during this period were Dale Hughes, Liam Williams, Oliver Bailey and Joel Raikes amongst the backs along with Steffan Jenkins, Oliver Dalley, Jordan Jevons and Michael Connor amongst the forwards.
With two such equal teams, it took a mistake by Pontypridd behind their own try line for Llantwit to score what would prove to be the decisive try with Lloyd Phillips pouncing on a loose ball. The final ten minutes saw Pontypridd applying huge pressure and camping in the Llantwit half to eventually cross the whitewash only to be denied by the referee on the final whistle.
Final score Llantwit Fardre 12 - 7 Pontypridd.
Tonyrefail Upholstery Man of the Match: Garin Rossiter
Team: 1. Will Thomas, 2. Jordan Jevons, 3. Ben Larsen, 4. Michael Connor, 5. Oliver Dalley, 6. Daniel Williams, 7. Nathan Payne, 8. Alex Knowles, 9. Chris Jones, 10.Joel Raikes [c], 11. Liam Williams, 12. Dale Hughes, 13. Morgan Rees, 14. Garin Rossiter, 15. Oliver Bailey.
Subs: Steffan Jenkins, Geraint Jones and Mickey Jones.
Sponsors: Tonyrefail Upholstery and Preece Removals of Pontypridd.