Gorseinon 10-55 Pontypridd

24.1.2004  14:30
Konica Minolta Cup
Welfare Ground, Gorseinon

source: PontypriddRFC.co.uk

A flowing attack with fine support skills between forwards and backs took Ponty deep into home territory early on. Gorseinon withstood the period of pressure, and with an effective scrummage already evident in their armoury, cleared upfield. Ponty kept up their momentum with a swift passing move along the back line, for winger Matthew Nuthall to squeeze in for a try in the corner.

The black and whites' policy was to run the ball from all angles, but with handling errors creeping into their game to frustrate their efforts. Following up on some concerted forward drives, Ponty whipped the ball out on the blind side for winger Darren Berry to dart over for a try, with eighteen minutes gone. Gorseinon continued to contest gamely for possession, taking play up into the visitors’ half, and rewarded with a penalty kicked by centre Darren Wilcox.

Always looking to utilise their pace in open play, Ponty retaliated with another phase of attack, but lacking the continuity to press home for a score. With Dafydd Lockyear now on for the injured Emyr Lewis, Ponty kept up a concerted period of pressure, their forwards ploughing into the home twenty-two for Darren Berry to cut into the line at a good angle to claim a try, converted by outside half Richard Langmead. A quick tap penalty taken by scrum half Matthew Thomas saw Ponty surge upfield, winger Berry cutting loose for his third touchdown of the afternoon.

Pouncing on the odd error in their opponents’ open play, Gorseinon launched a foray upfield, but so far making little impact on a well organised Ponty defence. Coming to the end of the first period, the home team kept up a sustained period of pressure, only for Ponty to break from deep on a counter attack at pace. Making good use of clean line out possession, the visitors once more surged forwards for hooker Pat Riordan to barge over for a try, the conversion from Richard Langmead bringing up an interval scoreline of 3pts to 29 in Ponty’s favour.

Working off the base of a forward moving scrum, Ponty applied the early second half pressure, laying siege to the home line. The black and whites drove on relentlessly for prop Ryan Harford to claim a try, converted by outside half Langmead. Any brief attempts by Gorseinon to set up an attacking platform were rebuffed by the visitors defence, and who always looked menacing on the counter offensive. Another surge upfield by Ponty was rounded off with a well taken try by replacement winger Dafydd Lockyear, and converted by Richard Langmead.

Gorseinon gamely struck back with a sweeping move upfield, but with the visitors’ tacklers grafting hard to nullify the threat. A double substitution saw Carl Thomas coming on for Matthew Thomas and Stuart Williams for Geraint Morris, the game now keenly contested in the middle of the park, coming up to its final quarter. A blood injury to hooker Pat Riordan saw him replaced by Lloyd Hayden, as a kick and chase from Matthew Nuthall once more took Ponty deep into opposition territory. A series of five metre scrums kept up the visitors’ momentum, but with no points put on the board for all their efforts.

Further substitutions saw Scott Roberts coming for Ryan Harford and Ian Evans for Grant Harrington, with Ponty now tending to make hard work of utilising the possession that came their way. Gorseinon once more went on the offensive, and somewhat fortuitously were awarded a penalty try from broken play, the score converted by centre Wilcox. Now into the last ten minutes of the game, Ponty drove upfield, but still looking laborious in their efforts, and rarely threatening a score. To their credit Gorseinon never faltered in their endeavours to attack, and Ponty suffering a setback as flanker Lee Evans was sin binned for obstruction.

A rampaging run by lock Ian Evans set Ponty back on the offensive, the ball kept alive for Dafydd Lockyear to round off with a try out wide, the conversion attempt from Langmead rebounding off a post. Now finishing strongly, Ponty burst upfield for Lockyear to gallop in for a try under the posts, this time converted by Langmead. The afternoon’s work was long done, Ponty registering a comfortable victory by 10pts to 55, and securing a passage to the sixth round of the Konica Minolta Welsh Cup.

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