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Pontypridd 26 vs Bargoed 13

Sat 25th November, 12:30, Sardis Road
Principality Premiership

Pontypridd kicked for position rather than goal during a cagey start to the game, and were rewarded following a line-out drive as outside half Diggy Bird sniped in for a try under the posts which he then converted. It was a penalty touchfinder from Bird which fell short that gave Bargoed their first meaningful phase of attack, but coming to nothing.

A counter from broken play saw the visitors again attacking and going close to scoring, with Ponty spending time resolutely defending their own line. The contest was failing to ignite in bitterly cold conditions and the crowd could well have been searching for wi-fi connection to do their online Christmas shopping such was the lack of meaningful action on the pitch.

Ponty finally managed to pick up momentum, but it was Bargoed who put points on the board courtesy of a penalty kicked by Iain Smerdon. A dynamic break by no8 Morgan Sieniawski again put Ponty in forward gear, and following a big driving maul the ball was worked wide for winger Alex Webber to cross for a try, registering an interval score-line of 12pts to 3.

Another Smerdon penalty saw Bargoed trimming their deficit soon after the restart, but the second period already beginning to mirror the first in its lack of quality. Ponty were trying to inject pace into their game, with Alex Webber and Gary Williams to the fore, but failing to pose any real threat. An interception by Diggy Bird gave the home team some much needed momentum, applying pressure on their opponents’ twenty-two with flanker Shane Lewis-Hughes finally cutting through for a try which Bird converted.

Frustrations were in danger of boiling over as the game moved into its final quarter, the Ponty pack sorting out a scrum that had previously creaked to apply further pressure, but all attempts to attack ending in spills not thrills. It was Bargoed who then retaliated with a break forged by centre Lewis Bowden, full back Ashley Norton rounding off with a try which replacement Calum Jones converted.

The game still struggled for cohesion or quality into its final minutes, but Ponty putting together some phases of continuity for centre Dafydd Lockyer to barge over for a late bonus point try which Bird again converted, rounding off a home victory by 26pts to 13.

Pontypridd:

15.Geraint Walsh. 14.Alex Webber. 13.Gary Williams. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt (Jordan Rees). 11.Matthew Billet (Declan Williams). 10.Diggy Bird. 9.Dane Blacker (Joel Raikes).

1.Huw Owen (Joe Popple). 2.Iestyn Harris (Joe Page). 3.Jon Elley (Keelan Marney). 4.Josh Hawkins (Sean Moore). 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Shane Lewis-Hughes (Hemi Barnes). 7.Rhys Shellard. 8.Morgan Sieniawski.

Tries: Bird (4); Webber (40); Lewis-Hughes (53); Lockyer (76)

Cons: Bird (4, 54, 77)

Bargoed:

15.Ashley Norton. 14.Duane Dyer. 13.Jordan Howells (Julian Mogg). 12.Lewis Bowden. 11.Dai Evans. 10.Iain Smerdon (Calum Jones). 9.James Hallett (James Pizey).

1.Rhys Morgan – cpt (Scott Evans). 2.Leigh Meades (Lewys Lippiett). 3.Alex Gardner-Key (Phil Price). 4.Matthew Thomas. 5.James Locke. 6.Ben Fry (Ieuan Jones). 7.Grant Rogers. 8.Lewis Weyman (Adam Coupe).

Try: Norton (69)

Con: Jones (69)

Pens: Smerdon (35, 41)

Golden Bob / WRU man of the match: Gary Williams

Referee:-  Ben Breakspear

Attendance: 850