Cardiff got the match underway on a pleasant, near-perfect evening for rugby in the capital. It was a frantic start to the match with both sides gaining early possession in the opposition twenty-two. Lloyd Rowlands kicked the ball through, a foot-race followed and Cardiff managed to secure possession near their own line and averted the danger. For the first fifteen minutes both sides continued to have phases of possession but with nothing to show for it.
Then the first points of the evening fell to Ponty, Ben Burnell threw a long pass out wide, missing a couple of players in the process and it landed in the hands of Morgan Richards on the right-hand side touchline but the ball was spilled. However, referee Ian Davies was playing an advantage to Ponty and brought the team back for a penalty just outside the Cardiff twenty-two metre line, Ben Burnell kicked the penalty to put the away side 3-0 ahead.
On the twenty minute mark Cardiff replied with a successful penalty goal themselves to level the score at 3-3. Five minutes later Dale Stuckey was adjudged to have deliberately knocked the ball forward from close range in a tackle and was shown a yellow card and had to leave the field for ten minutes. From the resulting penalty Cardiff decided to kick into the corner, ramping up the pressure against Ponty’s 14 men but some stoic defence from the men wearing white and black on their own line forced a Cardiff knock-on in contact. This proved to only be temporary respite, in the 32nd minute with Evan Lloyd lying on the floor injured the blue and blacks, effectively playing against thirteen men made their numerical advantage tell and after some possession and phases of play Dan Fish dotted down for the game’s first try in the corner. Jacob Beetham kicked the conversion and the home team were 10-3 ahead.
Rhys Shellard entered the field of play to replace the injured Evan Lloyd. In the 37th minute Dan Fish slid a kick through deep into Ponty territory and Aled Summerhill gathered the bouncing ball and raced in for the try, Beetham again adding the extras. In the closing minutes of the first half, some superb commitment in defence from Ponty kept the home side out and Mr. Davies blew his whistle for half time, the score 17-3 to Cardiff.
Ben Burnell got the second half underway for Ponty. Not long after the restart Dan Fish took advantage of the new 50:22 law by kicking into touch which meant Cardiff earned the lineout just outside the Ponty twenty-two. From the resulting lineout and some more possession for the home side, Aled Summerhill scored his second try of the evening. Beetham missing the conversion this time. This seemed to spur on the men from Sardis Road and they showed great character to hit back almost immediately. Dale Stuckey ran a superb running line and Ben Burnell hit him at pace with a good pass and the flying winger crossed in the corner. Burnell missed the resulting difficult conversion resulting in a scoreline of 22-8 to the home side.
On the hour mark, Ponty’s new found belief once again paid off and a superb rolling maul was collapsed whilst trundling towards Cardiff’s line and the referee awarded a penalty try and yellow card to Theo Bevacqua. Ponty now back within striking distance at 22-15.
Five minutes later Harri Millard sealed the win for Cardiff by getting the ball, bursting through and scoring the home side’s final try, again converted by Jacob Beetham.
Ponty’s commitment to getting something out of the match didn’t wane and the hope of at least earning a losing bonus point from a tough, hard-fought encounter motivated the players wearing white and black right up until the final whistle. This spirit was approved by the army of loyal Ponty supporters who stayed to clap the team off after the final whistle.
The game ended with a final score of Cardiff 29-15 Pontypridd.
15. Jacob Beetham, 14. Harri Millard, 13. Max Llewellyn, 12.Ioan Evans (Ryan Wilkins), 11. Aled Summerhill, 10.Dan Fish (Jack Maynard), 9. Ethan Lloyd (Rory Harris)
1.Theo Bevacqua (Brynley Toms), 2.Efan Daniel (Evan Yardley), 3.Scott Andrews (Llyr Green), 4. Sean Moore, 5. Teddy Williams (Rhys Anstey), 6. Gwilym Bradley, 7. Alex Everett (c), 8. Sam Moore (James Richards)
Tries: Fish (32), Summerhill (37),(46), Millard (64)
Conversions: Beetham (33),(38),(65)
Pens: Beetham (18)
Yellow Card: Theo Bevacqua
15. Lloyd Rowlands, 14. Morgan Richards, 13. Morgan Sieniawski (c), 12. Garyn Payne (Ceri Morris), 11. Dale Stuckey, 10. Ben Burnell (Lloyd Wilkins), 9. Joel Raikes (Dafydd Buckland)
1.Ben Stephens (Lloyd James), 2. Rob Jones (Ieuan Morris), 3. Morgan Bosanko (Tom Harper), 4. Kristian Parker, 5. Chris Dicomidis, 6. Evan Lloyd (Rhys Shellard), 7. Cally James (Jack Pope), 8. Joe Miles
Tries: Stuckey (50), Penalty Try (59)
Pens: Burnell (15)
Yellow Card: Dale Stuckey
Referee: Ian Davies