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Pontypridd 20 vs Cardiff 18

Sat 23rd December, 17:15, Sardis Road

Cardiff worked off a strong scrum platform to advance, the ball whipped out for full back Llywarch ap Myrddin to cross in the corner with barely two minutes gone. The home team tried to build up momentum in response but lacked the cutting edge to threaten a score. Ponty pressed hard with a series of drives from a line-out take but winger Alex Webber losing hold of the ball in the act of scoring. Persistence in attack however paid off as outside half Diggy Bird stroked over a close range penalty.

The referee’s decisions continued to favour the home team, who enjoyed a near monopoly of possession but who laboured to threaten the opposition try line. Cardiff struck back with a snap counter attack but winger Pat Lewis held up just short. The game was opening up going into its second quarter, a telling break by Diggy Bird giving Ponty momentum upfield, the outside half then on hand to plant another penalty between the posts. As Cardiff continued to infringe, prop Dillon Lewis was duly dispatched to the sin-bin, with Ponty maintaining a foothold in the visitors’ half and Bird again hoisting over a penalty to increase the home lead.

A dynamic long range break by winger Alex Webber set Ponty in forward gear but unable to create a scoring opportunity. The home team however continued to advance, the ball moved wide for Webber to claim a try wide out. A frenetic period of play ensued into injury time, with Cardiff pressing hard and claiming a close range try scored by flanker Jim Botham and converted by Ben Thomas to register an interval score-line of 14pts to 12.

Cardiff resumed the second period as they finished the first, on the offensive and turning pressure into points through a penalty converted by replacement Gareth Thompson. The visitors continued to press, working off a dominant scrum platform and putting the Ponty defence to the test. The home team edged back into contention, striving hard to make inroads into the opposition twenty-two but without achieving a breakthrough.

The game moved into its final quarter, lacking the vital spark that had ignited the first period, but closely contested. Cardiff were getting the better of territory and possession but without fluency or a scoring threat. Having soaked up a good deal of pressure Ponty finally advanced into the visitors’ half and broke the deadlock through a well struck Ceri Sweeney penalty.

That score was however quickly cancelled out as Gareth Thompson hoisted over a long range penalty to regain the lead for Cardiff by just one point. Ponty responded by picking up the tempo and ploughing into their opponents’ twenty-two, flanker Rhys Shellard going close to scoring in the corner, but play called back for a penalty which Sweeney converted.

The game was balanced on a knife-edge as the clock ticked down to its finale, a dog-fight for possession with so much at stake. The Cardiff scrum again gave them a platform to advance but Ponty doggedly holding out to protect a 20pts to 18 lead to the final whistle.


15.Gary Williams (Lewis Williams). 14.Alex Webber. 13.Cameron Lewis. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Dale Stuckey. 10.Diggy Bird (Ceri Sweeney). 9.Wayne Evans (Jamie Hill).

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

Tries: Webber (38)

Pens: Bird (14, 25, 29); Sweeney (68, 76)


15.Llywarch ap Myrddin. 14.James Beal (Corey Howells). 13.Dafydd Smith (Gareth Thompson). 12.Will Rees-Hole (Geraint Watkin). 11.Pat Lewis. 10.Ben Thomas. 9.Rhodri Cole.

1.Rhys Carre (Fraser Young). 2.Ian Jenkins. 3.Dillon Lewis (Peter Lloyd). 4.James Murphy. 5.Callum Bradbury (Corey Tucker). 6.Ben White – cpt (Owen Lloyd). 7.Jim Botham. 8.Sion Bennett (Peter Lloyd temp).

Tries: ap Myrddin (2); Botham (40+3)

Cons: Thomas (40+3)

Pens: Thompson (44, 70)

Golden Bob man of the match:- Chris Dicomidis

Referee:-  Adam Jones

Attendance:- 2,250