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Cross Keys 7 vs Pontypridd 16

Fri 1st December, 19:30, Pandy Park
Principality Premiership

With Ponty pressing and making several breaks through the home side’s defence it was against the run of play that Cross Keys hacked the ball into open space to see wing Mathew Powell win the race to touch down, outside half Corey Shephard converting the try.

Despite that early setback, the visitors were enjoying the majority of possession but not in areas of the pitch where they could create scoring opportunities. With half time approaching, Ponty laid siege to the Keys’ try line. A chip ahead by wing Lewis Williams was gathered by the home defence on their line to set up a series of scrums five metres out which provided a good platform for Ponty to attack.

The visitors’ persistence finally paid off as the Keys’ scrum was penalised a couple of times and each time their opponents chose to re-set the set piece rather than kick an easy penalty. Their reward eventually came when winger Alex Webber hit a gap from close range to score a deserved try.

Outside half Diggy Bird’s conversion hit the post and with it the referee brought an end to the first half with Cross Keys going in at the break 7pts to 5 ahead.

An excellent break by Webber from deep inside his own half set Ponty on the attack as the game resumed but a well organised home defence holding out and forcing their opponents to commit errors.

It wasn’t long before Ponty were on the offensive again and when the home side’s defence was caught off-side outside half Diggy Bird kicked an easy penalty. With the Keys again infringing at the breakdown Bird stepped up to kick a long range penalty to further extend Ponty’s lead.

Going into the final minutes of the match, a smart touch finding kick by Diggy Bird penned the home side back on their own line and from the resulting line-out Rhys Shellard rose highest to the steal the ball. As possession was recycled several phases later it was Shellard who barged over to score in the corner.

With the clock counting down, clever play by the Ponty forwards kept the ball tight until the referee gave the nod that time was up, the ball kicked out to bring an end a match in which the visitors dug deep to run out deserved winners by 7pts to 16.

Cross Keys:

15.Leon Andrews. 14.Matthew Powell. 13.Lewis Barnett. 12.Phil Williams (Josh Prosser). 11.Nathan Trowbridge. 10.Corey Shephard (Barney Nightingale). 9.Owain Leonard (James Leadbeater).

1.Corey Hewlett (Lewis Smout). 2.Zac Hewlett (Rob Jones). 3.Richard Cornock. 4.Tom Lampard. 5.Dan Mock (Luke Dyckhoff). 6.Josh Skinner. 7.Scott Matthews – cpt. 8.Adam Powell.

Try: M. Powell (12)

Con: Shephard (12)

Pontypridd:

15.Joseph Williams (Declan Williams). 14.Alex Webber. 13.Gary Williams. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Diggy Bird. 9.Wayne Evans.

1.Huw Owen (Joe Popple). 2.Joe Page (Jon Elley). 3.Keelan Marney (Tom Mably). 4.Josh Hawkins (Hemi Barnes). 5.Chris Dicomidis (Shay Smallman). 6.Sean Moore. 7.Rhys Shellard. 8.Morgan Sieniawski.

Tries: Webber (40); Shellard (75)

Pens: Bird (55, 65)

Referee:-  Neil Chivers (RFU)