An early stalemate was broken as Bridgend full back Owen Howe kicked three penalties at regular five minute intervals, Ponty in the meantime having scrum half Jamie Hill sent to the sin-bin. The contest was low key and scrappy, with the referee’s whistle a prominent feature.
Ponty struck back through a Diggy Bird penalty after visiting flanker Joseph Grabham had seen yellow, and then made the most of their man advantage from a line-out drive as hooker Rob Jones burrowed over, trimming his side’s interval deficit to 8pts to 9.
The floodlights were on after the break but the game still struggling to ignite, errors being committed by both sides. Ponty were gradually gaining an ascendancy, battling for turnovers, and achieving a breakthrough following a snap offensive down the flank, centre Mason Grady going over in the corner. The home lead was overturned on the hour as Bridgend outside half Jacob Chilcott hoisted an opportunist cross kick which winger Caine Woolerton followed up to score.
The game was balanced on a knife edge into its final ten minutes, Chilcott drilling over a penalty after an earlier costly miss to give the visitors a precarious four point lead. Ponty were striving to cut open their opponents’ defence with winger Alex Webber and Mason Grady prominent, and finally turned pressure into points following a line-out drive, a wide attack allowing replacement Lloyd Rowlands to dive over to seal a late victory by 18pts to 17.
15.Corey Shephard (Lloyd Rowlands). 14.Alex Webber. 13.Mason Grady. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Dale Stuckey. 10.Diggy Bird. 9.Jamie Hill (Joel Raikes).
1.Ben Stephens (Huw Owen). 2.Rob Jones (Nathan Huish). 3.Morgan Bosanko. 4.Sean Moore. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Kristian Parker. 7.Sion Parry (Kyle Evans). 8.Alun Lawrence (Lloyd Evans).
Tries: Jones (27); Grady (47); Rowlands (77)
Pen: Bird (21)
15.Owen Howe (Adam Jones). 14.Caine Woolerton. 13.Nathan Edwards – cpt (Stuart Floyd-Ellis). 12.Jamie Murphy. 11.Dewi Cross. 10.Jacob Chilcott. 9.Connor Tantum (Chris Williams).
1.Rhodri Apsee (Owen Jordan). 2.Gareth Harvey (Garin Lloyd). 3.Cai Lewis. 4.Ben Jones. 5.James Little. 6.Adam O’Driscoll. 7.Joseph Grabham (Dafi Davies). 8.Rob Dudley-Jones (Jack Pope).
Try: Woolerton (60)
Pens: Howe (5, 10, 16); Chilcott (72)
Golden Bob Man of the Match: Sean Moore
WRU Man of the Match: Mason Grady
Referee: Mike English