We are nearing the end of another season for Pontypridd RFC - my first as a member of the club's media team.
You will find me at home fixtures (remember those!) perched at the back of the Grandstand, compiling match reports - just within earshot to hear Phil Lycett’s unique views on the match and him offering the referee some wise words and advice on what he has missed!
At the recent league match away to Merthyr I had the pleasure of meeting David Gooch for the first time sitting next to me at the back of stand. David, exiled in my old stomping ground of Merseyside, regularly makes a 400 mile round trip to watch Ponty every weekend. I couldn’t believe his commitment and dedication in following the team.
It’s characters like Phil and dedication from supporters like David that makes Pontypridd RFC what it is and meeting supporters like them always enhances my match day experience. I probably wouldn’t have met the people I have if I wasn’t in the privileged position of being part of the media team.
Two matches stand out for me this season in what has been one of transition. The matches were Bridgend away in October and Ebbw Vale away in March.
The match up at Eugene Cross Park will live long in the memory. In near monsoon conditions, apart from a shaky opening fifteen minutes, we totally dominated the Steelmen like I have never seen before.
To see our forwards out muscle the Ebbw Vale pack in terrible conditions was a sight I didn’t think I’d see anytime soon. The photographs from the match are some of the most iconic I have seen in many a season.
The trip to the Brewery Field saw us go there missing eighteen players through injury and B&I Cup involvement yet we still fielded a team strong enough to get a win at a ground where it is always difficult to get a result. It was early in the season but it set the tone that, despite injuries, we would still dig deep and be competitive in the league.
The amount of injuries suffered this season has meant we have had to widen our search of players to come into the squad. Age has proved no barrier for a couple of those players. Lee Evans has improved with every match he’s played, his combative edge proving vital in a relatively young pack.
Another player who stepped into help this season was Peter Sidoli, initially to help his brother Robert in training sessions, but then into making ten cameo appearances for the club. His experience and knowledge of playing in the second row, alongside that of the irreplaceable Chris Dicomidis must have played a big part in the meteoric rise of young second row Sean Moore who went from playing for Mountain Ash to being a stand out performer for Wales Under 20’s in this seasons Six Nations championship.
We have two crucial matches coming up in the league, away to Bedwas and at home to RGC. There is no reason why we can’t win both to see us qualify again for the end of season play offs, where anything is possible.
With everything that has gone on at the club this season, both on and off the field, what better way to finish it than with some silverware, making amends after that narrow defeat in the Cup Final at the Principality Stadium.
21st April 2017
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