Ponty Youth hosted Rumney Youth in a division one league fixture on Saturday 15th November. With the seniors playing at Sardis Road the match was staged in difficult conditions on the Cae Glas field in Upper Boat.
After two disappointing defeats for young Ponty, the Youth were keen to get back to winning ways, although continued injury and illnesses resulted in the team missing some key first team players.
The Ponty forwards took the game to Rumney from the kick off and were in rampaging form, with Lee Griffiths, Mike Davies, Alun Thomas, Aaron Atkins and Geraint Rowley outstanding in the loose. Despite all this early possession, Ponty were unable to get the try they deserved, with each promising move breaking down due to handling errors or infringements. Full back Rhys Simms, who was playing despite a shoulder problem, was only able to convert one of his three attempts at goal, but Ponty still had a deserved lead of 3 points after 20 minutes.
The set pieces were a real contrast, with Ponty outstanding in the line but with Rumney in devastating scrummaging form, giving Ponty scrum half Alun Harris a difficult afternoon trying to rescue ball from his retreating pack.
Ponty's were then dealt a cruel blow in bizarre fashion, having appealed for offside, and hearing a whistle, momentarily stopped, however the referee waiving play on as the whistle had come from the football match on an adjacent pitch. By this stage it was too late and despite a great cover tackle from Simms, the Rumney flanker was able to stretch over in the corner for an unconverted try against the run of play.
Ponty soon recovered their composure as fly half Lewis Smith spotted that the full back was out of position and cleverly chipped the Rumney midfield before darting through to collect the ball with the line begging, but was cynically tripped, earning Ponty a penalty under the posts which Simms converted for a half time lead of 6pts to 5.
Ponty were again dominant for the first 10 minutes of the second half, and got their due rewards when after great work from lock Geraint Rowley, were able to launch a brilliant back move that saw Simms cut through on a fantastic angle at pace, before feeding Smith who gave a beautiful pass to speedster Stuart Griffiths who raced in from 30 metres to score in the corner. Simms was just wide with the difficult kick, but Ponty were now 11 -5 up.
Ponty then had a torrid 20 minutes where they continually fell foul of the referee and gave away penalty after penalty for offside or infringements at the ruck, however all Rumney could score in this period was a solitary penalty to set up a nail biting finish. Ponty realised they were in grave danger of throwing the game away, but started to re establish their dominance through the line out. Lewis Smith danced his way over under the posts for what appeared to be Ponty's second try, but the score disallowed and Ponty just hanging on to win by 11pts to 8.
There were a number of impressive displays for Ponty, with Ricky Stevenson catching the eye in his first start at centre, whilst Aaron Atkins, Alun Thomas and Lewis Smith were again at the heart of all the best moves. Lee Griffiths, Marc Jones and Mike Davies were all impressive in the loose, but man of the match was Geraint Rowley, who making his first start after sustaining a serious broken leg in pre-season, gave a superb display of powerful ball carrying .
Play Off Final
Total votes 170
Ponty ar ben eu digon - pencampwyr dwbwl Cymru. Pwy oedd yn serennu yn y gem fawr yn erbyn Llanelli? Ponty on top of the world - double champions of Welsh rugby. Who starred in the big win over Llanelli?