Its been a double success for Pontypridd RFC mini and junior section with their under 14’s team matching the recent achievement of their under 12’s in winning the inaugural Blues Regional District Cup.
The game played at Cardiff Arms Park on Tuesday 2nd June proved to be a thrilling affair and a real spectacle for the supporters of both teams and the many neutrals in the crowd.
The initial stages saw both teams cancelling each other out until on twelve minutes some excellent team play by Pontypridd sent outside centre Sam Edwards over for the first try of the game which was duly converted by outside half Dion Holland. With their tails up Pontypridd continued to press playing the attacking and running rugby that has served them so well this season with a series of probing runs eventually forcing St Peters to concede a penalty some thirty or so metres out. After a brief deliberation with Pontypridd team captain Garyn Smith, outside half Holland calmly slotted the kick giving Pontypridd what was a healthy 10 points to nil lead.
This second score spurred the St Peters squad into action and for the remainder of the first half they had very much more of the game with their forwards in the ascendancy and their speedy wingers testing the Pontypridd defence at every opportunity. This sustained ten minute period of pressure by St Peters who were making good use of their well drilled rolling maul saw them justly rewarded with a well worked converted try on the stroke of half time.
Half time: St Peters 7 - 10 Pontypridd
The second half started as the first had finished with St Peters in the ascendancy and continuing to press for their second score. This duly arrived with a little over two and a half minutes played. Unfortunately for St Peters the angled conversion on this occasion went slightly wide but they now held a 12 points to 10 lead.
Following the restart Pontypridd found themselves down to fourteen men when winger Jordan Rees was unlucky to be sin binned by referee Mr Martin Edwards for a team penalty for alleged repeated killing of the ball. With the one man disadvantage Pontypridd were now struggling to get their hands on the ball and probing kicks from the St Peters backs were keeping them firmly on the back foot. To their credit Pontypridd defended for all their worth but this sustained period of pressure saw St Peters score their second converted and third try of the match giving them a deserved 19 - 10 lead with twenty minutes remaining on the clock. St Peters were now in control of the game and only two touchline try saving tackles by Pontypridd No8 Jonathan Barnett and captain Smith prevented St Peters from extending their advantage.
With winger Rees returning to the field and levelling the playing numbers Pontypridd started to regain some much needed possession. On seventeen minutes following initial good work by forwards and backs, fullback Shane Hutchinson received the ball out wide to sprint over under the posts, outside half Holland again adding the conversion. 19 - 17 to St Peters 'game on' with both teams throwing caution to the wind and going full out for the win. With ten minutes remaining the Pontypridd team recorded their third try of the evening following a quick thinking tap by all action flanker Ieuan Evans and some superb mid field handling sending fullback Hutchinson over for his second try, converted again by the consistent Holland.
With the score now 24 - 19 in Pontypridd’s favour, it was nail biting time for the coaches and supporters of both camps. The game continued at a high tempo and was eventually sealed when Pontypridd recorded try number four with a forty metre touch down by right wing Tom Robinson. This try was again converted by outside half Holland who maintained his impressive one hundred percent kicking record for the night putting Pontypridd into an unassailable 31 points to 19 lead.
What an advert for junior rugby in the Blues Region and congratulations to both teams for a superb on field display of skill and sportsmanship.
Following the presentation of the cup to Pontypridd team captain Garyn Smith, Blues development officer Mal Jones presented Pontypridd outside centre Sam Edwards with the man of the match ball after an impressive all round performance.
The whole Pontypridd squad would like to take this opportunity to again thank all other mini and junior section members for their support on the night and thanks also to the St Peters players, coaching team and supporters for their sportsmanship and congratulations in defeat. Further public thanks at the end of a long seasons goes to the teams jersey sponsors John Hamilton Solicitors of Trallwyn, Pontypridd and to Mr Elwyn Evans for sponsoring the teams shorts.
Final Result :- St Peters19 – 31 Pontypridd
Try scorers for Pontypridd were
Shane Hutchinson (2), Sam Edwards, Tom Robinson.
Conversions by Dion Holland (4)
Penalty by Dion Holland 1
Blues Cup Man of the Match Sam Edwards
Pontypridd RFC under 14s Blues Cup Squad 2008 – 09 Season
Jonathan Barnett, Jamie Brooks, Liam Burton, Brad Charlton, Ieuan Evans, Blake Fear, Daniel Gains, Joss Howatson, Jimmy Nelms, James Page, Daniel Pritchard, Jack Stephens, Ryan Webber, Dion Williams, Nathan Williams, Tom Williams.
Sam Edwards, Jack Hazell, Dion Holland, Shane Hutchinson, Rhydian Langford, Jordan Rees, Tom Robinson, Garyn Smith ©, Jake Thomas, Jack Whelpton, Kurt Williams.
Play Off Final
Total votes 188
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?