Pontypridd under 12s went down to defeat against their Caerphilly counterparts, by 15 pts to 5. Small errors along with key injuries hammered Pontypridd who with a bit more confidence could have won the game despite the strong wind and uneven surface.
From the kick off Pontypridd were almost immediately under pressure and conceded an early try after some good work by the Caerphilly backs who had the ascendancy over their opposite numbers throughout most of the match. An early injury to Pontypridd's inspirational scrum-half Chris Jones caused some disruption as they had to re-juggle the backs with Joel Raikes moved from outside-half to scrum-half to cover and Dale Hughes taking over at 10.
Pontypridd were sometimes their own worse enemies and put themselves under pressure by trying to play the ball behind their own twenty-two, this unnecessary pressure eventually led to Caerphilly's second try. Lesson learnt, the boys fought back, led by a dominant display of attacking rugby by Jordan Jevons, Nathan Payne and Steffan Jenkins, along with the huge boot of Joel Raikes. With their forwards ever improving as the game progressed, it was only a matter of time before Ponty scored.
A Caerphilly scrum just inside their own half was won against the head by Pontypridd thanks to excellent hooking by Jordan Jevons, quick ball through the hands saw Pontypridd's flying winger Kubilay Aytac break the rush defence before being brought down by a last gasp tackle. But quick thinking and good skills saw him pop the ball up to the supporting Josh Pritchard who raced away to score a well deserved try just before the half time whistle. Half time score 10 - 5 to Caerphilly.
The second half started with an early try from Caerphilly as quick ball through the hands saw the Pontypridd defence stretched and the Greens winger taking full advantage to score in the corner. Despite this set back Pontypridd never gave up, as proven with Caerphilly dominating most possession in the second half, but never scoring again due to the awesome defensive effort put in by almost every Pontypridd player on the field. Several times Caerphilly saw themselves on the Pontypridd try line only to be pushed back, held up or have the ball stolen and cleared by Joel Raikes' huge boot.
The last twenty minutes became a scrappy affair as Pontypridd failed to capitalise on what little possession they did receive, whilst Caerphilly got increasingly frustrated by Pontypridd's magnificent defence. Some really impressively huge tackling by both sides saw several turn over's and injuries as the game become eagerly contested. Even in defeat, impressive for Pontypridd were fly half Dale Hughes and their deserving man of the match,no. 8 Steffan Jenkins. Though close on his heels for man of the match contention were Joel Raikes and Jordan Jevons. Also impressive throughout were Michael Connor, Johnathan Griffin, Oliver Dalley, Alex Knowles, Ben Larsen, Nathan Payne, Josh Pritchard and Dan Williams.
Try scorer for Pontypridd: Josh Pritchard
Man of the match: Steffan Jenkins
Team: 1. Michael Connor, 2. Jordan Jevons, 3. Johnathan Griffin, 4. Oliver Dalley, 5. Alex Knowles, 6. Ben Larsen, 7. Nathan Payne, 8. Steffan Jenkins, 9. Chris Jones, 10. Joel Raikes, 12. Dale Hughes, 13. Josh Pritchard, 14. Liam Williams, 11. Kubilay Han Aytac, 15. Garin Rossiter. Subs: Gareth Cleaver, Morgan Rees and Dan Williams.
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