The curtain fell on the season for Pontypridd Youth with a hard fought but well earned 3-21 victory in this delayed derby league fixture at Ynysybwl on Tuesday evening 15th May.
The game was a swansong for eight players who will be stepping up to senior rugby and they were given the best of send-offs in the late evening sunshine as Pontypridd showed enough class to subdue a battling Ynysybwl side that competed physically especially at the breakdown.
The first twenty minutes were effectively controlled by Pontypridd and although the bulk of the play took place in the home half it was Ynysybwl who took their only scoring chance to lead through a penalty with the visitors frequently reaching deep into Ynysybwl territory before unforced errors cut short promising Pontypridd attacks. Individual breaks by No 8 Scott Sullivan and James Kelly at full-back and a clever blindside combination between Dewi Kingsbury and Max Day got to within spitting distance of the Ynysybwl line but by the end of the half it appeared that Ynysybwl couldn’t score and Pontypridd didn’t want to.
Although the keenly refereed game was short on continuity there was enough excitement to keep a sizeable crowd interested and the composure, control and application that Pontypridd missed in the first half appeared in sufficient flashes in the second to turn the score and the result in the visitors’ favour. The first came when an Ynysybwl fumble at the restart was exploited by the Pontypridd pack through a series of quick, tight drives allowing Irishman Max Day to burrow over from close range.
The next meaningful passage of play was instigated by a second gallop by Sullivan that gave Pontypridd a penalty on the hosts’ 25 metre line that was put to the corner. The resultant take and drive wasn’t clinical enough but the next lineout was stolen by Dewi Kingsbury who set the platform for centre Garyn Smith to drive the ball strongly up the middle of the field and when the ball was recycled it gave wing Jordan Rees the chance to score a trademark try out wide that was superbly converted by James Nicholas. The result was secured when departing skipper Tom Flye took a clean catch at a lineout deep in the Ynysybwl half that was driven to the try line and finished by Max Day collecting his brace.
The result meant Pontypridd Youth joined Treorchy at the top of the Blues B league with only a superior points difference giving Treorchy the title. Although they were disappointed not to secure any silverware, coaches Simon Bayliss and Andy Price were massively proud of the season long fight the squad put in at the top of the league together with the two semi-final appearances they featured in and were hugely encouraged by the progress the team had made in only two seasons together.
15. James Kelly 14. Josh Edwards 13. Josh Waughington 12. Garyn Smith 11. Dale Hughes 10. James Nicholas 9. Chris Jones 1. Paul Minty 2. Blake Fear 3. Callum Reed 4. Tom Flye (Capt.) 5. Max Day 6. Gavin Steele 7. Dewi Kingsbury 8. Scott Sullivan
16. Macauley Griffiths 17. Jordan Rees 18. Shane Hutchinson 19. Dillon Lewis 20. Jordan Eynon 21. Ieuan Evans
Tries – Max Day (2), Jordan Rees
Conversions – James Nicholas (3)