Following a scrappy opening to the game, Ponty calmed their nerves with an early penalty converted by Dai Flanagan. A sharp break from centre Gavin Dacey kept up their momentum, but overall failing to achieve continuity in their play. The televised match was offering poor entertainment value, a stop start affair riddled with errors and injuries.
With a strong wind at their backs, Ponty were the dominant force, keeping play up in the home twenty-two, but squandering their opportunities. A clever chip by Dai Flanagan caught out the flat Pooler defence, Adam Thomas gathering and sending fellow centre Gavin Dacey over for a fine try, converted by Flanagan. Ponty were showing glimpses of their ability, but too often thwarted by their own mistakes, whilst Pontypool were always a threat on the counter. A ghosting break by Dacey sent winger Kristian Baller away on a run which almost produced a score.
The home team laid claim to some sustained possession, and despite Ponty’s aggression in defence, their pressure rewarded as scrum half Tom Edwards sniped in for a try. A Dai Flanagan penalty restored Ponty’s advantage, going into the interval holding a deserved lead of 5pts to 13.
Pontypridd seemed galvanised into action as play resumed, a clever line out ploy seeing hooker Rhys Williams taking a return pass to cross for a try wide out, which was excellently converted by Flanagan. The visitors kept up their tempo, a lovely pop up pass from full back Hutchings sending Gavin Dacey cruising through for a try, which Flanagan again converted.
Ponty were getting the better of what was still a scrappy contest, their dominance reflected in another penalty successfully converted by Flanagan. Playing into the wind, a combination of tactical kicking and forward drives were keeping the Valley Commandos in the ascendancy, chasing a fourth try to claim a bonus point. All their efforts were however proving futile, and it was Pontypool who struck back to send replacement Nick Coughlin over following a series of shunts towards the line, with full back Tom Hancock converting the score. Ponty continued to press going into injury time, but rarely posing a real threat to the home try line, and settling for a comprehensive, but bonus point-less victory by 12pts to 30.
15.Matt Hutchings. 14.Kristian Baller (Lawrence Price). 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas (Mike Davies). 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Andrew Jenkins (Rhys Downes).
1.Stuart Williams (Owen Cotton). 2.Rhys Williams (Huw Dowden). 3.Pat Palmer. 4.Chris Martenko (Ryan Savage). 5.Grant Harrington. 6.Geraint Lewis. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Nathan Strong – cpt (Kristian Dacey).
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