A wide angle penalty kicked by Bedwas outside half Richard Powell opened the scoring with just two minutes gone. Ponty responded in style, launching a dynamic counter offensive to send prop James Howe in for a try on the overlap, the score converted by Dean Gunter.
The contest evened out as Powell struck another penalty for the visitors, who then imposed themselves with their attacking ploys, putting the Ponty defence under considerable pressure. The impressive Powell cut through for a try under the posts which he duly converted.
Bedwas were now very much in the ascendancy, edging the set pieces and claiming a greater share of possession and territory. Dean Gunter put over a penalty for Ponty, but that score cancelled out as Bedwas centre Ian Smerden coolly slotted over a drop goal. As flanker Phil Sargent cantered over for a try wide out, the visitors’ first half dominance was again rewarded, the conversion from Powell bringing up an interval score-line of 10pts to 23.
It was deja-vu as Powell hoisted over another penalty soon after the restart, with the home team looking dead and buried. Making changes off the bench and mixing and matching their formation, Ponty finally began to make an impression, their cause aided by the sin-binning of Bedwas hooker Crawford.
Setting up camp in their opponents’ twenty-two Ponty drove hard towards the line, their effort rewarded as centre Dafydd Lockyer powered over for a try, converted by Gunter. The home pack continued to surge upfield, setting up a position for winger Chris Clayton to cross for a try out wide, again converted by Gunter.
Pontypridd were transformed, and as Dean Gunter aimed a penalty kick through the posts with sixty-five minutes gone, they overtook Bedwas with a one point lead.
The game was set up for a dramatic finale and did not disappoint. Bedwas rediscovered their attacking flair and once more took the game to their hosts, intent on at least denying them a bonus point score. With the last play of the afternoon, Ponty winger Owen Williams intercepted and raced clear for the vital fourth touchdown, Gunter’s conversion rounding off his team’s victory by 34pts to 26.
15.Harley Thomson (Gareth Wyatt). 14.Owen Williams (Lewis Reece – temp). 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Gareth Williams (Garyn Lucas).
1.James Howe (Ken Knaggs). 2.Tom Hetherington. 3.Ken Knaggs (Chris Phillips). 4.Jordan Sieniawski (Chris Martenko). 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Dan Godfrey. 7.Calum Thomas (Wayne O’Connor). 8.Owen Sheppeard (Darren Harris).
Golden Bob man of the match: Chris Dicomidis
|Pontypridd (10) 34||Bedwas (23) 26|
|Tries: Howe (5); Lockyer (57); Clayton (63); O.Williams (82)||Tries: Powell (15); Sargent (40+2)|
|Cons: Gunter (5, 57, 65, 82)||Cons: Powell (15, 40+2)|
|Pens: Gunter (39, 65)||Pens: Powell (2, 10, 43)|
|Drop Goal: Smerden (40)|
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