Caerphilly enjoyed a prolonged period of pressure early on, camped in the home twenty-two and ultimately rewarded with a penalty kicked by centre Phil Price. Ponty in turn responded with a phase of attack, sending probing line kicks into the Caerphilly half, but with little impact made. With more firepower up front and more direct lines of running behind, Caerphilly remained in the driving seat, testing the home tacklers to the full. Pressure eventually told, a reversed penalty decision allowing outside half Stuart Thomas to hoist over a mid distance penalty for the visitors.
Claiming top of the line out ball, Ponty at last broke free, the ball whipped out to winger Richard Fussell who showed a mean turn of pace to outstrip the visitors’ cover defence for a well taken try in the corner. A telling break by full back Morgan Stoddart again sent Ponty charging upfield, but unable to maintain continuity in their play, and no score forthcoming. The Ponty backs continued in attacking frame of mind, centre Dafydd Lockyear slicing through the visitors’ midfield cover, with Richard Fussell up in support to claim a try.
Following an episode of attack and counter attack, Caerphilly made headway into the home half, Ponty prop Ryan Harford sin binned for infringing and the visitors’ outside half Stuart Thomas converting the ensuing penalty. With Geraint Liddon on as temporary replacement for Wayne O’Connor, Ponty responded with a snap offensive, allowing outside half Dai Flanagan to stroke over a penalty from twenty-five metres out. A neat break by centre Price sent Caerphilly cruising into the home twenty-two, the Ponty tacklers soaking up a concerted period of pressure. A series of mauls and charges took Ponty back upfield, allowing Flanagan to kick a straight forward penalty, securing an interval advantage for the home team of 16 pts to 9, the first half ending with a yellow card issued to Caerphilly prop Thomas Hearne.
The second half began with Ponty throwing everything into attack, a concerted phase of support play culminating with hooker Ben Phillips burrowing over for a try. Caerphilly responded with a snap offensive, allowing outside half Thomas to drill over an opportunist drop goal. The action continued apace, Ponty manufacturing some creative attacking play, good support skills creating a try scoring opportunity for winger Chris Clayton, hoisting the home team into a lead of 26 pts to 12.
The see-saw nature of the contest continued, Caerphilly next up on the attack, a neat chip through from Stuart Thomas inviting winger Mike Silcox to pounce on the ball for an opportunist try, with fifty-five minutes gone of a pulsating encounter. The visitors continued to claw their way back into contention, taking advantage of the home team’s unforced errors for outside half Thomas to hoist over another well taken penalty. At last injecting some urgency into their play, Ponty drove hard into their opponents’ twenty-two, whose winger Mike Silcox was sin binned for killing the ball. Ponty maintained their momentum with a series of attacking scrums, the ball released for full back Morgan Stoddart to arc in for a try. Another fine episode of support play kept Ponty in the ascendancy, looking sharp in their angles of running, before a double substitution saw Geraint Liddon back on for Gerald Cox and Duane Goodfield for Ben Phillips.
Driving forwards in the scrums, and looking sharp amongst the three-quarters, Ponty were full of attacking endeavour. A strong run by winger Clayton found no 8 Dan Godfrey up in support to claim a well deserved try. A spate of late substitutions saw Greg Evans coming on for Tom Riley, Chris Dicomidis for Rhys Shellard and Jason Pocock for Dafydd Lockyear, as Ponty continued to snipe forward in attack, finishing the game by far the more creative force. A fine evening’s work came to an end, with Ponty securing a deserved victory by 36 pts to 20.
15.Morgan Stoddart. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Tom Riley (Greg Evans). 12.Dafydd Lockyear (Jason Pocock). 11.Richard Fussell. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Carl Thomas.
1.Gerald Cox (Geraint Liddon). 2.Ben Phillips (Duane Goodfield). 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Dale McIntosh – cpt. 5.Chris Martenko. 6.Wayne O’Connor (Geraint Liddon temp). 7.Rhys Shellard (Chris Dicomidis). 8.Dan Godfrey.
“Golden Bob” man of the match – Richard Fussell.
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