It was thermal clothing weather at Sardis Road for what promised to be a cracker of a Premiership derby, but the contest rarely living up to expectations although high on drama to the very end.
After a mass brawl amongst the forwards got proceeding underway, with Cardiff prop Ian George sin binned, an early exchange of penalties between Cardiff’s Chris Anderson and Ponty’s Dean Gunter came each side of the sending off of home centre Gavin Dacey, for stamping. This was a setback from which Ponty struggled to recover all afternoon, in terms of their midfield fluency.
Cardiff took the initiative, flanker Rhys Shellard sniping away from an attacking maul to claim a try, and the visitors edging the contest as Ponty failed to impose with their tactical kicking and handling game. Cardiff centre Darren Ryan remained unpunished after throwing a flurry of punches, apart from Gunter’s conversion of the ensuing penalty. Another Gunter kick gave Ponty a narrow 9pts to 8 interval lead following a low key and ill-tempered first half.
The game continued to generate excitement, but largely due to the errors committed, with the scoreboard kept ticking over as Anderson and Gunter aimed their kicks at goal, and another yellow card issued, this time to Cardiff wing Ryan Howells. The tempo was occasionally upped, with Jamie Loxton launching a kick and chase attack which almost produced a score for the visitors.
Replacement Lee Jarvis kicked a penalty for Cardiff, narrowing Ponty’s lead to just one point, but the home side responding in emphatic fashion. A quick tap penalty by scrum half Downes seemed the wrong option, but Ponty persevering in attack, and rewarded as a drive from a line out produced a try for flanker Darren Waters.
As Ponty seemed set to dog out their way to victory, Cardiff launched a last gasp foray, with Lee Jarvis crossing for a contested touchdown and then dramatically converting the score from the touchline.
So it was that Cardiff took the honours by 20pts to 21, and taking also Ponty’s two year home ground record.
15.Matthew Nuthall. 14.Kristian Baller. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Rhys Downes.
1.Stuart Williams (Lewis Smout). 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Grant Harrington (Rhys Lloyd). 5.Ryan Savage (Chris Martenko). 6.Chris Dicomidis. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Nathan Strong – cpt.
“Golden Bob” Man of the Match:- Dean Gunter
|Try: D. Waters (71)||Tries: R.Shellard (23) L. Jarvis (79)|
|Con: L. Jarvis (79)|
|Pens: D. Gunter (21;34;37;58;62)||Pens: C. Anderson (5;43) L. Jarvis (68)|