The game began as a torrid clash between the two sets of forwards, before a dynamic break from home scrum half Wayne Evans injected some much needed pace into the proceedings. It was Carmarthen however who broke the deadlock, as Ponty were penalised in a scrum, and visitors’ outside half Simon Daniel converting the kick. The home team’s response was to pound the gain line, making advances into the opposition half. Securing good possession, Ponty were weaving intricate patterns of attack and showing fine support skills. A chip and chase from flanker Rhys Shellard kept up their momentum, the ball then moved wide through quick hands for centre Dafydd Lockyer to cross for a try, the score converted by outside half Richard Langmead.
The game was still evenly balanced going into its second quarter, more of the grapple and groan variety than a free flowing contest. Ponty attempted to put width on the ball, following on the charges of Scott Roberts and Leighton Davies. The deadlock was broken as full back Jason Pocock burst clear, kicking ahead and following up to claim an opportunist try, again converted by Langmead. In a stop start affair, Ponty were still intent on spreading the ball wide, but not always successful in their game-plan, as Matthew Nuthall came on for the injured Pocock.
Carmarthen entered into the spirit of enterprise with a flowing back line move, plying pressure in the home twenty-two, and rewarded with a penalty kicked from in front of the posts by Simon Daniel. The home team struck back, ever aware of their attacking options, an interception and charge by no 8 Nathan Strong paving the way for scrum half Wayne Evans to cross for a try, again converted by Langmead. A late snap attack from Carmarthen saw the ball spurt forward off scrum half Luke Marsh’s knee, who followed up to claim a try, converted by outside half Daniel, rounding off an interval scoreline in Ponty’s favour by 21 pts to 13.
The home team conceded ground as the second half began, put under pressure by a strong Carmarthen scrum. Breaking the stranglehold, Ponty cut loose with some excellent handling skills being exhibited, a couple of neat reverse passes sending Wayne Evans over for a try, converted by Langmead. Ponty were now up for it, chasing every loose ball and putting in some strong tackles to send the visitors backtracking into their own twenty-two. Stealing their opponents’ line out ball, Ponty remained well on top, a sharp midfield break and dummy by Matthew Nuthall setting up a score for Dafydd Lockyer which Langmead once more converted.
A double substitution saw Stuart Wiiliams coming on for Gerald Cox and Adam Powell for Lee Evans, with Ponty now defending their own line. The Quins moved the ball wide to threaten, but a try saving tackle put in by Daniel Hitchings in the corner. With Ben Phillips now on for Leighton Davies, the home team were holding out against a concerted phase of pressure. A break off the back of a line out by Rhys Shellard sent Ponty on a surge upfield,, the move carried on by Lockyer. Ponty continued to use their bench as Sam Wahdan came on for Chris Dicomidis and Ian Poley for Scott Roberts, joining in a rearguard action as Carmarthen kept up their momentum in attack.
Another counter offensive at pace was triggered by home outside half Langmead, Ponty once more going all out in attack, and looking the more potent of the two contestants. The game’s entertainment value was upheld by the Quins who endeavoured to move the ball wide. Scott Roberts made a return to action in place of the injured Stuart Williams, and with Andy Parkinson also coming on for Dafydd Lockyer. The visitors now enjoyed a concerted period of pressure, shunting their way towards the home line, outside half Simon Daniel burrowing over for a try which he then converted from a wide angle.
Fittingly, the final word went to Pontypridd, once more surging onwards with a length of the field attack, rounded off with a touchdown for back rower Adam Powell, putting the seal on an impressive Ponty victory by 40 pts to 20.
15.Jason Pocock (Matthew Nuthall). 14.Daniel Hitchings. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer (Andy Parkinson). 11.Darren Berry. 10.Richard Langmead. 9.Wayne Evans.
1.Scott Roberts (Ian Poley). 2.Leighton Davies (Ben Phillips). 3.Gerald Cox (Stuart Williams / Scott Roberts). 4.Chris Dicomidis (Sam Wahdan) 5.Grant Harrington. 6.Lee Evans (Adam Powell). 7.Rhys Shellard. 8.Nathan Strong – cpt.
“Golden Bob” man of the match – Dafydd Lockyer
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